Monday, August 22, 2016

A Look at my First Day

My first day in my Freshman dorm

I just experienced the last first day of school I'll have as an undergraduate, and if I'm being honest with myself, it wasn't exceptional or noteworthy in any meaningful way. My bike to campus was special not because of the day, but because I was riding with friends by my side. I experienced a momentary thrill of fear (and definitely anger) because a number of idiot pedestrians don't seem to realize the damage a bike can do when it hits them and not because this is the beginning of the end. I didn't enter the room of my first and only class of the day prepared with the brand new case of pens and pencils, the syllabus already printed out, books fresh from the bookstore the way I'd attended that very first lecture my freshman year. Instead I pulled out my tablet (the one thing in my backpack at the time) and typed out a few haphazard notes. 

I found myself wondering if this is the experience of seniors all over the country. Have we all been going through this surreal experience of unmet expectations. I was more concerned about whether my backpack had given me sweat stains than I was with the looming deadline of tuition. It was with great reluctance that I started marking future midterms and group presentations into my planner, something that'd provided an excellent source of stress and excitement in the last few years (I gave up halfway through my second class).

Is this something that others can relate to, or have I run into yet another unintended side effect of my semester abroad. Turkey taught me a great deal about remaining in the present and enjoying the moment. This attitude has obviously filtered into my life in the US, could it also be impacting my attitude on classes and graduation?

It's giving me pause, that's for sure, but overall I'm considering it a positive thing. I think I'll be able to focus on what makes me happy this year. Previously I was overwhelmed with guilt every time I blew off studying (which I did constantly). I couldn't read a book, couldn't draw, couldn't even write in my blog for fear of my time would be tainted by my own negative thoughts. I'm very sure this is the reason I was so susceptible to the depression that accompanied my concussion last year. The gentle hope I can feel filling my chest at this moment reassures me. I don't believe I'll be dealing with those same problems, which leaves me free to tackle any new issues I'll experience in the coming year.