Closure to my College Life

Phil sent this touching story that’s a bit about coming of age, and being ready for it:

Who would have guessed that a cold, rainy spring night would turn into a skinny dipping story that would slightly change my life?

It was the last weekend of April 2015. Four months after donning the cap and gown, I was working at my first full-time job in a galaxy far, far away from just about everyone I knew, and I was singing the college grad blues. To go from hanging out with my buds every day to maybe, JUST maybe getting together for lunch with a couple co-workers (no guarantee) left me feeling a bit hollow. But I knew this would get better as I started to find my place in the community. There was one thing about leaving college that I couldn’t find closure to however: I wasn’t crazy enough while I was in college.

I wasn’t expecting any sort of animal house lifestyle in college, but man did I feel a fool for being too committed to the straight and narrow to be just a little young and free. Like all healthy young men, I wanted to have an adventurous experience with my coeds. Just one would suffice, something to get it out of my system. but I swear every single time opportunity knocked and the girls came out of the woodwork, I was in a relationship. Heck, on one shining opportunity I regretfully had to turn down two girls who wanted to make out with me. I was in a relationship at the time and had to say no. And how was I rewarded for my fidelity? The very next day my girlfriend broke up with me! At that, I knew I had to get one good commitment-free experience before I left this stage of life.

Not yet ready to give up on my hopes of having an “adventurous” college experience, I pulled some strings at my job to go camping with my college outing club friends, figuring it would most likely be my final college hoorah – and my last-ditch chance to get that “adventurous” experience in. Best yet, most of these camping buddies were girls. Now at first you wouldn’t expect to find hot girls who want to rough it all weekend out in rainy, cold weather by the freezing ocean.

But damn.

I swear all of these ladies were lookers, some I would venture to say dimes. Some I met for the first time on this trip, others I’ve known for years. But they all had one thing in common: they were hot.

We decided to go camping on Assateague Island off the coast of Maryland. It was a 4-mile hike on the beach from civilization to our camp site, which was nestled inside a valley of dunes about 200 yards inland from the Atlantic. The entire hike there, the girls were ranting on about starting a traditional beach skinny dip. But before I had a chance to faint where I stood, they sealed it with the kiss of death:

Girls only.

Noooooo! I felt like Snoopy with those voices singing “no dogs allowed”. My one golden opportunity, nipped in the bud. But it wasn’t over ’til the fat lady sang, and since all the girls had freaking amazing bodies, luck was on my side.

At first I thought it was a lost cause. The instant we got to camp, the rain began. It was around 50 degrees, rainy, and we had to nearly asphyxiate ourselves by holding a tarp over the fire to get it started. All our gear was getting soggy, and the tents were turning into kiddie pools. Some of the girls were muttering “you still want to dip later?” “Not so sure anymore.” And at that moment, as I was about to give up all hope, a small miracle happened. All at the same time, the fire lit, the rain stopped, and the most beautiful sunset imaginable emerged from behind the clouds. I felt like Forrest Gump as I didn’t know where heaven stopped and the earth began. We just stopped everything and watched the sun go down behind the endless ocean waves.

As night descended, one of the girls said “so who’s still up for the dip?” Eight other beauties quickly jumped on the offer. They were all about to leave the campsite to strip down, leaving the men to wait out of eyesight. I was starting to feel a little frustrated; I got so far, and yet the event I was looking forward to for four years was about to slip through my fingers. I had to come up with something witty fast or it was all over. “Wait,” one of the girls exclaimed before they left the campground, “what about Trent?” Trent was a close friend of many girls there, due in part that he was gay. Trent agreed to go. Damn, I was jealous. I meant to just think this next part, but somehow the words slipped out:

“Can I be honorarily gay for tonight?”

All the girls started at me. Great going man, I thought, now they think you’re a perv!

But one of them said “I mean we are all friends, right? Why not? It is college after all! In fact, how about the rest of you guys come along too!” All the girls agreed, and the men agreed all the faster.

I felt like I sank the buzzer beater for the national championship! Not only was I going to finally get my adventure in after years of doubt and crushed opportunity, but I secured it for my fellow men as well! We figured since there was no point in hiding anything from anyone, and since we were miles away from anyone outside our group, we would just strip down there, by the fire. I’ll never forget the sight of nine gorgeous women removing all articles of clothing from their bodies by the tribal light of the fire. Of course, as soon as they stripped down, they ran out of the light of the fire.

As we crawled through the sinuous dunes, we checked to make sure the headlights of the patrolling ranger were out of sight. Once we had the clear, we all sprinted down towards the ocean in the silver light of the moon. At first the other guys and I were so excited that we sprinted out ahead of all the girls, but then I stopped and said “wait, this isn’t right” And we waited for them to catch up. Was that ever a fantasy to see nine beautiful naked women chasing after me! (Or so I let myself think it was after me; a man can dream can’t he?) Once we got to the water, we all hesitated. The ocean was still very cold in April, and we could feel the difference in the temperature in the air. But I broke the ice (almost literally) and jumped in, just as a huge wave splashed over my entire body! I don’t think there was ever a moment I felt

Once we got to the water, we all hesitated. The ocean was still very cold in April, and we could feel the difference in the temperature in the air. But I broke the ice (almost literally) and jumped in, just as a huge wave splashed over my entire body! I don’t think there was ever a moment I felt more alive than that one. Sure enough about half of the crew followed me in, splashing each other and enjoying our near brush with hypothermia. Some stayed out, but none of us were in for more than a minute. We all ran back to camp, freezing from the wind rushing past our cold, wet bodies. Finally we all returned to the fire, put on warm clothes, and laughed and had a great rest of the night. The whole experience lasted only 3 minutes, but that was more than enough for me.

After we hiked back the next day, we all said our goodbyes and left to return to the real world. As I said goodbye to everyone, old friends and new alike, I was a little sullen. College had come to an end for me, and even as we all made our typical hollow promises to text all the time and hang out again soon, deep down I knew this was the last time I would see most, maybe all of them. College is a time to see friends every day, to easily go on trips and have opportunities to skinny dip in the ocean. As we move on, it gets harder to do these fun things and maintain such close relationships with so many people.

But I’m proud to say that I am now OK with moving on. Having this experience and writing this story did something for me that I though would never happen. Just like William Wallace posthumously won Scotland’s freedom, I satisfied my need for a crazy college adventure a few months after graduation.

I found my closure.

Thanks for sharing your story, Phil! We’re glad you finally got the experience you were craving!

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