Poetry On Odyssey: Expectations

Poetry On Odyssey: Expectations

Our idea of ourself is merely a reflection of who we and others expect us to be.

bxccann
bxccann
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With the stress of everything going on in life I decided to take a step back and reflect on when I feel so pressured by certain things, and with that why some of those more then others. Upon this reflection, I realized that I have continued to feel the weight of some of these expectations for my entire life, so I wanted to decompress about what I felt about this mental burden.

Expectations

I had always been the oldest friend,

but then I met you.

You were the me I always had to be,

a foreign concept

Meeting yourself, yet sometimes it felt

I knew you better than me.

I could never thrive in the same way

yet all I could hear was praise you received;

and on I looked for you

broken.


Like water on fire

we shouldn't have been entangled

our existence reliant on each others yet never aligning

form broken

tears stolen


From the sidelines you watch

fire in your eyes

as I try to hold up the weight of all you left for me.


I am drowning

Fearful


No escape in sight

yet I hear the others cheer on

Loud

And resilient


They believe that I

My frail self

Can become more

than your shadow.


I seen myself

through an altered lens

and take the framework

from my face.


I am me,

And you are a stubborn grain of sand

Uncomfortable

but present


I am standing in the sunlight

I am not in the shadows of your lurching figure


I am more than the expectations

that have weighed me down

since birth


I am alive,

and I will keep on living.

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Please Spare Me From The Three Months Of Summer Break When People Revert Back To High Schoolers

They look forward to swapping stories with their friends at the local diner, walking around their old high school with a weird sense of superiority, and reminiscing their pre-college lives.

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I know a surprising amount of people who actually couldn't wait to go home for the summer. They look forward to swapping stories with their friends at the local diner, walking around their old high school with a weird sense of superiority, and reminiscing their pre-college lives.

Me? Not so much. I don't mean to sound bitter. It's probably really comforting to return to a town where everyone knows your name, where your younger friends want you around to do their prom makeup, and where you can walk through Target without hiding in the deodorant aisle. But because I did this really annoying thing where my personality didn't really develop and my social anxiety didn't really loosen its grip on me until college, I have a very limited number of people to return to.

If you asked someone from my high school about Julia Bond, they would probably describe her as shy, studious, and uptight. I distinctly remember being afraid of people who JUULed (did you get high from it? was it illegal? could I secondhand smoke it and get lung cancer?) and crying over Algebra 1 in study hall (because nothing says fun and friendly like mascara steaks and furious scribbling in the back corner while everyone else throws paper airplanes and plays PubG Mobile).

I like to tell my college friends that if I met High School Julia, I would beat her up. I would like to think I could, even though I go to the gym now a third of the time I did then. It's not that it was High School Julia's fault that she closed herself off to everyone. She had a crippling fear of getting a B and an even worse fear of other people. But because she was so introverted and scared, College Julia has nothing to do but re-watch "The Office" for the 23rd time when she comes back.

Part of me is jealous of the people who came into their own before college. I see pictures of the same big friend groups I envied from a distance in high school, all their smiling faces at each other's college football games and pool parties and beach trips, and it makes me sad that I missed out on so many friendships because I was too scared to put myself out there. That part of me really, really wishes I had done things differently.

But a bigger, more confident part of me is really glad I had that experience. Foremost, everything I've gone through has shaped me. I mean, I hid in the freaking bathroom during lunch for the first two weeks of my freshman year of high school. I never got up to sharpen my pencil because I was scared people would talk about me. I couldn't even eat in front of people because I was so overwhelmingly self-conscious. I remember getting so sick at cross country practice because I ran four or five miles on an empty stomach.

Now, I look back and cringe at the ridiculousness because I've grown so much since then. Sure, I still have my quirks and I'm sure a year from now I'll write an article about what a weirdo Freshman Julia was. But I can tell who had the same experience as me. I can tell who was lonely in high school because they talk to the kids on my floor that study by themselves. I can tell who was afraid of speaking up because they listen so well. I can tell who was without a friend group because they stand by me when others don't. I can tell who hated high school, because it's obvious that they've never been as happy as they are now.

My dislike for high school, while inconvenient for this summer, might be one of the best things to happen to me. I learned how to overcome my fears, how to be independent, and how to make myself happy. I never belonged in high school, and that's why I will never take for granted where I belong here at Rutgers.

So maybe I don't have any prom pictures with a bunch of colorful dresses in a row, and maybe I didn't go to as many football games as I should have. Maybe I would've liked pep rallies, and maybe I missed out on senior week at the beach. But if I had experienced high school differently, I wouldn't be who I am today.

I wouldn't pinch myself daily because I still can't believe how lucky I am to have the friends that I do.

I wouldn't smile so hard every time I come back from class and hear my floormates calling me from the lounge.

I wouldn't well up when my roommate leaves Famous Amos cookies on my desk before a midterm, or know how to help the girl having a panic attack next to me before a final, or hear my mom tell my dad she's never seen me this happy before.

If I had loved high school, I wouldn't realize how amazing I have it in college. So amazing, in fact, that I never want to go home.

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10 Gift Ideas For College Students That Won't Break The Bank

Cheap gift ideas for college students, gifted by a college student.

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Your paycheck isn't coming until Friday, and you're short on cash. Here are some free or low cost gift ideas to give to a family member, friend, or significant other!

1. Homemade Dinner

This one is obvious. Find out what they're favorite meal is and cook it for them! You can have a nice dinner planned with them, or you could just drop it off.

2. Used Book

If you're like me, you have books lying around that you could part with. Why not gift it to someone who would appreciate it? Used books are more heartfelt than new books or gift cards, anyways.

3. Scrapbook 

You have those pictures on your phone, why not print them out? Put some heartfelt notes and stickers in a book next to the pictures, and you're done.

4. Write a Letter

Do your loved ones really know how much they mean to you? Tell them! Write a letter about how much you appreciate them and specifics about your relationship. The more personal the better.

5. Spotify Playlist 

The new mixtape. Make a playlist of all the songs that remind you of them, and share it with them! They can listen at their own leisure.

6. Wish.com

This one you have to plan for in advance-- their delivery system isn't the best. But a lot of stuff on there is FREE, you only have to pay for shipping.

7. Poetry

Nothing is more personal than sharing your creative work with another person. Give them a personalized poem, or just a poem that reminds you of them.

8. Personalized Screensaver

Do they have a computer? Tablet? Phone? Hopefully they have something that requires a lockscreen. Make them a collage or a customized background that you know they'll love.

9. Regift 

Make sure to let them know it's a regift! Write a note about how you're passing something on.

10. Your time! 

Plan a day just to hang out with them! Plan activities like watching movies, picnics, or even just lounging around on the couch.

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