Looks can be misleading. How about this: it’s the turn of the century and you see a man, small in stature in the back row of a crappy little comedy club in London, smoking a cig like it’s life-blood (irony intended), with his eyes locked on the stage. He’s wearing a crummy little suit on his crummy little frame with his head is cemented to the back wall. He looks bemused, uninterested and oh so very tiny. With his lips clamped on his cigarette and his face searching the stage for some sign of intelligent life, he looks the very image of a tiny little know-it-all with arrogance but no future. His hair defies the will of it’s host and practically sprouts wings at the crown. What we can divulge is nothing more than the standard perception: he’s a man with a quest to find something to keep him from perpetuate boredom. Apparently it’s not working.
You see, but you do not observe, as the legendarily glorious Sherlock Holmes once said. We see a man with a tired look in his eyes and that ferocious mat of hair on his head, but what we don’t observe is the ink stains on his tired fingers, the impacting cinematic classics forming in that oversized head, the birth he has witnessed on the sets of some of the immortalized wonders of old Hollywood. Charlie Chaplin did not look like much, not really. But man, he was something. Really, really something. He changed the cinematic world by being nothing more than his darling little self, or as Oscar Wilde wisely put it: “Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.”
Now, allow me to loosely connect this clumsy narrative to my point: colleges are like Charlie, or like people to be more specific. What they look like to start is not really a significantly contributing factor. What they contain, how you apply what they offer, now that is significant. I went to Chapman University recently to visit a friend. I have to tell you something about Chapman: it be flawless, my friend. University Drive is a hipster wonderland. Cafes and antique shops abound. I mean, they have a freakin’ crepe shop, and dang are they good. I just started crying with every bite. They have a circular courtyard with coffee shops, restaurants and a cigar lounge, and all about seven pleasurable minutes from campus. They have a movie theatre right out of The Notebook, and when I say that I don’t mean Ryan Gosling is standing outside looking like a hot mess with a beard and a pick axe. Oh, my word. Ryan, it still isn’t over for me, either. Call me… or write me every day for a year. Or both. Both is good.
No matter how in love I am with that campus and its perfectly manicured gardens and its glorious fountains that you can swim in (no joke, its encouraged that you swim in them) and its student lounge that looks like a Carnival cruise line and the spiral staircases in the dorms… It is not the school for me.
I attend a university with none of those things. It’s beautiful, and I am grateful for it, but it isn’t as aesthetically pleasing as Chapman. But it suits my needs. I need a university with a great film school that doesn’t cost me a trillion dollars (I am talking to you, USC. You’re brilliant but seriously, dude, I do not make that much paper). I encourage you to keep that in mind when you are Adventure Timing your way through the college campuses of America.
To me, college visitations are analogous to stepping through the wardrobe: you can experience the new and the magical, but there is danger there. You have to keep your head. Remember what you want out of a college, whether its academic or experiential and keep that in mind. Find what suits your future, not what suits your eyes. Do your research on their programs, their financial aid opportunities, anything that interests you. Do not go off reputation alone. Don’t visit thirteen-hundred and five colleges hoping that seeing it will give you some great epiphany. It may not call your name in languid whispers the second you step on to it’s shores. Sometimes it isn’t that simple. Know what you want before you attend colleges and try not to visit more than five. Narrowing it down to five possibilities will lessen the visual stimuli. If you see a million campuses it will only dilute your willpower to pick the one and only. Be logical, not emotional.
With that, I encourage you to relish the opportunity. The excitement of the new and possible is always to be cherished, so allow yourself to do so. But remember what Bilbo said: “It’s a dangerous business, going out your door, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might get swept off to.”
You have my permission to stop reading, now. I am just going to be ranting and raving about Halloween possibilities, all that jazz. Don’t feel obligated to read. But you totally should because I am very interesting. No, but seriously…
HALLOWEEN OMG OMG OMG I AM SO EXCITED! There are so many possibilities for Halloween. Mean Girls never lies. I am not a Regina George when it comes to my costuming inclinations. I am a proud Dead Bride Lohan.
Last year I was Charlie Chaplin’s Little Tramp. Gosh, I looked amazing. The year before I was a mime. This year, however, will be the crowing achievement of my masquerading career. I am going as the love of my life and the bane of my existence, the often imitated but never duplicated, Sherlock Holmes.
I am proudly sporting a deerstalker and I will have a pipe and and the appropriate attire, with my friend Lindsey as my trusty Watson, and I am going to look so amazing that everyone will bow before me, Loki-style. Unless they dress up as Batman. Than we may have a problem… and eventually a battle to the death. Bring it on, Bruce.
I would win, though.
Speaking of 221b Baker Street (and the motherland), next year I plan to spend my junior year in the UK via CSUN’s study abroad program!! Whooo! I am so excited I may actually implode before I get there. If you’re in the UK, specifically London, hit me up… because I need a place to stay post-CSUN when I attend the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, which I totally will because I am awesome oh my gosh I am so nervous it’s so hard to get it oh my gosh oh my gosh I am freaking out.
RADA + ME = HAPPY.
HOMELESS + ME = NOT SO HAPPY.
I’m joking. I don’t wanna live with strangers, even if they are are British.