(It is freshman move-in day at Boston University. NORA has arrived early in the day and is now alone in her dorm room. NORA is eighteen years old and brand new to college. She’s always been shy and nerdy and is reflecting on how she should handle her new life.)
I’ve always heard that college is the place to reinvent yourself. Especially if you go far away where nobody knows you. I think five hundred miles is far enough for me. Back home I was boring old Nora Powell. Right now, I’m boring old Nora Powell. But…I have a chance to change that if I want.
(NORA unpacks as she talks, opening and closing drawers as she puts her clothes inside.)
See, I’ve got all my decorations from my bedroom at home in this box. Look, there’s my Sherlock Funko, my Supernatural fanart from Tumblr. I had my friend get me this poster at Comic-con and I was going to hang it right there at the head of my bed. But I’m looking now and…I wonder if maybe I shouldn’t…
Look, I’m not embarrassed by who I am. I’m a nerd. You know? Nerds are cool. But I’ve been a nerd since I was a little kid. And I’m thinking maybe…maybe I don’t want to be a nerd anymore. Maybe I want to be actually cool?
But what does it mean to be cool, anyway? I think it’s the punk kids. At least that’s what it was in high school. Maybe I should be more like them, you know? I can play guitar a little. Maybe I should put up a Dead Kennedys poster instead. I bet I could get one quickly enough. I could go to shows, maybe even join a band. It’s just the beginning of college, I have so much time!
(She’s pushing a drawer in as she talks, then stops short.)
Wait, my roommate.
(She starts shoveling things off her bed and into a box. They’re her decorations that she’s suddenly a little unsure of.)
Emmaline is going to be here soon. And god, I can’t just, like, transform myself while she’s here. I need to make a decision now. Who am I going to be in college?
(She laughs a little.)
I know what my mom would say. She’d say “Nora, just be yourself.” But maybe I don’t want this to be myself anymore. Maybe I want to be someone else now that I’m at college.
(She stops, assessing her decorations.)
Everything I brought is so fangirly. I can’t hang it up and then decide to be someone else. What if she’s one of those cool people who can just see through fakers? I need to decide now and I need to stick with it.
(NORA takes a deep breath.)
Alright, Nora, what’s it going to be? You have two choices for college. One, you can stay a nerd. There’s no shame in that. You can stay quiet and weird and do most of your socializing on the internet. Hang those posters and remain someone your high school friends will always recognize.
(She pauses, considering it.)
Or, option two. You can…stop. Leave all that in high school. Focus on being an adult. Get comfortable talking to other people. Be cool, find the…the underground scene or whatever it’s called. You live in Boston now. You live in the city. Go to concerts, go to art galleries. You do like those things, maybe they can be your new identity. Maybe Emmaline will be intimidated by how cool I am.
(She laughs at herself.)
To reinvent or not to reinvent…If I’m going to do it, I need to do it now. Before anyone knows me. Which is going to be the real me?
(She drums her fingers on the dresser.)
Both isn’t an option. No one will believe I could like both Pokemon and modern art.
Why is college so hard already?
(NORA starts nodded, getting herself psyched up.)
Alright, I’ve got it. I know what I’m going to do. I’m going to-
(The door opening cuts her off. NORA’s roommate EMMALINE steps into the room.)
Hi! Are you Nora? It’s so nice to meet you!
(The episode fades out without NORA making it clear what her decision was.)