I returned to CO with more free time than I had had all my college career. And I had a lot of school work to do.

Right before I left for NZ, I had a moment of reckoning when I forgot a painting on the day of critique. I ran to the studio at 6am and threw paint on the board. I put the painting up and sat in the back of the class embarrassed as fuck at the work I was presenting.

Some kid went on about how much emotion was in the piece. How the “reds signified my internal angst, while the yellows showed the light at the end of the tunnel” (Actual quote)

I got an A- on the piece. The highest grade I had got on my piece of work in the whole time I was at school. I freaked out and went to my advisor office that day.

It was a scene out of a movie. This mother fucker had stacks of student documents to the ceiling surrounding him from every side. There was barely a place for me to sit, and the dude didn’t even look at me when I walked in and he asked me to sit down. I learned this was pretty standard for CU. Gotta love how they treat you when you pay 40 grand a year to go there.

He asked me what I was there for today and I said to him a statement I will never, ever forget.
“what’s the hardest major in the [school of] Art’s and Sciences”
“Could you please repeat that?”
“What’s the hardest major in the Arts and Sciences”
“I’m not sure I understand your question”
“Look, if I switch to engineering, none of my credits transfer and I have to start over. Same with the business school. So, what is the hardest major in the Art’s and Sciences”
He pulled his glasses down and stared at me with a confused look.
“Uh.. Astrophysics.. or Organic Chemistry?”
“Give me space.”

And that was that. I was now studying to be an astrophysicist from the school who has graduated more astronauts and won more Nobel prizes in the subject than any other university in the world.

When I got back, it was quite the doozy. I went from drawing for 3 hours every day and flirting with chicks in Art History to being surrounded by the nerdiest, stinkiest group of dudes in the university.

And I was very sick.

You see, that stress, combined with all the medicine and poor lifestyle habits, was starting to actually kill me.

I would later learn how fucked up those antibiotics I was taking were, and realized that I was a Guinea pig for western medicine. They couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me.

Only I could do that.

Fast forward and I was almost done with school. I had been juggling this crazy amount of school work with this infatuation of the most amazing girl I had met in my life at that point.

I was skipping Quantum Mechanics to spend an extra hour with her in the mornings. I was fucking up baad.

I started to sense this space being created between us as our graduation dates got closer. Remember, I’m an intuitive one. We had become “official” a few months earlier after a 5 year long ebb and flow love affair, and I remember the night I asked her officially, starring at myself in the mirror, starting to cry, and said “This is going to hurt like fuck”

I knew, but part of me didn’t want to listen. I dove in, and gratefully I did, because that was some of the most emotionally rewarding times of my life.

But I knew that was soon to be over. One night, on a heavy snow storm, she came and picked me up from class and we went to dinner. At home, we were watching something and I felt her pull away from me. It was time to address the elephant in the room.

She was going to SF and I had no fucking clue what I was going to do with my life. She felt it was time we came to terms that long distance wasn’t going to work and we needed to break this off.

It was snowing feet outside, so I couldn’t just walk home, and it was too gnarly to drive. So here I was, just having broke up with the girl I actually had convinced myself I was going to marry, and I have to stay at her house. I wont ever forget that 24 hours.

I finally got home, and I remember watching her drive away from my house the next morning, not saying a word to each other, until I broke the silence with “don’t be a stranger, k?”

I made it to my first Quantum mechanics class in a long while. And we got our tests back.

  1. My second test of 3, and I’d failed them both. I had a D- in a class I needed a C- in to graduate in just one month. My phone dinged, with email confirmations from both my parents and grandparents that they had booked their flights and hotels for graduation.

There I sit, with no fucking idea if I’m actually going to graduate, heart broken, sick, and completely lost.

And I fucking lost it. Straight off the deep end.

I booked an office hour with my teacher and I sat down, and closed the door. This is exactly how the conversation went

“What can I help you with, Evan”

She stared at me with a hint of resentment, knowing I had not shown up to class more than 30% of the time, and of those 30, were almost always late, and definitely not paying attention.

“I fucked up. And I apologize. I disrespect you, and your class, by choosing to spend more time with a girl than dedicated on your class. And now I’m here to pay the piper. I’m not asking for extra credit. I’m here to ask you is it possible if I am PERFECT from here until graudation, to pass your class with a C-. I’m not going to gradschool. I just need to get out in the real world. Is it worth the effort, or do I just need to give up right now”

She sat and honored the space as I had tears flowing down my face, but was as composed and honest as ever. She told me that if I got perfect 100s on all the homeworks, did well on my last test, and the final, that I could pass her class.

I buried myself in that class. I showed up to every single help hour, every single work shop, and went to both study sessions for the exams if there was more than one. I aced every single homework. I got a 97 on the last test. I learned an entire semesters worth of quantum mechanics in 5 weeks. And then came the final.

The final for quantum mechanics was my last final, at 7am on the day I was supposed to graduate. My 3 hour final was at 7am, and I walked at 11am. I would be taking a test and having no fucking clue if I actually passed the class or not, and then immediately graduating. At the end of the 3 hours, I stuck around for 5 minutes to see her explain 60% of the test to another classmate. I definitely botched it.

I ran home, put on my cap and gown, and skated down 16th full blast to make it to walk for graduation, gown flowing in the wind as I skated mach 5, debating my fate and actions of the last semester.