It’s around midnight on a Wednesday night and just as I’m starting to fall asleep, it starts. Young women are screaming and gallivanting down the hall of the dorm that I live in here at Washington College. I swear, every time it happens (which can be pretty often), I want to march down the hall and pick up a JC form to fill out. And then I remember. No, I’m not at Fairhaven anymore. I can’t write people up for leaving trash outside or being too loud or running down the hall. But I do have a lot of freedom, just like I did at Fairhaven. I have the freedom to take the classes I want to, though there are a lot of requirements. I can lie out on the campus green and read a book or chat with friends, though it’s not as great as playing Capture the Flag.
There are many similarities between Fairhaven School and college, I feel like. Sometimes I don’t even notice it. It makes me feel sorry for the kids here who feel like they have to break free of something- their parents, high school, whatever. I believe it’s because I attended Fairhaven that I’ve never felt that kind of remorse. I’ve learned to truly appreciate my education. I’ve also learned that a lot of people don’t. As I’m in college on basically a full scholarship, I appreciate and utilize all of my time here and don’t understand when other students skip class (though I did once by oversleeping).
As scared as I was about starting college, it really isn’t that different from what I imagined it to be. There are house parties and movie nights and studying until you think your eyes will fall out and starting that paper the night before it’s due. If anything, college has taught me time management. There are deadlines and there are consequences. As an avid procrastinator, I’ve had to rethink some of my homework habits. I have also had to sort of learn how to study again, something I never really had to do at Fairhaven. Sure, I would memorize lines for plays but that was about it. I’ve had to relearn things and sometimes ask for help, which, for some reason, is something I absolutely hate having to do. I guess I must be stubborn or something. Here’s a little college anecdote. The second or third week of classes, I had a sociology paper due. I hadn’t really written a paper since my thesis and before that, who knows when. So I hiked very slowly over to the Writing Center, taking deep breaths on the way. Just as I was about to open the door of the building, I did a 180. I turned around and started walking back to my dorm. Then I turned around again. I did this a couple times. Myself eventually convinced me that I wasn’t stupid and that asking for help was okay. Needless to say, I went to the Writing Center, which was immensely helpful. A week later, when my teacher was handing back our papers, I wasn’t too hopeful. Turned out that I had gotten an A- on the paper. Not too shabby. I also made the Dean’s List last semester, with a 3.6 GPA. The only B I had was in my favorite class, Creative Writing. Go figure.
This semester has been a bit tougher, not to mention busier. Even though I quit the crew team, which I had joined in the fall, I find myself having a lot more work. It seems that the professors expect more of us this semester, which I truly cannot believe is almost over. It seems like a couple months ago I was tearfully reading my poem at graduation, but no, it’s been almost a year. I’m still learning the ups and downs of college life and of life in general. But I like to think that so far, I’ve got a pretty good handle on it.