There’s something that I’ve been avoiding writing about on my blog: I quit going to the University of Oregon and started going to Oregon State instead.
It’s not a big deal, but I don’t like to talk about it because when I tell someone I switched, their first question is, “why?”
And I never quite know how to answer.
I wish I could just give one blanket reason that I disliked the University of Oregon so much, but it really was just a bunch of smaller things that became insurmountable when all piled together. For example, I began to get the eerie feeling that campus was populated with clones of the same girl: A skinny, athletic Californian who wore hoodies and yoga pants and began every sentence with “I feel like.”
And she was much too cool to hang out with me.
The competitive atmosphere also really got to me. I have a hypothesis that people in majors with limited career options feel the need to begin clawing their way to the top while still in college, whereas people in fields with more career opportunities are much more chill and kind to each other.
I kept thinking that if I could only find a niche I’d be fine, but nothing worked out, and all the campus events happened after I’d already taken the bus home. I just felt really, really lonely and isolated.
Honestly, I was upset with myself for letting it get to me like that. When I had West Nile I used to get really annoyed at people who complained on Facebook about their horrible life, when their life was pretty awesome, compared to mine. Ever since then I’ve had a tendency to view pain as a hierarchy, with only the people in the upper levels granted the right to complain.
But when I thought back to my life with West Nile, I realized that what made it so horrible wasn’t the physical pain. What made it so horrible was the loneliness and isolation, which I couldn’t make go away, no matter how hard I tried.
Now, I was feeling the same loneliness and isolation, and it was just as painful. But there was one giant difference. Now, I had the power to change my circumstance.
So I moved to OSU.
Anyway, like I said, it’s not that big of a deal. I still live at home, and the commute is about the same. I’m still getting basically the same degree, at the same time. I’m just surrounded by nicer people, in an environment that’s much more geared towards commuters and older students and people who like to think about things that matter.