A few months ago, I reached an important point in my life and went off to college, living with complete strangers. I am sorry for taking so long to update, but as promised, I am here with my thoughts about college life.
Some insightful friends of mine mentioned that the quality of people’s lives depends on their perception of how they are living. In all honesty, I hear idioms stating such things all the time. Thus, while thankful for their encouragement, I silently shrugged off their statements as words being said as per social protocol. However, I am delighted to report that they were indeed correct. Perhaps it’s because I never really had a chance to stay in one place and interact the way I have with people in college, but sometimes I take a step back and look at my life in college and am amazed at how much my life has changed.
As I wrote about in my previous post, I sometimes felt that my life was lacking after watching some types of anime, especially those of the “slice of life” or “school days” genre. It’s not so much because I’m unhappy because of my day to day experiences, on the contrary… such genres just remind me of an idealized way of living that would be difficult for me to emulate; A juxtaposition that I simply cannot help but make sometimes. However, if you recall, I also stated in the same post that I would try to become a more “involved” person. Again, I’m not in the least dissatisfied with myself, I am simply striving to become a better person and participate more (within reason) in society. All that being said, my college experience thus far has been fantastic, with new experiences around every corner. As I sit here at my comfortable desk with my heater on this cold Dallas night, I can’t help but think that years later I will look at this post again and recall the importance of this experience to my life.
So my first impression of college is that there is always something happening on campus. In all honesty, I came to college with an intent to look out for myself and take care of myself, ready to treat other people the same way I would treat them in high school: temporary peers whom I might message on MSN sometimes if I like their company.
I mean, when I wasn’t moving to a different school every year, that’s how we would “hang out” and sometimes go over to each others’ houses to play games or something. I soon came to realize that the people I call my friends at my campus were much more than what my traditional definition described. I don’t know… When I first entered my apartment and saw everyone standing there, I was indifferent. Polite, but indifferent. Having gone to so many different schools, such an experience was routine for me. Though, I guess something about living with your friends just naturally causes you to grow more attached to each other. Of course, I can only speak for myself, but that’s how it is for me.
If any of my friends do see this blog entry, I hope you’ll forgive me for excluding your names. It’s nothing personal, but I don’t know how comfortable you would be with your name on a public blog since I more or less didn’t ask for your permission. Though, if you want, feel free to comment about anything that pertains to you… I won’t mind if you don’t ^^. But yeah- I’ve never lived with people other than my family before… even temporarily. It’s a little interesting (or frustrating, take your pick) seeing other peoples’ lifestyles. Take my one of my room mates’ bedrooms for example: As soon as you walk in, you wonder why there is a dumpster connected to the rest of the apartment. It’s just always been like that since day one… clothes scattered everywhere with random items thrown about the floor. At one point, my roomie was telling me how they keep finding broken hangers all over the room because people keep stepping on them on accident. Oddly enough, at one point that room used to be the un-designated “hang out” spot in our apartment- Perhaps the magnitude of the mess was so epic that people just wanted to bask in its presence.
In all seriousness, that particular roomie is probably one of my closest friends on campus. We have a lot of common interests, being both internet people and were raised from a similar lifestyle. Our mysterious fourth room mate is still as mysterious as ever as they tend to spend more time with some of their other friends rather than us. Of course, I’m not criticizing them for this fact at all- In fact, I would be in no position to do so anyways. See, all this has been a big change for me. I’m not one who likes to leave my apartment a lot or hang out with my friends too long; It’s just how I am. Initially, my friends would get a tad annoyed at the fact that I would never join them in anything they would do, but eventually they came to realize my nature and gave me my space. Since then, I have been going out with my friends more (at my discretion of course), possibly because I have become more comfortable with them. After a while, a sort of routine was established when it came to deciding when to eat lunch and with who. Eventually, a sort of group materialized, consisting of my apartment, our neighbors and some friends from other apartment buildings.
After the first few weeks or so, the time between then and now feels like a sort of blur to me, possibly because I was exposed to so many experiences at once. I can’t say that I can organize my thoughts well in this post, but I can certainly try. I guess the biggest thing that’s changed for me is the fact that I experience a good deal of other peoples’ lives alongside mine. Of course, when things happen in a friend’s life and they need my help, I’m willing to do so as I am sure they would for me (no matter how idiotic they sometimes act). I mean take my room mate with the disastrous room: Counting today, they’ve officially lost their wallet three times with us helping to look for it every time. The first time, the wallet wasn’t actually lost but instead dropped its contents in some unknown place, causing my roomie to replace everything in it (a student ID and a debit card). One of our friends who lives in another apartment building (but would always be over at our place) was generous enough to purchase them a new wallet… one that would actually hold its contents. We thought that this would solve things until they lost their wallet again. As we all mentally face-palmed, we searched for the missing wallet until it’s found… in the very bedroom of its owner. Of course, this episode did not prompt my roomie to clean the room. This lack of action really didn’t help when the bloody wallet was lost a third time right before Thanksgiving holiday. As another frantic search ensued (this time catalyzed by the fact that the dining halls were closing soon) you can imagine how hard we wanted to smash our heads against the wall when my roomie’s brother calls in order to report the missing wallet’s sighting. I… I just don’t know.
Speaking of messy habitations, our apartment at the time was not stellar looking either. In fact, it had boxes and random things thrown about everywhere half due to the amusement of it all and half because nobody wanted to clean it. When the day for room mate agreements finally came, (a month into the semester pretty much) we basically stood outside our Residence Advisor’s apartment waiting for her to come back because nobody booked a time slot before hand. At midnight, she comes into our apartment and basically does her job. Being someone who likes to sleep on a decent sleeping schedule, I went to sleep. However, my room mates apparently went crazy and cleaned the entire apartment until around 1:00 AM. Why? I do not know. I only know that I could not recognize my apartment when I crawled out of my bedroom the next morning (until I saw the kitchen… no one dares set foot in there).
Hmm… What can I say? Things are just different for me, and I am having difficulty putting them into words. If anything, this blog entry will just invoke memories, but I’ll try my best to convey them. See, none of my room mates have a car, so our neighbor is the one who drives us every place. Basically, whenever he wants to go to Walmart or something, we tag along and get whatever we need to. I also like the fact that his preferred time to go places is at night time… I simply love riding in the back of the car and seeing all the street lights at night. I don’t know, but sometimes when I come out of Walmart at night with my friends, I just think to myself, “Dang… this is such a real life thing to do.” I know, it’s weird! But seriously, I just feel in awe at my life [now] sometimes. Not to mention that going to Walmart with friends is a whole lot more fun than going by yourself. There’s nothing like distracting your friends who are still checking out by standing past the cashiers doing the Caramelldansen with maximum ridiculosity.
The Caramelldansen has been a recurring thing with me actually- I think it’s due to the hyperness of being exposed to the moonlight or something. We formed a sort of tradition where we always go to the Chili’s restaurant after every Chemistry test. It happened originally because the dining halls would be closed after the test so the whole lot of us would be irritated (because of the test) and hungry… not fun. Well the first time we went to the restaurant, I remember that I was proud of myself because I did the Caramelldansen at the waitress when her back was turned and I smoothly put my hands behind my head when she turned around. Don’t ask me why… I honestly could not answer why. Though I’d also like to note that whenever we pay our bills, being the nerd that I am, I always try to spell something with my tip like 1337 or something. I later found out that the standard rate that one should tip is 15%… oops =(
Yup… I am pretty inexperienced when it comes to these “real-world” sorts of things, but I get through it. I try my best however and try to be as polite as possible when in a good state of mind. Thank goodness that I haven’t made any serious mistakes like losing my apartment keys like my friend from another apartment building did once. If that was not bad enough, their room mates’ parents were coming to visit (or something like that) so their room mates were not able to let them into their apartment. Since I knew they would probably do the same, I let them stay in my room until they were able to retrieve their keys on Monday (this happened on a Friday, I believe). It was an odd and honestly a little funny experience because of the sheer amount of fail going on. Oh well- it worked out in the end. As soon as she got back on her feet, everything was back to normal.
Such is my life here at college, and I am enjoying how different it’s been. Running home in the rain at night because we forgot an umbrella, having my roomie sit in my room and talk about what’s happening back home, playing games in the ATEC building… every experience has felt like a scene from an anime or a comic book. My friends who commented on my last post were right; Life’s experiences are how one views them. I came to college with an open mind, and my first semester is almost over. I had a great time that I honestly cannot convey, but I have a feeling that these experiences will become more routine in the coming years. Nevertheless, I’m glad that I have great friends and a great opportunity to learn at this college.
If you’ve been reading until now, take a moment to look at the structure of this post. Sure the content is important, but look at the haphazard structure of my storytelling and my constant interruptions. I told you that I’m overwhelmed with the sheer amount of new experiences with this new life style… clever, no?