Photo by Marina Williams featuring Molly Hauer as seen in Mad Sounds Magazine Issue 24
Today, I let myself be excited for the future.
This is an extremely rare occurrence for me, considering I am always thinking one step ahead, always expecting the worst case scenario as the inevitable. I get out of bed and suit up my battle armor, bracing for life to throw everything it has at me.
But today I let myself be excited.
Ironically enough, the beginning of my day started in a haze of self-imposed fear, brought on by a simple email from my professor letting us know he was posting his syllabus online. This invited in every single fear I had put away for the summer (i.e. What if college is some sick, twisted wake up call the universe is sending me to show me this isn’t what I’m supposed to be doing? What if talent and success is unachievable? What if I accidentally fart on the first day of class?).
I am entering the most blissful stage of adulthood, the one where you can call yourself an adult but raincheck a majority of the responsibilities that come with it. You’d think that a moderately attractive, intelligent, emotionally stable girl like me would be eating this new chapter of my life up. Well, wrong. But not for long.
After dragging myself out of my morning routine of dreadful “what ifs” I tried to walk across my room to get my computer in order to procrastinate the millions of forms I should have been faxing to my university. But alas, I could not take a step in any direction due to the fact that the day before I had taken quite literally every article of clothing I own and collected it into a massive, monstrous pile in the middle of my floor in an effort to start packing for my dorm. A tangible representation of the current dread I was feeling towards the genesis of “adulthood” or whatever.
So I stared at it for a long time. I stared at it and rethought every negative feeling I was having towards college, I put on my big girl pants, and I drove my pessimistic self to Target.
I stood in the very middle of the store with an empty red plastic shopping cart and a credit card that only had two hundred dollars on it. One week until I move in and I hadn’t spent a cent on anything dorm-related.
One by one, I wandered up and down the aisles and meticulously picked out the necessities for the shoebox room I’d be spending the next year of my life in. With each shower caddy and sheet set, the dread I had cosigned my college apps with started to melt away and was replaced by a glowing feeling of hope, almost as if I was starting to believe in myself -- as if college is a place I think I’m going to thrive in.
Unlike a majority of my friends who are going out of state, I am staying very, very close to home (despite my best wishes). The knowledge that I will be living on campus somewhat independently has been my saving grace ever since graduation day. But that doesn’t prevent the gnawing sadness I feel every single time I have to say “see you in December” to yet another person that has been such a facet to my everyday life.
Meeting so many new people all at once can be a little intimidating to even the most outgoing people. The pressure to reinvent myself into a bubbly, energetic go-getter has felt less like the exciting adventure it should and more like I’m carrying the sky on my back. This weight disappeared when I realized that, hey, I’m already a bubbly, energetic go-getter. There is no one in any college/university in the country that I should feel the need to prove myself to except, well, myself. The literal only thing I’ve been lacking in this perfect college equation is a little self-confidence.
The motivation to get out of my home town and the drive to wreck and exceed everyone’s expectations by shooting for (and landing on) the stars has simply been buried under silly fears of what people are going to think of me. Is how people feel about the way I talk and the way I dress going to change whether or not I get my degree? Whether or not I get to do the thing I love? No. I have come to the executive decision that quite frankly I really don’t care what people think because this isn’t high school. This is an amazing new chapter I get to write by my own rules. I’ll send you a postcard.