Tomorrow, at 4:40, I will be officially moved in to college for my sophomore year. There are so many things I feel like I should be thinking about; reflections on the summer past, thoughts on my impending sophomore-hood, where I am, where I see myself going, how I’m going to get there.

So I suppose I’ll start at the beginning.

Reflections on the summer past.
I can say with absolute certainty that this has been the best summer of my life. Admittedly, I can say that about every summer, the thought being that each new summer surpasses its predecessor. Regardless, though, I managed to do everything I set out to accomplish. I reconnected with old friends. I made new ones. I watched the sun set, and rise. I rediscovered my homeland, looking at beautiful South Africa for the first time with adult eyes. I saw my family, all of them. I learned; I taught. I opened eyes, changed lives. I read great books, watched great movies, listened to great music, but as a matter of contrast, I read, watched and listened to terrible shit, too. I went to museums, plays, public events. I made myself one with the world around me, found it intriguing, absorbing, and palpable. I drove my car at night, with one hand hanging out the open window, playing my music at full blast, the wind in my eyes. I took, I gave. I interacted with my parents on the same level, as people, for the first real time ever, and I love and understand them infinitely more than ever before. I managed to be at the very least civil, verging on friendly even, with my older brother, in whom I’m finding more depth than I ever thought possible, recognizing more of myself hidden within his hard exterior than I ever expected to find. I found love, in some form, fleeting though it may have been. I lost weight. I got taller. I made, and saved, money. I lived, I loved, and I learned, and I am better for that. This has been the best summer of my life; there is not a single doubt in my mind about that.

Thoughts on my impending sophomore-hood
By the end of this upcoming semester, I will have hopefully completed all of my university requirements. This is the exact situation I’ve been waiting for since the beginning of high school: a place where I learn what I want to learn, learn for the love of learning. Immerse myself in student-hood and revel in the pure academia of it all. Shit, I could become a scholar, a philosopher, a poet. My great grandfather, the man after whom I’m named, has, engraved on his headstone, the words “Sage and Wit,” a description I hope to one day apply to myself. Every day, it gets a little easier convincing myself that I want to be an English major, although it might be creative writing, but hey, who’s counting? I am, tomorrow, reentering a world that I grew to know and love last year, but, like the Six Million Dollar Man, I will be better, stronger, faster. I know who my friends are, the ones I already have; I know I will make more. I have no enemies, but I’m open to that too, I suppose. You might say I’m a bit anxious to see how the social dynamic is going to play itself out this year. Last year, circumstances had it that I essentially never had to leave my room; parties were brought to me. I couldn’t come home without being offered a beer or a joint, sometimes, usually, worse. This year, it seems evident that my room will no longer be the Party room, that the party room is now a dorm where a certain majority of my friends live, a place where I’m sure to always be welcome. This is definite; I can rely on it. I’m excited for the unknowns, the people I have yet to encounter, the parties that I can’t possibly foresee. And the women. Sketchy though this may sound, I am now a sophomore guy, and tomorrow I will encounter the masses of freshmen girls. It is the truth; hundreds of girls go off to college looking for college men, which I suppose applies to me. This year, I am simply one step higher on the food chain, one carving up on the totem pole. Freshmen are lowest of the low, bottom feeders. Add to this fact that I’ve lost about thirty pounds over the course of this last year, and I have the makings of a fantastic year ahead of me. I am a lean, mean, freshman hunting machine. Better, stronger, faster.

Where I Am, Where I’m Going, and How I’m Going To Get There
I am nineteen years old. In January, I will be twenty. Twenty. Two Zero. Twenty. I can still remember when I turned ten, how excited I was to have finally hit double digits. Now I’m hitting double double digits, and the sensation is quite bizarre. I’m not freaking out about growing old; it’s just weird that I’ll be able to say “I’m Twenty”, that I won’t be able to think of myself as a Teen anymore. I’m switching demographics here, people. It’s a big wide world out there, and with every day that passes, I’m becoming more and more part of it. I’m writing more than ever before, and reading doubly so, reading incredible books by my favorite writers. Shit, I’m proud of the fact alone that I have favorite writers. My tastes are becoming more and more defined, my style is becoming more and more my own. I’m growing into myself, the person I dreamed I always was. I’ve somehow managed to retain my high school self-consciousness, to a degree, but at the same time, I’m more self-confident, better at rolling with the punches. Just plain better. Stronger. Faster. Me.

I still have no idea where I’m going, but that fact bothers me less and less. No one really knows. Some people say they do, but they’re fucking liars, the whole lot of them. Once more, though, I’m excited for that which I don’t yet know is coming, the opportunities life has chosen not yet to reveal to me, but that I will one day spy and seize, like a quarter in a bag full of nickels. I suppose there are some signs pointing to a me-sized void where I may one day end up. California. New York. Chicago. London. Australia. South Africa? Never say never. I hate to think that one day, I’ll look back and see a time of my life that, while full of idealism and promise, did not follow through, did not deliver. I hate to think that errors I make today will hibernate and reemerge years down the line as regret. I can’t help but feel that, in my youthful optimism, I’m simply setting myself up for a fall. I suppose that’s my youthful pessimism rearing its ugly head. But fuck negativity. I can ward off the dark days. Just keep my head up, keep my wits about me, close my eyes and dive. Where I end up is where I’m supposed to be. How Taoist of me.

Anyway, it’s about to be midnight, and about to be the day I leave. I’m glad I wrote this, I am, if only so later on, I’ll be able to look back and hopefully, I’ll laugh. The night, she is still young, and full of possibility.