CH. 39 «A Time for Leaving»

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06-02-2309

Like watching the leaves recede to mark the coming of fall, or pteradactyls migrating to the southern hemisphere at the start of winter, you know summer’s right around the corner when you see all the kids from Earth lined up at the ports: loaded down by backpacks emblazoned with college letterings. This season is always littered with vacations and getaways, but this particular year is significant to me. This is the year I should have graduated, the year the rest of my high school class finishes college. This is the year I was supposed to start the next stage of my life.

Most subsidized student loans don’t have to be paid off until 6 months after you complete your education. It’s a buffer intended to give you enough time to find a job and ease into the career you’ve set your heading to: a good half year to get a foothold before the bills start flooding in. Most new bachelors and masters opt to spend their last free months taking in some life before being locked into their professions, as well as any remainder of the loan credits. The trendiest thing to do after getting your degree is to backpack Jupiter.

Granted, most kids I used to go to school with are interested in pursuing even higher forms of education, now concerned with what grad school their getting into, but a good portion of my classmates are taking this opportunity to enjoy the last part of their life they have any real control over. Before the blinders are lowered and the chute is opened–before the trap hatch is released from under them and they slide blindly into society, feet first. I pity them.

I don’t know why though, they’re so much closer to having a life than I am. Technically, I’m still a rising freshman, having never completed a year of college in the several attempts I’ve made to start. But should I really feel left behind? What are they inching towards that I want so badly? A good credit score? A mortgage or accumulating equity? Health, dental, home owners and life insurance? Crawler payments?

No. I don’t want any of the slag that goes along with being a responsible adult. It just seems so unnatural to me, like some manmade trap of plastic and wire. I’d rather live a life of freedom, a life not determined by how much I make or what my possessions are worth to other people. I’d prefer if the rest of my life was lived on my terms. I think the beauty and riches of experiencing the world around you should be the motivation for you to get out of bed every morning, not a series of deadlines bearing down on you or bill collectors breathing down your neck.

So I decided I’m going to go on an adventure this summer, too. Not a well deserved break from a bunch of voluntary obligations I‘ve gotten myself into, but a completely unnecessary trip of discovery. I want to see the world, not because it may be the last chance I ever get to before rats come marching in, but just because I haven’t felt like I’ve seen anything yet.

Good bye, palm trees and red desert; hello, adventure. Don’t worry, Mars, I’ll be back to taste your wonders soon enough…but first I’ve got some business to take care of at home.

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PREV: CH. 38 «How to Plan a Summer Road Trip»

PREV: CH. 38 «How to Plan a Summer Road Trip»

NEXT: CH. 40 «The Road Trip – Day 1»

NEXT: CH. 40 «The Road Trip – Day 1»

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