I’m a melancholy state. It’s past 11:00 pm on a Sunday night, and as I’m sitting on my bed typing this listening to the mellow and blues-y Nathan Angelo, I hear thunder and rain outside my window and running through the eaves.
Day and night I am always tired. But at night I try to stay up just late enough, until I am exhausted enough, until I can fall into my bed and into immediate slumber. Because I can’t stand to lie in my bed in a dark room alone with my thoughts for so many hours.
But I’ll try to stay positive for you, dear readers, whoever you may be. If you exist. (That is just the kind of mood I’m in.) So here are 10 thoughts in no particular order about my sophomore year in college.
1. Don’t be afraid to try something new. Freshman year I really wanted to learn how to swing dance and join the Ball State Swing Dance Society but I was too chicken to go alone. This year, I didn’t go alone but went with a friend I new attended. I didn’t realize how much I would love it. I only wish I had someone to practice with over the summer because Lindy Hop is tough! But I discovered that I adore blues dancing, and that is something I can practice solo.
2. Accept being a S.H.I.P. If you’re at all familiar with the “fandom” worlds the term generally means to place two people/characters into a relationship together. It’s like matchmaking. But one evening, after watching about 3-4 episodes of Private Practice with my friend, we found ourselves slightly bothered by the way we spent our evening. Sure, the current portrayal of college life includes Netflix, but the only other option it gives you for a weekend night is to go out and party. The latter is an option we just can’t accept for several reasons.With bits of our discussion in her head the next morning at swim practice, she created this lovely acronym:
Single – I’m single and finding it hard to mingle. While I’m generally a-okay in my relationship status, the recent engagements of my peers on Facebook have got me down. Also, of my 6 best friends from high school 4 are in serious relationships and one is married.
Hermit – I prefer to spend my days in studio completing my projects or just chilling in my dorm room. Alone. I’m a wallflower with large groups of people.
Introverted – I have to recharge away from people. Luckily I’ve found some amazing girls who I can recharge with while being social.
Poor – Seriously, this college life. I’ve been blessed with an on campus (paid) internship for the next two years. Praise the LORD.
And it’s funny we are SHIP but we never get shipped or even on the dock for that matter.
There are days I drop words of comfort on myself like falling leaves and remember that it is enough to be taken care of by my self. – Brian Andreas
3. I’m in the right major. Don’t we all have those moments when we feel like everything we’re doing with our life is wrong? The art department requires a year of fine arts core classes before applying to the Visual Communications program. This year I was finally able to take courses that gave me a glimpse of my future. And I got so very excited.
4. Sometimes I feel like I’m stuck in a rut. I’m returning to the same job I’ve had for the past (almost) 4 years. This has nothing to do with my major. As someone told me today, working there will motivate you to finish your degree. YES. Maybe it’s the monotony. But returning to my small town this summer while at least 6 people I know are gallivanting around Europe is really hard for me. I’ve always thought of myself as a dreamer. “…you may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.” But reality has hit me really hard this year. I haven’t decided if it’s for the best yet or not. Reality has told me that my dream of traveling to Europe and finally seeing art that I’ve studied and wrote about in school, is a long, long way off. It’s not plausible to study abroad with my major, and after I graduate there will be student loans and a job… and in a job you can’t really take off for two weeks to spend every day in the Louvre. And honestly, dear readers, the feeling of a crushed dream can make a girl cry.
5. I need to bide my time with palms toward Heaven. Something I’ve really struggled with (not just this year) is letting go of my need to control my future. Allowing GOD to take me where He wants to lead me, is better than anything I could ever imagine. I just forget. A lot. Forgive me for picking up what I’ve already laid down at your feet.
6. Movie quotes can be applied to absolutely any situation. I’ve been blessed with amazing friends that I thank GOD for all the time. Together, we’ve created our own language comprised of different movies, tv shows and music we love or have… at least seen. The downside is that not everyone has always seen these movies… So when you sarcastically remark “You’re tacky and I hate you.” (School of Rock) “Boo you whore” (Mean Girls) “You know what? You can leave!” (Napoleon Dynamite) whoever you’re talking to might become very offended.
7. Never forget your Ruth Blessings. I studied the book of Ruth through the beginning of the school year and while I learned many things, one thing stuck out to me. When Naomi (Mara) and Ruth return to Bethlehem Naomi tells her country people “I went away full, but the Lord has brought me back empty.” Ruth 1:21. BUT WHAT ABOUT RUTH? She was standing right beside you Naomi, bet she felt real great right then. Ruth became one of Naomi’s biggest blessings.
8. I still hate change. My brother and sister-in-law are most likely moving from their home 1 hour away to one of three different locations around the country. Even though I am excited for them, my heart is torn knowing how far away they will be.
9. I don’t think anyone can thrive in dorm life.
10. The twenties are intimidating. I turned twenty almost two weeks ago. I went in almost kicking and screaming. Ever since my 17th birthday loomed before me, I’ve been dreading each year. But the twenties seem to be the worst. A whole decade of expectations lie before me. The internet is full of these expectations:
20 books to read in your 20s
21 reasons to be single in your 20s
26 perks of being in a serious relationship in your 20s
15 fitness habits you need to establish in your 20s
20 mistakes to avoid in your 20s
10 trips you need to take in your 20s
And then there’s this little “gem”: Your 20’s are your ‘selfish’ years. It’s a decade to immerse yourself in every single thing possible. Be selfish with your time, and all the aspects of you. Tinker with shit, travel, explore, love a lot, love a little, and never touch the ground.
College is nothing like Rory Gilmore showed it to be. Just like no actual high school works like the ones in the movies. Most likely my post-grad years won’t be like F.R.I.E.N.D.S.
Lest you think I’m completely bonkers and morbid:
You know I’m old in some ways – in others – well, I’m just a little girl. I like sunshine and pretty things and cheerfulness- and I dread responsibility. – F. Scott Fitzgerald, This Side of Paradise
I still feel so much like a little girl. A little girl in a great big world. Perhaps I’m not alone in this. But I feel like no matter how many responsibilities are laid upon my shoulders and no matter how “grown up” I appear to be, I’ll always feel like a little girl.
After careful consideration and many sleepless nights, here’s what I’ve decided. We move on, we move out, we move away from our families and form our own. But the basic insecurities, the basic fears and all those old wounds just grow up with us. And just when we think life and circumstance have forced us truly to become an adult, your mother says something like that. Or worse, something like that. We get bigger, we get taller, we get older. But, for the most part, we’re still a bunch of kids, running around the playground, trying desperately to fit in. – Dr. Meredith Grey, Grey’s Anatomy