NaBloPoMo Day 18: land of confusion

I was going to post that I had nothing to post and then I remembered that WordPress has Daily Prompts, so I will write about that. Today’s is: Land of Confusion: Tell us about a time when you felt out of place.

I’ll tell you: College.

I grew up in Philadelphia, a mile from the University of Pennsylvania. My parents both went there and they had friends who studied or taught there or both and I was friends with their kids. You would expect that having been steeped in the culture of Penn, I would fit right in.

You would be wrong.

I made friends there but I always felt like I was on the fringe. Maybe I am always on the fringe or maybe I always feel that way but it was not a comfortable time for me and it took me a while to get adjusted. Actually, it took finding the smaller subset of people that I could relate to in the mass of humanity that is Penn’s student population.

Just today I was driving behind a car with a Swarthmore College sticker. Swarthmore was where I really wanted to go but I didn’t get in. I did get into Brandeis, near Boston, which I think is more like Swarthmore than it is like Penn. I sometimes wonder how my life would be different if I had gone to Brandeis instead. We’ll never know now, will we?

I’m just going to tack this on the end for my friends and family who go/work/loved it/currently love it there. I don’t want to take away your experience. You love Penn, that’s great. I didn’t love it there, that’s all. Those of you I met there: I wouldn’t want to give you up! I hope that clears up any confusion.