Finding My Arc

Finding My Arc

I fear that I may not have a chance to develop new skills over the summer
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As I moved out of my dorm this year, I felt a bit of bitter sweetness.

On one hand, it’s summer and I get to find myself a job and relax without any regrets. Cleaning up the dorm resembled the end of a year which was good, but dragged on in some ways until the end. I lost interest in assignments, started daydreaming, and found myself doing more in leisure than what was necessary.

Yet I also felt sad: I also had some good memories in that dorm room with my roommate. We talked and shared snacks and watched an episode of Friends. We had little issues, but also laughed and smiled and shared a few hugs. But she already left when I got there for the last time, so I wasn’t able to say goodbye to her in person as I cleaned up.

And I thought about the future as I drank some of the leftover sparkling lemonade and ate the last part of the apple pie I bought a week earlier. I saw it as a void of infinite possibilities.

***

Overall, my sophomore year was a good year. My classes were interesting, ranging from Queer Theory to the Planets, and my Chinese classes involved reading stories and discussing issues. I got into the International Studies major, my long-awaited goal, and I have plans for studying abroad.

Simultaneously, said plans are currently in flux. I don’t have many plans for the summer--save for a phone-a-thon job at my high school for the coming week, in which I call alumni to update information and ask for donations to improve Lakeside’s programs. I’ve looked at several jobs and started applying, but I’m starting to find myself becoming lazier and lazier when I need to find someone to advocate for my place.

Naturally, that’s what summer vacation is all about: to decide what to do with the next few months. The negative thing is that when one gets older, one has to think about the future and job experiences at the same time, thus the stories about people getting internships and entry-level jobs. When not that, going to summer school to advance their education and get a few more credits to graduate.

I tried to get an internship in Washington D.C, but got rejected. I also let several others slide across the bay because I didn’t have the commitment to finish the applications, which is a bad excuse, but is my reason nevertheless.

One of the people at my Historical Fencing Club commented how he still needs to find a job, and that this summer would be the last time one can enjoy life before it’s necessary to find a part-time job or to get an internship to accumulate experience for post-graduation life. My uncle told me he regretted not applying for internships while he was an undergraduate student, which would make his job search easier now.

***

So now, I’m searching for what to do in the summer so that I can have fun and do some work simultaneously. My arc is here, but where will it go?

Cover Image Credit: Jessica Peterson / Tetra Images / Getty Images

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I Blame My Dad For My High Expectations

Dad, it's all your fault.
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I always tell my dad that no matter who I date, he's always my number one guy. Sometimes I say it as more of a routine thing. However, the meaning behind it is all too real. For as long as I can remember my dad has been my one true love, and it's going to be hard to find someone who can top him.

My dad loves me when I am difficult. He knows how to keep the perfect distance on the days when I'm in a mood, how to hold me on the days that are tough, and how to stand by me on the days that are good.

He listens to me rant for hours over people, my days at school, or the episode of 'Grey's Anatomy' I watched that night and never once loses interest.

He picks on me about my hair, outfit, shoes, and everything else after spending hours to get ready only to end by telling me, “You look good." And I know he means it.

He holds the door for me, carries my bags for me, and always buys my food. He goes out of his way to make me smile when he sees that I'm upset. He calls me randomly during the day to see how I'm doing and how my day is going and drops everything to answer the phone when I call.

When it comes to other people, my dad has a heart of gold. He will do anything for anyone, even his worst enemy. He will smile at strangers and compliment people he barely knows. He will strike up a conversation with anyone, even if it means going way out of his way, and he will always put himself last.

My dad also knows when to give tough love. He knows how to make me respect him without having to ask for it or enforce it. He knows how to make me want to be a better person just to make him proud. He has molded me into who I am today without ever pushing me too hard. He knew the exact times I needed to be reminded who I was.

Dad, you have my respect, trust, but most of all my heart. You have impacted my life most of all, and for that, I can never repay you. Without you, I wouldn't know what I to look for when I finally begin to search for who I want to spend the rest of my life with, but it might take some time to find someone who measures up to you.

To my future husband, I'm sorry. You have some huge shoes to fill, and most of all, I hope you can cook.

Cover Image Credit: Logan Photography

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Being A Lesbian Sucks

To women who say they wish they were a lesbian; you don't.

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My girlfriend is not a man, obviously so because she is my girlfriend, emphasis on girl. Society has been conditioned with men holding the power. In a world dominated by men being a lesbian has more problems than just homophobia.

There is an automatic assumption that because we are not with a man we are single. Without the dominating presence of a man other men feel safe to come on to women in lesbian relationships, whether they know we are together or not. We aren't always in a safe situation to say we are together so if he doesn't pick up on the social cues it only gives us two options: politely laugh and attempt to remove ourselves from the situation or say we aren't interested. Both options are equal in undesirability and saying we are uninterested can lead to them just pushing harder. The boyfriend card usually works, but lying about our relationship makes us feel terrible.

The fetishizing of lesbian couples and threesomes are a problem because of media and porn. They hyper-sexualize lesbian relationships until they are nothing but sex. From this the winning question, "Do you want to have a threesome?" With the assumption both or one woman in the relationship is a lesbian and not bisexual, pansexual, or etc. A threesome with a man is completely out of the question. The thing about lesbians is that we like women not men, a threesome with a man goes against our identity as a lesbian and makes no sense. And even if both women are bisexual a normal man wouldn't walk up to a straight couple and pop the question of a threesome. So don't do it to us.

We also find ourselves being disrespected as a customer in a professional setting. Men in job positions belittle women who are at the mechanic, the lawyer, the doctors offices, and the bank, for just a few examples. They assume we don't know anything and are ignorant, so they treat us with no respect. They attempt to manipulate us for this and that to achieve their own personal gain. Without a man lesbian couples are even more subject to this because we don't get any respect. A man will be immediately respected and in a healthy relationship he can establish a power balance with his woman partner to the person in charge. Lesbians, (and other single women) don't have these short cuts. We have to establish ourselves then and there for having worth and show we deserve to be treated like full grown adults. Hopefully we also have the knowledge to not suffer from manipulation.

The difference in skill sets is something that can be a problem for everyone in this sexist society. We associate pink with girls and boys with blue. Girls with cooking and guys with tools. Most of us were taught different things and learned different skill sets. Most women I know, including me, don't know how to change a tire. How many young men go off to college having never done laundry in their life? With lesbians we usually don't know an important skill that was specifically taught to men. We might not know cars, or tools, or how to tile a floor. We are set back in our development as fully functional people in a unit. We lack key skill sets that were predetermined for men, unlike straight couples where there is usually a balance of skill sets.

The problems that arise from lesbian relationships are problems associated with a male dominating society and the gender division we face along with it. To abolish these we have to achieve equality and work on teaching the generations to follow that women are just as good as men. It's tough being a woman and a lesbian even harder.

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