Back Home: Freshman Year Reflection
So I’m done with year number one of college. It’s been an interesting ride. As I carried my Rubbermaid bins down the three flights of stairs in my residence hall, I thought back to when I had carried those bins up the stairs. Along some lines of thought, it seemed very recent, along others, it seemed like a lifetime ago.
Setting off into college life, I was extremely uncertain of the future. The biggest insecurity I had – and I’m sure I wasn’t alone in this – was about my relationship. My girlfriend is still in high school, and though she knows more about life than I will for many years to come, was not accompanying me on this journey. We, along with our mutual friends, were looking on to the whole thing at the edge of our seats. An 18-year-old guy in college with 6,000 women is not exactly a high-school girl’s dream boyfriend. There were many bumps and lonely times throughout the year, but I can definitely say we made it, and what a relief that is. We had our fights and our hard times, but at the end of the day, this is the girl I want to be with. She supported me when I felt lost and pushed me when I was shy. Thank you, Tori. It has been a long year, thinking about it in terms of our relationship, but we made it.
The year doesn’t feel like it’s been a long one in every way. My new friends, the four of us, got close throughout the year. I entered the group a little bit late after a socially and personally turbulent first semester, but they accepted me quickly. Aaron (The Ogre, for his macho-ness), Dan (The Pole, as in Poland), and Mark (the social butterfly) all took me in (The gamer geek with two screens) with open arms. I had a lot of fun times playing Call of Duty 4 (or Doody, as we called it), going out, grabbing a meal, or heading to the gym with these guys. The second semester flew by, and I was sad to see it go. For once, I was starting to focus on the present without worrying about the rest. Thanks, guys.
Writing a post about college without at least mentioning classes could be detrimental to my cash flow for next year (Yes, Dad. I did learn in the classroom.), but to be honest classes weren’t what my year was about. Sure I learned Sociology, Geography, Math, Film, and Fiction, but I learned a lot more this year about life. My GPA might not start with a 4, or even a 3 (I can hope though), but I can fold my own laundry, manage my time, give myself a bedtime, monitor my diet, not lose my sweatshirt (if you know me, this is amazing), and run my own relationships. For me, these things are far more imporant than anything Freud or Pythagorus cooked up.
It wasn’t an easy year. There were the nights of tearful phone calls to Tori, who put up with me with impressive patience. There were times blasting My Chemical Romance or Matchbox Twenty and laying perfectly still on my bed, too angry or frustrated to move (Luckily, by some miracle, Aaron on the other side of the wall loves both bands). If I had to summarize this year in a word, I would say “satisfying,” because even though some things didn’t go how I wanted them to, I learned to deal with the disappointments and focus on the victories, and there were many. I came out of it with some good new friends, great memories, and a whole lot of knowledge about life. I couldn’t have done it without the never-ending support of Tori, who I would be so lucky to hold onto, and my parents who, despite a rough post-graduation summer, love me and do their very best to keep me going, in their own different ways.
Looking forward, I have a summer ahead of me. I’m set up in an apartment, and hoping to make good money. I’m going to try to get some income out of this Twitter skill I’ve been honing (hopefully enough to counteract its effect on my GPA), and then maybe a bit more working around town. I haven’t thought much about next year other than which classes to take, but I truly hope that its an adventure as varied and satisfying as this year has been.