Dear College Reader… me again,

It’s been a couple months, a lot has changed. In approximately 30 hours I will have to plunge headfirst into your world, ready or not.

I told you before that I have bent, folded, and shaved off the idiosyncrasies, made myself two dimensional, and now — now you’ve figuratively and physically slapped me in the face with a decision that has so many facets to it I don’t think it belongs in the three dimensional world.

Every time I try to settle my heart and think about this I feel ill. Like I can’t think straight, like I’m drowning.

Explain to me how you chose me, so that I may choose you. Explain to me how I can possibly know what I want. Explain to me how I can barely stand to look at the name of college, imagine myself at college, without feeling like I’m buried alive with fear of making the wrong decision and hating myself for it.

Photo Credit: joshuanhook.com

I feel as though I am still stuck as two dimensions and that this decision requires at least four dimensions to be safe but actually in reality somewhere around six.

I am in fact more terrified now, the future now rests in my hands, not yours. What if mine aren’t big enough, what if they shake too much, what if they go to pull the wrong lever?

I have never been so scared in my life. I am so incredibly scared to make a decision that I won’t be able to live with, that I will close a door that would have been perfect.

I don’t know what I’m going to do, the hours are passing by, I have finals and APs coming but all I can do is sit and stare into space wondering what the hell I’m going to do with myself. Which in turn makes me more nervous because if this is how I’m handling it how am I going to handle the actual stress of college?

I’m left with the ultimate feeling of: if I feel like I’m pulling apart at the seams now, college is going to break me, and I don’t want to be broken.

Everyone else seems so able to say: “F**k it this is where I’m going.” They seem so okay, I can’t see if they feel like they’re dying inside, they all seem impervious to the nerves and the fear that they won’t live up to what they have told themselves they can do.

I haven’t lived nearly as much life as you, college reader, so what do I have to decide with, a handful of microbes in my gut that feel like they’ve just gotten off the teacup ride ready to vomit?

I don’t know what to do, who to be? Do I have the strength to rise in adversity, to swallow up those things that would make me sink? Do I have it in me to carve out my own path and people? How do I decide between totally different things that pull on me the same?

So, college reader, I told you who I was, apparently you liked me and now here I am.

What do I do now?

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Writer’s Block 2.0

Writers block, what a foe. It feels like everything I could write has already been written or far too close to my heart.

I’m full of non-noteworthy thoughts: is there ice cream in the freezer? Do I really have to finish that assignment or can I avoid it a little longer? Do I have the time to watch that episode? Should I read that book or this one? Is it actually likely that I can learn that language? Is tomorrow going to be a good day or one that makes me feel like crawling into bed and never reemerging?

So what should I write about? It’s not as if there is nothing going on.

Photo Credit: fanpop.com

Anyway, it feels like I could use 700 years of sleep, I don’t seem to do anything and I’m tired anyway. Why is that? I don’t even have the motivation to do the things I enjoy, much less the things that I don’t. I love doing certain things but all it seems I’m able to muster myself to do is sit around and, for all I can tell, do nothing.

So the motivation to tell stories and write is seemingly gone. Writers block has hit hard, senioritis even harder. Ugh.

Is it bad that I’m 100% ready to crawl into bed not having done anything productive today? I wonder sometimes, if given the choice, if I would sleep in excess and just not get out of bed at all really, if I would push all other things in my life off my plate and roll over and go back to sleep.

Working at McDonald’s

Photo Credit: twitter.com

Most of the young people who have just graduated college are trying to find jobs to get experience. There is one place to work where they teach teamwork and how to be a leader. That place is called McDonald’s, which may be surprising to most of you out there.

A lot of people think that if they get into a good college like Stanford, Harvard, UCI, etc… they will automatically get a high earning job. Yes that happens to a few young adults, but sorry to break it to you, most of us here are not part of that select few. Most of us are most likely to end up working at a fast food restaurant, and  McDonald’s is good for experience and to learn what teamwork really means.

Sunday Nights

What’s worse than Sunday?

The impending doom of Monday morning lurking around the corner, homework piling up by the minute.

How about waking up on Sunday and thinking it’s Saturday? The stomach drop when your phone blinks with “Sunday” is the equivalent of reading the saddest book ever, twice.

And, even though Sunday mornings are bad, nothing is worse than Sunday night.

Sweet Dreams Please!
Photo Credit: EduinReview.com

And don’t even get me started on Monday mornings.

Junior Size Stress

I officially feel like an upperclassman.

This past week was the busiest of my life. I don’t want to go into great detail about every assignment, but let’s just say that I had about a week’s worth each night. Seriously.

I had one paper or major project due every day, along with smaller daily assignments. On top of that, I had the ACT on Saturday which I had to study for.

I didn’t wear makeup one time – and while that’s not of great importance to me, I think it serves as a visual representation of my stress.

This weekend isn’t any better – with the combination of my test and homework for next week, it’s just as busy. Next week is already set up to be the equivalent of this past one. I can’t catch a break!

Everyone always says how junior year is the hardest – there’s the most work, it’s the most stressful and of course, the most important. I can now say, with complete assurance, that I finally understand.

Photo Credit: cliparts.co

Libbey Park Volunteer

Photo Credit: http://www.conejovalleyguide.com/dosomethingblog/libbey-bowl-and-libbey-park-in-ojai.html

I went to the Libbey Park construction site in Ojai, CA, as a volunteer today.

From Ojai Valley School there were only five female volunteers, including myself.

Wearing dark green OVS T-shirts, the volunteers checked in and drank Gatorade, having no idea what to do.

Ally Su, one of the five girls, expected the volunteer work to be taking care of little kids.

However, what was waiting for her were a huge pile of mulch, shovels, and wheelbarrows.

Photo Credit: http://www.centralwisconsinhabitat.org/Thrivent%20Builds.htm

At first, we had fun.

Mr. Alvarez, our peacekeeper, came to us after parking the school van and took pictures of us shoveling, and we would make stupid poses and faces.

However, as the photographer left and we continued the work, it became more and more painful.

“I think we are going to get blisters on our hands,” Said Ally. Thirty minutes from then, I could see an already-popped blister on my palm.

After repeating filling and emptying the wheelbarrows for about an hour, we became all exhausted. Our faces had layers of dirt on them, and our hands had turned red.

We found ourselves the only ones working without gloves. We’ve been complaining about it the whole time, and I found out that we were actually the only ones who did not know that we could get them from the tool check-in center behind us.

We had pizza with lemonade for lunch, wanting to go back home. However, there came a truck with another pile of mulch. Sighing, we got back to work.

The teenage girls had become shoveling experts at some point. We shoveled so fast that we had to wait for other workers to make more space to pour the mulch.

“Stephanie [Shin] found her future job,” Said Ally Su.

After half an hour of eating and two hours of shoveling, we headed back home.

First, we drove to Ally’s house only to find it locked.

Then, we went to Starbucks and met another school van with Mrs. Cooper in it.

After we got our drinks, Mr. Alvarez dropped Ally off at her house, “shh-ing” when she tried to tell him the directions.

As soon as I got back on campus, I took a shower and found two things: dirty water coming off of my body and another blister on my thumb.

Time Out

People wonder why teenagers get sick so often, and I think I have found the answer.

We are constantly being run into the ground, overwhelmed with task after task.

I will use myself as an example. I go to school, do my homework, and go to volleyball. Everyday. No breaks in between.

You would think I would get used to it, and I do in some ways. But sometimes the lack of a break catches up to me.

Getting home at 10pm in need of a shower and a snack does not let the teen body get the rest that it needs to stay healthy.

At our age we are growing so much mentally and physically.

If we take the breaks that we need, we are scolded for being lazy or not trying hard enough – but if we do too much we are told that we need to “slow down”.

Confusing, right?

So much is asked of the high school or college student, and yet whenever I say that I can almost always hear an adult scoffing and making some snide remark about how “we have it so easy”.

And perhaps in a lot of ways we do.

I know that I don’t have to worry about paying the bills at the end of every month – and I am so grateful for that.

But I do have to worry about my grades, sports, getting into colleges, trying to maintain some kind of social life, and a lot of other factors that are major stressors.

So why is anyone surprised when 1/3 of the junior class gets a cold, or a fever?

Some of us get only three to five hours of sleep per night because of the work load that is put on us.

Everyone needs a break now and then, and when that break isn’t taken, the human body will find a way to take it.

Our systems are beaten to the ground. And while we may not have to same feats to overcome as some, we have our own.

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photo credit to: http://www.static.guim.co.uk