This is not your usual article about awful dining hall food is or the cute guy in your Math class. I'm a Freshman at the University of Maine at Farmington, and in the past two months, I've learned more about love, happiness, and self-care then I have in the first eighteen years of my life. Since school has started my world has been built up and fallen around me at least three times, and we just got over midterms week. One month before moving into my dorm, I had a plan. A grand and master plan that would make everyone around me happy. I was going to live on campus during the week. On the weekend, I was going to go home to work, see my boyfriend, and family. That's a lot to do in two days. That's the thing about growing up without stability, is you somehow learn to adapt and make it for yourself––and only count on yourself.
Labor Day weekend, the first real weekend of my college life I had an emergency appendectomy. This definitely changed my plans. Not working the weekend of moving in, the weekend I got my appendix out, and two weeks after while recovering buried me financially. I felt absolutely helpless the first few days after surgery. I couldn't get my self out of bed alone, and the painkillers they gave me made me sick. My boyfriend at the time literally had to escort me around to help me, which I am extremely grateful. During this mess, I still fought with my family. My "adopted", but not really adopted, family. At the end of my Junior Year in high school, they had taken me in because I was in a very mentally abusive and toxic living situation. After being so close to them, when college came around I feel like the tension rose, and bad things started to happen. In other words, I moved in with my boyfriend of almost a year. I quit my job due to conflict with my family and coworkers, and I wanted to get the hell out of the area. I got a new job, came home to my boyfriend's house over the weekend. So far so good, so I thought.
A few weeks later, things started to go downhill with my boyfriend. We started fighting more, we saw each other less. I didn't want to go "home". My home was my space, my home was in Purington with my friends. In my dorm, where I had control over something. It felt more like a father and daughter relationship then dating. I was always out with my friends, and I felt nervous when the phone rang. I wasn't doing anything wrong. I wasn't partying, or fooling around with other guys, I felt guilty because I began to find out who I was outside of being his girlfriend. I began to discover my own values and likes and dislikes. It sounds absolutely crazy, but you don't ever find the value of yourself until being yourself is your only job. I began to make more and more memories that didn't include him, and it killed me every day. It began to wear on our relationship. Only being an hour away, we felt years apart. Which we were, three to be exact. Growing up I was always told older men were the way to go because they knew what they wanted. That was the problem. He knew what he wanted. He knew he wanted a family and marriage, and he wanted those things sooner then I did. I wanted to be in the DJ booth with my friends watching everyone play pool and play board games, while he wanted me home. Which I understand now that I've taken a step back. Relationships are supposed to be about give and take, and I realize now that he had more to give then I did. It wasn't fair, and we finally let go. There were things I knew I wanted to do in my life and I wasn't sure I could do those things while being with him. Like studying abroad, in maybe even begin to build my life in Farmington.
Since then I've come even more attached to my friends. My friends on campus are absolutely amazing, and some of the best people I've ever had the pleasure to meet. We're a big group, hence the reasons we get noise complaints when we all come together to gossip, or one of the boys talk to a cute girl at the Landing. We support each other. During this mess of the past two months, I don't know where I would be without them. That's one of the funny things, is that I've only known them two months. Two months, and I feel like I've known them for years. It only took two months of McDonalds and Walmart trips, two months of late night walks, and car rides smoking 99 cent cigars. Two months of movie nights, homework sessions, and watching the boys play NBA. I wouldn't change these two months for anything.
College has been one of the most stressful things I've ever experienced between, finances, family, and relationships. Though as we grow, learn and adapt to find out who we are in relevance to who we've been, the ride becomes more interesting. We learn how to love ourselves because of this new fascination of who we were two months ago, and who we will we be in another two months. I'm anxious for what the next three years will bring.