Monday, September 5, 2016

A New Stage

Hey readers,

Sorry it's been a while––it's been hectic, to say the least. Okay, I kind of hate the fact that I said "been" twice in one sentence but I couldn't figure out another way to say it and oh well, I'm human and not even the slightest bit perfect.

So I'm going to talk about transitions, which I've talked about quite a bit I think, but now that I'm in an actual period of transition, I thought I might relay some fresh perspective on the topic.
Anyway, I moved into my college dorm just last Friday, and for most people, this would be their first time away from home. For me, it was just another year, and yet another move. However, for the first time in a long time, I was home. Being back in the Pacific Northwest, where everything is a living, breathing green and thoroughly quenched, lifted my heart so high my smile bloomed from a long hibernation––if there is ever time you feel that, hold onto that. Because you are home.

After living in Southern California for so long, the first rainfall here in Oregon was like gulping down ice-cold water after days in a dessert with a raisin-dry tongue. I knew this place, and I knew what it was like to be away from home. Despite all of that, college is a transition. You're officially on your own, and no one tells you what to do. No one. Not that that was ever really an issue for me, time-management wise.

Honestly, I'm still getting used to people. Meeting new people, people that I've never seen before, never talked to before, people who're from different areas than I am––a fresh batch of people that I'm still getting to know. For a lot of people, that can be scary, and a little intimidating, because we all know that people judge you from the first moment they see you. They register your looks first, because their eyes will meet you first––they'll categorize you into the folders that society has made up: attractive, athletic, fat, ugly, asian, black, white, wealthy, ghetto, skinny. Unless they're blind, you will automatically be placed into a category, and no one can help that, because we all do it, consciously or unconsciously. So then there's the pressure to have the perfect outfit on the first day, and already, you're not being you.

I found myself constantly worrying about what people were thinking of me the first time they met me, because I've made awful impressions before, and I wasn't about to repeat any mistakes. That's when the lumped formed in my throat and I chewed on my lip, preventing myself from saying anything unless I'd thought long and hard about how I phrased my sentences. My thoughts would be so loud, but still struggle to find the right words, as if my hands were trying to grasp the air. People usually call this anxiety, but that just makes me sound crazy, doesn't it?

So the first week was nerve wrecking in the social aspect. However, I was pleased to find out that college workload actually isn't that different than the workload at my high school. The block schedule at my high school that made it so I only had a certain class a few days in the week is similar to how my classes are now, only it's more consistant. That's not important, though. Really, the only big difference is the professors don't remind you when the homework is due, but that's okay because all the assignment dates are on the syllabus anyway.

Depending on what college you end up attending, people are generally nice, mature, and open, so don't be afraid of the change. It's a new stage, and I'll end this by assuring you, no matter how overwhelmed you feel, or afraid, or nervous, or hell maybe you're excited––whatever you feel, just know that it's okay. It's better. It gets better. It always does.

Love,

Alena



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