Coming from my second school in three years, I think I have found my home and myself at Trinity University.
In my freshman year, I mindlessly went to Texas State, the only school I applied to. I’m not sure what I was thinking, but it was probably similar to that of any young person who thinks that going to a large state school and joining a fraternity in his first semester would be the best idea. After trudging through a semester of indentured servitude (also known as pledgeship) and quitting before becoming initiated, I soon experienced the bitter taste of a lack of self-worth.
In high school I was somewhat good at baseball, so I thought it best to follow my testosterone- driven mind. The next year I played baseball at UT Dallas, but soon felt the pain of supplementing a game for life’s purpose. With depression kicking in, and struggling to find purpose in the tiresome, cyclic, sleep-deprived student-athlete world, I decided that it was best to take a break from school, and to evaluate life itself to see if there was still something left to strive for.
Just FYI, if you’re ever lacking a sense of purpose, don’t go to Facebook. It’s a place wrought with the bleakness of casting one’s best faà§ade, and we all take turns comparing our own cheap social resume to see if it surpasses the experiences of our “friends,” click after click.
After a summer filled with the usual shenanigans of a restless, young and dashing male, I contacted a family friend. He goes by Dean Tuttle around these parts, but to me he was always “Aaron’s dad.” His son was my partner in crime in our high school days, and still is when we are in each other’s company.
Helping me with the application process and guiding me behaviorally, Dean Tuttle trounced the pretense in my mind that the college experience was beyond my grasp.
I’m well aware that it’s only a month into school, but I have to say, I’ve never felt like this before. Trust me, I’m exhausted, and the schoolwork is definitely something new, but the exhaustion I feel is a direct product of just a month of “keeping my end of the deal.” I put in this same effort at Texas State and UT Dallas, but it never really felt like there was enough room for me.
Trinity is by no means the embodiment of heaven on earth, but a college should never aim for that. Trinity has allowed me to feel like there is enough room to be myself. It is hard to put into words how or why Trinity ended up being the place here for me, but like the feeling of a true love’s first kiss, I know it’s true. Now I’m going to go to bed, because it’s 3 a.m. Like most Trinity students, I am slowly becoming nocturnal.
Stephen Burkholder is a sophomore majoring in philosophy.