SSM: “For the First Time, Again” by Meghan Austin

30 May

The platitude is that college is for self-discovery. How terrifying! Anything about self-discovery scares the bejeesus out of me. Why would you want to discover something? And around other fellow discoverers! Leave it as it is. Woody Allen said: “Change is death.” Discovery entails contracting disease, risking hostile natives, and losing one’s way. Columbus raped and pillaged. Magellan died half a world away from home. And Ponce de Leon the same trying to find some Vitamin Water–but, like, really awesome Vitamin Water.

If we’re all traversing this social rite of higher education, and one of us realizes the skipper is a madman with a pegleg bent on self-destruction, who’s responsible? Us, for signing on? Or Them, for leading us on? In the end, I think, danger is inherent within discovery. And danger can be a comfortable thought, way, or ideology crushed for the strange, the better.

There were two (or more) opinions on how to proceed: we could teach ourselves, something we had no intention of doing, this being college. We could be absorbed by the multi-cultural women’s literature class across the hall, and talk about African knitting and menstruation, or whatever happened over there. Nothing “multi” is ever appealing. Multi-grain, multi-vitamin. Our parents were paying good money for us to study something that everyone had agreed was good. Whether we read any of it or not.

 

Read the entire story at Failbetter.

 

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