Saturday, August 29, 2015

Wearing Shoes Every Day: College

As many of you know already, this was my first week of college. As fewer of you may know, this is my first real weekend in ten years. Why do I say that? Well, I've been home-schooled all of my life except for half a semester in third grade about ten or eleven years ago. It may not have occurred to you before, but I have never relished the weekends like you non-home-schoolers/working people do. What, it's Friday? Last day of school? Nope. Not for me. I did school on Saturday too. Mayyybe I went to the beach on Wednesday... but that's besides the point. I just never got it. What is so special about Friday and Saturday?

Keeping it real here. My first day of school pictures for the first time since 3rd Grade were put on hold while my brother and I gathered up all the chickens that had gotten out and put them back in their yard. 

Well, yesterday... I got it y'all. I left my last class in the rehearsal hall at 2:15 eager to chunk my backpack in my car and hurry up and relax. When I sat down in the chairs in the lobby of my favorite building, The Center for Fine and Performing Arts at the University of West Florida, I sighed in relief. I'm done! It's the weekend! Yay! That my friends, is a feeling this home-schooled girl never imagined she would feel. Yes. I've jumped on board. I love the weekends too. I promise, I'll stop making fun of all a' y'all now. ;)

I've experienced some other new things this week besides just the weekend though. Like a daily alarm clock setting; wearing make-up every day; having to find decent clothes everyday; packing a lunch or at least making sure I have enough money to buy lunch so that I don't keel over dead in the middle of the day.; carrying my water bottle around and not losing it (although I haven't been the most successful with that.); wearing shoes all day every single day; and here's the million dollar question I know y'all have been waiting for... how did I deal with all the people?

Supposedly, we home-schoolers don't know how to socialize. Did I sit quietly at the back of the class? Did I sit obnoxiously at the front of the class and answer EVERY. SINGLE. QUESTION? Did I mumble my name when I was called on or did I tell everyone my whole life story and proudly proclaim I was home-schooled to the entire class? Out of the classroom did I ever make eye contact with anybody? Did I even know how to talk?? Now if all of that seems ridiculous to you, just know I think it's rubbish too. But honestly those are the expectations I've grown up with. As a kid whenever some new adult found out I was home-schooled they would get the most pitiful look on their face and ask worriedly if I had any friends. They'd lean down towards me and poke out their lip, "Aw do you have any friends sweetie?" No joke. On the flip side some other people would ask me if I was really smart and I was just like, "I don't know. I'm a grade ahead in History, I'm behind in Math, on track in English, Science is good too." As a former home-schooler let me say this for the record. I was perfectly fine this first week. I didn't have any panic attacks. I didn't cry in the bathroom. I was friendly and met lots of new people and made some new friends too. *gasp* A home-schooler with friends not from church? Is that even possible? Just. Just stop. Yes. It's true. I'm a normal person too.

Now after that long rabbit trail... let's get back to my original intent for this post. What was my first week in college like? On Monday I sat in a classroom and actually saw my teacher in the flesh for the first time in ten years. Actually it wasn't just one teacher - I have five different teachers. Yeah, that's weird. I lost my class schedule on my way from the music building to my math class and didn't know which room number it was. I just poked my head into every classroom there asking if it was Math for Liberal Arts and eventually found the right one. I had to stop and look at the map so conveniently posted just across the street on my way to everything I need to go to at least three times that day. Tuesday I only have one class at one o'clock so I had a leisurely morning at home and arrived at school mid morning and spent my time practicing, doing homework, and hanging out with friends at lunch time. Wednesday was just like Monday except I knew where I was going and didn't get lost. Thursday was just like Tuesday except I stayed late on campus that night to attend a BCM worship service. I'm pretty sure BCM stands for Baptist Campus Ministries. Friday was by far the best day though - for more reasons than just the weekend. One of which was I got to eat lunch with a friend that I had been trying to meet up with the whole week but never had the chance until then. One day I had trouble with the printers on campus and another day I was late for class, worse yet, I attended the wrong English class all week! All throughout the week I was constantly meeting people I knew and stopping to chat a little bit on my way to or from wherever I was going. Oh and guys, I met a fellow Christian, home-schooled all her life except for half a semester, girl. We have three classes together. Actually I know two other formerly home-schooled students. And that's just in the music program. See? we're not all that rare.

My first week of college has been great. There have been a few snafus, I didn't tell y'all everything, but despite my few troubles I think I am going to be able to handle this. Finding time to practice piano during the day hasn't been as difficult as I imagined and being able to ask my teacher for help is pretty great too. There's something about having a real person to talk to instead of rewinding a recording that really makes things a lot easier. ;) Also it's a lot easier to get your work done when you don't have to take care of your baby brother, or stop and clean the kitchen, or run out to the store real quick for your mom, or hang out the laundry (the chore I hate the most), or cook a meal. College is a whole new life for me. It feels weird to have a whole new set of responsibilities. It feels weird to be around so many people my same age. It feels weird to wear shoes all day long. I don't know exactly what God is doing for my life right now but whatever it is I am content with it and just a little bit befuddled still. Am I really in college?

Blessings and Peace,
Elise

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