Coming home for the holidays has been an almost surreal experience. Don’t get me wrong, I love being home, but it feels like I’ve been going 90 miles per hour and just spotted a state trooper on the side of the road. Everything feels aggressively slower. As fast as I have been going lately, these last few months that made up my first semester at college have somehow been simultaneously the longest and shortest months I have ever encountered. I feel like so much has happened in the span of one semester that it couldn’t possibly have only been four and a half months. I have learned so much, though, and not just in the subjects covered by my tuition.
I’ve come across the phenomenon that, when living in a dorm, even if someone is at the complete opposite end of the building on either your floor or the ones directly above or below, you can still hear him singing in the shower as if you were standing right outside his bathroom door. Another thing I have been made privy to in dorm living is that around 2 a.m. during the weeks of midterms and finals, people, for some ungodly reason, absolutely love to play this game called the “Door Slamming, Screaming and Running Down the Hall” game, and if I’m going to be completely honest, I actually considered how going to prison at age 19 would affect my future. It was close, but the results favored me not ending up behind bars under questionable circumstances. In summary, people are inconsiderate and dorm walls are made out of tissue paper.
Going off to college has also taught me that I can be friends with my classmates and never know their names. Trust me, I would love to know them by name, but at this point I’m too embarrassed to ask. I feel like this is a common college experience, though. Just like how every college student absolutely loses their mind when there is a dog in his or her general vicinity. The best example I have of this is when, during finals week, the library brought in stress therapy dogs. There was an announcement made over the loudspeaker, and I have never witnessed so many people yank themselves out of caffeine fueled concentration so aggressively to abandon their laptops and empty Red Bull cans. The thing is, I can be this descriptive because I was, in fact, one of those people. Who cares if someone decided to steal my laptop? I got to pet a dog. Luckily, no one stole my laptop, and I still got to pet a dog.
Another thing that I have discovered that excites college students almost as much as dogs is a promise of food and a free T-shirt. I know that something being free is an exciting offer to anyone with a lick of sense, but in my experience, college kids get more excessively excited… probably because we are all just now learning that almost nothing is free and that our parents actually have to pay for things like toilet paper and light bulbs (shoutout to my parents for always making sure my bathroom had an ample supply of two ply toilet paper. I never knew I could miss a certain kind of toilet paper before now). Anyways, there are organizations and businesses that set up booths around campus nearly every day, and all the people at the tables have to say is “free stuff” and it’s like a dog whistle. I would be lying if I said that I knew how many fake email addresses I gave out in order to get a free shirt and a fun-size Twix because I really don’t know, but what I do know is that I have about eight new T-shirts and at least three drawstring bags that I really have no use for, but hey, they were free.
As much as I love to complain about my trivial misfortunes, 2018 has taught me so much new information that I might just implode. At least I can say that I did do some remarkable things in 2018 that I am immensely proud of, like graduating high school, writing for all of you and making it through my first real semester of college. Needless to say, I’m excited to see what 2019 has in store for me.