I always thought I’d suffered my first few weeks of college. It was horrible. I was completely unprepared, but I survived. Instead of getting on a train and taking Tyler Clementi’s long jump, I got on a train and went to my big brother’s office to announce that I was quitting school.
What was I thinking? What did I expect my brother to do? Was I thinking? No, I was just feeling and what I felt must have been similar to what drove Tyler off his bridge: despair, fear, hopelessness, humiliation, shame, blinding desire, loneliness, desperation. You can’t think when you’re a seething vat of emotions and hormones. You can’t make a good decision. You just want to end the pain.
Like Tyler, I was assigned a straight roommate my first semester. Like Tyler’s roommate, mine lived in a world so extremely foreign to me that we could have been different species. She wanted to become a fashion designer, marry a nice boy, move back to Pennsylvania and raise a family. I wanted to become a writer, fall in love with a thousand girls, move back to New York City and drink like Dylan Thomas.