A post pieced together by various excerpts from the journey entry I wrote at 4am Sunday morning laying in bed.
I have spent all semester just surviving and now it is April and I am finally living and some little piece inside of me does not want to leave this place!
As weird as it may seem to those who have heard me complain about this city and my university’s lack of community on numerous occasions, the rumors are true. I am experiencing a bit of premature FOMO.
Saturday I begrudgingly left my apartment at 7pm for a newspaper dinner thinking that I would be home by 8:30 p.m. to eat my pasta and lay on my couch. I didn’t end up getting back until 3:30am.
I met up with some acquaintances who are quickly becoming friends, especially after Saturday night. They invited me to a bonfire with a big group of people and we listened to music, talked and laughed, and drank fruity margaritas all night. People trickled out the later it got, but Jaden, Ivory, and I stayed until the popcorn in the bowls was completely gone and there was no more wood to put in the old, brick fireplace.
Ivory and I had Spanish together last year and while we were sitting by the fire we changed our schedules so we could have Spanish together next semester as well. We laughed all nice, which is a nice foreshadowing to what will happen in that stressful 4000 level Latin American Literature class. Makes me wonder how many friends do this on a daily basis, picking their classes so they can be with friends which makes it a little bit more manageable. It seems like nobody ever knows each other in my classes.
Jaden and I hung out every week over the summer but in the surface-level acquaintance way. However after I saw him singing and dancing to an Oktoberfest song last night, I think those stages of awkward small talk are over. Although I’m sure he would have ended them months ago. I acknowledge that the problem here is me. I feel like I’m a decade behind everyone in knowing how to make and keep friends! Knowing how to interact with others, what to invite them to, how to start a conversation, and all the other things I ever learned because friends for me just came through sports where we saw each other everyday and it was natural. When I was first coming to university my mom asked me if I was nervous about making friends, I told her no but in reality I couldn’t think of a time that I had made a friend outside of sports, or the friends that I had made as an elementary schooler when friendships were all too easy.
Now here I am in April of my junior year with finals just one week away and everything is starting to click! I think it coincides with this idea that places seem to get so much better when you’re about to leave them. Everyone is more positive instead of drowning in dread from homework and tests, and even I feel like I have more motivation and confidence and less anxiety than I have all year. It’s like when you’re running long distance and your car finally comes into focus and the running becomes so much easier, to the point where you contemplate going farther, just because the finish line is in sight.
A lot of this euphoric attitude right now is probably because of the weather, it’s sunnier and warmed and no longer gets dark at 5pm. I come out of the gym with Blakely every day and instead of wanting to go straight home to sleep, I want to walk around campus. A “little wrap around” as we like to call it.
I’m also beginning to realize that I haven’t returned to a place in a really long time. Of course I returned to this university, but that was after nine months, and everyone else here continued their lives without me. Now I’ll be in the same pattern as everyone else, our university lives are put on hold for three months during the summer and we all come back happy to see each other again in August. Moving out is also way less stressful, since I’m retaining my apartment for next year. I’ve never been able to leave my kitchen supplies and desk and winter clothes in a place before, I’ve always had to pack it all up and seemingly live out of boxes. It makes me feel like I can move into this place more. It’s unfortunate that I’m only beginning to wrap my head around this idea now instead of at the beginning of the semester. This is especially apparent after last semester, where I had to pack up my entire life into two suitcases that would qualify for international travel weight.
No matter what all the intrinsic and psychological reasons that I like to analyze, the prognosis is still the same. April comes around, school starts to end, and finally life starts to get better and I feel like I’m going to miss university.
I warned one of my best friends from high school, Ada, about something just like this the other day. The chemical alterations that happen in our brains when we recognize we are nearing the end of something. A boy had been vying for her attention all year, to which she regularly denied him anything but a friendship. Last week, with just 20 days left of them being in the same city, she finally decided she liked him back and was ready for a relationship. To which he had the opportunity to do the rejecting this time, since he had three weeks until graduation and in his mind, this era of his life was already wrapped up, he wasn’t going to start something new so close to the end. We were on the phone and she said, “I don’t understand why I didn’t feel ready for a relationship until now, we could have dated all year long.” I laughed, because we’re so similar on so many different levels. At this point in the semester, relationships are low risk – if he says yes, then it’s only 20 days that the relationship can be in person until she moves to Boston and he heads to San Francisco. Like a little trial run on a real relationship. If he rejects her, then it’s the same. Twenty days until she never has to see him again, only 20 days of dealing with rejection.
Ada and I are the definition of “the blind leading the blind”. Neither one of us has had a boyfriend before, we’re both too focused on our careers and school to be healthy, and we have a lot of the same outlooks and problems. Generally if some of us goes through something, the other one has either been through the same thing or can expect a similar situation in their near future. Although I’m fantastic at giving Ada advice and insight into her life and struggles, I’m not too fond of taking my own advice when I find myself going through the same things.
I told Ada about this nice boy who worked in my office building over the summer who had been trying to take me out the entirety of the summer but I kept putting it off so we only had the chance to talk for the occasional three minute elevator ride. And I did finally go to breakfast with him! The morning of my last day at work, the day before I left town for my parents’ house, and two weeks before I left the country entirely…
I tell Ada, and myself, in a convincing manner that this characteristic we have is actually a good thing! It alludes to us being fantastic business women because we can so easily distinguish between a low vs high risk scenario and know how to act accordingly. She agrees. The blind leading the blind.
Until we’re partner CEO’s in a multimillion dollar company where we can put our risk analysis to good use, I’ll be attending as many campfires as I can in the next week and only leaving to get on the phone with Ada to tell her she’s too good for the entirety of the male population.
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