University= High School 2.0

I was hanging out with a friend yesterday, one of the few from high school. Our conversation drifted to old high school friends at one point and it brought up an incident I recalled from my first year in university.

My department arranged a boat cruise for the incoming class, as well as a group of school buses to bring the students to the pier. On the way there I figured I would try to talk to the girl seated across the aisle from me. I made eye contact, said hi, and was promptly shut down as the girl looked away. On the trip back from the pier I see an acquaintance (friend is a very strong word) from high school getting the same girl’s number.

This acquaintance, let’s call him Noah, was the same type of guy that was very successfully with girls in high school. He was on the football team, had a benz and was one of the most popular people in high school. As I saw the girl grinning as she gave him her number, I realized that university wasn’t the game-changer the media and society made it out to be. There is this pervasive fiction that the guys who struggled socially in high school will find their niche, or that the roles might even be reversed: People who were once ostracized will rise to the top due to their personalities while the jocks and the popular kids will fall behind because they have little to offer. I feel like an idiot for ever believing this.

The same high-schoolers you endured are the same people who graduate and go to university with you. That is one of the reasons I did not want to go to a local university, since I knew I would see far too many people that I was already sick of. University offers a larger group of people to mingle with. There are basically larger cliques so there is more room for anyone to fit in, but do not believe that social dynamics will change just because you’re no longer in high school. Popularity still means a lot to some people. Girls still like guys who look a certain way and are fun to be around. Us nerds might not offer that, but the people we hated in high school do. There is the old fiction that the popular kids are lacking in terms of intelligence or career aspirations, but this dichotomy is also fiction that is mean to comfort us. Of course it is true sometimes, but not all the time. I would dare to say it might not even be true most of the time. While I can think of some idiots from high school that are destined to be failures in life, Noah is currently doing better than I am by any measure: money, career aspirations, friends, girls. I can’t comfort myself by saying that I’ll go farther than him in life, because I might not.


6 thoughts on “University= High School 2.0

  1. I see your anecdote but can’t help but feel that the resulting conclusions are a bit excessive. From being a longtime subscriber, I feel that I am quite similar to you and our high school experiences likely were as well. As time goes on, my personal conclusion is that ones life shouldn’t be quantified by some set amount of measurements. I think you severely undervalue your own critical thinking, introspective, and rational thought ability. Although one may earn more money than you, those mental abilities that I mentioned are becoming harder and harder to find today so I urge you not to belittle yourself. Anyways, long time fan, I look to your pages for a well thought out perspective on movies and other topics. Fellow Ontarian

  2. Thanks a lot for commenting. Awesome to know you’ve been following for a while, glad you enjoy the content. Thanks a lot for the support the feedback and support. I know I shouldn’t judge myself too harshly based on materialistic standards but I can’t help it at times, especially since I am now in the stage of my life where there are a bunch of material things I need to sort out e.g. place, car, career.
    My pieces can be very negative, but in a way, they are my therapy. The catharsis of my negative thoughts.
    Always good to have perspective though. What part of Ontario are you from?

  3. Yeah for sure, there are certain things that are more or less necessities. In the long run, once things get sorted out (and I’m sure they will), looking back, staying true to yourself as cliche as it sounds weighs a ton. I enjoy writing too, I haven’t had much opportunity to recently, I definitely should, it definitely soothes the soul. I’m about an 45min away from the GTA area, are you from Ottawa?

  4. Yeah it is hard to take comfort in the long term sometimes, especially when there is so much pressure to have life sorted out asap. You’re right though.
    How long have you been writing.
    I did my undergrad at Ottawa U but I’m from Brampton and live there now.

  5. I haven’t done anything formal for writing yet, just little pieces I’ve written in my spare time. I’d say I’ve been interested in writing for around 3 years now?
    I’m very close to Brampton, about a 40 minute drive.

  6. Do you do it for yourself or are you interested in being published at all?
    Wow, small world lol. Brampton’s not the most exciting city but I guess I consider it my hometown since I graduated from high school here. Looking to move to Toronto or Mississauga.

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