It’s hard to believe that it’s been over 8 years since my college graduation. 8 years. EIGHT YEARS?! It seems more like a minor daydream than an actual memory, like those FOUR YEARS were merely moments that I made up. I wish that I could’ve stayed longer or that I wasn’t such a self defeatist. But then I switch it up and wonder if I was mature enough for it and if I needed time to mentally prepare myself before I even thought of picking up an application and I feel like I was released into the real world WAY TOO SOON. It’s almost like a Back To The Future plot but instead of Marty McFly hurrying to save Doc Brown’s life, it’s me attempting to give myself the confidence to handle those Engineering and Chemistry classes AND keeping away from lame ducks by not trying to please everyone. You know how the saying goes, “If I only knew then what I know now“.
To be perfectly honest, college was a fun time and it didn’t matter how BROKE I was (and believe me it became downright apocalyptic). I had a work study gig in dining services and I did everything from making sandwiches to bussing tables to creating godly smoothies. I used to work so much (20 hours a week at one point) that other students thought that I was just an employee until they saw me at all the parties. I spent the first year as a commuter and the last 3 in the resident halls and I even became a RA in a co-ed dorm in my senior year but I was given the boot three months before graduation. Fortunately for me, it happened on St. Patty’s Day so I drowned my sorrows with a few Irish Car Bombs courtesy of the residents on my floor.
As an RA, I dug being amongst the people but I hated the administrative side. My disdain for the meetings and other aspects of the job: An RA not from my building and her boyfriend from my building talking badly to my superior about something I had no idea about, Making goofy bulletin boards for a floor full of freshman dudes who could give a shit about the top ten healthiest vegetables or other “fun yet educational” topics, and my lack of freedom during a year that should’ve been carefree. There was also a rule about not becoming romantically involved with residents but I broke that rule with a girl that lived a floor or so above me. Trust that I would’ve been fired way sooner if they knew that I sold my residents tickets to off campus parties where drinks were sold or how about the first few nights of their freshman orientation when I rolled with few of those same kids to Show N’ Tell, a well known Philly strip club. Yep…I DID that. R-E-C-K-L-E-S-S.
I hustled as soon as I came to campus freshman year selling bootleg CDs to other freshman and that’s how I became friends with players of the basketball team. It’s funny seeing cats like Randy Foye and Kyle Lowry go so hard in the league today when I can recall instant memories of talking with them in the Nova’s Connelly Center and even watching Randy practice his signature before the 2006 NBA Draft. He was undeniably driven. Years after graduation, Randy would hire me to photograph different events for him and that was always love. My best friend Chris Charles, who I met in a Communications class (after my first semester of Engineering, the university thought it would be a great idea to change majors and that’s what I did) and we’d trade rap bars back and forth. It’s funny because they called us “Twins” which referred to the 1988 film of the same name where the two brothers were physically complete opposites. Chris is lighter skinned and 7’1, I’m brown skinned and 5’5 so yeah I see where that came from. He will be my brother until the end. He and another funny guy from the Ball team, Mike Claxton were roommates once I was “removed” from my RA post.
The biggest regret that I have from college would be the women that I dealt with and those that I didn’t deal with because of my abhorrent need to be a total jackass and not rocking with the women that actually liked me but instead chasing those that wanted the attention and were “doing them” on the side. Crying over spilt milk won’t help and that’s one of the greatest lessons that I’ve ever learned about life. There’s no business in worrying about what you can’t change just be sharper and wiser with what’s in front of you. I have to give a mention to my main man Brad who was focused from our very first meeting and he’s doing fantastically well as a Doctor these days. He was ALWAYS honest with me even when others joyfully refused to be. At one time we lived in the same building and I remember running down to his room in my Platinum FUBU Fat Albert boxers when I lost my virginity Sophomore year and though he was happy for me, he told me to never come into his room like that again and I never did.
Villanova did a lot of good for me. I was submerged into a world of haves and have nots, I had confrontations with race and bigotry, finding friends of diverse backgrounds (Peace to Big Frank!), and most importantly I learned how to survive on my own. When I needed to eat, I found ways to get food via connects in the Dining Hall. Also, last but not least, it made me even more of a fan of interracial dating. I ROLLED IN THE DEEP.