College Observations

Hey.  I haven’t been posting very frequently on here, and technically I can blame it on schoolwork and such.  But it’s also because I feel pressure to write up some poignant musings about college, which is the true culprit here.  I’m learning a ton, obviously, but my revelations are so small and numerous that they’re hard to articulate impressively.  So I’m settling with rambles.

In a nutshell, I’m happy and learning about myself.  A lot of things that worried me during high school — the opinions of strangers, boys who didn’t care about me — seem so small and far away.  For instance, I had anticipated getting crushed by nostalgia and missing others.  I do miss things, especially people — but there is so much richness in the present that, for once, I don’t want to go back.

I’ve never felt so untethered from my past or liberated from my longings.

At the same time, aspects of my previous life that seemed normal now feel absurd and grotesque.  Like, why were we forced to wake up so early?  Why did we care so much about what others thought?

During high school, I sometimes felt like my identity was too splintered between different places and groups: a quiet student in class, a bubbly weirdo with my friends, and the brooding girl at home.  In college, these spheres intersect somewhat.  Every night is essentially a slumber party with my friends, classmates, and family — all at once.  I feel less Jekyll-and-Hyde and more like my identity is sharpening into focus.

Maybe because of this, I can see myself more clearly, somehow.  My issues are bobbing up to the surface, and I can self-reflect and pinpoint my problems more easily.  Like, if I’m sitting in bed sad, I can deduce what I’m insecure about, what I’m craving, what I’m compensating for.  I’m realizing a lot of issues about myself that explain my idiosyncrasies.

Even though I’m realizing there’s still so much I don’t know — for instance, I’m still completely clueless about my major of study — I feel like I know myself a lot better.  I have a better vision of the person I want to be, and I’m already checking things off my list to get there.  Amid the stress of coursework and uncertainty there’s still, oddly, a sense of personal peace because I’m finding a home in Philadelphia and in myself.

-M.L.

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