A Day in the Life - September 11, 2016
Hey y’all!It’s Grace here, on my second Monday of university life.I'm coming off of hiatus from my O-Week/Appalachian Trail break (the past two weeks have been insane, y'all.) This week is my first full week of classes - so I decided to share with y'all what I've been up to lately.
Seven Days of You by Cecilia Vinesse | GoodreadsThe Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera | GoodreadsTiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson | GoodreadsWhy We Broke Up by Daniel Handler | GoodreadsWink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke | GoodreadsHarry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling | GoodreadsGirl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow | Goodreads I haven't had a ton of time for reading since I got here, partly because orientation was scheduled with so many panels and info sessions and discussions. (And some fun parts too.) I did manage to reread half of Tiger Lily because I wanted the comfort of an old favorite. Plus, it's such a singularly atmospheric read, just entirely fashioned out of longing. Wink Poppy Midnight's also pretty distinctive, but in a different way. I also reread The Unbearable Lightness of Being while hiking the AT, although predictably my paperback copy got destroyed. Read Why We Broke Up while killing time in Charlottesville before W&L started, which already feels like forever ago. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child was a one-night binge that I reviewed here. I'm working through some recent and upcoming releases - like Seven Days of You and Girl in Pieces! Stay tuned for my surely slow progress. I have to read a solid three books for other classes this week, which I'll announce soon!
I reviewed a ton of books that I've read this summer that were featured on my Instagram. I talked about music, because all I did in the dead time between camp and Washington and Lee was obsessively make Spotify playlists. I decided which books I was taking to college (I have a bookshelf tour coming soon! Even though it's not as many books as I would like to have.) In any case, I shared my preliminary round of decisions on the blog, although that list of titles has now changed. Finally, I reviewed the devastatingly opulent and compelling The Thousandth Floor.
Like I've mentioned, I'm now in college. It's been a complete overhaul of the life I had previously - in high school, in Tampa, over the summer - although I can only hope that I'm bringing the important parts of myself along. It's definitely been a case of finding a "new normal" though.Prior to coming to Washington and Lee, I had a few weeks at home after my last A Day in the Life post. Packing was absolutely horrible! I spent quite a lot of days lying catatonically on my rug, moaning about all the little things I'd never really given much thought to - Tide to Go pens, cotton swabs, desk lamps. Definitely feeling the weight of having to be alone (really, truly alone) for the first time. In the past, I've always had my twin sister or friends around. We managed to cram two teenage girls' bags into our massive Suburban, and it was a relief to finally road trip to Chapel Hill. It'd been a long, delayed release after the stagnation of the summer. It was fun, but we were ready to be at school already. It was awful saying goodbye to my best friend of eighteen years, and strange not to have her around, but UNC fit her so well and I knew W&L was for me.My mom and I didn't exactly want to make the twelve-hour trek down to Tampa, so we ended up staying in Charlottesville. As a UVA alum, and with my brother as a fourth year, she was looking forward to seeing all her friends there for welcome week. Got to see two of my best friends, Madi and Catherine, at various points which was absolutely lovely. Met my roomie in Lexington, which made my day! She's the best.Finally, after a long week of pretty much doing everything that I'd been doing at home, I finally headed to Lexington on Saturday.Loved the town, loved the people, loved finally getting to see friends who would be coming with me. Loved lurking in my dorm room which, at that point, was just Laney's.Sunday, I moved in. One of the perks of being bored at home was that I could put a lot of thought into crafting and collecting for my dorm room. I wanted a place that felt like me, and I managed to hit the mark. Between the bookshelf, my corkboards, my map, and my bed, I'm in absolute heaven there. Definitely a spot that feels like mine. (And Laney's - love the double.)I went straight from there to my Appalachian Trail trip, an optional pre-orientation event for freshmen. I was nervous about it, but I do love my mountains. We only had 25 miles over four days, which wasn't terrible even though I'm quite out of shape at the moment. I was sore, and dying, and quickly got used to constant discomfort. My hips still have these black and red bruises from where my pack dug into my sides. Still, effective bonding?A definite perk too was that after roughing it in the wilderness, everything back in the freshman dorms felt like a luxury. Dining hall food! Fresh sheets! Coffee! A shower.O-Week started right once we got back from our trail. Our bus was three hours late picking us up because of some miscommunication, so we ended up only having an hour or so before a first-year cookout on the green. (And that happened often throughout the week.) I essentially just ran around putting up clothes and figuring out ID cards and all that. There was always something to do.Throughout the week, I got to meet more and more of my classmates while we were out. It was super awkward to encounter people that previously, you'd only ever followed on Instagram, and also a bit intimidating to be referred to as "the one with the books." Still, I soon got used to recognizing people around campus and it was actually pretty comforting to feel as if I already had some close friends to whom I could relate. People say that in college you encounter people more similar to yourself but I hadn't particularly believed it until I had so many fantastic conversations with the kids on my hall, the kids on my trip, the kids I met through others. I know it's so early and so I have no real way of guessing if I'll stay close with the people I met my first week, but I really hope so. The size means our grade has the capability to be really close.Growing up, I always loved having people around in my house. We had guests often, people passing through or friends of my siblings'. I enjoyed waking up and walking downstairs to find people hunched over breakfast, and we often measured the depth of our friendships by who felt comfortable waltzing into our living room and just plopping down (sometimes without our knowledge.) So dorm life has been a fun adjustment. It took me a while to start sleeping properly - still on trail time, coupled with waking up nervous about first impressions - but I did immediately adore lounging in the commons while people drafted for fantasy football leagues, trooping upstairs to watch my guy friends play 2K, girls wandering into my room to talk about plans for the night. It already feels like a default.Our days were crammed with panels on topics like alcohol, sexual assault, balancing our schedules, etc,. We got quite a few tours around facilities with which I was already familiar, but there was a ton of helpful info. It definitely made me feel more comfortable with my college choice.I kid you not when I say I've actually been looking forward to college classes since seventh grade. I'm so thrilled to finally get to take funky, interesting classes in fields in which I'm actually interested. Somehow, I ended up taking really religious classes this semester because it happened to fit with my humanities/literature focus, and I'm taking a few others that should be useful: Intro to Programming, Gender in Western Religions, British Literature: All About Eve, Latin 101, and Intermediate Tennis. (We have required P.E. credits here but they all look pretty fun!) All my classes are already so so reading-heavy but I'm already so excited about the content and discussions themselves. My biggest class is 24 people - most of them are seminar-style, eight to eleven people, something that would be so impossible at most other places. It's brilliant.So that's what I've been up to. Busy, overwhelmed, but also having a fantastic time.