I tutored for 7 hours today. Spring break has ended.
The last chapter of this eventful two weeks took place in New Orleans, at Tulane, where I visited my sister, a freshman. New Orleans at first glance appeared to be doing alright. The Tulane campus was fine, and Bourbon Street didn't seem any different than it did when I visited it 5 years ago. I was brought back to reality, though, when my cab driver drove me through a couple downtown residential areas, which were in shambles. He said his house was not damaged, but that for months afterwards, he'd wake up at 5am to stand in line at the grocery store, which would be open at 8, and cleaned out by 9. Dreadful. I know this has been beaten to death, but how the hell could the trillion dollar American government not manage to fill the New Orleans grocery stores? I just can't think of a logical explanation.
Anyway, in the midst of pondering this question, I found myself thrown into the life of a freshman girl at a southern party school for the weekend. A shade different than my current life in Santa Monica. My first night I had dinner at a table of 7 19-year-old girls and myself. These are intense little people. By the end of the first day I had the unexpected urge to compliment my friends while thinking bad things about them, gossip incessantly, wear pounds of eye-liner, and start getting ready at 5:30 when I'm planning on going out at 9:30. There were a couple things, though, that I forgot to consider when anticipating this weekend:
-college freshmen party really, really hard
-Tulane may be a hair more fun than Harvard
-being 24 is not necessarily a cool thing
While out with my tight-knit group of girls and their respective guys, at some point it hit me that I had passed the age where it was cooler the older you were. In fact, the party was a bit less cool as a result of my being there. Not quite at the "Who's that weird uncle at the party?" age, but getting there.
The only solution was to become liquored up. I did just that, and it wasn't difficult considering the freshmen were monitoring me carefully and constantly berating me for drinking too slowly. This was the most pressure I've felt since my 15-year-old sister peer-pressured me into taking multiple absinthe shots with her while on vacation last year.
I remember now why I was so hungover all freshman year. It's the first really free year, and everyone overreacts. And as fun as it was, one freshman year is enough for this guy.