The End of the Year

This last week has caught me off guard a little. With in-house draw on Wednesday, end-of-the-year dorm banquet on Friday, the last weekly barbeque on Saturday, and the prospect of packing up all of my belongings into boxes and suitcases, it’s really starting to feel like the end, more so than just putting the last period on a paper. In less than two weeks, I will be on a plane back home, ready to tackle my research-less, internship-less, utterly plan-less summer.

I said in my last post that I didn’t really feel any different than I did when I was sixteen. The other day, we some friends and I went out to Indian for dinner, we were talking about how we may or may not have changed. My roommate said I had, but I didn’t ask for details, perhaps in fear of what she’d say.

Since then, I have been thinking about how this year has shaped me, and the more I think about it, the more I feel like it has. Even though there’s still the goofy side of me, I think I’ve become more serious than I was when I first arrived. There is a sense of this-is-life-now-whether-you-like-it-or-not-so-you-better-make-use-of-it. And the overwhelming amount of opportunities and resources this university has for their students reinforces this in every single way possible. But I don’t want to make it seem like I’ve taken advantage of all this place has to offer or that it is because of these extracurricular opportunities that I’ve become more serious… because I haven’t and it isn’t.

I’ve met so many different people here… from the laid back to the stressed out, from the early birds to the night owls, from the live-in-the-moment’s to the plan-ahead-ers… and, like I alluded to in my last post, I think it’s the people who have made such a difference on me.

I’m less eager to please those around me, less eager to put up smiling facades, less eager to hide who I am by the means of happiness. But I am still not too eager to show who I am. I think I’m more dedicated to my work now, thinking of classes as ways of discovering the beauty in subject matters rather than a unit-weighted GPA on my transcript. Procrastination is no longer something I resort to when I don’t want to do work, maybe because I love my classes so much that I want to do work. But at times, my dedication to not procrastinate has driven me nearly to insanity because of work that needs to be done for a deadline a week or more later. And because of this, I think I have taken a path towards a college experience with more solidarity than I had envisioned. My days begin in the early hours of the morning, when some people have only just started drifting off to sleep, and end in the evenings, when I get out of my last class or finally feel the necessity to leave the library. Sometimes, by the time I get back to the dorm after a 12+ hour day, I just don’t have the energy to cheerily make small talk with dormmates. I have, perhaps, become a little more impatient, a little more easily upset, a little more close-minded in my interactions with others.

On the other hand, I don’t think I have ever enjoyed my selection of academic courses as much as I have this quarter. Math became enjoyable again, despite its ever-increasing difficulty, and I think I have finally come to view it as a part of a grander scheme of things rather than a sequence of lectures, problem sets, and examinations. Music has proved to be a commitment that I am happy to spend even the latest of hours doing. And English… English has become an exponentially growing passion.

Last Monday, I woke up at 7:30 am and read a book for pleasure. It had been nearly three months since I had done that, and it wasn’t really all that enjoyable then. But this time, I couldn’t stop… I just kept taking in the words and turning the pages until there were no more words to take in and no more pages to turn. For the first time (or the first time in a long time, at least), I could truly say that I love to read. And for the first time, reading is one of the activities I have listed on my summer to-do’s.

The fiction writing workshop I’m taking this quarter has sparked a passion in me that I always knew I had, but had never realized was so powerful. Some days, all I want to do it just sit down with a pen and my journal (or my laptop) and write from morning until dusk. Indeed one of the most memorable moments this quarter was the day I spent writing from 11 am to 6 pm at the English department’s creative writing retreat. And regardless of how well I write, I still love it, stubbornly and honestly.

This summer, I plan on doing three things: reading, writing, and doing math. I’m determined to keep my brain from rotting, exercising its (limited) creative and academic capabilities. And as for the people I owe for shaping me, for better or for worse, I will most certainly keep in touch, whether it be by facebook, email, skype, telephone, or an actual trip out to visit them.

It’s crazy to think that in a couple of weeks, I will no longer be a freshman. But there it is. The end of one year, but the beginning of another that will undoubtably be as fulfilling as this one has been.

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~ by thechanster on 8:47 am, Sunday, May 31, 2009.

One Response to “The End of the Year”

  1. your post makes me smile, i love you charlotte! do keep writing and send me your stories :)

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