2014 is nearly over, and man, oh man, I don't think a year in my life has ever passed faster than this. Which is a shame, because this was probably the best year in my life (in recent memory at least. 1999 is a little blurry for me but I remember hella Spice Girls and Barbies and no homework so that one probably takes the cake).
The first half of 2014 seemed to drag on, only because at that point I was ready to get the hell out of high school. I was bored out of my mind continuing to learn about precal and writing essays that only got marginally good grades, no matter how hard I seemed to try on them. My last semester of high school was pretty much just me on autopilot, going through the motions of school and half-assing my homework as I watched countless episodes of The X-Files. To all high school kids out there - work as hard as you can all throughout high school to build up a high GPA so that when you've gotten into college and just don't care anymore, you have a little wiggle room to goof off. But don't goof off so much that you're in jeopardy of losing your place at college. Goofing off is a finely tuned art that takes a certain amount of finesse to pull off (I have now used goofing off more times in the last few sentences than I probably ever have in my life and now the word sounds funny to me). Anyway, you can imagine how pumped I was to graduate, and how little I ended up missing high school (I miss my friends and I miss certain teachers, but I sure as heck don't miss the uniforms and chapel and like 90% of the kids who went there).
The second half of 2014 pretty much flew by, as it mostly consisted of being at Oberlin. So far, Oberlin has been pretty much exactly how I thought it would be. It's rare that you can say that about something, and I appreciate it for what it's worth. I thought it would go like this - orientation would be stressful but I would get through it, somehow along the way I'd make friends, I'd take some interesting classes, get involved in some extracurriculars, and everyone would be very cool and liberal. All of these things happened. Orientation was a crazy blur that made me a very emotional person. I was basically only a moment away from crying 24/7 during that week, which is not so much a reflection on Oberlin's orientation week, but rather a reflection on my crybaby personality. I'm still not sure how and when I met all of them, but within the first few weeks, I had a pretty solid friend group. After meeting them during parents weekend, my parents told me they thought my friends were "smart," "funny," "delightful." I concurred, but I thought better adjectives were "crafty," "weird," and "old souls." Anyway, my Barrows crew helped to keep me sane and also less homesick than I thought I would be. Some of my favorite memories with them include: singing the Gilmore Girls theme song to each other, the pillow fort, Spooptacular 2014*, and the throwback sleepover that included 2 Lindsay Lohan movies and the criminally underrated 13 Going On 30.
Special shout out to my roomie Matilda. Apparently, it's a rarity among Barrows Hall to be friends with your roommate, yet here we are. I'm grateful that you share my love of Taylor Swift, and I'm especially grateful for your orange-vanilla-scented humidifier. Also, your new hair looks awesome.
My classes were pretty interesting for the most part. I took Intermediate French, Cinematic Century, Intro to International Politics, and Soundscapes. I learned a lot in these classes, and I'm thankful that I had such intelligent and friendly professors, which is just one of many things I'm thankful for at Oberlin.
I am thankful that I am privileged enough to attend this school. Education, especially this caliber of education, is not something that everyone has access to, and I am fortunate that I am one of the chosen few.
I am thankful for the food at Stevie. People like to complain, but plenty of my friends back home have told me they rarely dare to venture into their dining halls at college. I'm glad that Stevie at least makes an attempt to be healthy and organic, and it's usually not half-bad.
I am thankful for Fourth Meal. I don't know whose idea it was, but it was a good one.
I am thankful for the maintenance crew. They keep this school clean and functioning and they usually are kind enough to say hello to me.
I am thankful for a student body that actually cares. Like, really cares. You can say many things about Oberlin, but you cannot call its student body apathetic. I'm happy to be a part of a community that strives to dismantle systems of oppression and inequality.
I am thankful for an administration that, while isn't perfect, could be a whole lot worse. I think that while it doesn't always manifest in ways that we like, they have good intentions.
I am thankful for my family. My Ohio relatives were especially kind to me, giving me rides, taking me out for meals, letting me stay with them for the occasional weekend visit. My parents are wonderful people who I missed terribly, which speaks highly of their wonderfulness.
I am thankful for my friends, both in Ohio and at home. My Houston buds kept me going throughout high school, and I loved getting to see them again over break. My Oberlin pals rock, for reasons previously listed. You can follow the wacky things we say on Twitter at @obie_olds. We only have three things written thus far, but I promise there's more coming.
So here's what I know for sure: I am incredibly thankful. I couldn't have asked for a better first semester or a better place to spend it at, and I can't wait to see what my next seven semesters here have in store for me.
*Spooptacular was our non-scary Halloween movie marathon.
Some Good Tunes
I've wanted to make a playlist for a blogpost for a while, so here is one that I call "Songs That Remind Me of My First Semester of College." Some stuff I knew before coming here, some I discovered while being here. This is a very random playlist as it consists of new wave, shoegaze, electronica, country, modern indie, Phil Spector wall-of-sound, and general pop. What I'm trying to say here is that there's something for everyone. Please enjoy.
Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God) - Kate Bush
Antmusic - Adam and the Ants
The Hardest Walk - The Jesus and Mary Chain
Cool For Cats - Squeeze
Passing Out Pieces - Mac Demarco
You Ain't Woman Enough (To Take My Man) - Loretta Lynn
Year of Silence - Crystal Castles
L'estat (acc. to the widow's maid) - Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti
(Today I Met) The Boy I'm Gonna Marry - Darlene Love
Waiting for Something to Happen - Veronica Falls
I Saw The Light - Todd Rundgren
Blank Space - Taylor Swift