Thursday, September 18, 2014

college lyfe

I guess a post about college is probably overdue by now, considering I've been here for over three weeks -- nearly a month. To be honest, I still feel kind of weird about writing here because I know there are things I can't say because of people I know who will read this. I want to be as open and as candid as I can be, but I still have to show discretion. Which is annoying, but that's what journals are for, I guess.


I've noticed I tend to appreciate life most when it matches some idea I've acquired in my mind of how it should be; that is, when the scene in front of me looks like a picture I've seen before, or when the action or feeling of a moment reminds me something I've read in a story. I'm hopelessly idealistic in that way, my brain swamped with visions of how life could be. That's not to say I'm disappointed when life does not meet these vaguely defined expectations, for it rarely does and there is something to be said for the gritty, 'realer' experiences, but it does mean that when life happens to resemble a dream in some way or another, I am perhaps disproportionally excited and, in many ways, at peace.

In life, it is the picturesque moments that stand out and the uglier ones that I sweep under the table. By picturesque I mean beautiful -- not necessarily happy, but poetic. Something you can write about without it sounding like a grocery list. A contrast to the prosaic mundanity of the every day. This is how I live: by collecting these moments of beauty and holding fast to them, for better or worse.

This has been my experience at college as well. The moments I have enjoyed most are the ones I imagine as being lines in a poem, or scenes in a photo, or a part of a movie. I love working in the library, reading about mythology or writing a paper analyzing Sappho, because to me, that's, like, what college is supposed to be. I love lying down in the grass on a sunny afternoon, reading. I love hanging out in people's dorm rooms, watching a steady flow of people in and out, catching snippets of their stories. I love the grad school campus because it has a place in the shrubs called Narnia, but the outside looks like the Secret Garden, with a swing hanging from an apple tree. I love lying out on a hill in the dark with a bunch of people, waiting for the Northern Lights to come but knowing they probably won't (they didn't). I love that someone can text me, "hey, wanna come study?" at 8 o'clock at night and I can just walk five minutes and see them. I even love the feeling of having done my laundry, or of having taken care of some errand, not because it's pretty, but because I feel responsible and independent, and like an adult.

It's not all fun and games and picturesque moments. It's getting easier, but the first week was pretty hard. I miss my friends more than I thought possible, and I miss Sundays at home, reading the Sunday Times leisurely while Dad makes pasta and homemade bread for dinner, and I miss things like being able to walk over to my bookshelf and flip through any book at any time. Sometimes, I'll randomly wish I could be somewhere like, oh, Central Market, or wish I could eat tacos (real tacos), or pet my cats, and I....can't. But those are small things. And if I think about it, I probably have enough memories stored in my brain that I could live forever.

Sometimes it feels claustrophobic, being surrounded by people all the time, and sometimes the temptation to just stay in bed and not go to classes is Very Real, but most mornings, I wake up and I'm glad to be here.

Hope you're all doing well, wherever you are.