I’m back in Baltimore and it feels very strange. I miss the Blackstone, the apartment I sub-letted over the summer, and I miss the comfort of walking to the same class every day. I miss eating breakfast every morning with my roommate, Julia, and I even miss the blistering city heat. Now I live in an amazingly spacious efficiency in Homewood, but I still feel out of place.
A friend of mine recently told me that he doesn’t deal well with change, and at first I thought that I was actually good at dealing with life’s transitions. But then I thought back to last summer, when I was so terrified of leaving my family, and then to the blur that was freshman fall. I definitely had some transitional troubles. I really did not manage well the lack of sleep, the constant socializing, and intense academic schedule. Even though I found an amazing group of friends almost immediately, I still felt overwhelmed.
This summer, though, I think I have figured out how to avoid all the mistakes I made last fall and more. I thought that the way to succeed in college was to be completely open and adventurous to all change. I was spontaneous, flexible, and social, all with a big bright smile. I didn’t see it at the time, but this took a major toll on me. I was constantly sick and slept deprived. I never really developed a schedule or made room for time to exercise or to lie in bed and watch TV. There were weeks where I ate exclusively white pasta, weeks where I didn’t call home, and weeks when I felt I was going to pass out 24/7. Even so, I wasn’t miserable. I was exploring a new city and taking challenging courses that have convinced me 100% of what I want to do with my life. When I went home for two weeks after spring semester, I thought about my crazy freshman year. I couldn’t help but cringe. I lost the person I had always been.
I thought taking Organic Chemistry over the summer was going to be miserable. Although I looked forward to the material, I was afraid of the work and missing out on beach days and vacations. But Julia and I developed a schedule and made this summer the most productive one of my life. Our routine consisted of going to class, studying, working out, cooking, and exploring Charm City. I was happier than I’ve been in a long time.
Starting this year was a weird flashback to freshman year, and I’m embracing some of the nervous excitement, but not too much of it. Although I know I am definitely a different person than my old high school self, I have succeeded in finding what makes me truly happy and healthy again.
So I guess change is hard for everyone. I thought my attitude towards college was the right one, but I ended up overdoing it and strayed from my true self. This year, I am more confident in myself, my relationships, and how I want to spend my time. I’m ready for sophomore year.