“it’s almost two-thirty now, and the crowd gets nervous. a couple of minutes to go, a couple minutes of taking notes. it’s a whole new world that we’ve diven into. and no one seems to feel comfortable, yet. at least i don’t.
‘this desk is way too small’, i catch myself thinking rather loudly inmidst a mass of fashionable, fidgety iphoners. but my statement seeps away between mashed up noises from packing done too early. half an hour ago, the back of my wooden seat groaned with my every movement, and i heard someone giggle in response to it. my seat still groans, but it can’t be heard, anymore. that makes two of us, now.
university is different from what i know. i know high school and familiarity. i used to know my seat, i used to return to that very same seat for each class. this is different. this is frightening. the auditorium holds somewhat over 600 groaning, wooden seats. and each of them is taken. i believe that – judging from the time it took us all to enter the hall and sit down in evenly filled rows – we couldn’t leave the building fast enough in case of emergency. the doors are too small and there are few of them. plus, i noticed that people tend to switch to super slowmo, when entering a crowded place. the more people, the more they slow down. and if a panic breaks out, this simple structure of seat rows would most likely turn into a non-traversable maze. no one could fold back their tables and leave fast enough without stumbling over books or panicked people, before getting violently squished through proportionally narrow concrete doorframes… you know, in case of emergency.
the overall restlessness reaches a level where that tiny professor raises his voice to a maximum in order to be understood over the mic. some are already done packing their stuff and rush out. i wonder whether they were also picturing emergency cases. i might never find out. students don’t talk that much inside lecture halls. well, actually they do. but not to me. i’m probably a loner.
you see, last week, i’ve had an interesting conversation with someone i had barely met, and he said that university marks one of the few points in life where everyone can be the person they’ve always dreamed to be. i think everyone gets a free trial. but it’s not so easy – you see – changing who you are into who you want to be. some attempt, but fail. i do. most don’t even try it in the first place. and so, all those chances at becoming a better person pass up, and most of us end up the exact same person they had always been and will always be.”
i think the beginning of change is always hard work and for results, you have to see it through. change is like going against a tide; like that strange ache when untying tight braids and running your fingers through your hair. or like returning again and again to an uncomfortably overfilled lecture hall of noisy strangers.
you know it’s unpleasant, but you go on with it, anyway. because that’s where change starts. that’s what will hopefully take you someplace better.