Why I’ll Never Be Tan

Dear Reader,

A lot of my friends are very into spray tanning right now. I totally get it–your skin looks clearer, your teeth look whiter, your muscles look more toned. Plus, it’s not like they’re using tanning beds or actually harming their skin. They’re just getting spray tans once or twice a week so they can feel a little more confident. I’m really not knocking it.

But the other day they were talking about how they have to plan their workout schedule more meticulously because they don’t want streaks, which could come if they sweat a lot on the same day they go to the tanning place.

This reminded me of my junior prom. I had gotten a spray tan earlier that day and decided, that night, to watch the second-to-last episode of The Office. To this day I am still so thankful that it wasn’t the series finale–otherwise my face would have been royally messed up. This episode, however, just jerked a single tear that ran down my cheek–and freicken stained my face.

Remembering this, I made the comment that I probably couldn’t spray tan regularly because of how often I cry. They looked at me kind of funny, maybe a little skeptical too, and asked, “Really? You cry that often?”

And yeah, I cry at least once or twice a week. Sometimes if I’m in a weird spell I’ll notice that I’m crying daily, but those only come around every so often. I really don’t think it’s that bizarre, though, because as I thought about it, I realized that I cry way more because of the lives of others than because of my own.

In fact, more often than not, I cry at the lives of fictional people. When Callum died in Noughts & Crosses and Anna and Elsa grew up without each other in Frozen and Clay discovered that he forgot his own son in One Tree Hill, I shed an absurd amount of tears. And even after the screen was off and the book was closed, I cried. I would just think of these storylines and feel such an overwhelming sadness.

Ugh, especially Clay. His storyline messed me up for days.

These stories just grip me. And these damn writers know just how to work it. The stories they create grab a hold of my heart, and sometimes they’re nice to it and I leave feeling fuller or happier, but other times they just toy with it. They squeeze it until I think it might burst–and I have to remind myself that these are all characters, being manipulated by their writers.

Still–Clay was in such a state of stock when his wife suddenly died that he blocked out his son for six years.

I’m seriously starting to cry again. But it probably doesn’t help that “When She Loved Me” is currently playing from my Spotify.

Jesus, maybe I do this to myself. Maybe I just surround myself with really sad shit as a subconscious way to access these emotions I don’t normally feel.

Or maybe not. Who the hell knows.

But I was thinking about this because I came across a quote the other day that said “you can’t protect yourself from sadness without protecting yourself from happiness.”

I don’t do it intentionally. It’s just that not a lot of sad things have happened to me–and I’m truly lucky and grateful for that. I don’t even think I cried when my parents sat us down and said that my mom had breast cancer because we knew her chances were really good–and she’s doing great now! I’ve never lost a loved one (touch wood) and can count the funerals I’ve been to on one hand. I’ve never been dumped or cheated on or had my heart broken–but I’ve also never been in love. And no one’s ever been in love with me.

The other day my friend was telling me some of the stuff she’s been through–stuff I could never imagine happening to me or having to deal with.

And now I’m watching Thirteen Reasons Why where all these teenagers are complaining that the teachers have no idea what they’re going through, and I think I’m about to be grouped in with all of them. Because high school wasn’t really hard for me, but it wasn’t easy I guess either. The biggest things I dealt with were my ADD and self-confidence stuff, but that’s all child’s play. I didn’t really see bullying or peer pressure or rumors getting out of hand. I just sort of floated by.

I think I’m still just kind of floating by. I don’t want a ton of bad shit to happen to me or anything. I understand I have a really cushy life and I’m thankful for all the things I could be taking for granted–the fact that my parents are still alive and together. The fact that I have a sister who is my best friend and a family that is overall supportive. I have friends and I get good grades and I have hobbies and interests.

I cry a lot, but I’m not sad. Or maybe I am.

But I’m also happy, I think.

At this point it kind of just feels like a default setting, and I’m just waiting for it to change.

Hopefully one day soon.

Hopefully this isn’t one of those “careful what you wish for” things.

Hopefully I don’t look back at this post and cringe at my glaring privilege.

Here’s hoping.

Sincerely,

Sammy

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THIS TOXIC WORLD WE LIVE IN

Dear Reader,

I think about this photo set a lot.

It’s from a TV show called Shameless that I still have to watch but is being RAVED about by everyone I know. I just saw the pictures on Tumblr one day, but it’s stuck with me.

“Renaissance women weren’t forced to starve themselves into an anorexic fashion industry marketing version of female sexuality.”

A lot of my friends are starving. One of my friends is a model and she confessed yesterday that she doesn’t eat as much as she should. We were having a casual conversation when she brought it up, and it slipped in almost unnoticeably because that’s so normal.

She’s also pre-med. She’s extremely smart. She’s funny. She’s edgy. But sometimes she doesn’t eat.

I have another friend who “pulls the trigger.” Again, it’s so casual when she talks about it. Sometimes it’s just when she talks about drinking, she’ll say she pulls the trigger in the bathroom of bars (meaning she causes herself to throw up) so that she can rally and drink more.

I once said to a group of friends “sometimes when you end a night of drinking by throwing up, don’t you feel like, well at least all of those calories are getting out of my body.” It’s a pretty relatable thought, actually.

And then we have my sister. She’s a freshman dance major. She’s an average height and a perfect weight. She’s got just enough of a booty, great calves, flat stomach, and is proportional everywhere else. She’s not a size 0, she may not be tall and super thin, but I’m envious of her body. Plus, she dresses well, can do her makeup like a boss, and is clearly the hotter sister.

This weekend after her recital our mother told her that she would be such a better dance if she lost weight.

She agreed.

She agreed before the thought even escaped from my mother’s mouth, because it’s a thought she’s had many times before.

It just makes me so angry. Everyone I talk to–and me–we know better. We know that we’re healthy and that we should love our bodies and that we shouldn’t think these thoughts.

When I went home for fall break and everyone told me how good I looked and asked if I lost weight, I knew it was toxic for them to say that. Because the reason why I’m losing weight is because I’m eating less. Because I’m off campus and I’m a poor (and frugal) college student. But I know that if I get enough positive reinforcement, I’ll continue to not eat as much as I should. I know that if I’ll keep challenging myself to go longer without eating. I know I’ll start to accept the growl in my stomach as a victory cry and I’ll start looking at food as the enemy.

I know I shouldn’t, but I know how slippery the slope is. I know how easily the brain can be manipulated and how, even unwillingly, the body will follow.

I’m not writing this as a cry for help. I’m starting to meal prep again and get back to working out and set my aim to be healthy.

I just hate this society. I hate that girls are going to extreme measures to live up to an unrealistic beauty standard. And I hate that we all know it, too. But we’re duped anyway because of the constant reinforcement from society that we should look a certain way. Because for every “body love” message I see, there’s ten pictures of thin girls–happy girls–that I want to be more.

I might write more on this topic later, but I just needed to vent. I think I’ll check out Believarexic and Winter Girls from the library this week. Just for more reinforcement.

As for now, though, I think I’ll make some spaghetti for dinner.

Sincerely,

Sammy

“JUST SO YOU KNOW, I CHECK YOUR BLOG LIKE EVERY DAY.”

Dear Reader,

My sister sent me that lovely text this morning. But when I replied, “aww bb” she said “ya but it doesn’t even matter cause you don’t POST ANYTHING ANYMORE.”

Ouch.

But okay, u right.

The thing is, I’ve thought a lot about random blog posts I wanted to write. I read ten books in September and there’s one in particular that I’m dying to talk about. So I thought about doing reviews, but then I could never just find the time. I have two other “journals” (I suppose) that I try to write in and I guess this blog just sort of became neglected.

So then I thought about writing a post called “something’s gotta give.” I actually wrote part of it during one of my lectures, which is kind of ironic because in part of it I was talking about how I was becoming a good student.

And it was just during this time of beautiful clarity where I felt like the pieces in my life were all coming together. I was working out with my friends and exercising daily. I was eating better. I was sleeping more. I was caught up on all my homework and I was enjoying all of my classes and life was just really good.

Then I lost that freakin’ notebook. And my life took a little bit of a spill. (I really want to stress how little the spill was, though, because I am very very aware that many people have things a lot harder. My life is still very very good. Everything is relative.)

I’ve actually been losing a lot of stuff lately, which really pisses me off because I can’t afford to be this much of a hot mess anymore. I lost my brand new water bottle that I got maybe two weeks ago. I lost my favorite pencil (which doesn’t seem like a big deal but it absolutely is and it’s like a $2 pencil). I can’t seem to find my headphones right now, which sucks. And I also couldn’t find the book I need for class today.

I’m also skipping a class today, but it’s to work a shift for my friend who drove home because her best friend from high school’s mom committed suicide last night.

I think I might write about suicide pretty soon, because it’s been on my mind a lot. Not in the way that I’m thinking about it for myself–I’m actually very mentally healthy right now and I really don’t like seasonal depression is going to be an issue for me this year. Let’s hope I didn’t just jinx that though.

But suicide has just been everywhere. My friend had to fly home for his cousin’s funeral a few weeks ago. My friend at school lost his best friend the week before classes started, and the suicide note was written to him. I’ve been noticing all of a sudden how many friends of mine have the semicolon tattoo. Beautiful, hilarious, intelligent and kind friends of mine. And it makes me wonder whether or not they see that. It makes me realize how little I know about what truly goes on in my friends’ minds.

So, I don’t know, I guess I’ve been a little down lately thinking about all this stuff. And every time I try to write about it, the post just gets depressing and I hate that I bummed myself out by thinking about what everyone else has to deal with because it feels like I’m, I don’t know, mooching off of feelings? Or like I don’t have the right. I really can’t articulate the strange shame I feel, but I never finish writing it thinking, “this is good. I’m gonna publish this.”

So there’s your post, Sarah. (lol)

Sorry I’ve been a little all over the place lately. I don’t really know where my head’s at. And I guess sorry for no longer using my blog to figure that stuff out. I feel like it just got too repetitive. Like how many times have I written about why I started this blog? Or how many times have I said “I’m writing for clarity!” It was boring me, so I’m sure it was boring all of you.

Wow. I really don’t want to post this.

This is the kind of thing that I end up deleting and immediately trying to forget about.

But, what the hell, let’s just hit publish.

I think I just want Sarah (or whoever else) to log on and think, “oh wow, she wrote today!”

Sincerely,

Sammy

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SOME LATE NIGHT THOUGHTS ON HYPNOTISTS

Dear Reader,

I really don’t know a lot anything about hypnotism separate from the time when a hypnotist came to Miami for our back-to-school event my freshman year–and I wasn’t even in the audience for his show. I just heard that everyone was blown away because of the way he hypnotised these people.

But for some reason, my brain has decided to really speculate the effects of hypnosis and really think of it as this power that could be used for good. And sometimes when my brain is overflowing with thoughts, my go-to instinct is to open a word document or a note page (or twitter) to catch some of them.

These thoughts could not be condensed into 140 characters, however, so here we are.

I really just want to get these thoughts out and, like, talk to someone about this, you know? I guess this is where another person would come in, but it’s 3AM and no one has reached out to my tweet so I assume they are all asleep (Or not in the mood to amuse me).

Which brings us to the present, where I am communicating these ideas to you.

cat-cat-transparent-psychedelic-acid-lsd-dmt-trippy-cat_200sAlright, first of all, can I please just be hypnotised so that every time I hear the word “kazoo” or something I go and do all of my homework? And then like every night I can have my roommate or someone be like, “Sammy, kazoo,” and my face will go blank as I fall into this trance and sit down at my desk to complete my work. And then in an hour or two, she can be like, “Sammy, tapioca,” and I’ll come to and my assignments will be completed.

Of course, this can prove tricky if the person hypnotised can’t remember what happened while they were under, but all I’m saying is what’s the use in having a person start acting like a chicken every time a word is said when instead you could be like, “hey guess what, every time someone says peanut butter pudding, you’re gonna make your bed” or “you’re gonna clean your room” or “you’re gonna call your mother” (that last one would be hilarious).

But then this brings me to the questioning of how words are chosen–or do hypnotists even leave their participants with this quiet life change? Or do they reverse it before they get off the stage? Because if not, do these people have to disclaim that they did this thing once before freshman year and now they have this strange trigger word? Or would they even know??

Can you imagine if you were on a date with someone and they were like, “hey, I just want to be upfront with you. You can’t say *passes paper with a word written on it* (side question: can they say the word themselves?) around me because I will immediately jump up and start doing “Gangnam style” until you say rowboat.”

What if that were the norm? Hahahaha can you imagine??

And yeah, so how do they choose the words? Because, sure, I don’t think I’ve heard the word “kazoo” said aloud in quite a while, but the possibility is still out there, you know?

Anyway, I don’t know where I’m going with this. I just have a lot of unanswered questions but I don’t want to actually start Googling them because I have work I can be doing and I’m afraid I would spend far too much time doing research if I start going down that slippery slope.

I just really want to be hypnotised to run a few miles when someone says “trenchcoat lingerie” (I feel like that one’s safe) because running is one of those things that could benefit my body so much if my brain would just get out of the way–as are many things in life, I feel.

Man, did I just have a philosophical breakthrough?

Let this be a lesson to everyone that you should always encourage and amuse your “pass the blunt” thoughts.

Sincerely,

Sammy

STORYBOOK: THE TIME THEY TOLD ME I HAD ADD

Dear Reader,

I think I’ve always been lazy. I have the ability to overcome it and can be weirdly motivated for certain projects, but I think at my core, I’m a lazy person. And I think the worst thing you can tell a kid that’s lazy is that they’re gifted.

Because that almost condones it, right? Like, you’re allowed to be lazy because things are going to come easier to you and for some reason, maybe genetics, maybe the way you were raised, you’re just not going to have to work that hard to pass classes. Not like some other students.

And I look back, and I can see that. I see that school was easy for me. I guess. In the sense that I didn’t put in that much effort on projects I didn’t like and I still managed to pass. And, like I said, I am capable of working hard. I spent so much time writing stories and songs and poems and in my personal journals. I even spent a lot of time doing math problems for fun and counting my quarter collection and designing my biome for science class. It didn’t really matter to me if it was for school or not–if I enjoyed it, I would do it. If I didn’t, I would procrastinate. And maybe I would never even get around to doing it.

Trust me, I know how bad that is. It’s one of the things I hate about myself, but I think it’s who I am at my core, which is why it’s so hard for me to change. But it’s gotten me in trouble. It almost got me kicked out of the accelerated fourth grade class I was placed in. And it did get me kicked out of honors English.

But I always managed to stay afloat and get grades that pleased my father and score in the top percentages of all of the standardized tests I took growing up. And then high school came along, and classes got boring.

Really boring.

In eighth grade I took algebra and american history, both of which I loved. So I excelled. Freshman year I took AP government and biology and geometry. Proofs and labs and dry reading were what (should’ve) filled my days.

I couldn’t do it, though. I couldn’t force myself to learn–or to focus. I spent classes daydreaming and looking out windows. But I guess it didn’t really end there. I think it might’ve carried over into conversations and even onto the soccer field.

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“Sorry, I zoned out.”

But, come on, I was fourteen years old! Of course I’m not going to be interested in AP government or every time my mother lectures me about my room. And yeah, sometimes it’s bad if I miss the starting lineup because my mind is somewhere else, but that only happened a handful of times.

So I laughed when my two friends confronted me.

“Don’t take this the wrong way, but we think you might have ADD.”

I even laughed when I told my parents.

“You’ll never guess what Jaden and Lekha told me today!”

But instead of laughs, I got, “Alright, well we’ll schedule an appointment and go from there.”

What?

I still rolled my eyes on the way to the appointment. I mean, we were going to see a therapist. I didn’t need a therapist! (lol look at me now)

He was very nice, but I didn’t really get why we were doing all of this. I was in this closet-like room at first and had to click the mouse as soon as I saw the white letter X (I think) against the black screen. Don’t click for the other letters.

Eh, I think I was just trigger-happy.

Then he asked me a few riddles and basic math problems. I made sure not to fidget or shake my feet and I focused really hard. But, I mean, it was August. I was a little rusty.

I still remember a riddle about something with six strings on your back. I was stumped and I asked my mom about it in the car and she said, “guitar?”

Okay, so this guy’s going to tell me that I don’t have ADD, but I’m no longer gifted.

How did I not get guitar?

But, honestly, I thought I killed it. Yep, I was like, I know what ADD looks like and the way I presented myself was nothing of the sort. I’ve got nothing to worry about.

Later that day my brother drove me to soccer with his friend in the car and, laughing, I said, “Guess what I did today! Got tested for ADD!”

The awkward silence that followed told me that maybe I shouldn’t be joking about this quite yet.

Well, we went back awhile later and the guy told me that I could get a prescription for adderall. You know, for my ADD. Because my brain doesn’t work like others, he said. When most people have thoughts, basically, their brain can handle it. They can connect them quickly–he explained this as he moved his finger in a circle. But for me, I guess my thoughts go around that circle too quickly.

See? I’m too smart?

Just kidding.

He basically gave two examples. One, he said that’s why sometimes I say things without explaining how I got to that thought. I assume my thought process is the same as everyone else’s, but really, it can be kind of hard to follow along unless I articulate. And I guess that’s because of the speedy circles in my brain.

(I wish I knew something about neurology so I could explain this better)

(I should have at least tried to pay attention in biology)

Two, he said that if a teacher says, “don’t pay attention to the car honking outside,” and then a car honks outside, I’ll basically have to look. It’ll be an instinct that I can’t stop, or once my brain thinks “don’t look outside,” I’ll already be looking.

Yeah, I don’t know either. But every time a car honks outside, I look and I don’t know if it’s because he told me this years ago, or if it’s actually something I would do anyway.

That’s the thing–I feel like anyone who went to this guy could be diagnosed with ADD. I don’t know exactly what his evidence was, but I had a hard time buying it for a while. I’ve been on and off my meds (because I was an angsty teenager who was terrified of permanent, irreversible effects–actually, I am still very much both of those things). And then this year, I had to go months without them at all, and I felt absolutely hopeless. I felt broken. And dependent.

So that sucked.

And the worst thing is that I always see the pictures of how different brains look in regards to depression and ADHD and bipolar disorder, but there’s never ADD. The guy made a point that I didn’t have ADHD (the difference being hyperactive), but I never see anything regarding the struggles of people with ADD. And that sometimes makes me think it’s made up to sell performance-enhancing drugs (I would consider adderall and ritalin to be in this category) to motivationless kids.

Which brings me back to the reminder that I’m lazy.

So I don’t know what to think, but that’s the story of the time they told me I had ADD. And maybe one day I’ll write a story about the day I decided I was over it. Or maybe I’ll go back to that doctor and confront him and make him show me the notes he took on me and why he gave me this diagnosis.

I feel like it wasn’t supposed to screw me up so much, but it did. I feel like it was just supposed to explain some things–answer some questions I always had about myself. But I’ve been more confused than ever.

Sometimes I wish I could just have a full brain scan and they could tell me exactly what’s wrong with me.

But other times I think maybe I don’t want to know.

Sincerely,

Sammy

I’M WRITING A BOOK (LULU.COM)

Dear Reader,

A few weeks ago, I found out about the website “Lulu.com” and I can’t believe I didn’t know about it sooner. So I’m sharing it with all of you.

Lulu is a company that allows you to self publish books and ebooks. You can sell your work through their website and others, but that’s not quite what I’m intending to do.

I started a novel last spring and wrote like crazy for almost three weeks, managing to rack up almost 26,000 words. And then I just kind of stopped. I planned on working on it over the summer, but I kind of forgot about it. And I thought about finishing it up and revising it like crazy and then get serious about getting it published. Maybe I’d look for an agent or start going to writing conventions, I don’t know.

But then I remembered why I wrote it in the first place. I feel like a broken record, but I write for clarity. I take things that happen in my life and try to make sense of them. And last winter, I started feeling really sad. I felt ultimately alone, and I found myself easily aggravated at the few people who I constantly found myself around. And all I wanted to know was why. Why was I, a privileged girl from the suburbs who has the world at her fingertips, feeling depressed?

So I sought out therapy (you can read more about that in my recent post here), but it didn’t help like I thought it would. Then again, I might’ve had unrealistic expectations since I thought there was no way possible that he would actually think I was depressed. Even didn’t think it.

And then more stuff happened and I started to feel better, which made me think it was just seasonal, but then it got worse, which just made me feel helpless, really.

So I started writing a book.

A new book.

I started with a character that I largely based off of myself. She was a freshman in college, at a college very similar to Miami, and she was sad for seemingly no reason. But then the story started writing itself, and the girl suddenly wasn’t me anymore. It was a girl who had a traumatic experience, went through multiple therapists, and finally found one who she trusted–someone who actually understood her. And she fell in love.

So it was no longer my story, but it still helped me to write it. I still related to her, sure, and I loved finally working on something that I couldn’t stop thinking about. It was my own therapy, in a way.

And now I’m back at school, and it’s weird. I have so many good memories from last year, but I had so many bad thoughts as well. And I’ll listen to my playlist from J-Term and feel overwhelmingly sad again. Just because the music will bring me back to that place in my life.

So, long story short, I suppose, I’m going to finish this book and I’m going to publish it using Lulu. I’m going to have a hard copy of something I created, and I’m going to see my own name in print.

I’m going to have this goal I’m working towards–a goal that I so desperately want to reach. Not because I have dreams of being rich and famous and seeing my name in bookstores and signing over rights for the movie version. But because of the whole reason I like writing in the first place–it helps.

So these big dreams can be put on hold momentarily. I’m helping myself first.

Sincerely,

Sammy

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EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A REASON

Dear Reader,

Let me tell you, second semester was not shaping up to be a good one. Back when I registered in November, I couldn’t get into half of my classes because I wasn’t an official journalism major yet. So I freaked out and just got random classes that I could get into and was stuck with, what I thought to be, the worst schedule imaginable. All of my classes either terrified me or bored me already, and I was not looking forward to second semester at all.

Now, though, I couldn’t be happier. First of all, I don’t have a single class before 10am, and I’ll never have to make the 25-minute trek to Western Campus again.

Second, these are my classes:

Literature and Composition: This is just the mandatory English class I have to take because I got a 4 (not 5) on the AP exam. But, by the looks of it, I don’t think it’s going to be end up being the boring class with people who hate English that I expected. We’re studying The Notebook, Clueless, Brokeback Mountain, 500 Days of Summer, and Emma by Jane Austen just to name a few films and books. And we’re looking at how masculinity and femininity is portrayed in the media.

African American Writing from 1949-present: I was terrified for this class because it’s a 300-level and it’s with a teacher who I really respect, but never got a good impression if she liked me or hated me (first semester was kind of rough). After today, though, I know we’re on good terms and I’m really excited to learn more from her.

Socioculture in Education: Oh my word, I heard horror stories about this course. The main professor wrote the freakin’ textbook, for crying out loud. But, as it turns out, I find the textbook fascinating. And the co-teacher is awesome. She has purple hair and specializes in teaching sexuality and is so encouraging of exploring new ideas and having good discussions in class. I really can’t wait for more.

Introduction to Media: Another class where the professor wrote the textbook. I’m honestly still scared for this because it looks like it’s a lot of work, but if I do really well in this class, I could possibly be a UA (like a teaching assistant, but undergraduate), which would be amazing and really help me on my path to becoming a teacher. So I’m beyond excited to have that to motivate me all semester.

Intro to Video Production: Finally MAC211. This is a four-hour class on Wednesday nights that I was scared I might dread or just downright hate, but the professor is awesome. He’s hilarious and inspiring and even though he’s young (34!!!), he’s done so much! He’s an emmy-winning director (yes, he showed us the trophy in class today) who’s worked on movies like Fun-Sized with Victoria Justice and Abduction with Taylor Lautner and Toddlers and Tiaras.

And I’ll be learning how to make videos–something I’ve wanted to learn since becoming obsessed with YouTube. Honestly, this class has me so amped up right now, I could write an entire separate post about it if I wanted.

But the thing is, so much could have gone wrong. There are three sections of EDL 204 at the same time, but I just so happened to get the one with the awesome professor. I also had the huge decision of choosing between a four-hour class and a W/F class at 8am. But because I chose the one on Wednesday night, I have the incredible De’Niel Phipps. I also have good friends and co-workers in the other classes, which just happened without any planning whatsoever.

So, what I’m saying is that everything happens for a reason. Two months ago, I was heartbroken because my perfect schedule was seriously screwed up. But honestly, it doesn’t even compare to the one I have now.

And I don’t know how it happened to work out so perfectly, but I can’t even describe how blessed and at ease I feel because of it.

It’s a great thing to be excited about your education.

Sincerely,

Sammy

7 THINGS I LEARNED MY FIRST SEMESTER AT COLLEGE

Dear Reader,

My second semester of college starts tomorrow, so I’ve been reflecting on the first–and I learned a lot. I had read every “10 things I learned my freshman year at college” post I could find, so I thought I’d be good. But as it turns out, I had a lot to learn.

FRESHMEN ARE HATED

Probably could’ve guessed this, but I didn’t! I couldn’t wait to be a freshman again–everything is new and exciting and you get to be the most youthful group on campus! But nope, everyone hates you.

This is a lot worse for guys and dealing with the party scene, but it still sort of terrified me when I made this discovery. It seemed like all the advice I got from upperclassmen was aimed towards making me not seem like a freshman–don’t go to this, don’t wear that, don’t believe this, don’t fall for that. And even when I took most of that advice, it remained perfectly clear who I was.

But I guess I’m okay with that.

PRESSURE TO MAKE FRIENDS IS HIGH

And pressure to leave your high school friends behind is high too. I noticed this more once I went on break, but it seemed like everyone was discussing people from high school. He still hangs out with his best friends from high school. It’s so sad. She hasn’t posted any pictures with new friends at college, I don’t think she’s made any. 

It was hard for me to get into this mindset, but I say who cares? Find one good, life-long friend instead of a group of 10 temporary ones, not only cherish your friends from high school, but remain friends with them! Just do you and be with who you want to spend your time with.

TUESDAYS ARE THE NEW FRIDAY

They really are. Apologize to your 8am Wednesday mornings for going to 90s night or drinking in your dorm–that’s what everyone else seems to do.

But also, Fridays are still Fridays, and Saturdays are still Saturdays. And Thirsty Thursday is really a thing. The opportunity to go out is constant.

YOU WILL CRY OR YOU WILL ALWAYS FEEL LIKE CRYING

Maybe this was just me, but first semester is hard, and sometimes you’ll go to the bathroom to cry, flushing occasionally, just so you don’t have to do it in front of your roommate.

The shower is also a nice sanctuary.

MAJORS ARE ANNOYING

As an education major with a lot of friends in pre-med and engineering, I got tons of crap. It’s worse for the early childhood education majors (“what’s your final? finger-painting? a take-home test on arts and crafts?”), but English education deals with it too. I do know someone who’s majoring in party planning, though, and I don’t even want to think about what she has to put up with.

FALLING IN LOVE WITH STRANGERS IS NORMAL

SO many attractive boys at college, and they clean up nice. I swear I fall in love on a weekly basis. Also some people are just so interesting that you want to sit and talk to them for hours–days–about everything they’ve done and all their passions and hopes and dreams.

PROFESSORS ARE REALLY COOL AND INTERESTING

Which makes the classes worthwhile. Seriously, ask tons of questions, pay attention when they lecture, and make connections with them–it’s worth it!

This can also coincide with that last one because I may or may not have fallen in love with a professor from last semester. (Calm down, he’s a grad student!)

Well, that’s the condensed list, and I’m sure I’ll learn many more things next semester that I didn’t know the first.

Cheers to new discoveries.

Sincerely,

Sammy

CAN’T SAY NO

Dear Reader,

I had kind of a revelation tonight. I can’t say no to people, and I think that might be my downfall. I would love to be the kind of person who can do anything. More than anything I would love to be that. But I’m not.

But that doesn’t stop me from trying.

Example: I’ve been dabbling with the idea of double-majoring for a few months now and I just recently finished setting it all up. Then I met with someone from the journalism department who was asking me why. Why would I possible want to be an English Education/Journalism double major with a minor in rhetoric and writing? And I told him that, ideally, it’d be awesome to be a high school English teacher who is also in charge of the newspaper. That’s when he signed my paper declaring the major and told me that’s exactly what he did.

“I’m going to be your adviser from now on,” he told me. “I look forward to seeing how this plays out.”

Fast forward four days later when I’m heavily considering taking 25 credit hours next semester (an ungodly amount for those of you who don’t know) and thinking maybe I should just drop this major before it gets the best of me. 

And by that I mean before it kills me.

But I can’t do that. I don’t want to let him down–this stranger that I just met. I don’t want anyone to think I can’t do it.

And don’t worry, there are far more reasons why I’m keeping my double major, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say that part of it was because I don’t want to disappoint him.

Example 2: This same week when I’m figuring out my schedule and realizing there’s no real way that I’ll be taking less than 20 credit hours next semester, my two student managers ask if they can sign me up for the SMART program. I ask what it is, they explain that it’s just them training me to become a student manager, and I agree. Why not? Sure it’s more hours, but it’s better pay. And won’t it look good on future resumes? Plus I love my managers, and Chloe has been telling me from the beginning that I am going to be the new her. I close three nights a week and she loves working with me because I’m reliable.

And I think that’s just it. The fact that people are now relying on me is kind of heavy. I volunteered to get AIESEC the few contacts that I have that are still forming because, after all, I’m just a freshman. I took on two stories for The Miami Student this week because that’s what they assigned me. I take notes for more than just me at extra credit lectures and guest speaker appearances.

But I love doing it all. I love when I visit my family and I find that I can talk for hours about all that I do. Yeah we just had that tennis tournament, and oh yeah that reading for Sigma Tau Delta is coming up, and no Tuesdays are knitting, Thursdays are when I drive to Hamilton to walk dogs for volunteer work.

I want to leave my freshman year with no regrets. I want to have done it all. But I don’t want a crappy GPA or no social life either. I just need to find balance. And as much as I hate to admit it, I think saying no may be just the thing I need to learn.

Sincerely,

Sammy

PS. I adore The Voice and this battle is absolute perfection. I’m in love with these two humans. Need Your Love – Jessie Pitts vs. Ryan Sill

Being The Protagonist

Dear Reader,

This all seems familiar. I’m up much later than I should be and I have to wake up much earlier than I’d like to tomorrow. And I’m feeling the urge to write. To bring some clarity into my life. To ramble on until I find my point.

Yes, this same situation happened on one of the first days of my summer, June 16, when I wrote my first blogpost about “my story.” And now, on one of the last days of my summer, I am experiencing an epiphany.

I mentioned in said post that I see all people as characters. And because it is in my human nature to be narcissistic and self-centered, I see myself as the main character of a story. My story.

But oh my WORD would that be an awful story. I’ve had, what, maybe two love interests in my seventeen years of life. I’ve spent countless Friday nights skipping football games and social events to stay home and kill my weekend either on the internet or simply daydreaming. And I’ve had an embarrassing number of awkward encounters and situations that I cringe when I look back.

And I looked at all of this–all of these reasons why my story sucks–and I thought, why? And then I realized the common problematic factor is me. Maybe it’s because I’m too young to have truly lived, but I think I’ve mostly just missed opportunities to grow. To learn and to live.

So my plan was to cram it all in this summer… but that didn’t happen.

The main reason why is because I completely over scheduled myself with two jobs and I underestimated how much time and effort it takes to prepare for college. The other reason, though, is something that was obvious but I chose to ignore.

It is hard to change. Not impossible (I haven’t given up yet), but really damn hard.

I had this idea at the beginning of summer of the “character” that I wanted to turn into. I wanted to be intelligent and healthy and beautiful and funny and charming and maybe a bit introverted and shy, but altogether a good time and a good friend. The true list was much longer, but those are some of the main points.

So I was going to become this character–this ideal person that I’ve always wanted to be–and then my story would start. I would attract all the right supporting characters (don’t worry, I wasn’t planning on ditching my current friends and family or anything, I’m just looking to expand as I move onto college) and go on these novel-worthy adventures. Or, at the very least, live adventures that are worth telling my children some day.

But here’s what I forgot: the best characters are dynamic. They change and grow as the story reveals itself. Look at A Tale of Two Cities! This is a favorite book of mine so I’ll skip any major spoilers, but Sydney Carton is basically a loser turned hero. But it’s because of the plot, the adventure, the characters, that this happened.

So I may not have all of the qualities that I want, and I’m not going to stop working on my own to get smarter and healthier and all that, but I’m going to stop letting the qualities that I don’t possess stop me from doing, well, anything. Because maybe stepping out of my comfort zone every once in a while and partaking in adventures that I would have once declined for various reasons, maybe that will help. Maybe those experiences will make me funnier or more interesting.

At the very least, I’ll have more stories to tell.

In other news, I am moving into my dorm in exactly two weeks and plan to keep up with “Sincerely Sammy” by writing once a week. With five classes, club tennis, a job, and the desire to have a social life and live these adventures that I have talked so fondly about, I may not have a ton of spare time. But this is something I really like doing and I feel bad for neglecting it.

Thank you if you’ve made it this far–I know it’s been a while since I’ve rambled on like this. You can look forward to a review of the book Paper Towns, a recap of my July/end-of-summer bucket list, and possibly a letter to incoming high school freshmen. Or you can not look forward to them. They’ll be on my blog regardless.

Sincerely,

Sammy