Lessons from the Halfway Mark
In the past month, I’ve made myself genuinely proud twice. That’s two times more than I did for the rest of freshman and sophomore year combined. I don’t know if that speaks more about the things I choose to do (i.e. I should do more pride-manifesting things) or how I have zero consciousness of self (i.e. I should stop the whole self-deprecating thing on occasion). After too many driving lessons from an adorable old humpbacked Chilean man and failing the test more times than I’d like to post on the Internet, I finally got my license. For a full five minutes, I was the happiest girl in the South Central DMV. A couple of weeks later, I found myself literally and figuratively patting myself on the back after resigning from a job that would’ve been a major part of my junior year. Now that I’m homeless for next school year (IF YOU KNOW SOMEONE SUBLEASING A STUDIO, HOLLA), licensed to drive, and almost done with my second year of college, I feel like being all introspective. (Full disclosure: this is also a semi-productive means of not studying). Here goes. In a week’s time, my sophomore year will officially be over. It’s come and gone so quickly that I hardly have had time to process the fact that half of my college experience has expired. It seems that just last month I was trying to get the last bit of poster sticky tack off the walls of my Birnkrant room in order to avoid housing fees.
I’ve learned a lot* sophomore year – as life seems to go, most of this was learned outside the hallowed halls of Taper.
1. People are busy (but not as busy as they pretend to be)
Sophomore year has not only been the year of the academic slump, but also the year of the “I’m so busy” maxim. “I’m so busy” served as an excuse to stay home and watch Netflix more times than I care to admit. “I’m so busy” also distanced me from half a dozen of primo freshman year friends. The truth is, none of us are “so busy” that we can’t see each other on occasion. A good friend of mine hates hearing the excuse that people “don’t have time” – whether it’s to workout or catch up or write the next great American novel. We all have time: we just prioritize certain things over others. Sophomore year has made me value the people who make time for friendships – even if it’s once a month.
I read a great article a couple months ago that made the “I’m so busy” attitude one of my pet peeves. Just tell me you have better things to do than hang out with me (I know you’re just going to the 9-0).
2. Food is not cheap (stop buying so much of it)
Once in a post-spring break, post-pizza-every-day Fresh & Easy run, I spent $60 on healthy food that I don’t like. I probably ate $20 of it in the subsequent days, then decided to return to my whole wheat baguettes and chicken noodle soup. Not having a meal plan has made my food intake super bizarre and I’m already over it.
Also, Yogurtland is only cheap if you go like once a month.
3. Time is precious (I will never truly realize this)
I’ve come to terms with the fact that I will never truly value every day of my life. Some days will be spent on Buffy marathons and that’s okay. Also see #1.
4. Don’t pay me and I’ll do more (please let this be a one-time lesson)
Most weeks, I spent more time on work for my unpaid internship than I did on homework. For some bizarre reason that I have yet to understand, not being paid taught me to try and prove myself in an unprecedented way. That being said, working 20+ hours unpaid a week on top of 18 units is something I’m not super interested in doing again.
5. Sleep when you can (and occasionally when you shouldn’t)
I do this thing when I have the opportunity to sleep and go on reddit or Facebook or look up movie trivia instead. SLEEP. Also nap sometimes even when you have a paper due the next day.
6. You can’t escape yourself (even when you try for two years)
I feel like college is the perfect breeding ground for self-reinvention. I kind of tried and I definitely failed more than once over the past two years. I’m over it.
7. Stop paying for forgetful people (it just makes you bitter)
Since I’ve been making twenty-five cents above minimum wage at a desk job this year, I’ve been weirdly generous with my money. As most people suck at remembering that I covered them/that they owe me money and I’m like $150+ out as a result, my days of generosity are over. This can also be viewed as a bad metaphor (substitute money for other valuable resources and see #1).
8. Being obsessive gets you nowhere (except for the bottom of a bag of junk food)
As delicious as chocolate covered peanut butter pretzels are, stress eating them at times of being obsessive about (insert not worth worrying about thing here) is really not particularly fulfilling. (I mean, physically it is but that’s kind of beside the point.)
9. Do things that actually interest you
I’ve spent far too much of the past two years getting involved with activities/jobs/commitments that are about as interesting to me as watching paint dry. Done with that.
10. Never forget (Doheny, Chapel of Silence, and TroGro)
Self-explanatory. They’re there for me when no other places are (I mean, as much as a library, quiet space, and 24/7 conveience store can be "there for me").
And for those of you who are actually reading this:
(That's a picture of my dog).
*And by "a lot" I mean ten basic principles that I can condense into a blog post.