Year Proves Fun, Unpredictable

Last summer, as I counted down the days until I moved out, I saw college merely as an escape, as a way of getting out of my boring town and gaining some independence. It seemed simple to me. I never imagined what this first year of college would hold.

Now, the year is nearly over. I am almost one-quarter of the way through college. I used to hear cliche references to high school as the “”best years of your life,”” but I really think college will be my best years. Though I faced some of the toughest stuff fathomable this year, I felt for the first time like I was living my own life.

Living in the residence halls was definitely an experience. It is something I’m ready to be done with, but something I’ll always appreciate.

Never again will my dormmates or I have the opportunity to get to know so many people so fast and so well. Staying up until sunrise doing absolutely nothing substantial was fun. I enjoyed all the time hanging out in my suite, in the lounges, even in Sierra Summit.

Living in a suite with seven fairly random people spiced up my year. I got to know people I probably wouldn’t have known otherwise, and I got to witness my suitemates develop all sorts of different lifestyles now that they’re on their own.

While we had moments I did not appreciate, I loved my suite and the diversity of personalities in it. It’s strange to think that in the future I’ll be walking down Library Walk and I’ll think, “”There’s one of my suitemates from freshman year.”” They are all such rocks in my life right now, because I see them every single day. (Well, except for two; one is always out of town and the other just disappears a lot.) It’s bizarre to imagine them as simple passers-by.

My biggest apprehension about coming to college was regarding my roommate. After some confusion, and two weeks with a “”super single,”” my wonderful, considerate roommate moved in. Though I don’t feel I know her very well, I’ve enjoyed living with her.

I worry a lot that I was not nearly as good a roommate to her as she was to me. My roommate made living so easy on me; looking back, the roommate situation was really one of the few aspects of my life that didn’t cause me trouble this year.

I’ve had so many different friends this year. I made friends I think I’ll keep through all of college. I made friends who didn’t last long at all. I’ve got tons of acquaintances, people I hope I’ll always be able to stop and chat with in future years.

I wrote in my journal in September that “”the caliber of personality here seems higher than that of Castro Valley. I’ve met a lot of people who seem to think like I do.”” I’ve kept that viewpoint until now. In general, probably because this is such an academic institution, the people here are thoughtful and interesting.

I’ve found a few bad apples, though. The year has been a lesson in being careful about who I trust.

I’ve witnessed others going through hell this year. It’s been proven to me that there really are assholes out there, that some people are purely bad and don’t think twice about hurting innocent people.

I’ve been to a place in which I never thought I’d set foot. I’ve escorted a friend back from the edge. This year, I’ve witnessed more pain than I knew could exist.

I’ve had my heart broken, too. Relationships are a whole new ballgame in college. Hookups are the norm, and real relationships take exponentially more time and effort than they did in high school. Guys, too, gave me a lesson in the necessity of gauging where I place my trust.

I’ve gone for things I really wanted, and been denied. I learned the lesson that sometimes my best is just not good enough. I’m getting used to disappointment, as sad as that sounds.

Despite the heavy emotional toll, the year was a blast. Though I never went to TJ, I did the “”freshman girl”” thing and partied quite a bit. I learned that weekends aren’t restful in college.

Oh yeah, and I went to class a lot too. I’ve written about 100 pages of papers this year.

My first year of college held so many surprises, it’s almost a relief that it’s over. But I did enjoy it. I’ve grown more emotionally this year than I did in all of high school. With all of this in mind, I have just one thing to say: I can’t wait for September.

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