reflecting on freshman year

Read my first semester summary here, and here

I’ve been delaying this reflection.  Mostly, because when I try to describe my freshman year, contradictions crop up early on.  For instance, I can start by saying that this first year felt much denser and more eventful than all four years of high school—“I’ve aged ten years,” I joke to those who ask about it.  So, a lot happened.  But then again, not really.  I mean, there were a few milestones of course.  But other than that…nothing that dramatic happened to me. I think about how by the end of the year, I still felt mostly like myself.  It wasn’t, like, I metamorphosed into a different person or had a ton of wild shit happen to me.  But even though the before and after pic is not very altered, distance does not equal displacement.  There was a winding path in between my starting and ending point.  Though not a lot changed, technically, the emotional journey feels long and profound for me.

I can still say, without a doubt, that after this year I know myself much better, and I can say that I feel more grown up.  I can also say that I really like the person I’ve matured into.

Here’s why: Continue reading

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Chew

Companion journal entries about overthinking

I’m glad I (briefly) got messed up with you this summer – at least it gives my brain something to chew on.

Maybe my whole life is all about me finding the next morsel to stuff in my mouth, regardless of whether it’s good for me or not.  Regardless of whether I bite off more than I can chew. Continue reading

a dark side of journaling

I reread some of my old journal entries from last semester, and the intensity of my preserved feelings shocked me.   They were so raw, uncensored, intimate.

My journal entries are startlingly frank because they hold nothing back: as my private outlet, there’s no self-consciousness for conventions or melodrama.  So there’s something terrifyingly real about them.  It’s like I dipped my heart in ink and rolled it around the pages, and the imprints are just as fresh and poignant as if written yesterday.

For the first time, I wished that I hadn’t amberized that time in my life.   Continue reading

Loneliness

The close conversation had reached that point where we had run out of superficial, cheery things to say.  I wrung my hands as a thought forced itself into speech: I had been afraid that saying it aloud would make a tentative idea more real than it actually was, but I couldn’t help it, it had been haunting me for too long:

“Um, I don’t know,” I began slowly.  “I think, more than anything, I want to be in a relationship.  I know that’s a lame thing to say…I believe in feminism and independence and all that, but…it’s true.”

I lowered my head and blushed as my friend reassured me, but I couldn’t help but taste the aftertaste of a remark that was not articulated finely enough.  Because, in truth, I enjoy being single.  I like going to concerts and kissing strangers without worrying about someone back home.  I like quiet moments by myself.  And I see people constantly holding hands, constantly spending the night in each others’ dorms and I think: I don’t want that.  I don’t want all of that, at least not all the time.  

But I definitely want something.   Continue reading

Oyster and Balloon

It was a late college night, and a girl and a boy and I were sitting around a table talking about feelings.

“That’s why I prefer more open guys,” I said to Fiona, shaking my head.  “Like, so many guys are emotional clams: you always have to fuckin’ rip them open just to talk.”  I aggressively mimed an invisible round oyster in one hand and a knife in the other.  “I can’t spend time forcing people to open up.  My arm gets tired.” Continue reading

Morning After

There was no obliviating fade to black, and then a reemergence of consciousness and light.  I had been laying in the diluted dark for hours, listening to him breathe deeply next to me, tiptoeing to the bathroom, until the gradient of day and night pulled itself over the horizon, shifted across his bare apartment, and the birds began to chirp. Continue reading

Aspiring Author (?)

So, my relationship with writing has been changing.

In case it wasn’t clear before, I used to have serious daydreams about writing short stories and  (once I improved enough as a writer) novels for a living.  I also had a significant interest in STEM too, of course, but I was worried that a move towards that field would be sacrificing my Dream of being a Writer™; I was worried I would be one of the many sad gray souls that chooses the “safe” option over something risky.

Shit changed in college though.  Basically, I realized that I really love Biology.  I took BIOL121 and was the only kid I know who considered it her favorite class (despite my lackluster grade!)   Something about nerdy shit like cell division and alternative splicing just sets my blood on fire, I’m not joking.  I realized that I could enter this field with genuine passion; pursuing Biology no longer felt like a duller “second choice” for me. Continue reading

Mind of Winter

This week I went to the Kelly Writers House, a creative writing hub on campus.  There, I gulped down homemade soup until I felt uncomfortable, appreciated the rarely-kindled fireplace, and listened to poetry/prose readings.

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I like to go to these gatherings to try and inspire my inner-writer — you could say that I’m in a bad case of writer’s block recently.  The theme of this event was “Mind of Winter,” based on a Wallace Stevens poem: Continue reading