Letters from Andy: 2 (sophomore year)


I have to believe there's a plan to all of this, it can't just be random chance. My whole social circle exists because I decided to go to Carnegie Cup during O-week last year instead of taking a nap. There must have been something guiding my thoughts that day to make the correct decision, right?

But of course, my rational physics brain won't let me truly believe in fate. It's just entropy slowly bringing us to the most probable arrangement of particles, dictated by the ruthlessly efficient math of an indifferent universe. God is dead, and Santa Claus is fake. But still, I can't help but notice these tiny decisions cascading into things that define my entire life, and it's all just completely out of my control. Maybe it's best not to think about it too hard.

Speaking of which, you remember that girl Toni, from last year? She was the other physics student who I was crushing on (even though we literally spoke four times the whole year). Well we happen to be in the same English mini this fall, so we started sitting together in class. And soon it just became convenient to do our physics homework together after class, and soon it became convenient to always have lunch with her before class, and soon enough I'm spending five hours a day with her. In a matter of weeks, an extra got elevated to a supporting role and all I had to do was sit next to her.

Last weekend I was hanging out with Sebastian and his housemates, and I got really drunk and told them all about me and Toni. To be honest there wasn't much to say, she's just a girl I see a lot. They hyped me up to ask her out, and believe it or not I actually did it the next day — I know, kind of unthinkable for me.

I asked her while we were getting lunch at ABP, but I guess I must have caught her off guard because her reaction was very odd. She just stared blankly for like, ten seconds before saying "nah it's not like that big dawg." One of the more surreal interactions I've ever had with a person. I'm trying not to let myself get too worked up over her, it's probably for the best anyways. I bet there's some kinda fate-related reason we aren't supposed to be together. Oh, and I still spend like half my day with her because she's really good at pretending nothing ever happened.

Other than that incident, things are going pretty well. Same old, same old, really. Despite all the turbulence, I'm still walking the same paths between the same buildings in the same shoes. Maybe I need a new pair of Vans.

I met some new people by accident last week. I was eating alone in Resnik, because I hadn't bothered to make dinner plans, and I ran into a class-friend — you know those people, right? Somebody you get along great with, but your relationship stays purely within the lecture hall? He and two other people were looking for a table, and they asked if they could sit with me. One of them, Clair, I recognized from orientation week, but she had no memory of me. I think I've run into her at least twice every day since then.

Tell me more about NYU. What's it like to be a freshman again? I would imagine Creative Writing is quite a bit different from ChemE. How about that guy from your a capella group? I saw he commented on your last Instagram post, was that like an inside joke between you two? Please explain yourself. To be completely honest, it's a little weird that he doesn't have a profile pic, but you're a much better judge of character than I am. I can't even pretend that my advice would be worthwhile to you.

Sometimes this campus is powerfully nostalgic. Yesterday I walked down the wooden steps between Doherty and Purnell — that's how I used to get to Hunan before I learned that the Pausch bridge is much quicker. Those were the steps where me and Arthur had our first real conversation. All of a sudden, I remembered exactly how it felt to be a freshman, connecting for the first time with a college friend. It was just a year ago, but those memories already feel so remote. Maybe it's because you change so quickly in college. I think eras of your life get mapped onto places, and you can only access those memories by walking there again. The nostalgia is intoxicating sometimes, I'm afraid I'll get lost in it if I'm not careful. I should find some new music, that's the issue I bet.

Anyways. I talk too much, tell me about your life now.

Your friend always,