Coral Dress, Blue Beret, Gold Bangles: Forever21.
Floral Purse, Tan Flats, Flower Earrings: Thrifted.
Binocular Necklace: Giveaway win from Triple Thread.
The past two days have been the biggest learning experience I've had in years. Spending two days at Kent for my college orientation was certainty not what I expected. I had awful lows, and wonderful highs. If you read my blog just for pretty outfits and pictures- I advise you to stop right here ;)
My family and I woke up at 4:30 on Friday morning to set off to Kent State, an hour and a half away. We arrived early for check in, and seeing my roommate for the first time since February was wonderful. Her name is Michelle. She's a quiet soul but so sweet and loves to dress in all things girly and romantic like myself. We're already discussing the Modcloth room accessories we want to purchase for the dorm, he. We checked in and headed up to our small cubical of a room. More or less exactly what we will have this fall. It's small but I like small. I like feeling confined to a space all my own. The closet is small, but I think all of my dresses will fit. Just maybe.
The day was filled with what seemed like a million seminars. Some important, some not so much. Financial aid, signing up for classes, what to expect (but not when you're expecting)- typical college information. I started to get anxious when I was separated from Michelle to go to an individual group session for the school my major is under- The School of the Arts. They made us do 'ice breaker' activities to introduce ourselves and such but I don't know what came over me- I was so shy! It frustrated me because everyone was just talking away, making friends and there I was; staring down at the floor. One thing that makes me really upset about being so shy is that people figure I'm probably too stuck up to talk or that I think I'm better than everyone else- something I would never be in a million years. I tried to join the conversation a few times, but wasn't too successful.
The rest of the day was filled with lunch (which was so delicious, I'm going to gain 100 pounds) and more seminars. One in particular really was interesting to me about social media and such in today's college world. He talked about how as students and young adults, technology consumes our lives totally, and that sometimes we forget to actually live and enjoy the moment. We're always too busy documenting it. He talked of other social concerns and was so funny- I'm not one to smile or laugh but he had me cracking up!
After all of the informational sessions were done (and I was exhausted by this point) students were free to do what they pleased. The guide team put on this huge party downstairs in the dorms though. They had free ice cream, dancing, music, four square, and lots of games. My roommate and I are neither social creatures, so we just walked around the whole campus chatting and laughing as the sun went down. It was seriously one of my favorite parts of the trip getting to bond with her. I find so much in common with Michelle, but we also differ on a lot of things so it's interesting to talk to her. We went back to the dorms around dusk as the party started getting wild. Exhausted I went to my dorm to start to settle down. I showered and got ready for bed, never being so exhausted in my life.
The night time was absolutely horrible. Night has always been something I've so greatly feared and a trigger for my OCD. Ever since I was little, I hated spending the night in any place other than my home. At sleepovers I would call my parents, crying in the middle of the night begging them to pick me up. My freshman year of high school when I went to swim camp I was so upset that I slept in the bathroom tub all night. My first night sleeping at the dorms was more or less a disaster. My OCD makes it so that I need a very particular bed time routine and college life certainty isn't that. Kids ran up and down the hall, pounding on every door yelling 'wake up, PARTY' and everyone was screaming and cussing at the top of their lungs. Multiple people tried to open the door up, luckily it was locked. I found myself getting really upset with everything for some unknown reason. I suppose the fact that this was going to be my life for the next four years. I started having an awful panic attack and shaking and feeling like I was going to be sick. My head was pounding and I felt so dizzy. Scared to death I left my room and called my parents who were sleeping in a dorm building nearby. I talked to them and they helped calm me down, but it wasn't until looking up some breathing exercises for panic attacks that I finally was able to calm myself down. I didn't fall asleep till well after 2 and I lay there thinking how much I wanted be one of those kids at the party. Being outgoing and able to meet friends so easily. I was so jealous of them about something that comes so easy to most people. Why can't I talk? Why do I fumble and bumble around and hopelessly say something to embarrass myself? Why can't I just go to a party and not want to leave the second I get there? These are questions I ask God every night. I prayed to him that things would change. That I wouldn't be this girl sitting in her dorm room night after night, being as miserable as she was in high school.
The next morning I woke up with brighter eyes and a lighter heart, feeling much better. I got ready and went down to breakfast and was off to a 'college 101' seminar that was interesting. After that, I went to schedule my classes which was a stressful, but a nice learning experience. Kent is a liberal arts college, so I do have to take sciences and maths and such even though they don't relate to my major. As a freshman, I only get to take one fashion class a semester, and the other ones are my core classes. I'm a bit disappointed that I don't get to take more fashion classes, but I already knew this ahead of time. I just hope that things don't feel like high school all over again...not sure if I can handle it.
Coming out of 'battle' afterwards I was surprised to receive a text from Michelle, wanting to meet up one last time before we parted. I don't know why it surprised me. I just...no one had really ever cared about me. I've always been the one wanting and pining to be friends with someone else while I mean nothing to them. This little act of kindness just made my heart so happy, and saying goodbye until I see her in three months was definitely sad. I'll miss her.
My family left Kent and went to explore downtown which was absolutely incredible. Even though I've visited Kent a few times, I've never been to the downtown! I fell so, so in love. It's the perfect little, quirky, fun town I've always wanted to live in with brick streets and street lights. They had yummy restaurants, a store that sold wands and all sorts of 'magical' stuff (perfect for HP fans), a popcorn shop, a train station, ADORABLE clothing stores that will drain my wallet, a toy store with quirky toys like bacon band aids, old fashioned ice creams shoppes, and a student run fashion store where design students from the college can sell their clothes. I am SO looking forward to exploring and finding new places to take photos next year.
I left Kent not happy, but not sad. I wouldn't say I had a good time at my orientation, but I will say I learned so much. More than I could ever learn just reading about campus on the computer. At the end of the trip we were asked what our favorite part of destination Kent State was with multiple choice. More than half choose making new friends, then getting a better feel for campus, then my choice- learning what it's like to be in college. I think that all this time I thought Kent was going to be a fairy tale. I was going to waltz in, make all of these friends, love being away from home, and breeze through my classes. I don't think any of that will be true though. It's going to be hard for me to make friends- I know I'll be shy in the beginning. I realize how much I'm going to miss the familiarities of home (ahem, no more baths?) and probably call my parents crying a lot in the beginning. And I know that my classes are going to be challenging, that I'm going to have to study more than a half hour the night before a test. College is going to be hard, especially at first. I'm going to want to come home, want to give up, and want to come back to my safety zone. I'm scared. Scared out of my mind. This is the scariest thing I've ever 'signed up' to do. My orientation made me realize a lot of things and that I'm not ready.
But I'm okay with not being ready for this. My whole life I've been content with sitting back and accepting what I already know how to do and am comfortable with. I want to feel uncomfortable, I want to feel lonely, I want to feel awkward and depressed and struggle. Because I know in the end all of it will be worth it. I'm not going to give up on this. There's too many opportunities, too many chances at living life, and too many chances at finally being happy. If it means being unhappy for awhile, then fine, so be it. I want to live my life, not stand by and watch it fly by.
With much love, Lauren.