Reflections on a Year Past

It seems odd, having endured so many school years already, to think about how just one more year in school could have set in motion so many changes. Looking back, I can remember bits and pieces of middle school and high school, and in each of my years there I can recall how I perceived myself as I matured. But what did I really accomplish then, as I look back? Not all that much, I’ve realized. I was drifting through life then, accepting whatever came my way and adapting to it. Life was slow, fairly quiet, and relatively antisocial, in hindsight.

Then, along comes college. I’ll be the first to admit that I was a terribly antisocial wreck then. I probably still am to some extent. But back then, I didn’t reach out too much. My computer and the internet was my contingency plan in times of boredom. I was quite the nerd, ignorant and graceless. Hell, the first time I talked to Butters was over a video game.

Sometime between then and perhaps November however, something changed. This new lifestyle, immersed among people, took hold. It was a far cry from home, where most of my social interactions happened on a computer screen. Before, I thought I could escape boredom sitting in the throne that is my desk chair. Now, it seems I’m terribly addicted to the company of others, go figure.

A caveat of company, though, is the overwhelming urge to procrastinate. It’s something I’m still learning to balance with work. Music, movies, and video games have never been such large presences in my life before. Another side-effect of life here is the spontaneity that drives American stupidity. Between throwing Frisbees from where they’re not meant to be thrown (thanks John) to having ice cream shoved in your face (you did not escape unscathed, Michelle!), I’ve gotten used to a different style of living: College.

I’ve also been adjusting to another rather unfamiliar experience. I walked onto TCNJ with the presumption that I could persevere through college as a stoically single individual, free from any attachments to someone. In fact, I do recall a random chat in the bathroom with Butters where we more or less said that we’d prefer to “keep out options open.” Shortly thereafter, Amanda happened and I mocked John’s Facebook status change, but of course, I was still committed to what I had said.

And all that time up until March, I was slowly finding myself more and more attached to someone. Perhaps it started out of the fact that it was easier to pass hours in each other’s company, but as time went on, I was just drawn more and more to her personality. And still, I thought nothing of it, the growing enjoyment of her company was too subtle and natural in my head to register.

Of course, by March, something became obvious, apparently obvious enough for people to start betting on when we’d make something official. Of course, me being the socially timid individual I am, I took my merry time trying to sort out my feelings. I was spared the initiative of having to start any sort of awkward conversation, it was gnawing away at her more. Lucky me. It took me awhile to grasp such a concept though, my life’s training in this area being so sparse. It was at this time that I realized how kick-ass my roommate is at playing counselor. So after swallowing the fact that I really wouldn’t have been able to live with myself for letting this opportunity slip away, I can now cross a month off of my calendar as a victim to time wasted in involuntary contentment.

Now back to a more general facet of my life, having wasted three paragraphs. Where to now? Well I’m still waiting to hear back from Picatinny Arsenal, they’ve now been processing applications for the better part of two weeks I think, and it’d be nice to get a definitive answer. My major choice is now going to default to mechanical engineering unless I decide otherwise. I’m going to try to throw in a minor if possible, like physics or maybe math, or even more remotely, chemistry. It’d probably mean a ton of summer classes… Oh well, I can be indecisive in this aspect of life for a bit longer.

So all in all, I think I’ve been shaped by college more than I thought possible. I really can’t imagine a better experience (though it’d be great if our bathroom kept itself clean…) to kick off my TCNJ experience. I don’t expect my academic life to get any easier, on the contrary, Statics and Advanced Engineering Math ought to be so much fun… But I think that the positive outlook I’ve garnered from my friends is enough keep me pressing on.

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