Okay, so some of these are legitimate (see numbers 7, 9, and 10). Most of them, however, belong in the slightly neurotic category. Read on and see if you can relate.
1. I only have four years and they’re supposed to be the best years of my life. I better get crackin’.
This one stressed me out beyond belief. I heard it from so many sides: “Oh my gosh, Catherine, college is amazing! Live it up! Go sky-diving and cliff-jumping, do a thousand missions trips and make 10,000 friends and REMEMBER EVERY MINUTE!” I heard all this, and then I got there…and it took work. I wasn’t cut out for college at first. I was curmudgeonly and set in my ways and annoying. I had to have my world rocked, and once I did, I was so much more open to the experience. It stressed me out, all the pressure I felt to make these four years phenomenal. But when I let go and just lived? They became pretty great.
The best years?
Probably not. But definitely wonderful.
2. Is there a practice room open? Can I count humming as practice time? Listening? Audiating? ANYTHING.
As any music major will tell you, practice rooms are a prized commodity. At least when you want one. My favorite was the last one down the hall on the right, the one with the grand piano and huge window overlooking the quad. I liked it because I could get easily distracted by watching people pass by; I learned a pretty decent amount about my classmates through that window. I spent a lot of time trying to practice but feeling a mental block. I also spent a lot of time trying to figure out what I could count as practice hours (six hours a week per instrument is a lot, but apparently not enough to make me awesome…).
3. Am I gonna have to park in Woodland?!?!
Now this one is a near and dear worry for all my fellow college mates. There was no worse exile than having to park in Woodland. It felt like miles and miles away from campus, when in reality it was a hop-skip-and-a-jump and really, the walk did us good. But I remember circling and circling, just waiting for that prime spot. I especially hated parking there at night, walking alone along the road, wondering if anyone would hear me scream.
4. Do you think anyone noticed I wore yoga pants to Lane? Again?
I am ashamed (or not ashamed?) to say that I was a repeat offender in this area. Lane was our cafeteria, and I’d sneak into the food line, hoping no one realized I had terrible style. I used to blame it on going to the gym and not having time to change (“I’m just sooooo busyyyyyy!”), but really it all came down to the fact that I hate changing my clothes. Hate it. It’s such a waste of time. Also, I really hate feeling restricted. I’d wear comfy yoga pants every day if I could.
[Winter Ball. Who needs a date when you’ve got so many hotties?]
5. Do I have time to run from Jenks to Claymore and back again before my next class?
As a double major (and like most college students, double major or not), I was always trying to squeeze as much into as little time as possible. You’d be shocked how much you could fit into a ten minute passing period, and I did my fair share of coffee-snarfing from Claymore. I always felt triumphant when I swooped into class – cup in hand, cheeks a little flushed – and sank into my chair, ready to have intelligent, academic discourse with the help of caffeine.
[I graduated the same year our president retired. Talk about leaving on a high note.]
6. If I workout for half an hour on the elliptical, does that negate the chicken fingers and fries I ate at late night?
Late night was the bane and blessing of the freshman girl’s existence. I can’t even tell you how many nights we sat around the dorm, looked at each other, and just got up silently to walk to Lane and stuff our faces with whatever fried option we felt like consuming at the time. There’s something about a floor full of girls and 10:30PM that just demands greasy food.
The half hour on the elliptical? Didn’t quite cut it, but it’s all about perception, isn’t it?
7. What the heck are student loans and how do I avoid paying them back?
UUUUGGGGHHHH. Figured this one out. And no, there is no way to avoid paying them back. Enjoy the next fifteen years.
[I learned how to sacrifice attractiveness for a laugh.]
8. When I graduate, will anyone even remember I existed?
This one really bothered me. Maybe I’m just more self-centered than most. It seemed crazy to me that I was putting so much love and effort and energy into a place that wouldn’t even remember my name in a year. So what if I rocked my senior recital? So what if I had a radio show (that no one listened to) where we talked about art and poetry and faith? So what if I was editor of the lit journal. NO ONE CARES. Someone else will just take my place and change everything and where will I be? Slogging away at some 9-5 trying to make those student loan bills…
[There’s something about senior formal. Makes you dance your little heart out.]
9. The business majors always act like they know what they’re doing…maybe I should marry one.
This one? Probably true. I should’ve put a little more effort into this.
10. WHAT IF I TRIP AND FALL WHILE I’M GETTING MY DIPLOMA.
Also, definitely a legitimate fear. I do not have complete control of my body. I rarely walk around without bumping into things, and the President looked so far away, smiling his toothy smile, holding that bizarrely-empty diploma cover. I tentatively walked by (I had wisely chosen flats on this day-of-all-days), grinned when I finally reached him, shook his hand steadily, and walked off the stage.
Crisis averted, empty diploma case in-hand.
Ten things I no longer need to fear.