You might have noticed I’ve been gone for a few weeks. Or you might not have. Heartless readers.
Reason for absence, short version: I had to find and take a 3-credit class in 2 weeks. As in, finishing my bachelor’s degree and starting my master’s degree and having a job at my university depended upon me doing this. Scary stuff.
And pretty much everyone told me it was impossible. But today, exactly 10 days after starting the coursework, I took my final and passed the class.
Your impossible thing might not be classwork. But I pulled a few principles from my experience that I think are far-reaching. Here you go!
College is a stressful enough change for anyone, but for an introvert, it is particularly harrowing. There are hundreds of new people to meet and interact with, not to mention nowhere quiet to hide. Social interaction becomes a necessary part of almost every moment of the day, an exhausting condition for people who thrive on some amount of solitude. It might be different for everyone, but for me, losing the haven of my quiet room was the hardest. After hours of dealing with people, I could only retreat to…a building with a few hundred more people. And 3 of them in “my” room. After having survived three years of college, here are my tips for introverts at college.
1. Pick one place of solitude. For me, it was my bed. I had heavy-duty curtains and I often made use of them to block out my roommates and the entire rest of the world. I am seriously in love with my bed at school.
2. Limit your social interaction. Regardless of anyone’s expectations or pressures, take the time and space you need. There’s no point in going out for the night if you will Continue reading →
(If I’m melodramatic today, I blame Chateaubriand. #EnglishMajorProbs)
Me (minus some hair)
As if life wasn’t cruel enough, my internship supervisor made me write a blog post about why sleep is important. Me. A college student. An over-achieving college student. Yeah, not cool.
Anyway, I did all this research (translation: I googled it and read blog posts) and found out that sleep deprivation is horrible. Like, kill you horrible. Great. So I’m super productive, but probably dying sooner. Oh, and probably not that productive–it’s proven to ruin grades and athletic performance. Continue reading →
I encountered and (sadly) escaped the vampires today. They were not sparkly, hundreds of years old, or fanged. However, they did want my blood. This week is the annual blood drive at school. My family has always (affectionately) referred to the Red Cross and other blood donation companies as “vampires.” (I say affectionately because everyone in my family donates, if possible. We understand the importance.)
I tried to donate blood. I really did. I ate foods high in iron (spinach, blech!), drank a lot, and scheduled an appointment. I went to the bus, sat nervously with my friend, and finally got called back to have my blood pressure taken. As she was wrapping the cuff around my arm, the nurse asked how much I weighed. When I told her, she kindly informed me that I am too small to donate blood. I did get a free blood pressure reading and T-shirt out of my humanitarian effort, but I’m afraid it didn’t help anyone else very much. I feel bad that I can’t donate, but it’s highly unlikely that I am going to gain 15 pounds anytime soon. But when I do, hopefully I will be able to go and donate my blood. I know that someday I could be very, very thankful for someone else’s blood.
So no vampires today. Do you have any vampire stories?
After 1 entire week of no job or classes, I am back at school. I came early for work training, but that’s all over today. Classes don’t start until Wednesday. Work doesn’t start until Monday. It’s just me, alone in my dorm room, with nothing to do.
That’s not quite true. I have books I could read, paperwork I could fill out, organizing I could do, and naps I could take. But I have nothing I must do. And it feels so weird….
I forget how to function when I don’t have a demanding schedule. When my mind is not full of a never-ending task list. I can’t sleep at night, because I’m not exhausted. I could read…but without looming deadlines to make that recreational reading seem precious, I have no desire. It has been like this since I left my full-time job at home a week ago. I didn’t even pack until the day before I left, because there was no urgency.
I am ready for school to start. I want schedules, syllabi, textbooks, an agenda. I thrive on meeting deadlines and completing assignments. I am crazy.
Quick update: I am smack dab in the middle of my finals week (started Saturday, which was horrible). So far it is going splendiforically and given my current laissez-faire approach to studying, that’s a VERY good thing! No fever or hospital stay yet (did I tell you guys that story about last semester’s finals? No? *Puts on to-do list of posts*) and so far no late nights studying. I’m not kidding guys! It’s finals week and I’ve gotten as much sleep as I do any other week of school! The only sad thing is that I need to start packing and cleaning and I don’t want to. Packing is sad and makes things look barren….anywho, I have 4 more finals and then my freshman year of college will be finished! Woohoo!!!
Other college students, are you surviving finals week?
(Yes, it’s very possible that this post was the result of procrastinating from studying. Don’t judge!)
My first year of college is almost over. Let that sink in….do you have any idea how far away this has seemed? All the times during childhood that college was only a far-off dream…and now my first year is done! With the finish line looming and various academic pressures removed from my brain, I have started brainstorming a number of posts about my conclusions from this first year. I say a number of posts because there is so much to tell that one post would inevitably be TL:DR.
So, what illustrious topics will this series of posts cover? Allow me to whet your appetite!
In no specific order:
friends * growth * academics * personality changes * responsibility * distance and relationships * respect * family
I plan to write most of those posts in the next few weeks, interspersed with my usual commentary on literature and some issues that came up in my studies. In just over a week I will be back home with loads of free time! Totally kidding…I will be home, but not with free time….the full-time job and 15 credits of online classes will be running my life.
Other students….observations on the end of the year? Is it stressful? Fulfilling?
Readers in general, any of the topics I mentioned seem especially interesting? Comment and let me know. 🙂 I might make it my first post!
Confession: College makes me feel very uncultured. I am at a liberal arts university, where my exposure to music and drama is considered as important as my classes. I love it. Especially the drama! Plays are very cool. As are concerts….I attended a cello concert last semester and loved every minute of it.
Tonight there was a performance of Verdi’s Requiem at my school (first time in 25 years, I found out). I mostly went because I had a bunch of friends in the choir and my dad told me I should (I trust my dad’s taste in music). But it was still opera….so I wasn’t sure what to expect.
It was amazing. I was mesmerized. For a sleep-deprived college student, it’s saying something that I stayed awake through an hour and a half of singing. At the very beginning I wasn’t impressed. But after a section or two, I managed to keep up with the Latin (yay for translations in programs!). When the “Dies irae, dies illa” section started, I was hooked. To use modern terminology, it was epic. Stupendous. Awesome in the most traditional sense of the word. Full choir, booming orchestra, bone-shaking drums….it definitely makes an impression. The guest singers did a marvelous job…I’m particularly biased toward the mezzo-soprano, who was extremely classy and had a wonderfully rich voice (Latoya Lain, if you’re interested).
On a spiritual level, I had not anticipated how rich the lyrics would be. It was like reading a prayer. A gorgeous, rich, almost scriptural prayer. I was also happy that I could understand some of the Latin. 🙂
Give opera a chance…give culture a chance. It may be one of the most beautiful things you ever experience.