“I Don’t Want to Have to Learn To Count… I Don’t Want to Grow Up”

Name: Tyler Dougherty

Year: Class of 2013

Hometown: Ocean City, NJ

Intended Program of Study: International Studies

“I Don’t Want to Have to Learn To Count… I Don’t Want to Grow Up” — Tom WaitsTyler1

I am a dreamer. Yet, somehow despite all the time John Lennon took “imagining” a world of harmonious dreamer dudes, real-life dreamers got it bad out there among the masses. Just because you wear cool, Gandhi quote-adorned tees from Urban Outfitters and have, like, two super-rad tattoos in foreign languages, doesn’t mean that you really live the part.

When they see us dreamers, our elders roll their eyes at our naiveté. We force our grandmothers to pray for our lost-souls (Oh, St. Jude!). We constantly endure subtle murmurs of disgust from those who have “really seen stuff.”  The real world is not kind to those still figuring things out and who they want to be. That’s why I’m so psyched for college, bro!

As much as I may talk the big talk and walk the big walk, I am not ready for monthly mortgage Tyler2 payments and low interest rates. 401k’s and IRA’s. Honestly, I can hardly handle my minimum wage summer job (price guns can be dangerous). I don’t feel grown up. I don’t want to grow up. And everyday I wonder, in the words of Tom Waits, “how the *heck did I get here so soon?”

But I have good news, ladies and gents! Our prospects are good: we don’t have to grow up! College, with its lack of curfew and early morning bus rides, is a Shangri La among post- pubescent teens.

Let me put things in perspective. This past summer I have been forced into cleaning out the remnants of eighteen years of clutter in my bedroom. The circumstances are not swell: as my barbies are hustled to the trash, my father is carting in new fitness materials. A yoga ball is to sit where I once stashed my priceless treasures. A treadmill will replace the vast no-man’s land that had been desecrated by beanie-baby wars (if you have to ask, you weren’t born in the 1990s). Layer by layer I have unearthed the sediment of the teenage-lithic period and have found reminders of why immaturity is so alluring. How much fun can one have with a whoopee cushion? A vintage 1998 gameboy?

I still laugh when people burp and when I watch the Disney channel (the remote was stuck, I swear!).  I will never understand British humor, and I cannot stomach the taste of foie gras. I’m a kid at heart, and since I have been given this opportunity to prolong the inevitable, I’ll take it.

Honestly, independence is a wonderful thing. Financial independence? Not so much. The last Tyler3 thing I want is to become “that” newly matriculated college kid who returns to their hometown after having outgrown everything. Those kids. You know one. Everyone does. They think that their newly chic clothing aesthetic and black coffee makes them mature. That’s not maturity. Maturity will come with time, and good friends, and great professors. Just like I’ve changed since my freshman year of high school, I expect to see significant growth throughout the next four years. Seriously, thank goodness I still don’t think UGG boots are the only available footwear.

Sure, at some point, idealism becomes realism. Crazy Berkeley protestors become crazed stock traders. And the Noam Chomsky read on your bed stand morphs into a James Patterson novel.  That point is not now.

Life has become too serious too soon. The class of 2013 is privileged enough to have this amazing opportunity to learn not just about cell compounds and Faulkner, but to learn about itself. Each member.

We can question the classics and push boundaries in science.  Travel the world. Protect our resources. But really, if we don’t read Nietzche and idolize Che now, when will we? So, I dare you class of 2013. I double-dog dare you to plop yourselves underneath the all encompassing trees of the Homewood campus for the next four years (maybe five if you’re lucky).  Then, just breathe. The rest will come.

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One Comment

  1. Great job with this blog Tyler. You are right you don’t have to grow up just yet — but remember the next four years will fly by so cherish every single moment. Cheers!

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