The Middle of My Mess

This was supposed to be the easy semester. I planned it that way. On purpose. Because I knew I would be sick of college at this point, and I wanted as little burn-out as possible. Especially after my hyper-involvement in seemingly everything last semester and the four major classes–possibly the most burned-out time of my life so far.

I’m only taking 12 credits this semester. Three classes and an internship. Classes are done by chapel. Then I go to the internship. Then I come back and have dinner. Easiest semester ever. I’m not student teaching. I don’t have a senior recital or design show. It’s not like I’m taking an upper-level accounting class. I’m not in choir, I’m not taking voice lessons, I no longer have a marketing competition to deal with, I don’t have time to go to the AMA conference in New Orleans (despite how much I’d like to). I’m society chaplain, so I pray for and with my society sisters on Tuesday, I give an ultra-short challenge on Friday, and I show up at a couple of planning meetings. That is my only real extracurricular activity this semester.

It’s great! I have time to follow the 2016 presidential race–what madness. I have time to watch the debates. I can go to anything I want to around this place (if it’s free…). I can read for fun.

I get my own desk at my internship. I have my own stapler, jar of paper clips, pens in a holder, work computer… and most of it is pink. Including the wall in front of me.

But I might have been wrong again. This has not been the easiest semester. It may be the hardest yet.

I won’t go into details, but I just started at my internship last Friday. Starting has been a nightmare so far.

I thought I would have $20 on my school bill this semester. It was a lot more than that. They tell me it’s the activity fee. I wish they had added it last semester when I could have paid for it. Maybe I should have seen it coming, but the way the statements looked, I thought it was good to go. And I’m barely working this semester.  I could sub with my extra time, but everyone seems to want subs on the days when I don’t have time. No, my internship doesn’t pay. In fact, I spend money for bus fare every time I have to go there and back.

I hate to admit it, but those are the facts, and they are stressing me out quite a bit.

I’m no chocolate lover, but this semester has already driven me to eat chocolate like it’s some kind of bizarre biological need.

What my doctor calls “the body’s natural reaction to stress” hit me this week. I’m tired. I feel dreadful. I feel depressed.

I’m sick of dorm life. I’m sick of required events. I want a bathtub, a toilet of my own, and a kitchen.

Today, I won a chocolate bar in society for a silly “twinning” competition.

Today, I got a $4 off coupon on my CVS card. My hairspray only cost 50 cents today. I almost cried.

Today, we had good news about my baby sister. I wish I could say more, but I legally can’t. I’ll catch everyone up when I can.

Today, I woke up feeling horrible. Today, it was cold. Today, I had to walk to and stand at the bus stop.

Today, the internship went better.

Today, people prayed for my family.

Today, I got a package from my Nana.

Today, I needed good news. And chocolate. And prayer. And a good day at work. And almost free hairspray.

God was good today.



I See the Generation Gap

The last time I felt like time moved too slowly, I was all of five years old. My dad’s parents had bought a house in Maine and moved a truckload of their possessions into it. Then, they got back into the truck, said, “See you in two weeks!” and went back to Michigan to finish moving. To this day, I remember that as the longest two weeks of my life. We’re talking 15-16 years ago. The year 2000.

And now I’m almost done with college. Boom. Just like that.

My parents/grandparents/all other older friends and relatives laugh at me and tell me that it has moved even faster for them. I don’t want to believe them, but I think it’s true that time seems to pass a little faster every year.

The high schoolers were on campus last week. I think I’m finally beginning to get why parents and grandparents can’t relate to kids sometimes. Last year, I said YOLO in the presence of a high school  visitor, and she stared at me like I had lobsters coming out my ears. I mean, I know YOLO was stupid, but what ARE they saying now?

When did “on point” become “on fleek”? Why did the 30-something ISC director know about the change in vocab before I did?

Is there a high schooler left who still has a flip phone? Would they even recognize one if they saw it?

Have any of them used a cassette tape or VHS?

Truly, I grew up during some kind of transition. Or maybe every generation feels like this.

I was going to write an advice post for sixteen-year-olds, but I’m not sure I can even relate. I’m not sure I still speak the same language.

I was going to tell them it was ok to cool it with the eyeliner, but then I wondered if anyone still says “cool it.” And then I thought about it and realized that none of them were going overboard with the eyeliner. That was me. Those were my people.

I still remember 9/11. As in actually remember it. These kids don’t even remember when the space shuttle Columbia disintegrated on re-entry. Tomorrow marks 13 years since it happened. And I’m still affected by it because I wanted to be an astronaut back then. I watched that shuttle launch. I followed the news about it (as much as I could in those days). I was devastated when I heard about the disaster, and then I decided that the risks, math, and science weren’t worth the excitement of such a career. But I digress.

I look at the world around me. I look at the people around me, especially the younger people. I can’t believe how much things have changed in just the last 5-6 years. I can’t imagine how my parents and grandparents feel. I mean, today, I posted a link that tells about an alarm clock that wakes you up with a fresh cup of coffee. This is the stuff of sci-fi movies. The future has arrived.

But to all those sixteen-year-olds that think I’m a kill-joy who says things that are so last decade, let me tell you a few things that are timeless.

Boys are never worth it. Until they are. But save yourself the trouble for a few years.

There is more to college than fun. Most of it is not fun. The grownups are just nostalgic and misled you unintentionally.

Someday, you’ll recognize an SAT vocab word in one of your college textbooks.

It–whatever it is–will not be the latest/coolest/greatest thing in a year. Save your money. For college. Seriously.

You can always find a friend who is a kindred spirit. You don’t need to change anything about yourself–fashion, body type, fandoms, personality, or anything else–for anyone else.

Becoming more Christlike is always a good reason to change, though.

And above all, let’s agree on two things:

First, big hair needs to stay in yearbook photos from the 1980s.

Second, raccoon-like eyeliner needs to stay in my yearbook photos.


On fleek.

Or something like that.