Personal: Where You Been, Nichol?

I know… I know. I disappeared again. But I swear, I have a valid excuse. You see… I started college! Which is plenty exciting, of course, except for the fact that I had absolutely zero free time.

I always feel like a guilty kid explaining myself to my parents when I come back from a hiatus… But I’m going to give this explanation the old college try (haha). As some of you may know, I decided to go to college 2,300 miles away from home. I said goodbye to Small Town, PA and headed across the country to Arizona.

Well it turns out that it’s kind of tough to be 2,300 miles away from home. My first semester was a disaster. I won’t go into specifics, but there were some pretty serious problems with my living situation. I suffered through it, but it didn’t help that I was in an unfamiliar place, away from my family, and across the country from everything I called home. It became expected – even normal – for me to cry at least a few times a week, sometimes even every night.

So it’s safe to say that my first semester was horrible. But… things got better!

I was still stressed by school, of course, but I was finally enjoying myself. My best friend and I did a Color Run. I went to basketball games, football games, and baseball games. I camped out for two days to get tickets to our rivalry football game and ended up meeting our quarterback. I volunteered at Feed My Starving Children. I helped plan events with our residential council. I went to a free concert for Hunter Hayes (and touched his hand and caught his guitar pick – still excited about that). I took a road trip to see snow in Arizona. I went to a cute brunch with my friends on Easter and took cute pictures. I went to a real college party. I finally (kinda) had a life!

So that’s one reason why I had zero time to read. I was busy living for once! Going on adventures and being a real “young adult.”

But, of course, I also had zero time to read because I was insanely busy with school. Being an English literature major… well, it’s a given that we have a lot to read. I had 23 books to read during the spring semester alone. Yes, 23 books.

So whenever I did have free time… I wasn’t exactly in the mood to read, even if it was for fun. I spent 95% of my time reading books for class. As much as I love reading, I didn’t want to spend that other 5% of my time reading more books. I wanted to spend that other 5% going on more adventures, hanging out with friends, sleeping, or Netflixing.

And this isn’t even including all of the time I spent doing other things academically. I’ve officially decided to graduate a year early, so everything school-related has been accelerated a bit. I’m also minoring in German and pursuing a certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. So I’ve got quite a bit going on with that. And then I also have to complete a two-semester thesis because I’m graduating from an honors college. Not to mention that I read to children every week at a local library, I’ve been acting as a research assistant for an honors professor, and I’m now the secretary of a mentoring program. I’m also going to be a TA for an honors class next spring, and I’m starting training in the fall for a spring internship.

So, as you can tell, I’ve been a little busy. But I’m going to read as much as I can this summer (even though it turns out I’m quite busy this summer as well). I’m going to try to get back on a roll. And then I’m going to try to STAY on that roll and figure out a way to balance academics, social life, mental and physical health, and some reading for fun. I have a year of college under my belt now… So I’m going to give this whole balancing thing another try next year.

But for now… I’m a ready for a summer full of books! Are you?

Lots of bookish love,

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