From a young age, I’ve known that I have little interest in college. Colleges used to be places of growth and learning, but are now corrupted and run by the government. To me, having the mind of an Aspie, colleges don’t make sense. I want to go into child care. Why should I learn extensively about English or French Literature when that knowledge does not help me to calm a screaming child in the least bit? Why should I learn extensively about German history or Newton’s laws when that knowledge does not help me to change a diaper? Most Aspies possess a trait that is often called “tunnel vision.” I am this way when it comes to my passion, child care. I don’t want to have to deal with general ed. in order to get certification for child care. Because of this, trade school would be more my speed.
All of this is beside the point. I’m writing about college from an Aspies point of view because I have the opportunity to observe college for a day. My friend, whom I have dubbed my “Older Brother,” is going to take me with him to his classes today.
Here is my preconceived idea of college: It is probably easier on an Aspie than High School is. The cliques that are present in HS are not as tight knit and people are more accepting. Students that keep to themselves are not as looked down on as they are in HS. In college, people do their own thing. They have lives outside of school and socialization is not the main focus of the students. I will write later about my experiences and new perspective on college.
While my Brother was in his early swimming class, I sat in the car and woke myself up while observing people. People sat in their cars, alone, putting on makeup or just waiting for the time that they were to go to their class. In between classes, people went back to their cars to sit, alone, and wait for their next class. People that didn’t want to be social weren’t and nobody thought twice about it. No one thought that it was strange that a person was sitting alone in their car, not being social.
In the English class that I audited, no one talked to each other. The students were in the classroom learning and then left the classroom. Small comments such as, “It’s cold.” and “Hi. How are you?” were made, but not any serious communication. Other than being surrounded by people that were new to me, I was very comfortable with the atmosphere.
After the English class, I had to use the bathroom, so I went in and waited in line. A young woman wearing a traditional Muslim headdress, called a Hijab, was standing behind me in line, waiting to use the bathroom. I commented on her Hijab, saying that the fabric was pretty. She thanked me for the compliment. I told her that I’d always been curious about what it was like to wear one. She started rummaging around in her bag and took out an extra piece of fabric that she had and proceeded to wrap it around my head in the traditional style. She finished wrapping it and I looked in the mirror. I was wearing a Hijab.
In my Brother’s music class, we sat next to an older gentleman of Indian decent. He introduced himself and we exchanged names. I don’t remember his name, but I remember that it meant “good dark.” He also informed us that he was named after an Indian false god. In the conversation, we learned that he, like us, was a born again Christian and that he sings in the choir at church. We also began a conversation with a kind young man sitting next to my brother. Granted, my Brother is the one that initiated all the conversations, but I was welcomed into the conversations simply because I was there.
After his music class, I decided to venture out on my own while he was in his last two classes. I went to the library, where the comfy, calming smell of books was. I observed people there while half-reading a book. I sat in a corner by myself and noticed that there were other people sitting by themselves and no one thought it was strange to see people studying or reading all by themselves. After the library, I walked around a bit to observe people and then sat down to write my previous post.
Based on my experiences, here is my new opinion of college: Not only is it a more Aspie friendly environment, it is also a varied community. People were more open to hearing about other’s cultures and sharing their own culture as well. I saw people of many ages, races, and cultures, all mixing together with open minds. Granted there are always going to be people that are closed-minded, but I didn’t notice any in my one day. People that keep to themselves are not looked at in a strange way. They are, except for a friendly “hello” here and there, left alone. It was a wonderful experience. I may not have experienced a “full” college life in that one day, but it’s something that I’ll never forget. I still don’t think that college is for me, but I would never discourage an Aspie from attending college if they so desire.