The fall semester has started

The fall semester has started at West Chester University, and Youth is walking the streets of the town. Youth is holding hands with her new boyfriend in the bagel shop, telling him in a loud voice about the older man she dated over the summer. Youth is sprawled across a shabby sofa on fraternity house lawn, watching traffic go by through a pair of new Oakley sunglasses and a carefully composed louche expression. Youth is wearing a sweater set and a single strand of pearls, carefully steering a hand-me-down Mercedes through the tricky right turn at the intersection of High and Price. Youth has not yet homogenized itself; everyone is wearing the signifiers of their summer clique. This will change by early October.

Youth is jogging in packs up and down every sidewalk, all the senior men shirtless, all the women in midriff tops. Youth is pumping 50 Cent in their Honda Accord at the stoplight, making the tall bolt-on spoiler vibrate with every beat.

Youth is watching very carefully out of the corner of their eye to see if anyone is noticing them.

Youth has eschewed “WWJD” key lanyards in favor of terrycloth hot shorts that say “PRINCESS” or “NASTY” across the butt. Youth has a bad habit of wearing cheap, unoriginal T-shirts from Abercrombie and Fitch and American Eagle.

Youth has taken your parking spot and packed all the inexpensive restaurants. Youth has a bad habit of pulling up at the rental house across the street and honking her horn repeatedly to let those inside know that their ride has arrived. This is probably Youth’s perogative, but it’s still an adjustment.

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