Focus on Your Studies, Young Lady!

A few weeks ago I posted a blog post about the difficulties of blogging, most of which center around my inability to get along with my computer. This week I would like to bring to your attention something else that I, as well as many others, find to be somewhat of a hindrance to the balance of everyday life; college.

Now, I’m not talking about the college problems you witnessed in all of your favorite chick flicks when you were fifteen. Yes, moving out of your parents house is nerve-wracking and the possibility of your roommate being a perpetually messy evil bitch is always lingering. But I actually really liked moving into the dorms and am still living with that same colorful girl I met on day one today, almost two years later. (In fact, I can hear her crashing about in the living room right now. I bet she’s late for class.) As for boys…they’re boys. I don’t know. I guess I just don’t find dating quite as eventful as Hollywood directors seem to think it is. I’ve officially settled into my second relationship since coming to college and I’m a lot happier in it than I was in the first, probably because I’ve grown up a bit and am getting a better idea of what I want. I really like him and he really likes me and sometimes we do fun stuff together and sometimes we don’t because I have too much reading to do. It’s honestly one of the more stable things in my life.

At this point you’re probably wondering “so if all of that is so great then what is so difficult about college, Emma?” Well, I’ll tell you. I am finding that the most difficult part of college is the perpetual uncertainty that comes with year long leases, studying abroad, classes that you won’t know if you got into until the week before, and the possibility that following your dreams might not be the best idea.

When I entered college, they told me that the world ahead of me held endless possibilities. And it really, really does. What they didn’t tell me was that these possibilities were all about to hit me in the face at once and I better learn to be a good decision maker quick (which I’m still not) because, you never know, you and your roommate might decide to move out of the dorms and into an actual house one Tuesday night just before the end of winter quarter (last year) or you might finish the last page of your “project” while sitting in class and suddenly start taking it seriously and calling it a novel (also last year). So you might start spending all of your time and energy going back and editing everything so you can turn it into an actual manuscript (most of this year and last summer).

But wait! There’s a class this spring that includes going to New York City for five weeks to meet publishers! That’s perfect! But it’s sophomores through seniors (and you’re a sophomore) and it’s a poetry class so you might not get in, but you’re basing all of your future plans around this trip, anyway, because you won’t get a solid yes or no until about two weeks before spring quarter and you have to start looking for places to live in NY now. And even if you don’t get in, you have to move out anyway because your lease will be up and Livvy (my wonderful colorful roommate) is going to study abroad in France for a year and Kat (other wonderful roommate who I met when I moved in) just wants to live somewhere else. And if you don’t get into the class then you have to cancel everything and quickly find somewhere else to live. And now your sponsor (professor who is giving me credit for working on my book) is talking about you maybe getting an internship in Seattle or Portland which would mean taking a sabbatical from school and moving to one of those cities or to a different city all together! Oh. And, by the way, you won’t know if any of this is happening until it’s probably already happening. And then there’s the small fact that global warming is going to cause the world to implode, anyway, so just try not to think about it and focus on your work.

I'm not thinking about it. Are you thinking about it? I'm not. I'm too focused on my work. Are you thinking about it? Cause I'm not...

I’m not thinking about it. Are you thinking about it? I’m not. I’m too focused on my work. Are you thinking about it? Cause I’m not…

Okay, I’ll admit, this situation is unique to me. But you can’t tell me that, if you’ve ever been through college, you haven’t been through something similar. Everyone I talk to, no matter what year they are in, is equally confused. And my mother just keeps telling me that it never ends. I will perpetually be uncertain about my future living arrangement. At least, until I settle down. And even then, there are new problems to deal with.

Of course, that’s if the world lasts that long. People around here don’t seem to believe in optimism so talk of near annihilation of the human race is common which only adds to the stress of growing up.

Basically, my mind has been spinning lately and it is not at all conducive to work. All I want to do is write. Why does everything have to be so hard? And what if I finally finish my book and then die because some sort of freak hurricane hits the Puget Sound? What if no one cares about books because resources are so scarce and no one has time for reading? But what if I don’t write and live for the now like everyone else seems to be doing and then the world doesn’t end and I haven’t written anything? It feels like no matter where I turn, I’m hitting question after question.

I don’t know. Being a college student is hard enough. All of this end of the world stuff is just making it worse. But that’s another rant all together. I don’t even know if people outside of the West Coast can relate to this. Whatever. My point is that college is confusing. And not because of boys and dorm living and roommates. It’s confusing because everything is always changing. And because the issues of the outside world are no longer outside.

It’s stressful. Stupidly stressful.

And I can’t even legally drink yet…

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