This fall’s incoming class of college students (class of 2017, woot!) was born in 1995. This was the very same year I began my own college career. Since my other (non-writing) job involves advising and teaching first-year students, I have become fascinated by this juxtaposition. Here’s what 1995 was like for me:
It smelled like black cherry. Not actual black cherries, but a large scented candle that I burned anytime I was in my room. This was probably (definitely) against the rules, but to this day I can’t smell artificial black cherry without being transported back to that year.
It tasted like lemon meringue pie. And also stuffed shells. To say I was enamored with the fact that I could have dessert after every meal and pasta every day would be the understatement of my life.
It sounded like Alanis Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill. I lived on a traditional, single-sex, shared-bathroom style hall. A walk from one end of the hall of eighteen-year-old women to the other would likely result in snippets of each track on the CD. You oughta know.
It felt like the pages of a script between my fingers and in my head, as I prepared monologues for Acting I. It felt like frigid air from outside competing with old heaters inside. Like cold water on my bare legs as I stood in the fountain at the center of campus well after midnight. Like walking barefoot in the first snow, just because I could. It felt like long nights of laughter with new friends.
I was pushed beyond my boundaries. I was adventurous. And scared. And alone. And connected.
In the middle of it all, I started to become me.