I miss college. Not papers or 8 am classes or living in houses with too many people and not enough money. I don’t miss having to take classes that didn’t relate to my major or freaking out over tests. I don’t miss the anxiety I used to feel when I wanted to speak up in class, but still I really miss college.
I miss the atmosphere of learning. In college everyone seems to have something going on in their lives. Someone’s just been exposed to a new idea and they can’t stop talking about. Another person is active in their women’s issues group or their outdoors club and invited you to check it out. Artists, activists and experts are always coming to campus to give lectures or performances. Your professor’s last class really pissed you off but in a way that has really made you think.
Post-college life doesn’t always feel like that. Sometimes life feels so routine you feel like you’re just sleeping though it. I’m planning a wedding and I still feel like that a lot of the time. Oftentimes things feel stressful but not really invigorating or challenging. In college, there’s all these opportunities, clubs, free concerts all around you. Outside of that, you really have to look for these things and even still it’s incredibly easy to become too complacent to participate.
This is why I think you should start or join a book club. Two years ago I joined a book club through a coworker. To be honest, I basically begged her to join. She was surprised that I was so excited at the very idea of book club, but I was desperate to think at a higher level. I was desperate to actually delve into something. At the time I had just switched from a job with a high level of both customer and coworker interaction to a position where I had no customer interaction and very little reason to speak to my coworkers. My job involved fonts and margins but not much else (in case you can’t tell this was not the right fit for me- I moved departments). I wanted to really think.
And as far as discussing books go, to me this is better than college.
- When you haven’t finished the book, there are no repercussions or judgment, just concerns over spoilers.
- No one’s an expert on the book so it’s less intimidating to contribute to the discussion.
- Everyone actually wants to be there. People are there because they enjoy books and people who like books.
- There’s food and wine! Even if you didn’t read the book, there’s drinking and socializing because books always circle back around to life. They should! Books reveal parts of the world we may never see, parts of our own cultures we were not aware of, worlds that will never be and emotions that we had never before been able to articulate. Okay, and also drinking and snacks just make the world go round.
I’m just sayin…