So it is the start of another semester here in Blacksburg. Today Virginia Tech classes began for Fall of 2016. A new class of freshmen woke up this morning…and I am sure they were filled with a whole host of emotions as I was five years ago: anxiety, excitement, fear, insecurity, apprehension, happiness, loneliness.
To all you out there in this place called College Freshmen, just know that it keeps getting better. If it’s hard now, it’ll improve. And if it’s awesome now, there is still a ton more awesomeness yet to come. If you’re bored, seek out one of the bazillion clubs and organizations on campus. If you’re lonely, I promise, you’ll make friends. (Everyone is looking for them. But trust me on this too: you have to GO OUTSIDE to find them. As much as you may want to huddle in your dorm room and text high school friends and obsess over instagram… don’t do it! Also, it’s syllabus week: don’t even pretend you have homework. Even you, engineers. haha)
Andddd if you are required to start a blog, DO IT. That was part of my requirement freshmen and sophmore years when I lived in the Honors Residential College (HRC). At the time, I had pretty mixed emotions towards it. I began with a pretty killer first post:
Clearly I didn’t have many ideas at the time. But I am so happy that it was a requirement! In a way, it became a record of my first years at Tech. It became a journal, a place for ideas and rambling, a place for remembering, a place for processing (as well as a place to get my required honors involvement checked off). We were told during our visit during the summer that it was going to be a requirement, so as the nervous overachiever that I was, I began before classes started:
And then I became so immersed in college life – adjusting to a new home, trying to find new friends, discovering all the new food options, grasping at this weird freedom where I could stay up as late as I wanted and do laundry at 2 in the morning and walk barefoot – that I forgot about blogging for at least 11 days….
(If you want more of an explanation of these days… I wrote more here. And the rest of this blog, in its preserved, original form can be found here. Don’t judge me. haha)
And then the last one I will share today had to do with goals that I set because of an assignment in my Freshmen Honors Seminar class. It was interesting to read through these five years after the fact, and to evaluate my success in achieving them.
And I happen to still be in the midst of trying to achieve that final goal. (Finding something that I love. Not raising a unicorn on a ranch in Canada. Duh.) Therefore, I spent my day with a wonderful little seven month old exploring the ideas of object permanence, working on communication through baby sign language, watching her learn how to balance on her little chubby legs, wiping up mushed bananas and peas… Honestly I am loving this season of life. I love being a nanny, getting to meet the needs of little ones, being creative, being goofy. I love the freedom of knowing this is what I am doing for now, and that is all it has to be. Day by day, moment by moment, it is teaching me how to find joy in the little successes and beauty all around me.
And speaking of beauty… Tré and I got to watch an amazing sunset tonight. We had planned on going on a walk anyway, but when I looked out the window and saw the fringes of the sunset, we dashed out, walked to the parking garage, sprinted to the top level, and got (what I believe to be) the best view in Blacksburg. The spontaneity was so fun. :) Then, while we were on this walk we wound through campus and ended up passing by Cowgill and Burchard… the architecture and design buildings. I didn’t think this would phase me, but I found myself tearing up as we walked home. So many memories were flashing through my mind. So many amazing people who I met in those buildings, so many sleepless nights, so much blood, sweat, and tears (quite literally).
And I think in that moment it finally hit me: I graduated. College is over for me. Those people have moved away and those years are just memories now. There is a whole new class of first years trying to figure out what the heck their professors are talking about. Those who were first years last year are now feeling like pros…until they realize they have no idea how to design actual buildings. Third years are b.s.ing their way through new software and fourth years are studying abroad or probably bored as hell. There is a new batch of thesis students, faced with one of the most challenging tasks of their educational career. And then there’s all of us who remember those days, but no longer belong in those days. And as much as I am enjoying this season of life, I can’t help but mourn that change. I am missing the creative atmosphere. I am missing those people who were with me in some of the highest and lowest moments of my college years. People in design, people in my dorm, people from Deet’s, people from Cru…
It’s always the people, isn’t it…?
Thank you to everyone who made my five years all that they were. I hope I never forget you.