Thursday, June 21, 2007

I Wonder How I Would Do 21 Over Again...

This whole topic came to be when two guys in my office were talking about how they would do over their 21st year. The first guy said that he would never go back and do 21 over again -- he'd had enough fun and misery and didn't want to do that to himself again. The other guy said that he would have more fun -- he'd been in the military and needless to say wasn't living it up at fraternity parties every weekend. It got me to thinking. Would I want to do 21 over again? And, if I did, what would I change?

I turned 21 in the winter of my junior year of college. It was a Monday and the year started off with a bang. Monday nights were a big night for going out to the "bars" that we had near our little campus. (1) A guy we knew from school was also turning 21, so he and his buddies were there. We ended up doing a bunch of shots together and my night ended with my boyfriend laughing hysterically at me wanting him to take care of me and my sorority big sister telling me that she wasn't going to leave me alone. I didn't drink anything I didn't want to and there were no tears shed at all that night. (2) I woke up hangover free and ready for my first day as a 21 year old adult with a smile on my face. (3) In all honesty, I really did have a pretty good 21st birthday celebration.

My 21st year found me dating a guy that I had been with for two years and thought that I was going to marry. Looking back, he really was a sweet guy for the most part, but he is probably in the top three most selfish men I've dated. I broke up with him the morning after my 21st birthday celebration after I realized that him laughing at me was because he was a jerk and not the sweet guy I thought he was. (4)

I worked at a neighborhood swimming pool for the summer of year 21. It was a really fun job and I don't regret working there at all. I do regret not going out more often during the summer though. I wish I had really used my last summer of true freedom to my advantage. (5)

I spent the fall of my 21st year completely stressed out as most seniors in college do. At the college I attended, we have two things that all seniors dread. Senior comps and independent study. I still shudder thinking about it. All fall I busted my tail to complete my independent study so that I wouldn't have to do both that AND my senior comps in the same semester. I hardly went out, I was nervous about failing, and I made myself needlessly miserable. (6) It was during this fall that I also took over the recruitment chair position in my sorority. This was one of the most rewarding things that I've ever done, so I don't regret it, but it really did stress me out. Nearly every time someone would talk to me about it, this sentence would come out of their mouth, "We're depending on you. If this doesn't work out, we don't know what will happen to our house." Grrreeeat. No pressure there. In the end, the recruitment effort was a wild success, but the stress was insane. I think I slept for a week after that whole ordeal. (7)

By the time my 22nd birthday dawned, I was a transformed lady. I had a new boyfriend who would wait almost a year before cheating on me (8) and I had a houseful of support from my sorority sisters. I had a fantastic second semester and ended my college career on quite a high note. (9)

(1) So I guess I got lucky that ten people were there.
(2) I cried in the bathroom over my friends made me do a blow-job shot off the gross guy who was turning 21 that night too. He was, um, creeeeeepy.
(3) I woke up to my first full day of being 21 hanging over a trash can and praying for death. It was a lovely start.
(4) I wish that I had tossed him to the curb earlier than I did and I also wish that I hadn't played the make-up/break-up game with him until December of my 21st year.
(5) Instead, I worked constantly and would pass out in bed from exhaustion every night.
(6) I wish I could deny that part and say something witty, but I was a pretty unhappy gal that fall.
(7) Honestly, I think I went out and got totally wasted. Thus began my triumphant return to party girl. The second semester of my senior year is what I like to call "My Experiment in Terror and Partying." It was awesome.
(8) I know how to pick them, don't I?
(9) Walk of Shame, anyone? I did it 20 minutes before my parents arrived for my college graduation! Sweet!

Of course, all of these things worked out in the end. I think there are things that most of us would change, but I don't know that any of us would actually want to go back and re-do the whole experience. While I do miss the freedom and fun of my 21st year and the joy that came from having all of my closest friends in one place, I'm happy that I had that year so that it could bring me to where I am now. I am quite enjoying my 30th year.

No comments: