Quotes from my Notes #12

[Since I haven’t done this in awhile, a quick explanation. I collect quotes from a variety of places, but don’t have a good way of sharing or processing them. This series is my way of sharing what inspires and challenges me with others.]

It’s easy to pretend that the dominant narrative is insightful, based in reality and in sync with what we wish it was. Denying it doesn’t make it go away, though.

We can’t easily change the dominant narrative that people have about us, we certainly can’t do it by insisting that our customers or colleagues bring more nuance to the table.

Instead, we can do it through action. Vivid, memorable interactions are what people remember. Surprises and vivid action matter far more than we imagine, and we regularly underinvest in them.

–Seth Godin

An Introvert’s Tips for College

introverts[republished from 2 years ago. still accurate]

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

How College Spoiled Me Rotten

That sounds so wrong, doesn’t it? College spoiling someone…college is the place of wretched roommates, life-sucking tests and projects, dreaded final exams, and suppers of grilled cheese made on irons.

But that’s where we are wrong. Let me list a few ways college spoiled me.

1. Routine. I come from a house where the only routine is…no routine. Over the years, I’ve caught glimpses of the frustration that lack of routine can cause, but never fully appreciated it. I couldn’t understand why my older sisters came home from college with this annoying habit of constantly cleaning and wanting everything to happen right away. But now I understand. I love my routine at college. It keeps me sane. Every day, I wake up, shower, eat breakfast, go to work or class, and from 8 to at least 5, my day is planned. My evenings aren’t fully planned, but I always have a mental agenda. At home, it is nothing like that. And yes, it drives me insane. If we’re making supper, I want to make supper, eat supper, go on to something else,¬† not talk about what we might have for supper while browsing Facebook…..and eat 2 hours later.

1a. Cleanliness. This is not the case at all schools, but at mine, we are required to have clean rooms 6 days a week. Seriously. Our rooms are checked and there are penalties for not meeting standard. So things are almost always reasonably neat and clean, and if they aren’t, they will be within 24 hours. Not so here….and I find myself impulsively straightening things as I move about the house.

2. Access to everything. At college, I am a 5 minute or less walk from a gym, library, game room, snack shop (with 3 restaurants), dining common, soccer fields, running track, art museum, and planetarium. Here…..I have yet to figure out a work out schedule. I don’t want to pay for a gym for 3 months. I can’t walk into a dining common full of food choices, take my pick, and leave my dishes for someone else afterwards. This can be extremely frustrating.

3. Adulthood. This hit me just Sunday, but at college, everyone treats me like an adult. All of my professors are extremely respectful. They never treat us like children. The environment is one of respect and professional civility. Just two days after returning home, I took my sister and some friends (all high schoolers) out to eat. The typical southern endearments of the staff (“sweetie” “young lady” “darling”) caught me off guard. I’m no longer used to being treated like a little girl. Some might argue that in southern culture, they weren’t even doing that…just being friendly. In that case, I am simply no longer used to being treated that casually.

This all boils down to one thing: focus. I have become accustomed to everything in my life being focused on a single goal: making college work for me. When I’m at school, I seldom have to worry about anyone but myself. My only focus is success. Be that cleanliness, organization, agenda, or just a relief from all domestic duties, it is justified because my focus is school. At home, I have no idea how to cope. I’m still taking classes, so the focus is still there, but it fights with my family, boyfriend, books, British TV shows, and a full-time job. I just don’t know how to mesh that all.

How’s that for a first college post? High schoolers, go to college, it will spoil you! But you may have no idea how to live with normal people again…