I’ve always tried to write journals, but I’ve never been very good at keeping up with them. So as I’ve found myself in a large transitional period of my life, I think now’s the time to make the change. Many, many things have happened to me over the past six months so before I jump right into my current activities, I think it’s best I take a couple steps back.
I was starting my ninth and FINAL semester of college (#Ninethsemester). My mother had found me an amazing apartment. I was within walking distance to the heart of downtown Urbana (very cool btw, I recommend you check it out if you can), right across from Urbana Free Library and the bus stop, and it was a single. I was lucky enough to have my Mom and Amy help me get settled in and make my apartment gorgeous! I’ll never forget that first weekend we discovered Urbana was having their annual Corn Festival as we walked to Black Dog (for our first time eating there). Let’s just say corn on the cob everywhere, streets closed down, live music playing and lots of people.
Classes got underway and they started to feel different than all the others had. I knew these were officially the last classes I would ever take as an undergraduate, maybe last classes forever! This caused me to try and soak in every moment; doing my best to embrace the nostalgia and gain closure.
Looking back on it now, I can definitely say I gained a beautiful closure academically for my last semester. I made a fantastic study group (with all freshmen nonetheless lol…) in Calculus (the class that was my devil), I learned a lot about a new interesting topics in CHEM 474: Drug Discovery & Pharmacology, went to the most office hours I’ve ever been to, took a class just because I wanted to learn the material (ACE 161), had a great relationship with a teacher (Alex Lo, I now follow him on instragram, Scrappydoglo. His dog is Scrappy, who made a couple of guest appearances in class lol) and I got to cross more things off my bucket list (I studied at every single library!). I was also beginning a new job at the Meat Science Laboratory working as an undergraduate lab assistant. (shoutout to my WLF boss Aaron Blakley for getting me the position).
So while school and work were going okay, I found my biggest issue was adjusting to life on my own.
Not only was I living alone, but I no longer had my people physically/geographically near me. All my best friends had graduated or went to a different school, my parents now lived in TX, my boyfriend was in med school in the suburbs and the friends I had left on campus didn’t live anywhere close to me.
This was something I wasn’t used to. I had lived with my family, in a dorm, in a sorority house with 60 girls, an apartment with 3 roommates and a house with 6 other girls that had a frat house across the street.
But I knew what I was getting myself into, so I was anticipating some loneliness living alone. I knew it would be quiet. I just forget HOW quiet. How there’s nothing else to fill the air except the sound of your voice, the TV, music, or (the occasional) talking out loud. Things that just don’t compare to human interaction. I did Skype and call people occasionally, but barely. My friends had jobs or were extremely busy in medical/nursing school.
I also knew living alone would bring many positives.
I got to come home and immediately take my bra off, have candles burning, leave dirty dishes without feeling bad, never have to wait to shower or do laundry, play whatever music or TV I wanted, take up all the room in the fridge, study with no distractions (besides Netflix, food and my bed of course), walk around naked, and never have to tiptoe around at early/late hours of the day. But at the end of it all, I was alone. Every morning. Every evening. I had never been in my own company more in my entire life.
I was lonely and bored.
Needless to say, I started going a little stir crazy.
So I stayed focused on being the best version of myself and doing what made me happy. I was eating healthy, making new meals I’d always wanted to, kept things clean 80% of the time, went to bed around midnight and woke up at 8am, studied weeks before exams, stayed ahead of assignments, and I was rediscovering my love for yoga and doing it 3-4x a week. Overall making me feel like I had it all together; which made me happy. But as life began to throw me challenges, as it always does, I realized this happiness didn’t go very deep.