I spoke of introversion, and the difficulty of reaching out meaningfully. The first few days, and honestly even now, was a permutation of parroting "Hey my name is [ ], I'm majoring in [ ], and I'm from [40% Norcal, 30% Socal, 10% some place abroad, 10% a non-Californian state, 10% self-described 'desert in the middle of nowhere']".
But similar to methodically popping the bubbles on bubble wrap, or whacking the moles in an arcade game, I can see the necessity of making abundant introductions in hopes of stumbling across of group where conversation can be held in an excess of five minutes. Create a group chat, throw in an inside joke and dinner plans, and college feels like a slightly less lonely place.
I'm lucky in that a few high school friends are here with me, and that I can go home virtually anytime I wish. The transition for others has not been as nearly as convenient as it has been for me. The setting is still foreign, but I take comfort in the routine of making my bunk bed and vacuuming on Sundays. Ideally, a clean space would reflect a slightly less cluttered mind :^)
Not much has changed about me, despite turning eighteen. It was strange not spending my birthday with my family, but my friends (new and old) helped fill the gap wonderfully <3
Of course, college hasn't been just a blissful happy bubble. Sometimes the feeling of being lost wells up as I walk through a sea of unrecognizable faces. Hearing about peers taking twice as many classes and securing summer internships further cultivates a sense of being underqualified.
But I'm trying my best XD
It's fun to chat with random people I met at lecture to learn about their hobbies back home, or to hear how many miles they travelled to get here. It's reassuring to talk to upperclassmen and learn about the classes and organization they appreciate, and how they still don't know what they will do in life. I'd like to think I've been a generally amiable human being, even venturing out to an EECS social (which my friend pointed out as an oxymoron). I try to comfort people when they feel out of place or that they made a mistake. Life is too vast for me to generalize about, but I figure that it helps and hurts people at different times, so might as well help others through the process. Most of the people I've encountered are friendly and pretty cool to learn from, and if I run into some people who aren't, I suppose the campus is big enough for everyone :)
A Miyazaki essay I had read over the summer lamented how growing beyond childhood resulted in a loss of clarity. I thought at the age of eight that I would be a panda researcher when I grew up. Ten years later, I have less of a sense of where I would like to be, so I can see some validity in Miyazaki's statement. College advisers tell us to know ourselves, crafting a well-rehearsed elevator pitch that highlights key resume points. A child-like understanding of who I was and what I could be is perhaps being adorned (armored?) with LinkedIn updates.
Backtracking to the idea of identity, all I know is that my Hogwarts house flipped from Slytherin to Gryffindor at some point in the summer, and that I am not interested in consulting.
However, I rather enjoy going to class and even studying. College material feels more succinct and applicable, whether it is solving some systems of linear equations, or practicing 한글. PE is cool too, since it forces me for a set amount of time to not be hunched over a laptop or book. I think my favorite hobby so far is exploring the various libraries on campus, in search of the perfect patch of sunlight streaming through a window to settle in.
I've learned some non academic things as well, such as identifying whether a person has alcohol poisoning, and the best techniques for stashing food from the dining halls to save on meal swipes. I'm ready to struggle and hopefully come out with something worthwhile (besides an EECS degree and chronic sleep deprivation). This post is becoming long-winded now, so I'll wrap up as my stop is coming up.
To the person I was within the vicinity of during the CS lecture: I truly admire your passion and dedication to the subject, but please take care of yourself, especially in regards to hygiene, for the well-being of yourself and others around you :)
The memes do not necessarily need to be accurate.