Scribble #24: Pretty Good Year

“They say you were something in those formative years.”

This is my last blog that I will be creating while here in Ann Arbor for this academic year. This year has been a rollercoaster ride for me. I remember during my rough first weeks of the academic year back in August and September 2021, I wished that if I closed my eyes, I would open them and be here, where I am now, at the end of the year and heading home. It didn’t work, thank goodness. I would have missed so much if that had happened, but the year seems to have gone by just as quickly as if I had.

“Hold onto nothing as fast as you can,”

Time sure does fly when you’re having fun, doesn’t it?

“Well, still, pretty good year,”

Here’s to the karaoke nights where I sang until I lost my voice. Here’s to the yoga breaks my friend and I would take to break up our studying. Here’s to all the times I wanted to cry but didn’t have the time or energy to spare. Here’s to the windows-down drives to McDonalds, even though it was freezing outside. Here’s to sitting on my friend’s floor, talking with her so late into the night that I nearly fall asleep there. Here’s to achieving my high-school goal of becoming a tour guide for my university. Here’s to the therapist appointments that helped me realize that here – right now – is what my ultimate form of happiness can feel like. Here’s to calling my housemates every time I accidentally lock myself out. Here’s to forgetting to journal but being able to keep up with this blog, so when I look back at my sophomore year of college I can see a bit into my mind. Here’s to me and my friends making cardboard cutouts of celebrities with our leftover printing money. Here’s to making new friends and finding my people. Here’s to never really being alone, even when I’m across the country from my friends. Here’s to finishing my sophomore year at the best university in the world. Here’s to coming back in four months. Here’s to the present, and here’s to the future.

“Pretty good year.”

Listen to Pretty Good Year by Tori Amos here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=abvktnzBUkU

Scribble #23: Little Earthquakes

“These little earthquakes,”

I’m out of isolation and yesterday marked the official end of classes for the Spring 2022 semester. I am fortunate that I am almost done with my finals, too, and I feel as if a weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. With my COVID isolation came time for me to find joy in the quiet and to fall in love with some of the simple things in my life again – playing guitar, going on walks with no particular destination in mind, and finding peace in being alone.

“Here we go again…”

It also made me realize that the reality of moving home for the summer is coming up faster than I thought. Soon, my quiet, hobby-filled life will entirely take the place of my social one at college, and I don’t know what I’ll do for four months without my friends. Surely there will be video calls and brief visits, but it isn’t the same as being right down the hall from each other like we are in Ann Arbor. Coming back in the fall will be fun, but I know, as usual, it will take some getting used to. I just need to remember that I do get used to it – I love this city, and, more importantly, the people in it.

“Doesn’t take much to rip us into pieces…”

Things will change, and I will adapt, and things will change again, and I will adapt again. Leaving Ann Arbor is going to be hard. Thinking about leaving is hard enough. But for now, out of isolation, I am more than ready to make the most of the time I have left of the semester. 

“Give me life, give me pain, give me myself again.”

Listen to Little Earthquakes by Tori Amos here: https://youtu.be/DMGl52-QtBk

Scribble #22: Basket Case

“Do you have the time to listen to me whine”

After multiple vaccinations and even getting COVID-19 in 2020 before vaccines were available, I am once again isolating after a positive COVID-19 test. With exams coming up and less than 20 days before I move home for the summer, this has come at a very stressful time. On top of all of that, most of today was spent packing for and moving to my five day “vacation” at Northwood Apartments.

“About nothing and everything all at once?”

Hopefully I’ll be able to make a quick and full recovery and be back in my Ann Arbor home as soon as possible – I’m sure I’ll update you next Wednesday. Until then, it’ll be a whole lot of studying, doing homework, going on walks and runs, playing guitar, drawing, and watching YouTube. Forced, mandatory self-care time with a side of loneliness and stress. 

“I am one of those melodramatic fools…”

This is making me even more grateful for everything – and everyone – I have here. My friends are constantly checking in on me, offering to bring me anything I need, and asking to video chat with me to help pass the time. It’s only been a day in isolation housing, but I already feel so much love and support from my friends here. I might be isolating, but I am definitely not alone.

“Grasping to control, so I better hold on!”

Listen to Basket Case by Green Day here: https://youtu.be/wZ8eZRxFA-0

Scribble #21: Everlong

“I know you’ve always been out of your head,”

All of a sudden, I only have a few short weeks until I return home for the summer. At the beginning of the school year, I viewed summer break as something to look forward to – a return to my own room, my home, my family, and some stability. With each passing day, however, I become more and more sad to know that, soon, I’ll have to say a temporary goodbye to Ann Arbor and all of my friends here.

“Out of my head, I sang,”

I don’t sit around dwelling on the fact that soon I’ll move out of the place I’ve spent the majority of the past 8 months and be hours away from my best friends, and this allows me to make the most of the time I do have left. I am only halfway done with my time pursuing my undergraduate degree, and there is plenty to look forward to over the course of the next two years. However, the end of this academic semester comes with sadness – many of my friends are graduating soon – but I am happy excited for them and excited to see all of the amazing things they go on to do after graduation.

“And I wonder, when I sing along with you,”

Here’s to having a good rest of the semester, to focusing on savoring every moment I have left here, to studying hard for my exams, to not procrastinating my final papers, to spending as much time as possible with my friends, and to knowing that I have plenty to come back to when I return to Ann Arbor in August.

“If everything could ever feel this real forever?”

Ann Arbor – my second home – and my friends – my second family – I will see you again before I know it, and I look forward to all of our future adventures!

“If anything could ever be this good again?”

Listen to Everlong by Foo Fighters here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AxuTd9rwEHQ

Scribble #20: Champagne Supernova

“Someday you will find me caught beneath the landslide,”

This past weekend was made complete by a visit from my best friend: my mom. It was great to see her and be able to catch up – these past few weeks have been very busy and I haven’t been able to speak much with her. It’s always weird when a family member leaves after visiting me at college, but every time it gets easier and easier to get right back into college life. That doesn’t mean saying goodbye isn’t hard, though.

“In a champagne supernova,”

Singing along to the entire seven minutes and twenty seven seconds of Champagne Supernova by Oasis with my mom while we were driving in the car was a highlight of my weekend. I’m glad we are able to bond over our shared love of similar music. Tonight, I had another singalong with some of my closest friends. I can’t help but remember how all throughout middle and high school I wouldn’t sing in front of anyone. It makes me happy to realize that now (while I am still very aware that I am no professional singer) I am secure enough to sing in front of my friends and family.

“’Cause people believe that they’re gonna get away for the summer.”

It was great to be able to spend quality time with my mom, and a nice way to make my way into finals season. It’s hard to believe that I have less than a month left of my second year of college, but I’m proud of my personal growth and how far I’ve come since late August 2021. It’s going to be an academically exhausting few weeks, but I look forward to the satisfaction that will come with it – and the de-stress singalongs that will happen along the way and into the summer.

“But you and I, we live and die; the world’s still spinnin’ ’round, we don’t know why.”

Listen to Champagne Supernova by Oasis here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4V-wUzZvj20 

Scribble #19: Regret

“‘Just wait till tomorrow,’” 

I started off the school year thinking I just had to make it through. Through the day, through the week, through the year, through to better times. I waited all of high school to finally get to college and make friends there, and there I was, in college, waiting for it to be over so I could be on to the next era of my life, a better one with better friends. I fell fully into the trap of living for the future and simply enduring the present.

“I guess that’s what they all say just before they fall apart.”

I’ve learned since then that things change – and with enough patience, a little luck, and a good attitude, they can change for the better. Now, I am able to simultaneously look forward to the future and enjoy where I am in the moment. This past weekend, my best friend from home came to visit me in Ann Arbor. Throughout high school and into the present, she is so special to me because I always feel like I can be my entire self around her. Having her come to Ann Arbor made me realize that I feel the same way around the friends I’ve made here at Michigan – something that I didn’t quite realize was the case until this weekend.

“I was upset, you see, almost all the time.”

It’s a lot easier for me to get through the days, weeks, and months here knowing I am surrounded by the healthiest friends I could wish for, and I find myself feeling like I am enjoying my current state of being as opposed to viewing the present as an obstacle in the way of the better times ahead. I like to think the best is yet to come, but if my present is as good as it gets, I would be able to move through life happily as well – and that feeling is everything that my past self dreamed of.

“You used to be a stranger, now you are mine.”

Listen to Regret by New Order here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p5V_jUncesw