The world can make anyone go hard. Any given situation can make any one person jaded beyond belief. These people will stand tall like statues and come crashing down whenever they feel like it. Or, it can turn people to putty, and we can play with the remains and mold them into whatever we want. There will always be a sharp contrast on how the world molds us each individually into stagnant, never-changing stones or flimsy, breakable play-dough. And it doesn’t matter our circumstances. Some of the worst people I know have lived full, seemingly happy lives. They’ve lived with their parents under the same roof, been financially secure, blah blah blah. Statistics are never going to prove the humanity in people, and we shouldn’t rely on backgrounds to tell us who others are.
I am soft. I like to come off as a statue. I like to build myself up high and enjoy my pretend wrath over my pretend kingdom, but the world is too big for me. I’m a small clay sculpture, made by the even tinier child within me, as a fort against the rest of the world. It’s me and her together, trying to act bigger than we are to make a difference possibly bigger than we could ever achieve. One day I might harden. One day the child might be stuck in here. Maybe she already is, I don’t know. All I know is that I want to do her bidding, and she wants to save the world. Like that’s possible.
What a journey this year has been! Living independently for just over ten months now has really opened my eyes to a lot, including what’s most important to me. If it weren’t for my location, I would have continued to be just the shell of the person I had potential to be and I have all of that to blame on my experience here at Plymouth. So this week, with finals week, I wanted to just reminisce in a ton of moments taken throughout this year.
It’s crazy to think that everything that has shaped what kind of life I want to live has all been in the span of just ten short months. I’m so excited to see what the future holds!
When coming into my first semester here at PSU, I can tell you with slight embarrassment, that I spent most of my four-hour car ride with my father in silence, looking out the window, crying. A very small part of me wanted to get away from home and re-create myself like everyone else, but a large chunk of my personality has always been fear. Before coming here, I was the most timid person in the entire universe. Maybe that’s a lie, but you get it, I was really shy. I didn’t speak to new people, when I did it was very short and one-sided. If I had to speak up at all in a class, my voice shook so hard people thought I would start crying. I would rant about how awkward I was and how nervous I was to all of my three friends, and it ruined even some of those relationships with how afraid I was of getting outside of my comfort level. I went into college with severe untreated social anxiety.
A large part of me worried that I wouldn’t fit in, and I would have to start over. Again. Freaking again. That maybe college would end up just like high school; feeling as if the world was against me. When I stepped on campus, ready to move in, I felt like I was going to puke. My legs felt like jello, and way more than your average ‘just drove 4 hours without a break’ jello. A bunch of the hockey and football team helped my dad and I herd all of my belongings up to my room. I remember the only thought I had being, oh my god these hunky guys are carrying my first stuffed animal no one is ever going to talk to me I’m so lame why did I bring that?!?!
Despite beating myself up over such a silly thing, I sat alone in the dining hall, had some tea, trying to figure out how the hell I was ever going to re-create myself when I was already feeling the nerves kick in. It was then that I met my first friend outside of orientation. He sat down across from me, and immediately my brain was freaking out. He introduced himself, we made small talk, and bonded over our passions about hiking (though he’s way more into it than I am). I have everything to thank for that friend. He knows who he is, but not how much he helped. After that, something clicked. My nerves were still there, but on the back burner. I said hello to everyone, almost idiotically, and anyone who struck up a conversation I was determined to befriend. I was still awkward, I’ll admit, but honestly, no one cared. Everyone was in their own way. We were all trying to fit in. And, well, I fit in.
I’m so excited to finally go home for the summer! This first year of college has been a roller-coaster of emotions and responsibilities, and it’s finally coming to an end! So I guess now, with summer around the corner, it’s the perfect time to plan the summer, where college students have no real obligations other than work, if that. It’s time for a well-deserved break.
I had originally planned on going to California this summer and road tripping up to Yellowstone, but that won’t be happening. It’s too far, blah blah blah, so now the current plan is to visit NYC and camp a couple times. I’m just so excited to be able to go practically anywhere! What are your plans for the summer?
Adventure on! (Yep, still keeping it.)