University Library: State School
Every college graduate has that unique story to tell. It could be about getting drunk and waking up in a strange place, or cramming for exams, or pulling a prank, or seducing a professor (or getting hit on by a professor).
I’ve never told my unique college story. Nobody knows about my college story, except for a bunch of people from college, none of whom I’ve kept in touch with. My wife, my parents, my siblings, none of them have heard this story yet. I’m quiet but not secretive, so you know if I haven’t told this story yet, it has to be kind of bad.
First of all, I was supposed to go to a private university. It wasn’t as prestigious as an Ivy League school, but it was (and still is) very much respected. It’s also expensive, and though my high school grades were good, they weren’t stellar and my extracurricular activities were weak (I had an after school job), so I didn’t get the scholarship money that I was hoping for.
My family was in that middle ground where my parents made enough money to make me ineligible for most financial aid, but we couldn’t afford to pay the private university’s costs, not without some outside help. So at the last minute, I decided to go to the state university. With a reasonable student loan and by working part-time jobs, my parents could help me out enough for me to go there. It was better than nothing.
The state university was okay, but we called it the state school. The state school had a decent reputation, but almost anybody could get in, and I’d never had a desire to go to there . I was proud to have been accepted to the private university, and I had wanted to prove that I belonged there, so I was disappointed.
Looking back and considering the profession I chose, it’s a good thing I went to the state school. The private university wouldn’t have given me much of an advantage (except for the possible networking), so I saved myself a bunch of student loan money. Back then in the 1980s, you paid off your student loans or else.
The only reason I mention this is that I went in to state school as a freshman without a prearranged roommate. My high school friends going to the state school had already worked out their roommate situations. Since I had waited so long to enroll, it was too late for me to make my own roommate arrangement. My roommate was going to be picked by the school at random.
I’d heard a bunch of horror stories about random roommates. It didn’t matter what gender you were, a random roommate could make college a living hell. My roommate (once I got to know him) didn’t make me miserable, but he had an impact, and this story wouldn’t have happened the same way without him.
I’ve written a story about my high school days (“Long Story” AKA The Writing Prompt ). I’ve written a romantic comedy blog serial from my days as a young professional ( The Literary Girlfriend ). I’ve even written a marriage story (Nice Things, which is kind of a sequel to “The Literary Girlfriend”). But I haven’t written any complete stories about my college days. I’ve avoided writing too much about my college days, and as this blog serial continues, it will be obvious why I avoided writing about it.
I remember the stuff that happened in college, but I’m not sure about the chronological order of a lot of it, so this story might seem jumbled. Some of the anecdotes might seem unimportant, but context is crucial. Context explains why people believed the accusation made about me later on in this story. Context will hopefully also demonstrate that I’m not the kind of person who does what I was accused of doing.
This story is going to take a while to tell, and it’s going to be all over the place because I remember the stuff that happened, but I don’t remember the order it happened in. There were too many people involved for a reader of a blog serial (or even me, the author) to keep track of, so I’m making some composite characters. I don’t remember word for word everything that was said, so some of the dialogue might not be accurate, but hopefully I capture the right tone.
I won’t intentionally try to make myself look better than I really was. I’ll look bad a few times in this story, and some (not all) of what happened to me was my fault. I won’t try to hide that. I’ll also try not to make myself look worse than I really am either.
A lot of this story takes place in the University Library, and I don’t even remember what it looked like. I searched it online, and the building was unrecognizable to me. Remember, this happened over 30 years ago, and it does not feel like it was just yesterday.
I’ve heard a lot of strange stories of weird stuff that goes on during college. But I’ve never heard of anybody else going through what I experienced. And I’m going to tell you all about it over the next few months(?) in the blog serial… University Library!!
To be continued in University Library: The One Night Stand .