My little sister, the baby of the family, moved into her first college dorm on Thursday to kick off the start of her freshmen year. When I tried to call her to ask her how it went, all I got was, "It went fine. I have to go. Bye!" so it sounds like she's settling in nicely.
I had mixed feelings about all this but of course there were pangs of jealousy -- ahh to be a freshmen again. Everything so new, so exciting and such freedom! And not only that, but to be a freshmen as the person I am today -- I think a much more happy, enjoyable model then my former 18-year-old self.
I used to be your typical "Susie high school" in high school. Student Council president. Serving on regional boards even. Mock Trial captain. Number 2 on Varsity Tennis. Varsity Soccer. Honors Society. Competitive Chorus. Countless community service groups. Not what I would call one of the cool "popular kids," but certainly well known. What my parents do call as someone to "took advantage of opportunities." Well that's certainly obvious but those are just the activities section on my college applications. In reality, I was an anxious, stressed out, very uptight individual who's world would come crashing down if she failed or broke a rule or if people failed her.
College was able to break me of that uptight shell. Eventually. Probably by halfway through junior year. Now, I'm much more relaxed, calm, overall happy and quite frankly much more fun to be around now than I was before those four years. Oh, "if I only knew then what I know now" is so clear from this end.
I have grown up more and have understood more about how the world works in the past year than I ever did in four years of college. With working, I have a new kind of freedom -- a new control over what I do, when I do it, what I buy, where I go, "make my own money, make my own rules," because everything I have now is almost all as a result of my working at it. I have enjoyed both freedoms immensely, and differently. What I wouldn't give to sleep in until noon on a Tuesday some days, or to be back in a classroom just to learn, or eat all that free food, go to free concerts, scream at free football games, but at the same time I'm also content.
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