I’m almost done with my first full week as a college student and it’s been…more good than bad. The campus is in the downtown metro area so parking can be a challenge. One of my classes got cancelled and we weren’t told until after we waited in an empty classroom for 20 minutes. I was fortunate that I was able to get into the online version of that same class at the last-minute (thank you God!) so my financial aid didn’t take a hit.
I’m not going to lie, the nights before my classes I would get nervous and even think about just not showing up at all. However, as I would head to the school, taking my time and just enjoying the drive, I would get this wave of exhilaration over the fact that I was doing this because it was my choice. No one is forcing, my parents aren’t paying for anything and Uncle Sam isn’t holding a contract over my head anymore, I was going to school because I wanted to and that filled me with joy beyond words.
It has also brought to light another, kind of unattractive side of myself. On the second day of my Intro to Psych class we were put into small groups of about 5 to 6 people each. The task given to us seemed really fun and easy, to me anyways. The other girls I was grouped with didn’t feel the same. They were talking about how stressed they were with class already and that this tiny hour-long project that we were working on had to be absolutely perfect. Mind you this was project was worth 4 points…out of 975, seriously, no exaggeration. They were talking stress and anxiety over this meanwhile I was running a list of things through my head that were way more stressful than this little group project. This list included things like doing a combat landing into Afghanistan in the middle of the night and hoping terrorists don’t see you and shoot the plane, being told that you’re deploying in 5 days, speaking to a room full of officers about why one of your programs is busted, stepping on a bus to go to the airport where you will be shipped for 6 weeks of training and people yelling at you for no reason, you get the point.
I already knew my age would set me apart from my new peers but I, naively, forgot about the unique experiences I’ve had because I’ve waited so long to go to college. I just couldn’t take their complaints of stress and anxiety seriously because that wasn’t stressful to me at all. I don’t want to be that bitch that is condescending and diminishing of everyone else’s feelings though. They will not understand my life experience and I don’t know theirs so I need to be the bigger person and validate their feelings…which is so hard because I am struggling to take them seriously. Actually, I think the hardest part is just going to be finding someone to relate to in the sea of youth. Ugh, I miss adults.