Doomed to Mediocrity

If most of the world is doomed to mediocrity, why am I having such a hard time accepting my fate?

“But wiggygirl3.wordpress.com, you’re not mediocre, you’re basically the most awesome person in the whole world!” Nope. Falsch. And I confirmed this is untrue by going through my best friend’s birthday present to me. She generated a list of 18 reasons why I am fantastic; only three of them were actually true.

Yesterday my ex boyfriend texted me to say “I’ll be moving in sooner than I expected” or something like that. When I asked why, he replied he was given the opportunity to engage in research at his University before he even steps into a college class in a program that is usually only for college juniors and seniors. He apparently sent an email about the technology or research programs at his college to the head of his department, who then recommended him to the dean of the school, who then placed him into this program.

And I’m just sitting here thinking how I cannot even motivate myself to do my simple German homework until 5am the day it’s due. I’m not dumb, but I’m not naturally-gifted-smart either. Review tests are catastrophic because, even though this year I was attempting to do so, I cannot retain any knowledge. I’m trying to learn for the knowledge, not the grade, but it’s not working. I cannot compare to people like him.

I used to think I could accomplish whatever I wanted through sheer determination. But with my motivation slipping away, I have nothing. There will be no Johns Hopkins Graduate school in the future. No becoming a molecular geneticist/researcher and achieving great things. I am mediocre. But I cannot let go of this ridiculous fantasies. Why can’t I just accept my fate?

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#GottheDot

After much painful and protracted deliberation, I have decided to attend Gettysburg College.

In the end, the University of Rochester was just too far away, in too wintery of a location, and too large. Additionally, I felt a lot better when I went to visit Gettysburg’s campus-it had that special feel about it, like I could imagine myself spending my college years there.  Rochester didn’t give me the feel. Though I will be giving up immense diversity (because let’s be honest, Gettysburg College is mostly a bunch of white kids) and specialization early in my college experience (Rochester had Molecular Genetics as a major and is a research institute), I am quite pleased with my choice.

After doing some research I discovered a variety of Biology and BMB students who are currently studying at great universities for grad school, including at Johns Hopkins University (which is where I would like to  go for grad school). Because Gettysburg is so small (the incoming class last year was about 700 students, I think), I’ll have that small community feel I love. I’ll also form tight relationships with faculty, which will lead to research opportunities. And even though the location is not a lively city like Rochester, it’s a beautiful landscape rich in history only two and a half hours from my hometown, versus the five and half hour drive to Rochester.

Ultimately, college is what you make of it, and I intend to do A LOT. I’m going to major in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, with a definite minor in German and possible minors in English, Writing, or Neuroscience. Because there are so many subjects I want to delve into, I’ll probably end up taking five (versus four) classes in at least two, if not more semesters. I plan to study abroad, perform research with faculty, get some internships and experience in there, and do all kinds of college type things!

After making this decision, so much weight has been lifted off of me, and I feel a lot better. I do have moments of doubt, thinking perhaps I made the wrong decision…that’s just my nature at this time in my life. But talking to people from the college (and of course stalking their Facebook pages), I’m really excited to embark on this new chapter of my life.

Here’s to making the last few weeks of high school count and salmon colored pants! (Which reminds me…I gotta get some Gettysburg gear!)

What Students Really Need to Hear

AFFECTIVE LIVING

It’s 4 a.m.  I’ve struggled for the last hour to go to sleep.  But, I can’t.  Yet again, I am tossing and turning, unable to shut down my brain.  Why?  Because I am stressed about my students.  Really stressed.  I’m so stressed that I can only think to write down what I really want to say — the real truth I’ve been needing to say — and vow to myself that I will let my students hear what I really think tomorrow.

This is what students really need to hear:

First, you need to know right now that I care about you. In fact, I care about you more than you may care about yourself.  And I care not just about your grades or your test scores, but about you as a person. And, because I care, I need to be honest with you. Do I have permission to be…

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Going Batty (In More Ways Than One)

This morning I woke up and there was a bat in the basement. No, not the baseball kind. This cute lil brown thing with fur, wings and the tiniest little fangs.

Thankfully, I was not the one who stumbled upon it in our basement because I would have freaked out. My dad was going downstairs for some toiletries and heard something squeaking. When he looked on the floor, he saw this thing, which he thought, in a slight panic, was a giant tarantula before taking a closer look. He yelled upstairs to my mother, commanding her to get a sheet, and he wrapped it up and brought the bat outside into broad daylight.

When I got outside, it was sitting in the same spot where my father had left it, a mulch-filled area by our deck where my mom attempts to grow flowers. We threw some apples its way, moistened a rag (in case it got thirsty?) and built a sheet fort for it to hide from the sun and predators.  I felt really bad for the lil thing. Now we aren’t quite sure where it is, but we’re guessing it took shelter in the dark area under our deck.

A literal bat is not the only thing crazy going on around here lately. My car (really my parent’s car that they are so wonderful as to let me borrow) wouldn’t shut off; the key would not turn in the hole. We took it to the dealer and I’ve got to wait a few weeks before new parts can come in. We received a free rental car, but because I’m only 18, I can’t legally drive it. This gives me a few options, which include:

  1. taking the bus (undesirable but not all that bad)
  2. allowing my grammy to drive us to and from school (she scares me a little when she drives, so I might have to take over the driving. Additionally, I don’t want to burden her)
  3. driving my dad’s truck so he can drive the rental car. This would seem like the best option, except this truck randomly shuts off in the middle of turns, which terrifies me. It’s a whole lot larger than my weeniemobile (that’s my name for the car I’ve been driving), so I would be uber nervous driving it. I’d probably end up leaving earlier from school and waiting for all the other cars to leave before I drive home because I’d be really anxious trying to get out of the tight senior parking lot.

I turned 18 this week, which is crazy in itself. I’ll be able to get my adult, no-strings-attached license on Monday, and then I won’t have to drive with the little red stickers on the car and I’ll be able to drive as many people as I want. I can sign up to vote. I’m an adult, but I don’t feel any different.

However, the thing driving me veritably insane is the looming decision of college. I’m choosing between two divergent schools, the University of Rochester and Gettysburg College. Rochester is in a sweet location, has awesome academics in sciences, particularly in Molecular Genetics, is a research university, and has fantastic diversity. Prior to my visit there last weekend, I was set on attending Rochester in the fall. However, Gettysburg’s close-knit atmosphere really spoke to me, whereas Rochester, much like the climate, seemed cold and stuffy, and just a little snooty.

Moreover, I’m terrified I will get really depressed and overwhelmed in Rochester and my family will be really, really far away. Conversely, I feel like by going to Gettysburg, I’ll always be asking myself the question of “What if”. I have the opportunity to attend this amazing school, perfectly fitted for my educational and career goals…so why am I not immediately grasping this chance? Thinking this over at all times during the day has depressed me more and caused my motivation levels to plummet. I’m hoping to make my decision this weekend, though I’m not rushing or anything. I just can see the reasons for going to each school, and can’t decide which is a better fit.

It’s sort of a head vs. heart decision. It’s also choosing between comfort and a less challenging path or deciding to grab opportunity, which leads me to my final question: Does it take more strength to push yourself beyond your limits, risking your own sanity, or to choose a path you like more notwithstanding it’s not the best option for your future?

Spring Nostalgia

As a student of AP English Literature and Composition, I have a fairly good grasp on what symbols generally mean. Water means cleansing. Light represents truth and enlightenment, while dark is the opposite. Spring usually symbolizes rebirth, or the beginning of a new life, attitude, etc. This is usually  a happy symbol, and associated with new growth, flowers, sunlight, and other natural elements.

Nonetheless, I have become cognizant of an annual spring nostalgia that plagues me and deepens my depression and anxiety. It’s almost similar to the affects of Seasonal Affective Disorder-just a different season. I suppose nostalgia isn’t quite the right word, unless you say I’m nostalgic about events that are current.

As the months left before summer dwindle, I become aware of the looming end of school. This year, the end is much more permanent for me, considering I’ll be leaving for college in the fall. I am a very sentimental, thoughtful person, and the end of anything renders my heart heavy. The whole concept of time and never returning to past events baffles me. It also makes me sad, and these feelings are particularly amplified at this time during the year.

One could argue this whole “nostalgia” I experience is ridiculous and I need to get over my sentimental values and just live my life. Notwithstanding I know that’s what I should be doing, the inevitable end of a chapter in my life, no matter how small, sets off immense nostalgia that I cannot discard.

Perhaps I just have issues committing myself to anything.  I think a large part of it involves the fact I do not want to lose my feeling of choice. In high school, so they say, your world is wide open-you do not have to worry about what you’re doing for the rest of your life. You don’t know what college you will attend, what major you will pursue, what your career will be. You don’t have to worry about the real world, and contently consume yourself in the microcosm of your home town.

Now, as a senior, I’m making decisions that could affect my entire life. Maybe they won’t affect me too much, and they probably won’t change my life for the worse, but they will most definitely shape my future. That’s some pretty intense power right there. How do I know I’m making the right decision?

Moreover, I like the feeling of being wide open-the sky’s the limit, right? I could be whatever I want to be. But now I’m expected to become what I have always wanted to be, except I’ve never had a clear-cut image of my future self. It was too much fun imagining all of the different people I could transform into.

In the end, a choice has to be made. But the thing about making a choice is, once you’ve made your decision, you concede your ability to choose.

That’s hecka scary.