In the weeks that I've been here life has drastically changed, and I'd say in most cases for the better.
1. Education- Most professors genuinely care about the topics they are discussing. High school teachers do what they have to and try not to over-exert themselves and most do not have a passion for the subjects they are teaching. The feeling of being a classroom where the teacher is so intense you have no option but to want to be there and listen is a great thing. Granted, you are going to get yelled at if he catches you yawning, so its best if you look interested which should not be too diffcult given the circumstances. Lets just say that is also the class that out of the three tests I had last week, I definitely did far and beyond better on. I think the fact that I am a freshman in this professors class, which is very unheard of for the most part, makes me care even more about it. I've found there to be no problem with having large lectures as opposed to small class sizes that are provided at Tri-Center. It doesn't bother me at all that the professors don't know my name. The few that do is what worries me (one being because I accidentally missed the first day of class). Large lectures are fun because you can look at the tons of people in there and let's just say if you sit by a friend there is messing around that definitely happens in my case. side note: I can honestly wake up in the morning for the most part without an alarm, and way before I need to probably because I'm just excited to be here as lame as that may sound. 6 hours of sleep has become sufficient, and the fact that I wake up on my own is a miracle in itself, my mother used to have to yell at me multiple times every morning to get me to make my way out of bed.
2. Meeting new people- On a campus this size I was warned I would meet no one as a result of not living in the dorms. Let's just say that is completely untrue, it just takes a bit more effort and selection. There is no one you are forced to meet, like a new roommate and other people living on your floor. I am free to choose who I decide to go introduce myself to. It just so happens that the first day of class I met one of the people I have ended up spending the most time with. The fact that we are so much alike and that we happened to meet can only be explained by the phrase :everything happens for a reason: If that is not it, then I guess one must believe in random luck. In just a few weeks this kid has managed to become one of "us", which is a very hard thing for a person to do (and by "us" i mean comfortable and taking part in the jokes and fun Alyssa and I create for ourselves). One of the most rare qualities we share (among those on this campus) is that neither of us drink. As surprising as it may be my chem lab partner also happens to be a non-drinker. Though this school is known for its overwhelming population of drinkers, the opposite do exist, the only problem is they are sitting in their room on a Saturday night watching movies so that would be why everyone claims they don't exist.
3. Debating and discussing ideas/opinions- Last night was one of the first debates I've taken part in, and lets say that can be one of the most eye-opening experiences. Yes, I do come from a small town and may have lead a rather sheltered life, but I have also taken part in many different activities there and as many as possible since I've been here. I am more than willing to be proven wrong though, in fact, that's even better than being proven right in some cases. I learned also that there is a way of stating your opinion and one of attacking someone else's. Very important factor to keep in mind or else the person you are attacking is not going to take much of anything you say as valid points. Due to the fact that we do not have television (a TV that can play movies is all) we have had many discussions/hilarious moments. To me, it is a much better form of entertainment than any television show could provide. As often as possible, Alyssa and I tell our positives for the day, which is a great way to look back and reflect on your day and realize the wonderful things that happen in our lives that we would otherwise take for granted. Alyssa and I enjoy meaningful conversations that compare to no other, and yet many hilarious moments that usually result in pulling out the quote book.
4. People of the Past- Being here for even just a week was enough to realize the people that matter in life. There are just certain people that aren't worth the effort anymore. And there ones like Derrick that I left over a month ago and that was okay until I come to realize that today he is leaving and I won't be seeing him until Christmas. He seemed sad and I was already sad to begin with since his plans to come visit never worked out, but hearing him not excited was even worse. The other day my grandma also gave us a call. The weekly letters are fun, but it was great to hear from her. Just moments before the phone rang Alyssa and I had been discussing the wonderful cake she made before we left. (her cakes are more special than any other cake, and I do love cake). Note: if you are reading this you are obviously not part of the no longer worth the effort, and if I don't get to talk to us as much as one would like, I genuinely hope all is well with you and never hesitate to talk to me if need be.
5. Real-life Interactions- Being within 15-30 minutes walking distance from anyone just makes it seem ridiculous to sit around and talk on the phone or online to people when instead you can be hanging out with each other having a great time. Its much more fun to be less technologically dependent for contact (though one of the two devices is used to pick a time/location). There was a particular night before a chemistry test that there were plans to study. There was about an hour or two of studying that turned into three hours of just sitting on a bench talking about anything and everything. It seems my grade was probably not as wonderful as it could have been, and my tired/sickness did not improve, but it was more than worth it. Getting to know someone and having them share personal things with you is such a great experience.
6. Food- Apartment life calls for grocery shopping and making meals. Let's just say a quick meal at Hy-Vee is possible with all the free samples they had around the other day :D I am more healthy than I have ever been before due to our food selections and walking to class everyday. Free food is one of the most exciting aspects of campus life. The first week was definitely loaded with free food. Actual meals that the roommates and others enjoy together are more exciting than one could even imagine.
7. Apartment living- Yes, I am a spoiled freshman with my own room, but it is just a smart way to go. The cost is at least 200$ less by living in an apartment (with food included in the total). Boy roommate is a great idea for two girls. He's good for fixing things like the toilet and shower door. One night when he had said he'd be back and we should wait to eat with him, he called to let us know he wouldn't be back in time because he was going to eat with some friends. It was precious <3 (even though he'd stay out all night and not even consider calling). You can sit/lay on the same couch and no one has to give you funny looks for it. And just the numerous occassions where I laugh to the point of tears and any day that happens you KNOW its been a GREAT day.
Time to wrap this up with a song...
:All alone, I'm beat. So why can't I sleep? I had that dream again, you know the kind that change your mind about life, about love and about you too, not the band but the friend I know. You don't feel the same, the good ones never do... My roommate's a girl, she puts me through hell. When I tripped on love, she never fell:
Yes, that would be the lovely ABJ, who is having a reunion show this weekend, which makes my life entirely happy. What an amazing time that will be. The band that single-handedly is responsible for my surviving last year, as crazy as that sounds. They just so happen to have come around whenever I needed them the most <3 I carry around a picture of Matt and Bryan everyday now. Why you ask? Well, to have a constant reminder of :dreams really do come true: like Matt's shirt says to help motivate me to study and do well. Afterall, Bryan did get a degree and is one of the greatest people I think I've ever met.