Random Ramble about Oddities

School has been going on for a couple weeks now, so I’ve been here for about a month probably. It’s nice to be back, nice to be living with my friends, nice to have our own bathroom, and just generally nice to be back in the swing of things. It’s been good besides the fact that I haven’t quite felt calm yet. More or less my mood has been low for on wards of a week, and I’ve been running around trying to get things together for one of the club on campus. The club thing is working out somewhat, but the rest…it’s getting there. It’s really just a matter of being reassured about some things and not worrying over things I logically shouldn’t worry about. But it’s getting there. It’ll take time for me to feel completely better, but soon hopefully.

Otherwise, the only thing of note i can think of is something I had read the other day about the difference between high school and college. What most kids in high school and down probably think college is..they’ll soon find it’s the exact opposite. Just looking at some of the first years has me shaking my head, if only because they seem to go out so often. How they manage that and work, I don’t know, but I feel as if that behavior will change soon enough. Either way, people probably think outfits matter, that sitting alone is horrible, that getting tutoring is bad, and that living in the library is sad. None of this is true in college, which is really strange, when you think about it. The level of fucks one give sin high school drastically drops when you reach a certain point in your first year of college. This is besides community college, of course, which has slightly different rules. From my experience with that, people didn’t care, but at the same time people did. It likely had to do with the fact you don’t live on campus and the types and difficulties of courses are altered. But with a four year institution…well, apparently during finals people have been known to camp out with a tent and all in my school’s library. So if that doesn’t tell you something, well…

I can’t say I personally know anyone who is starting college this year, but to everyone who is and has high expectations and isn’t going to a prep type of school: you’re in for some news. Especially when the level of caring drops year after year and you may end up walking around in PJs with a blanket and teddy bear to complete the outfit. Why? Because you can and no one else will bat an eye.

College is a weird time, but I assume it’s because everyone’s too focused on work to really concern themselves with the little things. Especially the part about eating alone since you might only have all of 20 minutes to eat before running to class or work. Of course some of these things may not help people see you as an adult (which I am still sour about the superintendent speaking at my brother’s graduation and insinuating that college students are not adults), we are. The only difference is we’re doing what we ‘have’ to do to make money in certain fields. Sure, everyone could go and try to start a business of some sort, but the chances of all of those succeeding is rather slim. Which leaves college or the armed forces.

This is mostly a random ramble about the strangeness of the world I’ve come to find myself in, but there it is anyway. Strange or not, I think it works.

A Year Off

I think all those people who can afford a year off right after high school have a point. I could never have afforded the luxury since I can barely afford more education as it is. The only thing I have going for me are the loans and grants. But even so, that doesn’t stop me from having decided to take a year off once I’ve graduated in three more years. I could still graduate early, but with how things are going it seems like it would be better if I didn’t…at least if you don’t count the money I’ll be loosing.

In any case: a year off is in my future. Yes, part of that year will be spent working to get enough money to afford this trip, but otherwise I’m going to someplace in Europe and probably try to hit a few choice places. Or I’ll just go to Germany and work on getting settled there and figuring out more about the universities. Though if I find a job that won’t include me getting more education, I won’t say no. Whatever I’m doing, it’s going to be something new and different and just…freedom. At least to me that’s a sort of freedom, when I start making money will be another type.

I’ve been in school since I was in kindergarten, since I was five, and before that my mom was teaching my brother and I the basics like the alphabet, our colors, and our numbers, so I’ve been in something near to school for all of my life. From elementary to middle to high then to community college and now a four year. That’s a lot of years spent in school when I could have been doing other things. I want to enjoy my life, and going straight to another handful of years of school for another expensive piece of paper…it’s not enjoyable. It’s not boring, but it’s not what I want to do. If I was in community college right now, I could easily take a year off right now. But being where I am, it would be weird to come back after a year considering what I’m already working towards.

So I’m going to take a year off after I have one thousands of dollars piece of paper in my hands, and just dance and explore and drink and eat and see and just enjoy because I can. I will need this break come then since I’m already feeling a bit of stress that is probably only a peek into what I will experience within the next couple of years. And I do not want to know how it will be for my upper degree. Right now I’m just going to focus on my studies, my plan for next summer, and my plans for that one lovely year that will be without any hint of school work.

I have to say, just thinking of that makes me happy. A year where school can suck it? Hell yes.

Memoirs of a College First Year #4

Right now I’m still coming down from a high spike of anxiety. My back and shoulders are less tense, but starting to get more to the sore part; my throat isn’t as dry and my voice is coming back; I am calming down. But I am still a bit frustrated. This could be something I write in my little journal and tuck it away, but it’s something that I’m thinking could be useful to others entering college/who haven’t’ had to deal with much stress during their college life.

I’m someone who doesn’t usually have to worry about workloads and multitasking, but this semester seems entirely different. I have a class with an extensive paper, another with some various writings spread throughout, a science project which shouldn’t be too too bad, and possibly writing a story in Spanish. Now, my issue is with the alter. I just need to pass this one language course, and then I am free, which is my sole reason for taking it. Otherwise, I have no interest in the language nor am I good at the writing and speaking portions. Another class that is offered has no paper, just work strewn throughout, and it also has a more lenient absence policy. Both teachers are apparently capable, but, unfortunately, I can’t wait to see how any tests are set up to make a final decisions. If I could see the tests, it would help a bit, but I also know that worrying about writing all those various things will hurt me. Apparently I have physical reactions to anxiety, something I did not know as anxiety, at least over work, is foreign to me.

The only reason I was upset, was due to my stubborn streak. My stubborn self was basically saying ‘no, you can’t quit. That’s giving up. Since when do you do that?’ while my logical half was pointing out that I should, of course, do what will allow me to pass and not be in pain. While the timing takes a bit from something that helps me relaxing, and something that allows me time with a friend, I like to think it’ll be better for me in the long run. My avoidance of painful course loads is really the only reason why I’m staying in undergraduate studies for four years; otherwise it would be three years and then I would move on. Doing a major and minor during three years is possible, but difficult considering the two that are my chosen fields of study. Psychology takes work as does business.

So, basically what I am getting at is to all you stubborn and/or overachievers: some times you just have to make compromises, even if it’s been grilled into you to not change a thing, to always hang in there and push through. Some times pushing through is more detrimental than helpful, while making a mild change is the most useful.

Though this isn’t me saying I would ever drop a course completely nor does it mean I’ll ever be the person to ask for help/money/etc., but it’s a start to being more flexible with some things considering how I usually am. Stubbornness can be useful, but, well, sometimes it be just as bad as some people like to claim.

Let Me Tell You About Salem

So, I recently realized I’ve been here a little over a month. A month. That’s a long time, a lot of my time gone already and I hardly noticed it. I also saw that the school’s site has registration for fall visit up already, which reminded me of my first time on campus. That was nearly a year ago. A year ago I was first visiting Salem, a year ago I was getting my application ready for early decision. A year ago I fell in love with the campus.

I’m not going to lie and sugarcoat things by saying Salem is perfect; it isn’t. I could make a whole list of things wrong, starting with the food (especially the weekend food) at the Rat (aka refectory), and ending with how difficult the squirrels can be. (they will steal your food and stare you down, seriously. They aren’t afraid of people at all.) But I won’t because that would defeat the purpose. Yes, a lot of people are probably going to transfer after this year because they found it wasn’t the right fit, but most will stay. There are people in my class, and others, who love Salem, even if it frustrates them beyond belief. Financial aid office, food, squirrels, ghosts, all the stairs and hills, the age of the buildings, etc. But they still love it and feel like hey belong here, as do I.

The teachers, for the most part, are good at what they do and actually care. The students, for the most part, are welcoming. Sure, you have your cliques and general bitchiness, but what do you expect? Especially from an all women’s college; that kind of comes with the territory. I don’t know how to explain why I love this school, I just know I do. It makes me feel happy to know I’m here. It makes me want to get involved with clubs and to, maybe, join up as an orientation leader to help the first years next year. It’s just this feeling that flows through me that has me think ‘this is where I belong’ I’m going to graduate a year early, yes, but I’m going to probably stay involved in some obscure way. For example, if I get a Little only my junior/senior year, I’ll come back for Big/Little events so that she doesn’t have to find a new one. Even if I get a Little next year, I’ll still probably come back from time to time. (Especially for Fall Fest.)

I want to say to anyone filling out applications, either as a senior in high school or as a transfer, and if Salem is at the top of your list, and if you get in, make sure to visit at least once. If you visit once, you might have the same feeling of belonging that I did, and that will help you put up with the bad and focus more on the good. And there is so much good.

The acceptance of so many different religious views, Moravian school or not.

The feeling of family.

The diverse clubs, from Eco Club to FMLA (Feminist Majority Leadership Association) to Pierettes (drama) to Conta Club (a type of Spanish dance) to so much more.

The fact it’s right in old Winston-Salem, just a short walk form downtown, that allows for a variety of events; the art festival in downtown and the farmer’s market on Saturdays right across the street from the school.

And the list goes on. Wherever I go after, whatever does happen, I’m going to be so glad to call myself a Salem Spirit. This will be the first time I’ll feel glad to call myself anything from any school. In high school, middle, and elementary, I didn’t think of school as much else than a place to learn. I loved my kindergarten school, so I’m glad for that, but that’s where it ends. Sure, I was in chorus for a while up until high school, but that was the extent of my extra curriculars. Here though? I’m in Pierettes, Eco, FMLA, the Circle, and, if I ever hear of an event soon, Incunabula (the writing magazine, which I’m only half sure I spelled right). I’m involved for once in my life. For once I give a damn. And that’s saying a lot considering my general apathy towards certain things.

Salem isn’t perfect, but I’m glad they wanted me as much as I wanted them. If you come to visit and feel that smack of belonging, go with it. Apply. And maybe you’ll be here next year, too.

F-A-L-L F-E-S-T it’s Fall Fest y’all!

That right there is stuck in my head now. Thank you very much roommate and hall mates that decided I couldn’t roll over and go back to bed.

Alright, I’m not as grumbly as I was this morning, since I have since had food and sleep and coffee (coffee very important), so I can appreciate it a bit better. Fall Fest is one the things that Salem has and it’s basically homecoming for when you lack a football team. Instead there’s a competition of sorts between graduating classes and there are no classes or workstudies or anything that day. Unless you have fall play rehearsal, like myself and some others. But, still, pretty much all there is are the activities planned, and that’s early in the morning until eleven or so and then again around seven until late at night, including a Big/Little poster/cooler/other gift exchange. I stayed up until three to finish/start mine, and woke up at six.

Fall Fest is…interesting, and I hate mornings, but I didn’t get into a sour mood because people were yelling near me. (No, I did not do any chanting/singing/etc. I clapped, at least) I think that can be attributed to the fact that most of the people were so hyper and happy and such that I didn’t really get affected by the hour, but by their happy mood. Granted I’m pretty much positive the whole senior class was drunk, if only because of how they got up before six for something that involves a lot of noise. That’s all I’m saying because why spoil the surprise if someone who wants to attend Salem reads this, hm?

I have decided, though, that even though I’m not going to be here my senior year, having graduated my junior/senior year and gone off to work on my Master’s so I can get a damned job, I will come back for Fall Fest. Why? Because I feel like doing the thing with a bunch of noise since I’ll have to deal with it for two more years. Yes, pay it forward just in a so very different way.

It’s not as bad as it sounds, I promise. It’s just meant as a way to wake up people up and get them excited for Fall Fest, and it did for some people. I know a few who rolled over and went back to sleep, like I planned, but the rest? The rest were excited and pumped; much like they would have been for homecoming if we had a football team. I like this better than homecoming most certainly.

If it wasn’t for rehearsal today would be a lazy day, but, for now, I’m going to finish my sticky bun and coffee, sleep a bit longer probably, and then go to a long rehearsal since the play opens tomorrow night. Tomorrow. Cannot believe it. I’ll end with this; I had my doubts about Fall Fest and thought I’d be a bit grouchy the whole day, but turns out not. It’s nice, actually, in it’s weird way. Just like Salem.

Home

    Besides my phone acting all funny with my inbox for Yahoo mail, this week hasn’t been too bad. I haven’t really felt homesick as much as I thought I would, though I am on animal withdrawal; though, thankfully, when I visited another classmate’s home for a Dr. Who premier thing, there were dogs, so that helped temporarily. Now, don’t get me wrong, I miss home, but not so much that I’m constantly thinking over it. Perhaps it’s because I’m at the right college for me (never thought I’d call a women’s college right for me) that made this transition easier. As I write this I am seat-dancing to Nicotine by Panic at the Disco; that’s not exactly screaming ‘I miss home’. 

    I have missed home when I’m off in a corner on my own, sure, but that’s just loneliness Like last night at the Big/Little mixer, I felt alone in my corner…until another first year came over and then some juniors. As it is, one of the juniors already mentioned ‘claiming’ me as her Little, even though it’s not the official reveal yet. And that’s awesome, because I like her, too, so it works out. Of course there are more get togethers yet, but still, it’s a possible start. Orientation kept my mind from missing home, yes, and now classes are starting. It all works out quite well. 

    Like a friend mentioned in the comments of my ‘Anxiety’ post, it’s like a second home. So much more now that I’m really here. I knew I would get over the worry soon enough, and I did near immediately. I miss my friends and family, but this place seems to be working out nicely for me. So far I am not regretting my decision. I expect my classes to be difficult, since this is one of the higher up colleges around, but still. I’m glad I chose Salem, only females (besides some teachers and public safety) around or not, it was a good choice, I do believe. It feels like home already, and I’m going to be grateful for that for as long as I’m here.

   And now, off to my math class.

Anxiety

    I’m leaving on Thursday. 

    No matter how many times I say it to myself, it doesn’t make me feel better. Now, moving to North Carolina won’t be the furthest I’ve been from home, since I’ve been to Georgia for a class trip in middle school, but it’ll be the longest. And I still have plenty I need to do; like get some copies of stuff sent in for my refund/financial aid card so I can get my books, still need to finish my packing, need to have my dad look through my laptop to see if I might have a virus since my AVG does not want to update at all, and then other stuff that has my mind drawing a blank. Basically, I’m feeling…claustrophobic almost. I had to go out today and I really, really didn’t want to. I would have been perfectly fine staying at home. Tomorrow, like hell I’m going anywhere. If someone wants me out of the house, they’ll have to drag me kicking and screaming. Well, not literally, but I’ll be kicking and screaming in my head since this is all hitting me like a brick wall. I’m someone who can deal with things, just not too many things at one time. If someone tries to add something to something already stressful enough, I can get a little bit irritated. I know I have to do things, and when people point it out…I get antsy. But I’m going to finish pushing my stuff around in my room, finish packing, get my laptop looked over, and whatever else I have to do tomorrow. Probably I won’t sleep tomorrow night, and instead will play video games (Mass Effect, Assassin’s Creed, etc. pretty much whatever I can cram into a night) I’ll not be able to until my break in November; unless I end up getting my Xbox brought down, but I doubt I will since I don’t play it but so often. Of course I’m leaving at 3 or so Thursday morning to get to the school by eight for a really long day, but however.

    Of course, moving to a new college is supposedly one of the most stressful things, under death of family and such things like that. But I’m good with dealing with stress, to a certain point of course. Though I’m looking at the schedule for orientation and I’m already thinking of ducking out of the hiking and hiding in my room. Why? Because I’ll probably have hit my people limit by that moment. Since I’m doing the firsts program, I’m going to have some mentor lady as well as a Big, so what that equals to is people. I see myself needing to hide in my room a bit by the time that hike rolls around. I might mes around on my laptop a bit, but anyone who I’d bother through the media that is Second Life would probably not be on that time so…I’ll have to entertain myself some other way. I don’t know yet. Depends if I hit my people limit.

    But I am skipping the soccer thing for sure, so that’s another thing where I can do whatever in my room; and when people I like might actually be around, even.

    I know I’m supposed to expect this sort of thing, the anxiety, but I hate it. I hate feeling so…anxious. As it is, the only thing that brightened up my going outside today was finding some cute Wonder Woman themed nightgown and one of those older model Big Ben clocks, the ones with the bells on either side and such. I’m easily entertained, I know, but it helped, a little. I’m just panicking again now. I don’t think I’ll end up calling friends or family and begging them to come take me home, but the first few days are going to be…not fun. I can’t remember the last time I felt so nervous, not sure I ever have, but I know that my feeling like this will be a long gone memory soon. And I know this is something most people moving away from their hometown feel; panicky, anxious, etc. 

    I’d like to give some advice on how to overcome this kind of thing, but I’m not at that point yet. All I can think of is trying to not think on it and simply breathe, and, again, trying to not think on the whole ‘away’ thing. I’m a creature of habit, I like my routines, and change is hard on me sometimes. I need to be eased into it…and, yes, I’ve known of this since a long while, but it still feels like being dropped into icy water. 

    I’ll get over it soon, yes, but I don’t like it yet. Need to give it time, of course, but I have to wait for it. Right now, guess I’ll work on cleaning some more since doubt I’ll be sleeping soon. TV or music in the background while I work on it, hopefully I won’t start crying yet. Only plus is that I know there are others feeling the exact same way as me at the moment; for once I might actually count as normal.