Welcome to the village
The whole big fish little pond analogy is something I agree with, but I would say that the fish typically stays the same size; it is the pond that changes.
My theory is that insecurity will lead you to make your pond as small as possible and therefore, in turn, you will feel bigger and more comfortable in your surroundings.
Through my teenage years, I felt like a big fish, and I stayed in a small pond. I had a small group of friends; we were always high in some way or other or trying to scrape enough money together to get high. Everyone had their role play I was big; someone else had a few screws loose, someone got the drugs, another always game for finding new and illegal ways of finding funds.
The day I left this life, I thought I was entering the big wide world and growing up. It was bigger, and I was a lot smaller, but it was a drink-fuelled world where you would get as smashed as you can in the time allotted by the pubs and clubs.
Then it all changed. I made one of the most significant decisions of my life to go to University. Two important things need to be taken into account at this point – I had no great desire to go to University, and my choice was based solely on where my girlfriend was going.
So I made the three-hour road trip and my poor mum and dad the six-hour round trip.
When we finally reached a strange, quiet little town; no sorry village. We drove past the local pub, the post office and a funeral parlour sure signs of the beating heart of student hedonism.
We drove through the gate, and we were surrounded by lots of large non-descriptive buildings. I was given a block name and room number; number six - Single bed on an iron frame with one of those mattresses that will create your personal paddling pool if you wet yourself in the night. It had a little desk, mirror and sink, but I would have to share a bathroom.
Every inch of me wanted to scream:
"Dad, I don't like it here please take me back home. I want to stay with you and mum".
No; I was 18 and a man it was not the done thing the decision had been made and now had to be stuck by.
I am sure my dad was thinking something similar, but I cannot be sure as he left school at 14 and had no idea what a university should look like:
"Don't worry son just say the word and I will take you back home you can sort it out from there and choose the right place, it is never too late to make the right decision."
I said my goodbyes and settled in my little cell (bar the bars on the window). It was the time to put up the Radiohead & Dali posters and get myself into the student mindset. Afraid not hadn't thought that one through either, what was it again when my mum offered to buy me some:
"I'm not buying posters just to make it look like I am a student wanker, bollocks to that".