Contrast: Timid in front of girls in high school, but in college he goes on dates with a couple of women.
Parallel: The hug his mom gives him when he decides to go to college, and the same hug is shown when he tells her he's hitchhiking to New York, showing she loves him the same way, no matter what he does as long as he can enjoy doing it.
Contrast: He thinks he will fail college in the beginning, but when he actually goes to his college classes, he succeeds and becomes happier than before.
Parallel: The face he makes when he gets into trouble while working at the railway and when he thinks about failing science and math in college.
5. Fate vs Free Will:
Pekar is a huge endorsement of free will as whatever he does in the story, happens because of him and his actions. Whether it be falling in love with jazz or going to college, they were all decisions that Pekar had to make for them to happen. At the same time, every time he quits something, it is not fate, it is his own choice to quit it, whether it be sports or a high school math class, his choice was made by himself.
I think that he molds himself into the likes of his environment as he himself is pretty insecure so wants to do his best to fit in and get along with at least one group of people.