Figuring out the hows

It is a strange feeling writing something to sum up my college experience. A part of it, most likely, is because I am now in India, rather then Idaho. A lot of people here ask me the expected "Why would I leave America?" A lot of friends in Idaho asked me the same. As with most things connected to my college experience, the response is that I have no clue, the same way as I have no clue why I ended up in Idaho (another popular one), why I joined the Delta Tau Delta fraternity at the college, why I started huffing ether doing photography, why I tramped around rural Idaho, why I started hanging out with people who restored old cars, why I started taking photos....

In this life surrounded by a multitude of why's, (none of which I regret, by the by), I started figuring out the hows. I could say that I ended up in India because I got on a plane, and then I reached home because I got off a train 4 days later. This, of course negates all the fun parts, like me sitting in Salt Lake City, drawing people as they waited for their flights to Boston and Los Angeles. Or sitting in a smoking lounge in Dubai, and finding that all the people who cleaned the smoking lounge were from an area in Pakistan that was obscenely close to where I am from, and have been; and then chatting with them for a couple of hours in Urdu, one of the languages I grew up speaking. It is those little mini-stories in the middle that make the entire story worth the while.

The same could be said about my college experience. I won't bother you with weepy nostalgic memories of college. Instead I will say this: By the end of my years at The College of Idaho, I would have told you that I would be better off if I had gone to art school instead. That statement, however, needs to be prefaced with the fact I would not be in the place where I would need to complain about going to art school, unless I went to The College of Idaho. I have said many a time that the College has given me a lot of opportunities to become what I am today, and I am thankful to it for that. The College gave me free rein to mess up and learn from my mistakes, and the College let me explore things that still continue to drive me forward.

I am not in a place to talk much about college in a objective state as I type. It is still too fresh in my mind, and I can not stand trite displays of sentimentality. I can, though, blatantly steal from Latin poems (As one wise wit said, "Plagarise! But be sure to first call it research."

Vivat academia!

Vivant professores!

Vivat membrum quodlibet;

Vivant membra quaelibet;

Semper sint in flore.

Vivat nostra societas,

Vivant studiosi;

Crescat una veritas

Floreat fraternitas

Patriae prosperitas.

Alma Mater floreat,

Quae nos educavit;

Caros et commilitones,

Dissitas in regiones

Sparsos, congregavit

(As a recent graduate, I feel no shame in quoting Latin now. If nothing, 4 years in college should justify a bit of pretense.)

- Rahul Sharma

Rahul graduated from The College of Idaho in May 2014 with a bachelor's degree in art. He is from Jammu, India.