As a freshman, adjusting to college can feel more like a marathon than a sprint. I'm not sure whether it's supposed to feel this way, but this pace seems to be set by the unavoidable fact that each day is interrupted with newness: professors, people, perspectives, parties and trust me--the list goes on.
No day is the same, so inevitably, it can be quite distracting with regards to deciphering what genuine page anyone else on campus might be on. Heck, it might be hard to even evaluate where your own mind is set.
That is until your freshman spring semester flies by and suddenly-- you find yourself experiencing déjà vu as your move back into the infamous dorm life: part two.
Though, this time, the foreign experience is less intense and assimilating back to school after a long summer vacation suddenly has me worried whether I am about to catch the mythological plague generations coin: "the sophomore slump."
Come to think of it, there were countless warnings that my naïve nineteen-year-old freshman self was completely oblivious too. I assumed studying abroad was an obligatory custom in college, but failed to pick up on the fact that so many sophomores needed JYA (Junior Year Abroad) more than JYA needed them. Moreover, as endless seniors emphasized their exciting weekend excursions, it slipped my mind that their relief stemmed from the satisfaction in escaping our crowded college bubble.
But, I can't blame the innocent freshman in me. As an underclassman trying to get to know the ropes of a new school, it was difficult to foresee the flutter that would eventually erupt come first semester- sophomore year.
I accepted my freshman days as a part of the past and made space for the unpredictable and intimidating sophomore season that was quickly approaching. I was excited for school, but simultaneously filled with sadness to say bye to the chaotic commute I took each day to my summer internship on the corner of Walker and Centre St.
At the time, I didn't think life could get much better, so when I packed up my bags to trek back to my small liberal arts school, which--keep in mind-- I frequently nickname "home", I failed to foresee the slight chance I'd slump into a case of "sophomore sadness" as opposed to "sophomore success" I predicted.
It wasn't until two months into the semester when my summer euphoric high had begun to come down like the Hudson Valley leaves. Each day began to lose its spontaneity as it inherited a harsher concentration on schoolwork, summer internships, and a campus job to subsidize my current funk (aka overpriced off-campus meals).
My bank statement may have been stable, but something had certainly interfered with my usual optimistic and driven self.
It's a feeling that I still struggle to put into words, but it currently has me sunken deep in a local coffee shop couch sipping a Black Eye to get me through the day.
If this were freshman year, you'd probably find me in the same spot sipping on Matcha latte's with friends. This time around, the only thing accompanying me seems to be an empty pack of organic Stevia and the debatably inevitable: sophomore slump.
But why me? In the past two weeks, I've declared two majors, surrounded myself around supportive friends, received advice from remarkable mentors and on top of that, my social life has gone seemingly well.
However-- something is still off.
As much as I resent regret, I am starting to think this wave of emotions might have more to do with a bad habit I inherited before college. It feels like a bump in the road that may have come up much earlier than my sophomore year of college, something I assumed was an aspect of living in New York, something I describe as my unjustified desire to constantly be in a rush.
When I was 15--I wanted to be 17.
Once I turned 18 - all I wanted to do was bounce around like I was 21.
So now that I am finally approaching my 20s -- all I can sense is a quarter life crisis.
Don't get me wrong, a quarter life crisis might exist, but the only issue is that I'm not a college senior undergoing a pressure inducing thesis assignment.
Without any idea of where my mind stands, I can't help but turn to my friends Mark Ruffalo and Jennifer Garner in Thirteen Going on Thirty. And if we're talking "wish upon a Razzle," how am I supposed to calmly anticipate: thirty, flirty, and thriving?
This trio of traits jingle in my head like a middle school ring tone; they remind me of that anxious phase one goes through while anticipating to hear back from a friend.
While I currently find myself in a similar state of anxiety, I can't help but reassess my symptoms and revert back to my original quest; maybe this isn't the sophomore slump talking, but instead my undeniable rush to uncover: what's next?