Moving Back: Junior Edition

Here we go again.

 

In 6 short days, classes start to begin my junior year at college. It is incredibly hard to believe that I have survived two full years of college so far. What’s even more surprising is that there are only two left. I wouldn’t say college has flown by, but I have enjoyed it a lot more than I expected to.

 

By their junior year, many college kids have apartments off-campus. At my college, lots of students still live in dorms through their senior year. As it happened, I moved back into a dorm yesterday. I will now explain the very detailed experience I had moving back in for my junior year of college (in an excruciatingly dramatic style). 

 

Now, I’m going to be really honest with how I perceived move-in to go. Moving into a new place is always very stressful for me. It never has to be, but I always want to get it done as soon as possible, and that’s not always feasible. Last year, I up and left home the night before I was planning on moving in and moved in with the help of my sorority sister under the cover of night. This year, I once again tread the path alone of move-in, except with an additional obstacle: a third flight of stairs.

 

I’ve never lived on the third floor. Freshman year, it was the basement. Sophomore year, second floor. Now, it’s only fitting that I live on the third floor. But goodness, I did not realize how much of a difference that extra 15 feet (upwards) makes.

 

However, before I even begun to think about how I was going to remove the strategically placed objects in my car to pack my entire life into my Toyota Camry, I had to check out the room first. I’m living with my freshman roommate again, but I have sworn off hall bathrooms for the rest of my life. I refuse to use a hall bath now, and as such, we have a suite style bathroom. This dorm building was just renovated, so I’m expecting it to be super spacious, neat, and pretty.

 

Now, the room is clean. The bathroom is very clean. But spacious is not a word to describe this room. Upon first glance, I freaked out. My quickest conclusions were: How is all of my stuff going to fit here? Why aren’t there more shelves? This bed is too high. Why is there no bathtub?

 

This realization that we had chosen an awful room (by my standards) to live in caused me to stress out even more. I had had such great plans for this room. This was going to be THE room, the one that depicts the converging personalities of two women through its interior design and apropos wall art. But, I set my standards too high, as usual, and so I freaked out.

 

(Seriously though, this room is not bad. My first (and second and third) instincts were that of repulsion, disgust, and disappointment in this living situation. But it’s not a horrible room. There are smaller rooms on campus. I could be homeless. It’s all a matter of perspective.)

 

Once I finally trudged every last box and pillow from my car up those three flights of stairs, I started thinking about the actual arrangement of the room. The minor details of where the beds and desks will go doesn’t seem important in the grand scheme of things, but in a college as stressful as this one, I wanted to create a space that I could just come back to at 2 in the morning and easily go to bed without disturbing my already sleeping roommate. So, the furniture positions are important.

 

It’s currently three in the morning, and I haven’t finished arranging everything yet. My roommate doesn’t move in for a few days, so I will figure it all out then. But, after having moved in to college 3 times, I’ve learned 3 important things about myself.

 

  1. You can’t expect too much.

I always want dorm rooms to be this quasi magical dwelling, but I have to take it at face value for what it is: a dorm room. I can’t expect an amazingly comfortable living place, because this school focuses on its academics more than its amenities.

 

  1. It’s only for a year.

You shouldn’t stress out about this because you’ll only be living here for an academic year, which, in reality, is only like 7 months total. None of this is permanent, like a real house, so you don’t have to withstand this torture forever (that is the torture of sharing a bathroom with 26 other girls).

 

  1. I will never be an interior designer.

I love disgustingly preppy rooms as much as the next girl. I wished I had the skills to make everything match, be monogrammed, and force others to understand you are the queen of dorm prep. No matter how much I want it to, my bedding will never match. The pictures I put on a wall will never be straight. I will always have mismatched pillowcases and crooked pictures. But, the crooked pictures display aspects of my personality, not only with their images but in that with crookedness comes the opportunity to fix the mistake. I don’t make it crooked on purpose, it just happens. But, I can fix it. Just like in life, when we make accidental mistakes because WE AREN’T PERFECT, we can fix them. The mismatched pillows, well, I just like too many colors.

 

In all honesty, I prefer my furniture to boast a purposeful function rather than follow the form that creates the ultimate envy. It’s just me. In previous years I tried in vain to make everything match. I would spend hours picking out a pillowcase- and in the end it wasn’t what I wanted. So, for all you movers (and shakers) out there that have this idea of The Perfect Dorm Room in your head, just throw it out the window. Dorm rooms will never be perfect, but they are an integral part of college. It’s sad that it took three years of stressed out moving in to realize this, but hey. Everyone has lightbulb moments at different stages.

 

If you’re still with me after this very detailed blog post about my moving experience, I applaud you and reward you a Reese’s Cup. Except I can’t really do that, because it’s over the Internet. If you have any insights you would like to share regarding college move-in, send them my way.

 

Okay, since you actually read this, here are some pictures of my mismatched pillows and crooked pictures that show my diverse interests and ambitions:

 

 

The bed that will never match.

The bed that will never match.

The desk that I count as clean.

The desk that I count as clean.

If you are moving in to college for the first time today or next week, don’t worry. You’re about to have the best time of your life. If your nerves still aren’t eased, read this

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First Days

There isn’t much I love more than the first day of classes. Even to this day, I have trouble sleeping the night before because I am too excited. I don’t know what makes packing your backpack for the next morning or picking out your outfit so satisfying. Even now that I’m in college, where the first day of class is nothing more than introductions and explaining the syllabus, there’s just something about the first day of class that makes me immeasurably enthusiastic.

“Firsts” are always exciting. Whether it’s your first day at a new job, or at a new school, or even a first date, there’s always a little bit of you that will be nervous. But there’s magic in the first. It’s an opportunity to start afresh; you can change what previously didn’t work out for you, and vow to be a different person. Or you can vow to be the same person… But either way, everything is new on a first day.

It’s strange that my first day of class is starting mid-week, but that’s just how it is at my college. All throughout public school, our first day of school was after Labor Day. Now that I’m at a certain college and my friends all go to different colleges, we all have different “first days”. No more can we gush over each other’s first day of school outfits at the same time- thank goodness for social media for making it easier for us! 

Sometimes after “first days” we lose sight of the empowering mindset that a first can give us. But, if you wake up with the mindset that every day is a first day, then I don’t see how you could have a bad day any day.

Today is a first day for me, but tomorrow will also be a first day. And so will Friday. Each day can be a first, and that is really relieving if you become a super stressed out bundle of nerves like me at times. This year I’m trying to approach every day with calm yet passionate intentions and to never forget what my true goals are. 

I had a great first day, and I hope, wherever you are, you did too.

P.S. The reason that this post is so late in the day is because I tried to get a cool picture for this post, and ultimately failed. My deepest apologies. 

 

Baby Come Back

We welcomed the new year with open arms, prayed for snow, and even slept in until 2 p.m., but vacation ends for everyone at some time or another. And now, a week and a half into the new month and year, this amazing time of relaxation has to depart. Ah, the life of a college student.

That’s right. Back to Campus.

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While we were away, I know the academic buildings mourningly rang out all the verses of Player’s Baby Come Back, with the dorm halls echoing in the chorus each time and the dining halls musing the electric guitar. But, to the campus’ delight and the college students’ chagrin, we’re back.

I made the short hour and some change journey back to campus today. Thankfully, I devoted this entire day to moving back to campus, because what fun are road trips if you are worrying about getting there on time? Needless to say, this trip was stress-less and a much needed start to this semester.

If you follow my blog, you will see that last semester was no easy mountain for me to climb. I took on more than I could handle while transitioning from high school to college…not the smartest idea in the book! However, I am more optimistic for this semester. I know myself better and I have a handy dandy belt of tools to keep me safe and sane:

    1. No over committing yourself.

I completely shot this horse in the dark last semester. I took the whole “I’m-not-gonna-be-homesick-I’m-gonna-do-something” route…and it backfired. By over committing myself, I ran myself into the ground and no longer enjoyed what I was doing. So..my advice? Don’t do it.

    1. Do not take as many naps.

I’m probably one of these really strange people who love taking naps, but I hate the way they make me feel (cognitive dissonance much?) I always felt that I wasted half of the day, and consequently stayed up half the night, which required me to take a nap the next day…it was a vicious cycle, one which I’m trying to avoid this semester.

    1. Dress to impress.

My “new year’s resolution” is to always look good. I know that’s impossible and vague, but I always want to look presentable. Back in the day before modernism, women were expected to look put together and clean all the time in public. I so desperately long to live in those times, so why not start by adopting a few of their ideals? Plus, it feels good to look fabulous. 

    1. Exercise.

Hahahahaha, oh college. I definitely left off a whole section when I was planning my life at the beginning of last semester (I attribute it to freshman nerves)..I forgot to exercise! I don’t know if forget is the operative word, but I definitely didn’t do it. And I definitely don’t like the way it feels. So (fingers crossed) that’s going to change.

    1. Know your limits.

This goes along with number 1. Know what you can and cannot do, know what you want to and don’t want to do. I may have said yes to things I wasn’t exactly certain on, whether it was that I wasn’t certain if I wanted to do it or certain that I couldn’t do it, I may have just accepted a job because it’s easier than saying no. But I have said yes way too many times, and this semester, I’m going to start saying no before I break myself any more.

    1. Trust yourself.

The key to success is confidence. And not just confidence in your words, confidence in your actions. I know I can talk a big talk, but when it comes down to it, I’m really self conscious about the decisions I make. And this semester I’m going to trust my gut, walk (not just talk) with confidence, and achieve more than I can envision (a daunting task, I know.)

Now I know that these words may be nothing more than a verbal (or written) announcement of ideals least likely to happen. However, this semester is already starting out with a bright side: no roommate. I had trouble with my roommate last semester, and with the Lord as my Savior, she transferred to a different college. So currently, I am living in a double room as a single person. (Can I get an Amen to that?) By the end of the semester I may be jonesing for some company, but right now, it’s peachy keen over here in my dorm kingdom.

I’ve had my fair share of troubles, but I really want this semester to be impactful, not just for my career, but for the others around me (more on that later!). I’m excited for college (finally), and I plan to make the best of it starting…NOW.