Two Months

Two Months

A few of the things I wish I was told before starting college.
Gina
Gina
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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.

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To The Defeated Nursing Major, You'll Rise

You'll rise because every single day that you slip on your navy blue scrubs and fling your pretty little stethoscope around your neck, the little girl that you once were with the dream of saving lives someday will be silently nudging you to keep going.

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You will have weeks when you are defeated. Some mornings you won't be able to get out of bed and some days you won't be able to stop crying enough to go to class. You'll feel like nobody understands the stress that you are under, and you have absolutely nobody to talk to because they either don't get it or are dealing with their own meltdowns. There will be weeks that you want to change your major and give up on the whole thing. But, you'll rise.
You will miss football games, concerts, and nights out with the girls. There will be stretches of two or more weeks you'll go without seeing your mom, and months where you have to cancel on your best friend 4+ times because you have too much studying to do. There will be times where no amount of "I'm sorry" can make it up to your little brother when you miss his big football game or your grandparents when you haven't seen them in months. But, you'll rise.

You will have patients who tell you how little they respect nurses and that you won't be able to please no matter how hard you try. You will have professors who seem like their goal is to break you, especially on your bad days. You will encounter doctors who make you feel like the most insignificant person on the planet. You will leave class some days, put your head against your steering wheel and cry until it seems like there's nothing left to cry out. But, you'll rise.

You will fail tests that you studied so hard for, and you will wing some tests because you worked too late the night before. You will watch some of the smartest people you've ever known fail out because they simply aren't good test-takers. You will watch helplessly as your best friend falls apart because of a bad test grade and know that there is absolutely nothing you can do for her. There will be weeks that you just can't crack a smile no matter how hard you try. But, you'll rise.

You'll rise because you have to — because you've spent entirely too much money and effort to give up that easily. You'll rise because you don't want to let your family down. You'll rise because you're too far in to stop now. You'll rise because the only other option is failing, and we all know that nurses do not give up.

You'll rise because you remember how badly you wanted this, just three years ago as you were graduating high school, with your whole world ahead of you. You'll rise because you know there are people that would do anything to be in your position.

You'll rise because you'll have one patient during your darkest week that'll change everything — that'll hug you and remind you exactly why you're doing this, why this is the only thing you can picture yourself doing for the rest of your life.

You'll rise because every single day that you slip on your navy blue scrubs and fling your pretty little stethoscope around your neck, the little girl that you once were with the dream of saving lives someday will be silently nudging you to keep going.

You'll rise because you have compassion, you are selfless, and you are strong. You'll rise because even during the darkest weeks, you have the constant reminder that you will be changing the world someday.

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Why You Should Bring Your Close Friend As Your Formal Date

Before asking that cute girl to formal think about asking a friend

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Every year since I was a junior in high school I have always looked forward to homecoming or prom. When I got to college I began to look forward to my fraternity formal. I was never concerned with what to wear or the expense of formal but rather who I was going to ask. It can be difficult to make a decision. If you ask anyone friends with me they will tell you how I am one of the most indecisive people out there. There are so many people I am friendly with or have a close relationship that it can feel difficult to make a decision. But let's look at that phrase again. You might think why does he want to bring someone who is his friend to his fraternity formal rather than someone he likes or is dating. To answer this question, some of the girls I have liked I have not been able to be the true me around and that also applies to the girls I have dated as well. I am different around my friends and I want someone to know the real me rather than me just having to pretend.

Maybe I am still experiencing the effects of a fun weekend but I have noticed that every formal or prom that I have brought a date with not only was a fun formal but interacted and connected well with my friends. That is the main thing I look for in a formal date, they need to be liked by my friends and many of them are still pretty friendly after the formal. You are spending the weekend with them and the drive down for you formal. There will be a lot of time spent with your date so it is important to bring someone you know you will have fun with. I am not saying that there isn't anything wrong with bringing someone else but I always found it best to bring a friend if you are not dating someone.

Think about the people you know you will always have fun with. This can be an indication of who you should bring and why but you should also think about the positives in this situation. Your fun and the time spent with the people should be prioritized before anything else. This event is about you and you should have someone with you that you know is fun to be around and someone you can enjoy yourself around along with your friends. Friends know you as well as you know yourself so there is not an idea of having to pretend to be someone else. The good thing about friends is that you do not run out of things to talk about and there is always something new to learn. Take your formal as a trip that you get to experience with the people closest to you. That is my take.

The key for me is to know that I will have fun with my date at formal. The drive to formal can be long and you are sharing a hotel room with your date along with spending time with them during the trip. I talk a lot. I want someone I know who I can carry a conversation with and will not just respond with words such as Yeah or Sounds good. I have always been able to remember not only my formals but specific parts of it as well. I think this is possible because of who I have brought and the memories I made with them.

Formals are important to everyone so think about who you want to spend that moment with. There is nothing wrong with bringing someone who you like but there also is nothing wrong with bringing a friend. Some people might bring someone they are dating but you should not have to compare yourself to other people. Do what makes you happy but remember this weekend is about you and you deserve to bring someone you will have fun with.

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