I bought a toothbrush, some toothpaste, a flannel for my face,
pajamas, a hairbrush, new shoes, and a case.
I said to my reflection, "Let's get out of this place."
Squeeze, 'Tempted by the Fruit of Another', 1981
In June of 1983 I graduated from Haddonfield Memorial High School.
I knew that I wanted to go to college after high school, but I was not sure what I was looking to gain from the experience. After a reading a pile of brochures that showed up in the mail and applying to a handful of schools, I enrolled as a freshman at the University of New Hampshire in Durham, NH for the Fall Semester of 1983.
As an interesting counterpoint to the Halls of Academe, through a friend I got a job at machine shop in nearby Maple Shade the summer after graduation. I spent that summer manufacturing threaded machine parts for cars, trucks and tanks in sweltering heat and greasy filth, but I made decent money. It was a strong reminder about the value of an education.
After three months of dreary labor I eagerly left Haddonfield that August with a couple of bags, a vague idea of what college was about, and a deep desire to expand my world.