next year (I’ll be home): Part 2

Today the nor’easter Juno has landed its wrath in Providence, and frankly the rest of the northeastern seaboard as well. I have never been in a blizzard, so I feel especially lucky that the first one that I get to experience is, according to many major news networks, “historical.” Perhaps it’ll be a first for both me and the northeast.

Correspondingly, our uni has decided to cancel all classes for tomorrow, which I think isn’t too desirable for me, because I am still shopping all the classes that I think I want to take for the semester. I find my predicament so ironically hilarious. Here I am, at my dream school, with the prized, “open curriculum,” and without direction or any notion of what I want to do, I have no idea what course to take. Such a fool’s folly, I admit. I’m so foolish.

Then again everyone here keeps reassuring me that that’s the reason to be here at Brown–you don’t know what to do with your life, so you taste-test the classes that kindle the least bit of interest and make your hard decisions from there. But I don’t know how exactly someone can just pursue in their academics so confidently and boldly considering the fact that he or she doesn’t know what he or she should be confident with. Is it the foresight in adamantly knowing that the person will find something he or she will be passionate about? Is it the reassurance that he or she will excel in any field regardless which path is chosen? I know that my knowledge is very limited in scope so I tremble with the possibilities, not excitedly seize them as others do. I know that I am very shy in nature and (I think) that explains the reasons for (most of) my reticence.

“Take risks,” they say. “Get the hell out of your comfort zone,” they say. “Don’t be afraid to try something new,” “Join new clubs,” “Make lots of friends.” How tired my ears are from hearing these repeated phrases; can’t it just process in their heads that the things that they say sometimes feel more like criticism, because it reminds me that I greatly struggle in that aspect so it’s simply not that simple ? 

How splendid it would be  if I could just have made lifelong friends on my very first day who stuck with me everywhere we went, and we would have the same connection that I felt with my friends back home. I can’t describe how alienated I feel here. I do not understand how people get along with others so quickly and fine but, of course, I’m the exception. I’ve seen how people quickly glance at me and glance away just as quickly, but I notice them nonetheless and I wonder why it’s so hard for them to talk to me. Why it’s hard for anyone to talk with me, really. I kept reassuring myself that second semester would be better then the first, that I would make more friends if I just keep smiling and look decent, but so far it’s an exact replica of the first. And the first was definitely no easy challenge. I admit that I struggle but I keep endeavouring because I don’t have a choice. Either that or just lose hope. I just wonder how long hope lasts under these conditions.

There are moments when I’m in public when I feel indescribably confident. I don’t know what causes this sudden rush of optimism and happiness, but I crave it and I long for it so much, especially during times when I feel lonely.

I miss my family and my dog. I miss the familiarity of things and the feelings I’d get when the car pulled up to Quickly and we would get boba milk tea for the entire family. I missed the leathery smell of the car that’s supposed to be mine but I don’t have my license yet, so for now it’s my sister’s. I miss my friends who have found other friends now. I miss my cousins who I don’t see all that often anymore, even when I am back. I miss my youth.

Perhaps I’ve just not matured yet, and all this is natural for an 18-year-old to be feeling and contemplating. But it doesn’t seem to me by the looks of other people that they’re also going through this particular distress, or something similar. They’re too busy getting drunk and having sex and miscellaneous crazy things but still manage to get 4.0s. I know that I have to stop comparing my happiness to theirs because it’s pointless and noncontributing in actually aiding my own problems. But it’s like a drug I can’t resist. I’m wired for comparison and I have to keep getting that high, and it slowly kills me every single time ||

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