Some wisdom before school starts
“How do you remember Amherst? What are the experiences—in and out of the classroom—that shape those memories? Similarly, what aspects of your Amherst education served you best? And what are the things about Amherst that, in hindsight, disappoint you?”
“I don’t know that many would remember me at all… I was cripplingly shy at Amherst. I wasn’t in a fraternity and didn’t go to parties and didn’t have much to do with the life of the College. I had a few very close friends and that was it. I studied all the time. I mean literally all the time…
So ‘the things about Amherst that, in hindsight, disappoint [me]’ are things not about Amherst but about who I was when I was there. I let almost no one know me, and I lost the chance to know and learn from most of my peers. It took years after I’d graduated from Amherst to realize that people were actually far more complicated and interesting than books, that almost everyone else suffered the same secret fears and inadequacies as I, and that feeling alone and inferior was actually the great valent bond between us all. I wish I’d been smart enough to understand that when I was an adolescent.”
— David Foster Wallace interviewed by Amherst magazine
Posted this quote by DFW earlier, but it bears repeating!