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Some College Perspective

Here it is, the last two weeks of the semester. I have two exams this week, three finals next week. This is what I’ve been dreading and hoping for since August–to be finished! I thought that as soon as I would get back from Thanksgiving break I would snap into action… Wrong! I feel lazier than ever, and spent my first school day back taking four different naps. I know it’s almost over and that I just need to keep the hope alive, but all of those days of doing nothing during break let me brain slide back into its normal, vegetative state.

However, there are a lot of reasons I’m glad to be back at school. I forgot how luxurious it is to just be able to walk out the door and go where I want to go, do what I need to do without any explanation. Having my parents ask about my plans every single day and ask where I’m going, who I’ll be with, when I’m coming home is a royal pain in the ass. First of all, I’m not in high school. Second of all, if I wanted to, I could cut all my classes every single day, drink and party every night, and bring all sorts of guys back to my place at school. But I don’t. So they should trust my judgment by now.

And as much as I love my family I hate feeling trapped in my room in our house. In my dorm room I always have my roommate or Caitlin over, and at home it’s easier to feel lonely. I know I could spend time with them, but home doesn’t really feel like it’s mine anymore. I feel like I’m borrowing everything off of someone else’s charity and that I should have a space of my own.

Oh? and did I mention my parents constantly bickering? I never noticed how unsettling it was to be around unhappy people, to be home, until now. I get so sick of the constant waves of guilt, annoyance, frustration, and responsibility that overwhelm everyone, and spread like an infectious disease. I want my home to be happy, not full of pretense and stuffy silence (when there isn’t yelling).

But, I do miss my friends, the company of my dogs, the conversations between my mom and I, and driving around my old hometown. There’s both a freedom and a suppression of being there.

It’s funny how when you get older things change. The wonderful people your parents were and the happy home you lived in begin to fade, to be replaced with something more honest, more real, and therefore sadder. But I guess it’s those realizations that push you to become different from your parents and the life you’ve known. More than anything, I want to push myself outside the box and the world I have built for myself.

But, in the meantime, I’ve got those exams to study for. It’s funny how school, which is supposed to make your future life better, can get in the way of actually living life right now.


The Quest Continues…

The sea of graduation parties continues, and here I find myself on the road with my parents—of all people. Apparently, no one has these parties over the actual week, so during the week I have to figure out how to not drive myself crazy. (As a result, the amount of time I spend online absolutely sickens me). This is why I’m sitting in the car with my parents right now, discussing the flaws of the US educational system. Because traveling a few towns south is more interesting than exploring Pinterest for the umpteenth time.

Generally, so far this summer I’ve been avoiding my parents. They tend to drive me absolutely crazy, like most parents of teens. Anymore when I talk to them we end up arguing, or I’m just super annoyed. Besides, even just being in the same house with them is enough—I get to hear their bickering, their TV shows blaring, smell the strange food they cook. They love to ridicule me for staying up in my room all the time, but the reasons to stay up there are astronomical. Mainly, the fact that it is the only place in the house that is actually mine. Quiet, but colorful. Full of music and books, comfortable blankets and pillows. Impeccably clean when I want, messy when I don’t care… It’s too bad they don’t see it like I do.

Anyway, the place we are going has really good pizza, and just a nice vibe in general. Small, historic, sunny and warm. I’ve wanted to go back there for a while, and I guess this is my only shot at doing it without paying for gas. Granted, I’ve been wanting to go there with my boyfriend or a friend, but where is he? My friends I’ve seeing all the time at these parties, but at the same time I haven’t seen him in what feels like weeks. I miss him a lot.

It’s funny about missing people… The less you’re around them, the less you are inclined to care about them, yet you still do. Most of the time I find myself missing people, I am telling myself to not care. Because if they aren’t there, isn’t that their choosing? Besides, I am the master at pretending things don’t bother me when they do–what’s wrong with a little practice? The funny thing about missing people, though, is that the more you try not to miss them, the more you end up missing them anyway.

I guess all I can do is try convincing myself he feels the same and try not to think about it. If I over think this, I can let a lot of insecurity screw things up in my head, which will leak into my relationship.

Alas, the quest to sort things out continues. If things go right, tonight I’ll be with my friends once more seeing a movie and not worrying about being bored or lonely. And maybe before that I will clean out my room for college more (which oddly makes me happy). I’ll even consider going to the gym. To some people, this isn’t much of a life I’m living, but to me I’m taking things one step at a time. And that’s enough.

The Test You Will Always Fail

In some ways, living with your parents is life’s great test.

Okay, no it’s not, but it sure feels that way when you’re listening to them scream about who should cut the lawn at nine o’clock in the morning.

Let’s think about this here. In childhood, you need these people; they are your entire support system. Then when you are a teenager, can drive, have a job (as crappy as it may be, but a job), can vote, fight for your country, and start planning out your future based on what you want, you don’t really feel like you need them, they’re just these crazy people you live with that pay your bills and sometimes give out free food. But alas, you still need a support system, one for dealing with them. It sort of seems like a punishment for being born.

These people are the ones you get your name from, your physical traits, your migraines, and your personality. They are the ones who created the environment that either makes you a neat freak, a slob, a whatever. They are the ones responsible your memories of painful family reunions, scarring trips to Disney World, and getting your photo taken with that creepy guy dressed up like Santa in the mall (and seriously, where do they find those guys?!). Basically, THEY ARE RESPONSIBLE. So sometimes that can soften the blow of having a sixth toe.

And yet….these crimes they are guilty of do not always make it okay in our minds to have to listen to, “Okay, so your father and I’s anniversary is tomorrow, so we’d appreciate it if you and your sisters could make plans for the night. Unless you’d like to hear the creation of your next sister.”

I don’t know about you, but that is not okay, my friends, that is not okay. However, there is hope! Yes, hope I say, because no one who lives with parents like these lives with them forever. There is always the comfort of knowing that one day you will be on your own. Or dead. Whichever comes first. And so you will be away from your mom’s awful tuna casserole recipe for all eternity.

It is a strange hope. At nine thirty, when the house is finally quiet and you have decided to just stay at home all day rather than risk your mother’s wrath, it is a strange, liberating feeling to know that someday you won’t have to make that choice. Someday you will not have to witness your dad walking around in his bathrobe, someday you can walk into your bathroom without a sense of dread. Even though you may be stuck with these crazy people for now, you know in the back of your head you won’t be stuck forever. All of this suffering will have been paid off, and you can look forward to it taking out on your future children.

Because after all, what fun is it to not let your children discover the joy of hearing their parents tell their friends about the time they wet their pants on the first day of second grade?

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