For as long as I can remember, spring allergies have been a pain for me!! There's constant sneezing, itchy eyes, and being asked if you're okay because it looks like you're crying as you attempt to keep from sneezing. #thestruggleisreal
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The time has come for shorts, beaches, and making decisions that you’ll probably regret by the time you’re 40––it’s Spring Break!
Most students look froward to this week of freedom and revelry for the whole year, and I would be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy it as well. But one of the staples that most other people can’t wait for is one that I personally despise, or even fear: the amusement park.
Don’t get me wrong, if you invite me to go to Disneyland with you, I will have my Mickey ears on before you even finish asking, but practically any other park, especially one such as Six Flags, gives me goosebumps, and not in a good way.
I hate roller coasters. I’ve hated roller coasters my entire life.
I’ll allow you a moment of recovery as your jaw is most likely still on the floor in shock. It’s a ridiculous statement, I know. Hate roller coasters? Impossible! Nobody hates roller coasters! Well, I do. Sometimes I amaze even myself with my odd tastes (while we’re at it, I don’t like cilantro, either––an equally reprehensible sin from what I’ve been told).
But how could I possibly disown such a beloved worldwide phenomenon? The key is all in perception, my friend. Let me explain: for me, the absolute worst feeling one can possibly experience on God’s green earth is the dropping feeling you get in your stomach when you’re plummeting down a 180-degree drop on one of these so-called thrill rides (aside from getting a limb ripped off. Or getting impaled with a metal rod. Or childbirth. But as I’ve never experienced any of these, I’m just going to go with stomach drops for now).
What’s interesting about this is that these stomach drops are exactly the reason most other people (you included, probably) love roller coasters so much. Whenever I tell someone I don’t like the feeling, they invariably respond with, “Oh, I LOVE that feeling! It’s so great! You can just feel your stomach floating all the way up to your throat!” Yes. I know. That’s what I don’t like about it. And you reiterating how much you adore that feeling makes me think that you either didn’t hear what I just said, or are trying to invalidate my opinion simply because you don’t agree with my perspective.
I realize I’m in the vast minority here. I’ve met only a handful of people who share my distaste for drops, and if any of you are listening (or reading in this case), I appreciate you. But the reason this topic is so divisive is because that dropping feeling registers as something entirely different for me than it does for any given roller coaster buff. While they feel a thrilling rush of adrenaline, I feel pain. It hurts. It doesn’t make me feel nauseous or dizzy, it is just incredibly painful, and it only gets worse when I’m made to feel guilty for not wanting to subject myself to something that (according to my brain) is harming me.
I may sound defensive about this, but that’s because I am. I’ve had to be. I’ve learned over time that out of all the different squeamish discomforts people have about amusement parks, fear of drops is probably the least respected.
If someone doesn’t like the spinning teacups because it makes them feel sick, that’s fine. If someone doesn’t like roller coasters because they’re afraid of heights, that’s fine. And I agree with both of these statements. But usually people look down on me for not liking drops because they don’t understand how something they perceive as so enjoyable could be perceived as so abhorrent to someone else.
As I understand it, roller coasters are so well-loved because they give you a sense of danger but simultaneously a sense of immortality. They bring you just close enough to death that you can feel the panic and adrenaline, but then whisk you away again, like you have the power to fly away from your inherent human fragility with no repercussions. For whatever reason, my brain likes to interpret this phenomenon as a near death experience regardless of how strong I’m harnessed in.
If you enjoy roller coasters and are appalled by how I could denounce one of your favorite pastimes, I’m not looking to start a fight––I’m merely looking for recognition. Not everyone’s experience is the same, and in many ways, it’s our different perceptions of experiences that make us unique. In short, don’t hate––appreciate the fact that if you go to an amusement park with me, you’ll automatically have a ready and willing bag-holder.
Come the second half of spring semester, the college environment begins to change a little bit. Before spring break, the thought of summer seems so far away. After spring break, summer is just weeks away, which is both good and bad. It's good because, in just a few short weeks, students will finally be relieved of the grueling work and busy schedules. It's bad because it means the end of another year of college. The seniors will graduate, you'll have to leave the nice college environment, and things will be different.
As summer is less than two weeks away, I can honestly say I've never wanted to stay in one place so badly, which is weird. After every other semester, I have been more than ready for a break from school. I have been excited to pack up and leave for a bit, spend time with my family, not worry about work, and just have more free time. But this year is different. I am not ready to leave college, the fun environment, and my friends who are never further than a 15-minute walk away.
There's something about the college environment that changes this time of year. In my past two springs at Elon, I've noticed the things that the end of the semester brings, and I'm sure other students can relate.
1. Trying to either get rid of or desperately hold onto meal swipes and meal dollarsGiphy
There are two types of people when it comes to meal plans. There are the people who use theirs constantly, rationing their meal swipes daily and making sure their meal dollars will last them to the end of the semester. Then, there are people who never use their meal plan and end up having so much to spend at the end of the year. That's me. As a result, I am constantly offering to buy people food and get meals with them. That's how you know it's getting close to the end.
2. So many dogs on campusGiphy
BEST PART OF THE SPRING. There are already tons of dogs on campus but when it's warm out, students play with their dogs outside and take them on walks more often. It's so nice passing some good dogs on the way to class, on the way to dinner, etc. Elon, never stop letting the dogs out.
3. EVERYONE is selling thingsGiphy
My Facebook page is currently blowing up with people posting their old clothes, furniture, etc. for sale. When it's the end of the year, people start to think about moving out and panic about how much stuff they have. I know that I somehow managed to accumulate way too many clothes over the course of the school year, and I'm not sure how I'm going to get it all back home. But seriously, last year, I remember seeing posts on Instagram and Snapchat where girls advertised that they were selling their clothes. It's actually quite a fun time.
4. So many outdoor eventsGiphy
Another thing that happens more towards the end of the semester is an increase in fun outdoor events. Now, that is due to the warm North Carolina weather (FINALLY), but it's also a sign that summer is coming soon. It's usually a good thing to be outside in the spring, except when it's unbearably humid or teachers who move class outside try to actually make you do work.
5. Mixed emotions are everywhereGiphy
This isn't strictly for Elon students I'm assuming. Spring is a weird time for everyone. The mixed emotions come from the happiness that summer and freedom are coming, paired with sadness that we have to leave some of our closest friends and greatest adventures. It is always fun to think about the cool things you'll do over the summer, but friends will miss each other. Unless you're a senior (sorry guys), you're not too sad because you know you get to return to Elon in just a couple months.