College was once a foreign concept; it was something that I could see in the rearview mirror, unaware of how close it was until the time came to pack my bags and embark on what would be my journey for the next four years. Now that I’ve finally arrived, it feels like I’ve been here for ages instead of just three months. People say time flies when you’re having fun, but that does not stop me from relishing in the syrupy sweetness of the day-to-day. As these days become shorter, anticipation for the next semester unfurls, a flower blooming in my chest, ready to burst with the possibilities for the future. With my first chapter coming to a close, I find it imperative to reflect on where I am now and how much I’ve grown from my first week to my last.
Going into the semester, I planned to approach school with the same mentality I have always used: go to class, study hard, and get good grades. Remember to have a positive attitude and things will go your way. This train of thought is simple enough to apply to classes, and I would say that I have been successful. Some classes are tougher than others, such as the music class that I’m taking despite the reality of not being musically inclined. In the end, however, I am quite happy with my grades. My one caveat is that I am reluctant to share these accolades with my friends for fear of coming across like I’m bragging when honestly I’m just proud of myself and want to share my achievements. Luckily, my mom always loves to hear that I’m doing well in school.
That being said, stress has continued to be a good friend of mine, haunting me in my quietest moments, telling me my hard work isn’t enough, seeping through my schoolwork, and lingering in my brain. I know managing mental health is important, so I try to take moments in between my schoolwork to decompress. Most of the time, I do this either by watching a mindless T.V. show (something funny where the only thing I’m thinking about is how much my stomach hurts from laughing), or picking up a book (usually one I have read before where I can easily be sucked into the familiar world). Getting a small break from reality is never not a treat, but real life stops for no one, and no matter how much I may not want to do it, the work still needs to be done.
Outside of classes, my friends and I are counting down the days until we get to go home for Thanksgiving break. It seems that ever since midterms, we have been chugging along slowly, waiting until we got another break from the flurry of assignments and onslaught of tests. Before we can take that break, another necessary task needs to be completed: registration for next semester. It is the first time that we get the chance to choose our classes, asserting control over our own schedules and getting another taste of independence. I created my schedule with time and care, making it specifically to finish the rest of my general education requirements and get started on my path in the childhood/special education program. In between planning out my schedule and willing the next break to come faster, there is also the buzz of anticipation for the upcoming holiday season. As the only Jew in my friend group, I get to celebrate earlier than most, with the first night of Hanukkah falling at the end of November. While I’m disappointed that I don’t get to spend this holiday with my family, that will not deter me from educating my friends about the Jewish culture and forcing them to wrap my holiday gifts in Hanukkah wrapping paper. Despite how much there is to look forward to, I am content to live my life in the present.
Throughout my years in school, I have noticed that people tend to measure time in terms of the next break. Soon enough, we will blink and leave for winter break, wondering when days that felt slow as molasses turned into a whirlwind of finals and packing bags to return home for the next month. When classes pick up again, people will twiddle their thumbs, waiting on bated breath for spring break, then to leave for the summer. I am not one of these people; I would rather live my life in the here and now, reveling in the way the ivy climbs up the brick buildings in an ever-changing rainbow, than spur it along without a second thought. These moments are precious, as time stops for no one. Maybe one day, when I am on the brink of graduation, I will reflect on these blogs and reminisce on my first semester at Geneseo. Maybe another student will read them and relate to my anecdotes. I can only plan so far ahead. What I do know is that this project allowed me to ruminate over all the aspects of my life since I’ve arrived at Geneseo. I am happy with what I have discovered about myself thus far; all I can do now is wait to see what tomorrow brings.