Friday, December 17, 2010

The end of an era

As you all know, today marks the successful completion of my first semester in college. It's been an interesting four months, and some of it was the terrifying, "what the heck am I doing and why did I think I could pull that off?" type of interesting. But most of it was actually the "best. day. ever. life is fantastic." type of interesting. Some new habits have been formed, some good and some decidedly less than wise. The homework part, the part where I actually learned to study which I never did in High School ever part, the budgeting/being as cheap as I can part, and the actual use of a planner were all really good things. The eating ramen till I am sick, the drinking lots of diet coke, the staying up all night watching movies, etc was maybe not as good, but it was really fun. Life, aka college, is filled with great stuff, like having dance parties with corny yet classic music from the nineties, drinking margaritas (sprite. chill.) with all your roommates when one of them gets engaged, playing the "do you really need that?" game at walmart, searching for wedding ideas on the internet while watching the wedding planner, watching Hot Rod and then quoting it every day, blogstalking people you don't even know, having study parties where you run around the building ever hour to stay alert (muddy socks will wake you up for sure), sitting at the kitchen table with a bunch of roommates while you pass around the carton of ice cream and one spoon, etc. I also learned a few things, such as:
- Diet Coke is good for studying. But it isn't very good for sleep. There is a fine line between studying adequately and sleeping adequately in prep for a final. I crossed that line, resulting in taking my English final on four hours of sleep. I may or may not have taken a nap in the middle of it.
- Winter in Logan= an icy/snowy/slushy/slippery/ death defying walk to school. Note* the HPER field only looks like it snowed. In reality, it slushed for a good six inches and then snowed in order to trap unsuspecting freshmen in its clutches when they are late for class and need a shortcut. But now that we know the secrets of the fire swamp, we could live there happily for some time. Wait, did I say fire swamp? That's too easy. I meant the weather here in happy cache valley, which is infinitely more deadly.
- The south building managers are way nicer than our building managers. Never go ask the grumpy dude across the hall for change, or to come fix your leaking ceiling, or to get new batteries for the smoke detector that has suddenly started emitting an ear splitting, shrieking banshee noise ever three minutes and twenty seconds weather we all have headaches or not. He will wait at least three days before doing anything about it and frown at you the whole time.
-Never assume that the ground up on campus is dry even if it is dry outside your apartment, especially if you plan to wear moccasins. After a good seven hours walking around up there, your feet will be so frozen that you will fall, cry if they ever start to thaw out, and/or get all the way across the street before you realize your shoe is still in the middle of the road. ( No kidding, it actually happened.)
- Don't make a quote wall out of tin foil on the wall right by the window. Condensation, mold, disgusting smells when the heater is turned up, breathing gross crap, etc. All of that will happen. And you won't even know why until you take down the quote wall. at which point the wall cleaning will commence. Windex and scrubbing bubbles aren't really meant to use on walls, but we were out of Clorox wipes, so what else can you do, right?
- The dark circles under your eyes only go away if you sleep at night. My theory is that once the sun comes up, dark circle shrinkage ceases. That must be it, because the dark circles seem to be here to stay.  Yet another reason I should start sleeping at night and getting up in the morning, as opposed to staying up until the wee hours of the morning and getting up twenty minutes before class starts.  Either that or buy makeup.

In the end, I feel like I learned a lot from my classes, but I think I learned a lot more from just living here at college and being (mostly) responsible for myself. More than any other time in my whole life, I am on the verge of freaking out almost constantly. But I am getting good at not freaking out, and maybe sometime I'll be far enough away from the verge that I won't have to keep reminding myself to breathe. On the flip side, it is really exciting to get good grades, actually study, go to church, do my calling, go to institute, and all the good stuff and know that I am doing it because I want to. I love getting a bunch done and being able to tell the world, I did all this and I feel like a champion today. So here goes. Finals are done, living room is vacuumed and rearranged, textbooks bought, room cleaned, wall de-molded, and I am still breathing. I am a champion today.

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