Twenty-Five years ago today I officially began adult life by starting college at Penn State Allentown. This was the first time I had ever gone to “school” without the comfort of seeing familiar faces and teachers. Everything was new to me, but I was also excited about the possibilities. Fortunately, I kept a semi-regular journal about my experiences, including one about this monumental day.
As I read this entry again, a few things strike me as funny. First of all, the mindset I had at the time. I was already making plans with what I was going to do with the LOAN money I was going to receive. You see, I had big plans for those funds; the least of which was actually using them to pay for school expenses.
Funnier still, I wasn’t concerned at all about the obligation I had to pay it back. The way I figured it, that was somewhere “down the road” and by the time I got there well, not only would I have a degree in music, but I’d also be a rock star millionaire.
In my post high school world: Rock and Roll Stardom was the only goal. How I got there didn’t matter and the rest either I (or someone the record company hired for me) would have to figure out later.
August 26th, 1987 was also the very first time I began to realize that I was out on my own. Not only had I received a high school diploma a few months earlier, but I also received my independence from such things as curfews and attending classes.
There would no longer be Mom and Dad to drive me around or write excuse notes for me when I was “sick” anymore. Sink or swim, everything was all on me now.
Here is the entry I wrote in my diary on this day, twenty-five years ago.
August 26th, 1987 – Dear Diary: Today is the first day of Penn State. All I have left is Poetry and I’m off for home. To bring you up to date, here’s what’s been happening:
1. I’m a Freshman in college.
2. I think there is a loan coming by which I’m moving to Allentown, buying a piano, taking lessons, getting a job up there and a pet cat.
It’s weird being in college. I mean, I don’t have to go to any class if I don’t want to and don’t even have to call off sick. If I don’t feel like going, I just don’t go. Yes, I could flunk, but now the responsibility is mine. There is no band yet, but I’m trying.
Well, gotta go. I’ve got Poetry in 12 minutes.