I remember the last rejection letter I got senior year. I had been denied by every other school I actually wanted to go to, and it finally hit me that I had wasted 6 years (my school was 7-12) of my life, and infinite potential, hanging out with my friends when I should have been going to tutoring and talking to boys when I should have been studying. I had no one to blame but myself, and I knew it. I felt my chest collapsing on itself and my throat closing up as I began sobbing hysterically, like I’d just found out someone had died. And to me, someone had. I was mourning the death of the person I could have been.
My private school of less than 2000 and a student body made up of 70% girls was never my dream school. After the initial excitement of being a college student wore off, I found myself growing insanely jealous of the people from my high school that had gone off to elite universities and notorious party schools. I couldn’t go on social media without being confronted with the harsh reality of how my college experience dulled drastically in comparison to those of the kids I’d graduated with just months before.
And that’s where I went wrong. Lasell, or any other small liberal arts school, is never going to be Boston College or UMass Amherst. Because I judged my school on how it compared to those of my peers that went elsewhere, I was unable to enjoy my school for all it had to offer.
There’s a lot I would change about my school. Our late night option should be open until 2am, and it should count as a part of our meal plan. Our key cards should be able to get us into every dorm on campus, not just the one we live in. More bacon in the dining hall. Greek life. A 24 hour gym. Undo this God forsaken merger and get Mt Ida cops out of here once and for all.
But my private school of less than 2000 is where I learned who I was and what I stood for. I figured out that life was absolutely what you made it, and that at the end of the day you are solely responsible for your happiness. I learned that losers quit when they’re tired and winners quit when they’ve won. Most importantly, I learned that it wasn’t your failures, but how you responded to them that defined you.
I’ll be honest: I’d LOVE to be able to have ridiculous tailgates and dress up for game day and obliterate my liver for 48 straight hours as I bellow obscenities at the other team. I’d love to be overwhelmed by more hot male athletes than my feeble mind could even process. When I get cabin fever at my own school, though, something different is just a train ride away, being that we’re located in the international capital of college education.
I’m not going to pretend that every day is an episode of I’m Shmacked or that I don’t have days when Sodexo tastes like dog food, the shuttle is never on time, and our overzealous new cops from the Mt Ida merger absolutely assassinate my vibe. But I love and take pride in being a Laser, even though I’m pretty sure no one actually knows what on earth a “laser” or our mascot is.
I don’t agree with every policy or practice, but I love going to Lasell. I love that Dave brings my hot dogs to my table when I forget to pick them up. I love that Susan calls me “princess” and asks about my life while she makes me sandwiches. I love that I live in an environment where it’s expected that people will hold doors open for me; not to evaluate my ass but because it’s the neighborly thing to do. I love the way Woodland Rd looks when the leaves change colors, after a fresh snowfall, and when the sun sets in the spring. I love drunkenly stumbling from one side of campus to the other all weekend, and the relationship I’ve formed with the Dominos delivery guys. For every dirty look a random girl gives me, or every bull shit rumor I’ve heard about myself, I know that every campus has its ups and downs, but that I genuinely belong to a community of positive, authentic people.
Lasell is like that girl in the movie with crooked glasses, a hack job haircut and the abominable wardrobe that with the right friends and/or love interest, goes from a staggering 4 to a solid 9, shedding her ugly, poorly accessorized cocoon and revealing a smoke show butterfly.
Sometimes the wrong choices lead you to the right places.