Been a long story so far, well it really only gets longer here, you’ve been warned!
I now headed into the spring semester of what was my fourth year of college, a final one for many around my own age but far from it for me. The previous semester I had failed a couple classes and landed on academic probation, largely due to my depression causing me to miss class. My head was all in the wrong places, I was actually real depressed because I had no social life and could not manage to fit in at all.
In the spring semester, I made up the lost ground in terms of my grades and would spend a decent number of Friday nights at the house of a couple of friends I had met on campus. The idea was an open door policy and I started to just hop on in, they lived with their roommates in the off campus houses. At first they started to either text me or tell me during the day to drop by, that was my main form of socialization on weekends. The same group of guys threw two parties, without alcohol of course, a semester which I showed up to but found mostly dull. Despite their moral facade, I found how these goody two-shoe self-proclaimed Christian kids were every bit as shallow, judgmental, and likely to turn on you as a normal person.
“Oh yeah, you’re not REALLY one of us.”
Towards the end of the semester, I went to a house party which was thrown at the place of a good friend of mines I knew growing up. I had interacted with his group a few times and they were having one final party before many of them graduated. So I decide to hang around, a kind of cute blonde with glasses who had known some of the guys was super chatty with them while occasionally shooting me the stink-eye. No introduction, nothing, and just gave me the “who are you again?” type of vibe.
Everyone was reminiscing of the college days and people had their fun shared experiences, I was out of a lot of it and felt excluded on that level. The party was another reminder for me that I was an acquaintance at best but not really a friend. Even my attempts at making small-talk were promptly shut down at the party, making it clear that I was an unwelcome guest. I left that party kind of sad and then summer came, this time I just took it off. No classes, only living on campus during that time while not doing much of anything, I called it the summer of recharging.
The summer sun reveals all.
I would do a lot of reading, working out, occasional hanging out with friends, but spent a lot of it in isolation which was not so bad. During that summer, I had so many epiphanies and started to piece everything together, it was painful to think back to the past I have had just like writing this was painful but it was beautiful at the same exact time. I truly discovered myself that summer, to a degree I no longer felt so helpless, somehow it all made sense and the truth had set me free. I also went out to the bars a few times which were oddly just full enough in the summer, much more women than men. I could never really fit in with the town scene, it was good ole boy southern douchey.
In that summer, I realized how much my upbringing had shaped me and how I could not continue down the same path. I actually realized during that time that I had been raised by people who did not want what was best for me, only what was best for their own image. During that time, I learned how bad my life will end up if I do not take ownership of it, only I could prevent it from going downhill. Thinking back to the past was painful but a pain that was a reminder that our time on this earth is limited, if I lived life for others, then more regrets were to come. So many cold, dark, and unfortunate truths about human nature had been revealed to me at that time and I had to accept them.
Such is the tragedy of taking orders from others and living life for them, in the end, you are the one answering for the outcome. No matter what you do or what the circumstances are, you are the leader of your life and the blame falls squarely on you. Painful yet beautiful, the most transforming summer of my entire life, that was the summer vacation I had.
Let’s get this show on the road.
I came into the following fall semester more on point, absolutely dominating my grades and being more involved on campus. During this time, I had a couple more instances where I might have hit it off with some girls but never moved forward since they were in a sorority. Looking back at it now, something was there, I should have made the move but I had a lot of limiting beliefs. In one class with a good friend, I had this tanned brunette with a volleyball player body sneak up behind me to hug me, she knew me well from other classes and squeezed my shoulders after class while whispering in my ear “I am so free and bored this afternoon”. What did I do? Jack shit, didn’t make a move…..yeah….
The following spring was more fun, I got into a decent routine. My grades were going up, I was making some friends, and I found a nice Starbucks off campus to get work done in which led to me hitting it off well with the people who worked there. Every other day, I’d get a free drink and I would see a couple of hot girls regularly. I’d notice them look at me, smile, and I’d smile back and not make a move. I also took a fun acting class where a couple of the girls were also into me yet I never really made the move, a part of me wanted to abandon the game and pickup mindset altogether.
I also took a class on feminism and racism, it was a final elective I needed. The class had fraternity guys, women of minority groups, and was about eighty-percent women. We had wild arguments given the makeup of the class which led to it being my most fun and entertaining class in college. I hit it off well with this tall toned brunette, somehow the type I seem to always hit it off with, and we made out one night at a bar but I could never close.
I had also become a regular at a coffee shop in the man campus building, there was a beautiful brown-eyed brunette working there who would also give me free drinks at times. Our conversations were warm, she sometimes made my day come to life. We had a few good conversations but the guy in me who couple years ago was game hungry had become more laid back, I never really made a move although it was obvious she liked me. I went from wanting to sleep with a lot of different women to not wanting to end up the campus creep.
During the spring, I tried to get “friends” together for a spring break to no avail, yet again I had failed. I ended up not having any luck with that and spent spring break alone. People around my age already had it out of their systems and I was the one who never got to experience it. I promised myself that summer, I was going to take a trip to somewhere amazing.
At one point, I come across an ad for a company that arranges such trips for college kids and people in their twenties, as long as you are not over the age of twenty-eight you can go. I decided to sign up for it but needed the money, as bad as it makes me sound right now, I did bring it to my parents who at first said yes but then a couple months later shouted at me for it. I was going to pull in funds but to my surprise, my parents came through.
Here is a light gut punch for ya!
I was starting to explore the bar scene more of my town and going out as well. In some ways, I became more comfortable with it all, particularly because I was 21. One night, I get word that a few of my “friends” are meeting at a given bar for an event. Apparently, some students had worked on an idea that had made it to Shark Tank and were waiting to see if it would win, not an invite only event by any means. I saw people at the bar who I had sat with at dining halls and had called me to their house parties as mentioned earlier on this post, the same people who had supposedly said alcohol was the devil.
Now I tried to interact with them but for some reason, they were either surprised to seem me there or were not very welcoming of even a conversation. I thought maybe there was a business networking event, it wasn’t. One kid in particular, an Arabian guy named Ina, flat out even told me “lonely right? Maybe get some friends!” while drinking, trying to get laughs out of others who felt like he had gone too far. I wandered around, finishing my drink, and found the groups in the bar to be very closed.
For some reason, it didn’t make much sense to me at all. Some of these were the same guys inviting me to house parties, proactively sitting down with me at dining halls, and talking to me if they saw me on campus. Now here I was, completely excluded and it was blatant too. Before heading out, I tell one of the main kids involved in the project named Abbas congratulations for the Shark Tank win. Pay close attention to this character, he plays a role later on in the story.
The guy had seen me around plenty of times and seemed to always find his way into the circles I did. Abbas was a Pakistani kid from Johns Creek who really valued appearances from the outside looking in but often turned up his nose a people, you found him at every event and really going hard with social media. How does Abbas respond? He gives me a stink-eye, shakes his head, and says thank you as Ina looks at him and does the same. Even in showing appreciation, I was shooed away, this was worse than high school.
A surprise visit to God.
I decided on the fall of that same semester (the one in the previous section) to check out this church program at the biggest youth church in town called a small group. More than a handful of my Sundays would be spent going to church, it was the social haven of the south for even younger people. I did find that while it was the house of God, there was quite a lot of judgment from the youth crowd that intensified during that time. The popularity contests at church were actually on steroids, especially when there were events involved.
Despite it being church, a house of God, I had truthfully never seen as much cliquish behavior. Everyone was there with their social circle and if you went alone, people were not inviting. Church slowly became a contest of who was out with what crew, present yourself before God in this popularity contest people. One Sunday, I get the announcement of a semester group meeting later that night so I take the risk and go. I arrive later that night and just go with the flow, being seated on a table with a group of guys after completing a questionnaire.
What happened from there is that we all had a group of about six to seven guys who would meet every Sunday to discuss life, the Bible, and mentally keeping our cool in the stage of life we were in. I got a lot of good advice and a lot of good wisdom from all of these guys who are my good friends to this very day. Having that group to chat with and talk to not only took me to another level but gave me bravery after I told them my situation with my parents, they gave me strength. We ate together, hung out together, and even went on a weekend trip together to a mountain town.
I had a brotherhood from that group of men to hang out with and was a lot less lonely as a result. One friend I made was this kid named Jake, a charismatic young handsome guy with the drive of a future business leader. Jake taught me so much about people, business, and behaving like a high value guy. In many ways, Jake was who I wish I was in my life. Jake used to be in one of the top fraternities on campus and lived that college experience through and through in life. Talking to him about the whole ordeal though, it seemed to be quite overrated but at the time, I thought maybe he was just spoiled.
My other good friend was a cool laid back guy named Dan, a guy who looked like Danny McBride and had a very, well, a relaxed and chill type of vibe. We had a lot of long conversations and not soon after college, he ended up moving out west to Colorado for work. I still keep in touch with him to this very day. The year truly was one of a kind, I was ready to take on life and ready for the summer.
As summer came, I got ready for my two week Euro trip, they brought the travelers together via a Facebook group. In total, there were fifty people going on the trip, mainly college kids from across the country and people in their twenties. I arrive at the airport and walk around like a fool in the flight area, seeing three hot girls all looking for each other and me. We introduce ourselves, meet four other travelers who join late, get on the plane, and head to Europe.
We arrive in Germany and I head to the hostel I was supposed to be in, getting into my bed. After that, three other guys arrive in my room, all of them around my age except for one tall dark haired guy named Rhett who is twenty-eight. Rhett was a natural in so many ways, a leader and someone with a lot of interesting life stories. With Rhett, you always felt included and his company was always in demand.
One of the other guys had just turned twenty and was on the trip with his wild sister name Lauren, a tall blue-eyed brunette from Texas who went to Baylor and looked like Alexandra Daddario. I introduce myself, we chat, and then we go to meet our tour guide. Everyone broke off into groups but we met up that night as a large group for beer and dinner, we had a lot of beer and a lot of fun.
We had two blondes from rural Georgia who came on the trip, completely going wild and getting lost in everything. Both of these girls regularly hooked up with local guys and were among the hardest partiers, someone had to play babysitter with them. Despite all that, they were good people and I appreciated them for it. We also had an Atlanta girl in her late twenties who was there for the selfies, often getting a bad attitude with everyone except for Rhett who did not want to fuck her despite her advances. The girl had fake blonde hair, seemed very disconnected, rolled her eyes often, openly disrespectful to even the tour guide, and treated the whole thing like a popularity contest. Needless to say, her actions foreshadowed a lot of what I would run into the future while also giving me the glimpse to what I had experienced. Despite her attitude, Atlanta was not that good looking herself which I could not help but think led to her crankiness.
I had some nice conversations with this couple from Florida the next day, I always seemed to hit it off with my Florida people. The guy was a former football player for a Division 1 program and the girl was a sorority girl at a school known for having some of the best looking sororities around. We talked about our encounters with college athletes and the sorority girl had some wild stories to share. No matter if I was on a coach or in a group walking around, we ended up having a lot of good conversations and I always felt like I was a part of something.
You might belong somewhere.
For once in my life, I felt like a part of a large group although it was only for a couple of weeks. We traveled everywhere by coach which fit all fifty of us in, even drinking and having fun parties along the way. After Germany came Italy where we went for a fun concert starring Avicii (RIP!). We got drunk out of our minds and partied hard before heading back to the hotel, getting three hours of sleep, and packing up fast to get on the coach. The best part was actually walking back to the hotel in a group drunk, would have been dangerous to do it alone.
After Italy came the beautiful country of Switzerland, oh it was one of a kind for its sights. We went sightseeing and of course, drinking, lots and lots of drinking. I hit it off with this one insanely hot girl from Arizona State name Macy, she had black hair and practically looked like a Megan Fox. Early on the trip we had chatted a few times but it was always in a large group setting. We had a great vibe going, even making out a bit in private but I could never close that deal. For some reason, the two of us were getting along really well and had a spark.
I jumped between groups a handful of times, making friends with each one, but in the end I slowly found my tribe. Through me, the young Florida couple and Macy became friends with Rhett and two guys I originally knew from the hostel. Lauren joins in and has a couple of girls on the trip she has hit it off well with, fun ensues. We drink, party hard, and laugh about the wild experiences that ensue. So this is what college was supposed to be like.
Lauren was quite the character throughout the trip, playfully flirting with European guys but never actually going home with any of them. At one point, we end up in a somewhat secluded mountain town in Switzerland as the trip had us planned. The group of us walk around the town, there were probably six of us, and Lauren jumps on someone’s actual horse we saw on a farm. Wild, wild, wild Lauren, she was a young and crazy spirit. At the same time, she was one of us and we were temporary family. As she gets off the horse, she slaps me on the ass and says “top that Cowboy”, I couldn’t….
Later on that night at a bar in the town, the Florida couple talked to this older guy while Macy and I had an intimate vibe going. We were there and almost made out but Lauren had found a sweet nightclub we just had to go to, in typical Lauren fashion she was quite vocal. At one point, she called us lovebirds and said “you can fuck there too”, Lauren….
We go to a move theater and then go through revolving doors to walk downstairs, finding a loud nightclub playing EDM. What in the actual hell, wow, but me and Macy stuck together. As soon as we walk in and I am ordering drink, a random guy walks up to Macy wanting her to meet his rich Arab friend, she blows him off and says she is not interested in the guy. Me and Macy had some drinks and made out that night, I gave her a piggyback ride back to the hotel room. Not before long, as soon as I get there, our tour guide gets temperamental due to everyone being scattered around and breaks us up, warning me the danger of getting with a drunk girl even though Macy was really into it. Just like the guy I was, I listened, a chance blown none the less. The next morning, we get on the couch to continue our journey but some of us could barely get off the bed, thank god the coach had a bathroom!
We go rafting in the mountains a day later, lo and behold as we are at a rest stop after the raft, Lauren steps out. Lauren ends up taking off her top while in a two piece as the two guys who were helping us throughout the rafting got quite excited at it. We need to point out here that Lauren was among the prettiest girls in a trip full of a lot of pretty women.
A day later we end up in Paris and after a long night of drinking in Paris, I laid in bed passed out only to have her come into my hostel wearing nothing but a tank-top and panties. I look up as she sandwiched my head in-between her legs with skin so soft to the touch with my face, standing over me, and stuffed a hand into my pants. Given her powerful and outgoing vibe, I was under a spell, feeling an arousal I had never felt before.
“You were gonna keep playing with this guy mister so I thought I’d help you out, relax those hands,” said Lauren.
“Lauren! Hurry up, we gotta go!” yelled a voice, it was her brother.
“Ya got lucky, tell chubby stick over here I am coming back,” she said, both hands still on my cock.
Unfortunately, it didn’t amount to much, too much happened on the trip for me to close the deal with her as well. Funny to think that despite all the opportunities with beautiful women, I was still a virgin past drinking age. I had grown shyer and feared becoming that closer pickup artist type, the same kind of guy I originally set out to be years ago.
The following day we walked around the city, seeing the beautiful views, and I was almost involuntarily splitting time between Lauren and Macy. Lauren looked at me looking at Macy’s ass then slapped Macy’s ass in front of me, licking her lips while doing it. A part of me wanting to go for a threesome whenever we were back at the hotel, how in the fucking world could I ever pass that up. The trip presented wild nights and wild days like nothing else I had seen, being on the coach as we traveled from one country to the next led to a lot of parties at times and even conversations that brought us together. Rhett had a lot of wisdom for all of us on living an awesome life, you left wanting to be like him.
The trip was in its final days and a lot of people cried as we packed up to board our flights, for the large part it was a flash and I kind of wanted to cry too. In terms of time, it was only a couple weeks so barely a blip on the length of the life I had lived but one huge changing moment. To this day, it has been one of the top moments of my life, I felt like there was somewhere I belonged. I even started an Instagram page because of that trip, my first followers and people I followed being the very people I had met.
I had one more year left of college and I managed to finish it with relative ease, it pains me to think that due to circumstances, college had lasted six years for me. In the final year of college, I felt like a whole new me. At the same time, I felt like maybe I give Georgia another chance.
A part of me started to kind of fall in love with Georgia for a bit, wanting to immerse into the local culture. Perhaps I had not given Georgia a chance and needed to maybe consider doing so, hold off on my dream of ending up in NYC. So much had changed, so much in that time. Who knows, maybe I could live in Georgia for the rest of my life and find happiness, I was momentarily thinking that.
I went out with more of a positive mindset and thought it might make a difference in what I do. Despite the good mood, vibes, and being more open, I found Georgia to be limiting to where I wanted to be in life. People had their circles and cliques, everyone else was just kind of on the outside looking in.
In my final weeks of college, I would go out every other night in town, maybe magic was hitting somewhere. Despite my genuine approach, everything just kind of fell flat, it was a closed environment and everyone was there to just be with their crew. On my final night out, I saw a homeless man and dropped a dollar in his hat.
I almost got to an addicting point where I did not want it to end, going out more than usual. Maybe just maybe, I luck into something right? Thankfully, sanity got the better of me an it was time to move on. A couple weeks before graduation, I prepared a letter for my parents telling them about what had happened in the past six years, pointing out what they did wrong and what needs to be fixed moving forward. A part of me still had belief that my dad had connections in the field he told me to study to get me a job, since it was an in-demand major, but what would happen after college would open my eyes even more.