We were standing in front of the theater with two hours to spare, so we Yelped the best restaurant in a 10 block radius and found this place called Maialino. We had risotto croquettes and tonnarelli a caccio e peppe from the bar menu, and it was fabulous. In that moment, sitting in a restaurant in NYC with my best friend in a ridiculously sparkly red dress, glass of wine in one hand and iPhone in the other, I thought about how lucky I am and how good life has been to me. I thought about how happy I am that I basically cracked at 16 and had no problem getting up in the middle of morality class and playing the crazy card to get out of class, and that I decided to move to Minnesota, of all places, just to try something new without the direct access of my parents, and that I understand exactly how dumb and irrational I am sometimes, and that I can admit when I am wrong and that I am capable of changing. In that moment I felt privileged and like I didn’t deserve to have such a magical existence, but then I pulled myself from the depths of my mind because that’s a bad neighborhood.
This morning my alarm went off at 6:45am, but I was already up because I was stressin for my psyc exam. I finished the soy milk (which is actually soy juice, but they don’t call it that because no one would buy soy juice – weird right?) in our fridge with the last of my Kashi cereal and I left the dorm for my social psychology exam. It was okay…I only need a high C on the final to maintain an A- in the class, so I think I’m good. I was still trippin over some of the less logical questions like this one:
Rebecca’s friend Marie is planning on potentially going to New York for the weekend, but she is still unsure. Which of the following should Rebecca consider to determine whether or not Marie will go to New York for the weekend?
a) Marie’s attitude in regards to New Yorkers
b) Marie’s intention to go to New York
c) Marie’s attitude toward travel
d) Marie’s intention to travel this weekend
I mean, I don’t know if I’m missing something, but I have no idea where this came from. I think I picked b or d. Regardless, the exam went fairly well I think.
After my exam, I submitted my final linguistics solution, changed the grade base for my cultural studies class so it can count toward my minor, and then had my last dining hall experience with Eva. I will not miss the dining hall at all. Literally. At all. But that is discussed below.
Then we went to Publika, because they are giving out free teas as they are the winner of the Grapevine Award for best tea and best coffee, so yay. I’m sitting on the sidewalk of 4th St, drinking my iced pomegranate black tea with pearls and 30% sugar, chillin in the sunshine, typing away on my extremely over-heated laptop.
I remember around March of last year, before I had received most of my college rejection letters, I was in the car with my dad and we were talking about where I was going to go to college. We were joking about the ridiculous name of Dinkytown, and he said, “Well, we know you screwed up if you end up in Dinkytown.” I’m not sure if he was right or not – if I really did screw up or if I just ended up here by default. Either way, it’s been the good kind of year that I am capable of having.
This will now be my final review of living in a dorm as per my experience.
It sucks and I don’t recommend it if you’re at all like me. For some people, it is the saving grace of their freshman year. It is how they make friends, and they get to have a “real college experience.” I thought I was going to have that too.
The problem for me is that I overestimated my normalcy. I’m not saying I’m weird in a cool, special, unique way, because in pretty much every way you can be considered “exciting and unique,” I am just like everyone else. But in other ways, I just don’t value the same things, and I think it has a lot to do with the fact that I have a pretty unruly sense of independence as a result of having attended 6 schools in 6 years. Because of this, I wanted really badly to have a super normal college experience in Minnesota – one of the most normal, vanilla places ever. Not so much because I wanted to be like everyone else, but more because I just wanted to be on an even playing field and have the same experiences as everyone else.
The problem is, like I said, that I overestimated the amount of happiness I can derive from the same experiences that make other people happy. I thought living in a dorm, going to football games, and getting shwasted at house parties would make me happy because they were very normal things that everyone else loved, but they don’t make me happy. They didn’t. At all. And I started to realize this as I met different kinds of people toward the very end of my first semester. More mature, interesting people who were the type of cool that I am very much drawn to.
I’m happy I did these things because I now can say that I at least tried to live a life outside of my oddly shaped bubble, but all of the individuals who I now call friends were discovered while doing things that actually make me happy. (Except Eva. We met online. Ah Facebook.)
So yes, I tried really hard to convince myself that I loved living in the dorms, but I didn’t, and I began to come to terms with this at around Christmas time. These are the reasons why I think it sucks for someone like me:
1) I am quite a hypocrite, and I have accepted this. As in, I love my tattoos, but I probably won’t like yours. I also love my dog, but I probably won’t like yours. I also, however, like being in a clean environment. An organized, trash-free environment. 2/3 of my roommates didn’t feel this way. I will leave it at that because I don’t believe in publicly bashing people. Insert frustration here.
2) I like playing music pretty much all the time. When I wake up, when I am doing homework, when I am cleaning, when I am showering, when I am walking somewhere, when I am falling asleep, all the time. It’s hard to do that when some of the people who you are living with don’t feel the same way.
3) I hate TV and believe that it has no place in the lives of mobile individuals. Go live something.
4) I don’t like eating dining hall food. Now, I can’t complain too much because my dorm has some of the best dorm food I have heard of, and I have very few horror stories. The problem is that everything except for the salad is really, really unhealthy. Even the smoothies are made with yogurt containing high fructose corn syrup, and never have I ever seen a whole grain in the dining hall. So I ended up eating salad all the time, which is fine, but every now and then there would be a bug in my salad. I mean it’s really not that hard to use a salad spinner, guys. Also, I really do enjoy cooking for myself, which is exceedingly difficult in a dorm.
5) I don’t dislike communal bathrooms for the reason that they are shared and I have to bring all of my shit with me whenever I shower (but I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve been too lazy to find everything so used Dr. Bronner’s as…everything). I dislike them because every time I had to pee or shower or brush my teeth or whatever, I had to face the world. I passed the library, where lots of people congregate for various reasons. I passed the kitchen, and had watch people burn the shit out of their chicken wings. I passed 7 dorms, so hello to all of you. And, on weekend mornings, I passed tour groups. Only twice, however, have I had to fumble with my keys while standing wet, in my towel, at my door, in the middle of a tour group. Good morning guys. Come to the U. But the only thing between my wet body and your eyes is a rectangle of fabric, so please avert your eyes. Thanks.
6) The only space on the entire campus that I could call mine was my bed, my desk, my dresser, and my wardrobe. That’s it. The ground next to my bed was not mine, that was public space as far as I was concerned, so I had to make sure I treated is as such so as not to piss off my loving roommate. I just get a little claustrophobic knowing that the only space that I can dominate and say, “No, no. You no enter,” is approximately 25 square feet.
7) I have my own schedule, and I really don’t like having to consider someone else’s. CALL ME CRAZY AND SELFISH, but I like to kind of do whatever I want whenever I want, and I had much, much more freedom to do that last year while living with my parents than I did this year while living, ehem, “alone.” It’s just hard for me to not be able to completely control my environment.
8) I think that’s it…yeah I think so. Basically, dorms just didn’t really work out for me. Not my thing.
Thus, next semester, I am living in campus apartments. Yes, it is still university student housing, but none of the above reasons for my displeasure with dorm living apply to the apartments, so I hope it will work out nicely.
And here’s a really good song by two of my favorite artists collabing and being amazing…
Right now, I am sitting in a “study room” in my dorm, trying to write a paper that is due in exactly 12 hours. However, in those 12 hours it’d also be nice if I could go to class, meet with my linguistics group to finish our final assignment, and shower. Minus the shower which has become a third-tier priority, that leaves me with 8 hours. This is the product of those moments when I tell myself I am “fine because I already wrote my paper in my head while I was in the shower.” Fuck those moments.
I refer to the “study room” with such suggestive quotations because I’m not sure what makes it a study room. I’m pretty sure it’s just a room void of sharp objects with which to stab yourself, places from which to hang yourself, and windows to jump out of when you realize your procrastination has gotten to a point that requires you to rent a study room at 2am because your roommates are asleep and you don’t know what else to do.
Earlier this evening, however, I had the grand pleasure of going to a premier of The Great Gatsby starring Leonardo DiCaprio, my spirit animal. The condition upon which I allowed myself to go to the movie was that I had to have completed my paper first. I didn’t do that, and then decided to make my future self pay for the error of my ways. Does anyone else do this? (Don’t answer, that was a rhetorical question. That was just me expressing my wonder.) I never actually think about dealing with the consequences of my actions because I separate my past, present, and future selves. As in, I think back and I’m like, “I’m proud of you, past self. You took graduate level classes and didn’t sink to the bottom of the shit heap that is over-ambitious undergrads. Well done.” And when faced with a decision, let’s say in terms of alcohol, I will think to myself, “No, no. I can’t drink that now. Or else my future self will kill me when I won’t be able to focus tomorrow. No thanks.” However, sometimes I feel a little bitchy toward myself and I do something like I did earlier today, and I decide to stick it to my future self. I was like, “Okay, I’ll go to the movie for my present self. But goddamn future self is going to HATE me for doing this.” And yes, past self. I do hate you for doing this.
However, I am happy I went – I just wish I would have started my paper, you know, a month ago when everyone else did. It was really a great movie, and whatever director had the balls to tackle that book really deserves a super thumbs up and a pat on the back for a job well done. Also, he somehow figured out how to include Beyonce into a movie set in the 1920s, which in and of itself is a feat of the greatest. It was also such a wonderful experience because I was with some cool, cool people. I can’t really put my finger on what it is about them, but those guys always impress me and I really admire them. What’s weird, though, is that the film release date was May 10, and it started at 10pm on May 9. Still don’t really understand that one.
But so yes. (That’s kind of become my unintentional catch phrase.) I’m going to miss Minnesota this summer. And although I have discovered that this place isn’t actually as magical as I thought it was when I first moved here, it’s really cool for a bunch of different reasons. I’ve met some shitty people, and I’ve done some shitty things, and I’ve cried a few times, but like my father told me – I really have come full circle. And regardless of how much more time I actually end up spending here, a part of me will always have some roots in Minnesota.
Oh that’s just so hot. In a really sad, tired, in need of sleep and a shower kind of way. (SLEEP AND SHOWER WITH YOU?!) (Haha no.) (Unless you’re LDC…in which case, we should talk.)
Alas, the film is over and I am sitting in the “study room,” equipped to get this shit done. I had a Saturday Evening Post mug full of coffee, which is already gone, sadly enough. I also have a Chobani with a knife, because I mistakenly grabbed that instead of a spoon while I was blindly fumbling around my room without a light on. I also have somersaults. Lots of somersaults.
LET’S WRITE A PAPER ABOUT PHONOLOGY HELL YAHH.
Snowstorm Yogi is drunk and he needs to go home.
So I decided to bury myself into my dorm and do Pinterest things and be a little more domestic. So I made a yoga tank top.
You can’t see outside my window because my webcam is has shitty resolution and the snow is so blindingly white. But you can kind of see my tank top!
I am waiting for my laundry to be done, and trying not to make awkward eye contact with the guy sitting across from me again. It keeps happening. Awkward eye contact isn’t always weird, but I think I know him from somewhere, and I think he knows me, but neither of us are saying anything because we both suck so it’s just one of those moments in life. Those awkward moments. Which occupy 85% of my life.
We were introducing ourselves in one of my classes today, and this one woman said “I’m just chippin away at the old undergrad.” Then the professor said, “Good for you. Do I know him?” It was a magical moment.
Yesterday, I was standing at the sink, washing out my mug, and out of the corner of my eye I saw a girl with the same neon yellow sweatshirt as the one I was wearing. I thought to myself, “Wow…I wonder if she bought it for $12 at the bookstore like I did…” She was still standing there as I was leaving, and when I turned around to go back to my room, I realized that it was my reflection in the window. It was a low point of my day.
A few days ago, I noticed this guy who had uncanny resemblance to this one guy who bit my tongue one time. I really didn’t want to believe it was him, because this guy actually seems really normal, and that guy bit it like, really hard. Today, it was confirmed that it is in fact him. I’m not sure how I feel about that. It’s just another one of those things I guess. Those face palm moments of life.
This is really messy, so in an effort to organize it a little more, I split it into parts. It really didn’t change the fact that none of this makes sense in the same post, but whatever.
I have returned to the land of the passive-aggressive, and it feels so good. I had my first class this morning, and I am actually really looking forward to puttin it to the grind stone and banging out an amazing semester. I am going balls to the wall and trying make this semester academically perfect and trying to stay healthy while doing so – that means a lot more sleep and working out and a lot less bullshit. Three cheers for less bullshit. On all accounts.
I am currently sitting in the Starbucks on West Bank. It’s a really cool place – two of the walls are glass and it’s on the top floor of a building, so it has a cool view and tons of natural sunlight, which is something I crave (especially when it feels like -29F outside (I’m not kidding)). There are these three seats in this Starbucks to the left of the door, and literally every single time I have come in here they have been taken. While waiting for my tall soy vanilla spice, I would stare longingly at those three golden seats, imagining how it must feel to have the cozy chair that everyone desires. And today, ladies and gentlemen, I scored one of those seats. And it feels glorious.
I sat down and sunk my teeth into a tomato and mozzarella panini, and the chick next to me was eating an apple. She took a bite, and I am not exaggerating when I say that the juice from her apple sprayed my ear. It literally travelled like 4 feet through the air and squirted the side of my head. It was an incredibly strange experience and reminded me of this.
For Christmas, my dad bought me framed pictured of Bannerman’s Island, the Hudson River, and the Clearwater, as well as a glass Clearwater and a glass bird from Hudson Beach Glass. I hung them all yesterday, and it makes my room feel so much nicer. I hung the bird and the Clearwater from a chain of paper clips because I couldn’t find a string thick enough to support them, and it actually looks really cool because they are hanging from the Christmas lights above my bed. I also have this green Swarovski crystal that Yulia gave me a few years ago that I hung on our window, and the way it casts light around the room is beautiful.
After having spent so much time with people that truly understand me and mean the world to me over break, I realized what a high standard I put on the relationships in my life. I don’t have room for friends of convenience or anyone who causes me problems. I can be such a bitch. Really. I can be unbearable. And while I do have control over myself and I try to not be a psycho bitch most of the time, the people who make a mark on my heart are the ones around whom I don’t have to try to control myself because I feel nothing but love for them. The people who make me feel so thankful for their existence that I never have the desire to be anything but the best version of myself around them. Those are the people who make it into my book of “Yeah I’d take a bullet for you.”
My great grandfather said (well, my father says he said) to only befriend people who are better than you in some way (I am assuming there is a substantial amount of paraphrasing here), and I have to say that those words are pure gold. I look at the people who have stuck around – the ones whose friendship has lasted the test of time, distance, or disagreement, and they are the ones who I can learn from. I have to say though, that this advice can only be used by a specific kind of person. The kind of person who has not only the ability to teach someone a thing or two about how to better their existence, but the kind of person who is still humble enough to be able to accept that they themselves have a thing or two to learn from others, and can work toward becoming that better version of themselves. I’d like to think I fit the bill, as do any of the people that I have the honor to call a friend.
Yulia travelled 9 hours from Rhode Island by bus, train, foot, and car, to spend 18 hours in NY. I met her on 85th and Lex, and I saw her fountain of blondness from a block and a half away. We went to Mike’s basketball game, and it was weird to think that my little brother goes to school there. He commutes, every day, to go to high school, when he could have very easily gone to Lourdes or even Arlington. Then I thought about my academic track record, and I think it’s cool that we kind of seek these opportunities. I think it says a lot about us. Granted, none of it would be possible without my parents’ help (financial and otherwise), and they never hesitate to remind us of that, but we are still the ones who seize these opportunities, and I’m really proud of that. After his game, Yulia and I went to dinner at this restaurant near Gramercy.
Yulia came for the Augustana concert at Gramercy, and ohmygod. I don’t know what combination of Dan Layus, live music, NYC, sparkly dresses, alcohol, Yulia, and an accordion made that concert feel so magical, but it was an experience like no other. Sometimes I get this feeling during a song that I can’t explain. It makes me feel like something beneath my skin is moving. Like something is shifting. We’ll call it a songasm. I have never seen anyone else try to explain this so I don’t know if it’s a normal thing, but it has happened a few times before, most notably during Rufus Wainwright’s live performance of Hallelujah. Anyway, most of this concert created that kind of a feeling. When Dan started talking to the audience, he apologized for going on and on about his life and other things, but I had to use every ounce of restraint within me to not beg him to keep talking, because his voice is just so mesmerizing. Well done, Augustana. Well done.
I could not have had a better last day in New York. Alas, I am now back to negative temps, dorm living, and lots of work, so the fun from that last night in New York will have to last me a little while. Until next time.