In high school, I embodied a lack of school spirit. I went to two football games my entire high school career and left halfway through both of them. It wasn’t that I thought I was too cool to support my peers. It wasn’t that I hated my school with a burning passion (well, not really). My lackluster feelings of school spirit can probably be traced back to the fact that I don’t understand or really like sports (and there were few things to support other than sports) and that my school as a whole wasn’t exactly teeming with spirit. Keep reading »
In high school, I had a single group of really close friends. Yes, I had other friends outside of that core group, but those five girls were unequivocally my best friends – the ones with whom I shared monumental milestones, the ones I could talk about everything or nothing with for hours on end. When I left for college, I couldn’t fathom ever replacing them. I wondered if I would ever find a group of friends that close again.
But here’s the thing: I haven’t made another group of really close friends. And the fact that I haven’t has actually been a blessing. Keep reading »
I suspect that it is a universal (and perverse) hobby of college upperclassmen and graduates alike to terrify rising freshman with cautionary roommate stories of horror. This past summer, it seemed like all I had to do was mention the fact that I was about to start college and aforementioned upperclassmen/graduates would inquire about my roommate situation. Did I request a roommate? Did I know who she was? Until a couple of weeks before I left for school, the answers were always “no” and “I did not.” Apparently, these honest answers were basically invitations to terrify me with stories of the ill-adjusted and insane human beings assigned to live with whomever I might have been talking to. So, believe me, I was prepared for the worst.
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There’s one thing that really, really sucks about college. Yes, there’s no way around it: college costs an insanely large amount of money for which I personally think it’s borderline inhumane to even charge. It’s my silly little opinion that education should be a basic human right and therefore should be free. Unfortunately, almost every major academic institution in this country disagrees with me.
But even beyond the tuition itself, as soon as I arrived here I felt the very distinct pain, depression and slight panic that comes with the knowledge that your bank account is significantly dwindling. First, there was the cost of books that neared $500 (for my first semester alone) and this even accounted for scouring the internet for the best deals on used editions. Then there was the whole “going out” thing. Somebody would suggest going to a nearby sushi restaurant, or maybe catching a concert or show. Torn between being social and being frugal is not a fun place to be, especially when trying to make new friends. Keep reading »
The bottom line of college orientation is that it’s a paradox: feeling simultaneously deeply comforted and entirely thrown off your axis, spinning rapidly towards the unknown. Or at least, that’s what orientation was like for me.
This paradox manifested itself at the very beginning of the journey from Ohio to New York. After posting my obligatory, “Leaving for college. Thanks for the memories everybody!” Facebook status, I packed all of my earthly belongings into the family car. That’s when I realized that all of my earthly belongings fit into the family car. While the reality of this totally satisfied the fatalist in me (look how easy it would be for me to escape with so little materialistic baggage to weigh me down once the zombie apocalypse hits — yippee!) it also left me reeling. It only underscored the fact that the home I was leaving, the home I had grown up in and considered my own, really wasn’t mine any more. Everything that grounded me to my house was stuffed into the car, ready to be shipped off to what is essentially a linoleum-floored, whitewashed box. Statements I had made with confidence ever since I clicked submit on my electronic application quickly turned to questions: This is what I want? I’m excited? I’m ready to be on my own? Keep reading »
I wouldn’t say that I was a nerd in high school. Although I have adopted the art of procrastination as ardently and with as much love as if it were a tiny puppy alone on the side of the road in a rainstorm, I did in fact manage to get some studying in. But despite grades and test scores that were high enough to award me admittance to one of the best schools in the country, I’d never call myself geeky. “Loner” probably isn’t the right word, either. I wasn’t exactly in the running for prom queen (real talk: I didn’t even go to prom my junior year, gasp) but I had a particularly close group of best friends who were like my sisters. I never felt alone, but rather constantly surrounded by people who loved me. No, the only thing I can definitively say to describe who I was in high school is that I was there. Keep reading »