“Yes—Sure—Of course—Definitely—Not at all—Yep.”
These are the words that have slowly climbed the top of my “Most Used Words” list, and with good reason. College, as many have put it, is full of opportunity, and they are most certainly correct. College is indeed full of a variety of opportunities, and while on campus it is impossible to forget that very fact because said opportunity is constantly thrown in your face the moment you set foot out of your dorm.
With this in mind, I’m thoroughly convinced that Dante Alighieri failed to mention the 10th circle of hell:
College is full of walking infomercials yearning to prey upon first-year students who are so ready and raring to go that they say yes to anything—like me. The word “No” and I are natural enemies, and it seems that whenever a truce between the two of us would save me from a very uninteresting spiel—I, instead of quoting Rosa Parks, say yes out of the social anxiety kindness of my heart. While I would not be performing civil disobedience by rejecting their subtly desperate search for members, I still find it increasingly difficult to tell these eager beavers that I don’t like wood that much.
Because of this, I now:
Support both Hillary Clinton and Rand Paul, am on the email list for the men’s rowing team, own several unfilled applications, have sat through enough uncomfortable conversations to bore sloths and turtles alike, and possess an overwhelming amount of pens.
And the worst part of it all is that I have yet to find a single interesting group to join, so now I’m stuck with this feeling of watching commercials that advertise something I will more than likely never purchase. The only thing is, I have purchased these things in a way.
I’ve spent my time listening to them.
I understand that I have quite literally been in college for less than a month, but somehow I’ve managed to neglect myself already. I may not be joining these various groups and organizations, but I’ve come to realize that I am almost scared to do so.
Am I afraid of free pens? No. (See? I did it!)
However, I am afraid of losing time—time to study, time to relax, and time to be myself—because in the face of all these new people and groups I rarely remember to check in with myself due to my preoccupation with Hillary Clinton’s College Affordability Plan which only further cements my fears.
Am I scared of affordable college tuition? No. (I’m two for two.)
I am scared, however, of losing the money that is keeping me here. All of the money I received is directly tied to my academic performance, and my time is—almost literally—money, and I don’t know whether or not I can consider myself a temporal Alexander Hamilton just yet. Once upon a time, I managed my time effectively, but now, having heard that college is so much more difficult and having money at stake, it’s almost as if I’m attempting to do the bare minimum. Heck, I’ve never even had stakes before, and now my entire education rides on whether or not I can keep steady grades even if they don’t live up to my standards.
Am I terrified of failing? Yes, yes, a thousand times yes. (I’d be lying if I said no.)
I mean, the stakes are higher now. What do you expect? But I suppose that’s what it means to become an adult.
But then I remember I’ve only been here for less than a month, and that there’s nothing wrong with taking my time. In fact, I highly recommend it. Sometimes time management isn’t just knowing when to do what. Sometimes, I’d like to think, it’s knowing when to slow down as well, and there are just some things you can’t see while in motion.
However, it’s not to say that I’m up to nothing at all.
I’m learning a new language, I’m learning to sing, I’m writing (clearly), I’m running a 5K in the coming weeks for a cancer research donation, and I’m taking college one careful step at a time because I certainly won’t be taking anymore hazardous strolls through campus where the club-buzzards lurk.
So, I’ve become quite the yes-man, yes. (I’m so punny.) However, I think I’m going to have to forge an alliance with “No” if I’m gonna make it out of here alive in four years, but I suppose I’ll have to take my time learning how to do that as well. I should probably start by leaving this “Hawkeyes for Hillary” facebook page…
I do, however, support affordable college, so yes to that Hillary!