I essentially have three goals for this summer.
1) Learn “Let It Go” and other songs in German. I was torn when making class decisions for college on whether to take a) Shakespeare’s Sisters, an English seminar that I really did not need but would enjoy, or b) German 201. If I enrolled in the latter it would prevent the loss of any of my German skills by waiting to enroll in the class at another time.
I was really close to going with the English seminar, which I had my eyes on from the first time I looked at Gettysburg’s courses, but I ended up making the more rational decision and choosing German 201, which I believe I will love. I plan on taking an English course to fulfill one of the liberal arts curriculum goals, and using Introduction to Creative Writing as my arts requirement. My schedule at the moment, other than German 201, includes Math 111 (Calc 1), Bio 113 (the fall companion to an application-only research based course in the spring, Bio 114 Phage Genomics), and Chem 107 (Chemical Structure and Bonding). The schedule is pretty busy. Math 111 meets Monday thru Thursday; other than lectures, I have labs for both Bio and Chem and a German conversation/discussion once a week. However, I am very excited about all my classes.
2) Come up with at least one question to ask my Biology professor. He sent all of us (from the Bio 113 class) an email concerning general Gettysburg advising on housing, buying books, etc. He also discussed our homework over the summer, which was good, because I completely forgot about summer homework and would not have even thought to ask my other professors (which I will do now).
Finally, he said we are free to ask him whatever questions we want, whether it’s about college, our courses, or general science questions. I want to look at all the information he has sent us and ask a really good question; I’ve had issues with asking questions/asking for help in the past so I want to break that habit as soon as possible. A fresh start for college, yanno?
3) I want to speed walk as fast as my paint crew supervisor. I don’t think I have mentioned this before, but I did get the same summer job as last year, painting for the school district. He has decided to wait to name managers to see who can handle it all best, so I am not sure if I will procure this position. I am not a very take-charge type of person, which is why I am dubious of my chances. Besides, I don’t think I really want to be a manager anyway (grr stupid lacking ambition when it involves something new or taking charge).
Anyway, you do not understand this man’s speed. He does not even pump his arms-he just goes. You literally run to keep up with him or else he will turn a corner and you will not know where he went. The only way you know he is coming before he gets to you is the keys he keeps on his belt all the time jingle and jangle obnoxiously loud. You can hear him from down a hallway, which gives you just enough time to turn off any inappropriate music you may have been playing. Last year my friend’s IPod was magical. We had it set on the musicals station, and when the supervisor was not around it would play Avenue Q and Spamalot, but just before he would walk by it would play Aladdin or the Little Mermaid.
I digress. It’s good to have goals, right?
Last night was my high school graduation. While I was at the actual ceremony, I had a headache, nerves about making my salutatorian speech, and the sun in my eyes for most of the evening. I was also hot and sweaty from sitting in the sun, and therefore did not feel the reality of graduating sink in. I felt like I took everything in, as well as I could; I watched closely as all of my classmates graduate, hugged a bunch of teachers, and danced to “Happy”, which they played after the formal ceremony was over and we were all set loose to roam around the football field.
This morning the realization hasn’t fully sunk in yet, but I’m panicing about nothing in particular, so I’m starting to get there. I’m really stressed this morning because there is so much I have to do today. The fact high school is finally over also makes me feel a little depressed…there’s a lot I wish I had done better. My salutatorian speech was okay, but not exceptional or personal at all. Most people did not laugh where I expected them to, and that discouraged me. I did not feel bad about it last night (I was too in the moment of graduation I guess), but now looking back I feel a lot worse about it.
Even though I spent the night with my two best friends in the world, I feel very lonely. Or maybe that’s why I feel lonely? I had the option to go to Project Graduation, essentially a party the school hosted at the Funplex after graduation, but because my two best friends were not going, I chose not to. Either way, not many people reached out to me before, during, or after graduation to talk or share congratulations. I did not anticipate this post becoming miserable, but that’s sort of what happened.
Though I sort of feel like a wreck now, last night was pretty beautiful, even though I had not been hit with the full force of graduating. I feel it’s going to be coming on very soon though…it’s so scary being an adult now. I think once I start making my to-do lists, organizing everything in my life, and completing tasks, I will feel much more at peace.
I’d like to close by sharing the quote I used in my graduation speech.
“When you’re a kid, they tell you it’s all…grow up, get a job, get married, get a house, have a kid, and that’s it. But the truth is, the world is so much stranger. It’s so much madder. And so much better”
-Elton Pope, Doctor Who
P.S. I know that’s not the whole quote, I cut out the “so much darker” part because I did not want to be more verbose than I already was, and because talking about a “dark world” during graduation seemed a little too weird for me. If you wanna read my whole graduation speech, I’m going to make a page for it.
I have never been one to write heat-of-the-moment anything: no crazy Facebook statuses about an ex or backstabbing friend, no personal Tumblr posts other than what I have shared on here (which have been carefully edited and looked over, written in a state of calm thoughtfulness). Sometimes I text sort of heat-of-the-moment, but only to my two best friends and/or ex. So sharing a depressive, momentary flash of emotions with the random public is not something I have ever really done before.
In the past week or so, I felt I have not done anything right whatsoever. I have suffered through my own mistakes and procrastination. I have been extra anxious about going places and doing different tasks for school, college or my summer job. I have been relying heavily on my mother’s assistance, and because I have been so anxious and depressed I have begun to take my bad feelings out on her, being mean even when she is trying to help. One night I overheard her frustredly complaining to my father how stressed she is between my issues and her own, partially contributing her high blood pressure to all the stress.
I instantly felt terrible, and wrote the following on Tumblr: “i hate posts about depression that include people talking about how shitty their parents are and thats why they’re depressed because they do not feed my depression. I am not the victim, I am the problem. I take everything out on the people who love me and hurting them because it makes me feel better. I’m a terrible daughter, sister, friend. I’m surprised my parents haven’t had heart attacks from dealing with me. Maybe soon.”
A part of me almost values this transitory snapshot. It’s raw, emotional, and as much “me” as these posts that I write with a calm mind. Is there a reason I should not be posting these things? If they were about a specific person, yeah maybe. It would be an innapropriate way to deal with the situation, and issues are best dealt with through direct conversation. But these were just emotions concerning myself that I decided to express in an unedited fashion.
Is there something wrong with that?
Perhaps I should be discussing these feelings with someone rather than posting them on Tumblr (yanno, direct conversation to solve problems), but the whole cause of my depression was due to feeling like I was putting all of my issues on someone else. I suppose I could have called or texted my therapist (because that’s her job), but it was too late at night.
Or maybe we have, as a society, decided that rash displays of feeling are negative. Most people view those types of Facebook statuses as ridiculous, and some bold people even comment on said statuses and convey their derogatory opinion on emotion-sharing on social media. If you feel something negative, you are told to keep it between yourself and whomever it may concern. However, when it comes to depression, you may be the only one who is involved in the war in your mind (directly at least). So perhaps we are conditioned to bottle these emotions inside of us and not share it with others, let alone those who vaguely follow our daily lives through social media.
Am I digging too deeply into this?
Whereas last week I did not blog because I was just so gosh darned busy, this week I was plagued by senioritis, depression, and anxiety. I’ve been having a lot of mood swings lately. One minute I’m laughing at a joke my math teacher made or enjoying hanging out with my two fellow lab techs (my best friend and my ex), and the next I am musing how my math teacher stands for so much I hate in the world or despising (and being quite jealous of) my ex for explaining to a teacher how he was given a research intern position at his college over the summer. Just a minute ago I was motivated to write a blog and then poetry, work out, and start making appointments for paint crew as well as summer plans, and now I am amazed I have enough energy to write this simple post.
I feel ungrounded. As if I am just floating around in the middle of space, in the middle of the universe. I am very unattached to reality. I am floating through rough waters in a tiny boat without an anchor or a safe harbor to pull into. As the school year comes to a close and I am almost done with high school forever, I sense a tremendous lack of direction in my life. Previously I have always had an immediate goal to attend to: get an A on the test, do homework, go to a club meeting, prepare for prom, etc.
I still have objectives I need to achieve, such as filling out paperwork for college. However, all of these goals are seemingly abstract. I will be attending college in the fall, but this reality is still surreal, and therefore I cannot perform tasks for college without feeling more ungrounded than before. I was supposed to make my list of things I’ll need for my dorm and create a registry at Bed, Bath and Beyond, but did not get farther than signing up with my account.
In addition to this crazy senior feeling, I am suffering an inescapable case of senioritis, so my lack of motivation has really affected me; for example, I put off a project that was due today, and therefore spent last night completing it. In reality it would not have been too bad because I had finished most of it in class and just had to add some pictures, do a works cited page, and write a final paragraph, but I kept procrastinating and ended up going to bed past midnight, then waking up at 5:10am to finish.
This procrastination and the fact I had to present my project caused my anxiety to increase twofold. This troubling groundlessness-a lack of a sense of direction-also causes my anxiety and depression to skyrocket. I want to be active and work towards a goal, but I feel as if I have nowhere to aim anymore.
This week I had no time to blog; as much as I feel bad about not posting anything for a long time, there were occasions and to-do’s that I could not ignore.
Monday was my only semi-fee day, though I had an orthodontist appointment right after school. I spent tonight finishing an application for a special first-year “virus hunting” research course at Gettysburg as well as finishing a variety of other assignments I would not have time for later in the week.
Tuesday was a half day in school, but I attended a paint crew meeting after school. Last year I was hired, along with some of my peers, to be a part of our school’s paint crew, which (you might’ve guessed) paint the parking lots, hallways, etc. of all of the schools in the district; I will be doing the same thing again this summer. This meeting took almost three hours, but I can’t complain because we were all getting paid. We have not been told who will be the paint team managers, and I am torn between wanting to make more money by ascending to a leadership position and not wanting to have to assert myself to be in charge of a group.
After this meeting I went home and got ready for a scholarship reception dinner. I won a scholarship through my father’s union, and we were invited to attend a fancy dinner. I had a slight headache by this time, due to high temperatures that, after a cold winter, I am not quite used to yet. The food was good, the conversation, which I managed to interject into a few times, was excellent, and it was absolutely phenomenal to see all these students who had contributed so much to their community.
Wednesday after school was our Science League party. I had previously been very excited to attend, because Science League has been one of my favorite parts of high school over the past two years, and I love everyone in that club. However, we did a competition bowl, and I did not answer a single question though I knew a lot of the answers. Not only that, I was jealous of one of my peers who is incredibly intelligent and began to hate myself and feel very angry. When I came home I essentially gave up on doing anything and succumbed to sadness.
Thursday I was supposed to take a AP Chemistry test, but even if he put a 64 in the grade books (the lowest grade you can get on a test in AP Chem because of a lenient curve), I would still get a 94 overall. When given the option to skip the test, I took it. I was supposed to have an appointment with my therapist but did not have a car to drive, so we had a very short phone conference before I went to my friend’s house so she could paint my nails for prom. After that we sojourned together to Senior Awards night, where I was very happy (not jealous for once) to see everyone winning small monetary prizes for excellence in academics, athletics, extracurricular activities and community service. I received $50 as an academic award and $50 for Science League.
And…Friday was my senior prom! Half the fun was preparing for it. We had a half day of school and I went to the salon and got my hair (in the style of Elsa’s coronation from Frozen) and makeup done. We went to my friend’s house and stopped at school to get inexpensive professional pictures taken. We did not participate in Promenade, so we went back to my friend’s house and spent some time eating and watching RuPaul’s Drag Race in our prom dresses.
Then our parents all came over and we took a ton of pictures. My parents drove us to and from prom for fear of reckless and/or drunk drivers. The first hour or so was awkward picture-taking with friends. Two girls from my AP Chem class essentially attacked me when they saw me, telling me I looked beautiful and they hardly recognized me (yanno, because I never wear makeup in school and wear glasses, whereas tonight I was all dolled up and wearing contacts). The one girl actually came up to hug me and told me I could easily be the most beautiful girl there. Not to be conceited by writing about this, but I was very grateful for the compliment, which really helped my self-esteem.
I may be biased, but my friends and I were the most beautiful people there. Both of them looked like absolute goddesses. After eating we all got up to dance for two and a half hours straight; my feet did not hurt until the last half an hour of the prom, a huge accomplishment considering I wore my (albeit comfy) wedges the whole time. It was great dancing with my two best friends as well as a lot of my other friends in school. My friends and I reflected a little, on the ride home, how we were already a bit nostalgic because this was our senior prom, which would never happen again. But it was a fantastic time, and I would not have traded my prom experience for anything.
Now that this memorable week is over, I am both proud I have survived and am looking forward to whatever challenges await this week.