Thoughts I Had While Moving Into My Dorm

37 Thoughts I Had While Moving Into My Freshman Dorm

Let's just say my mind was all over the place.

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I have never gone through as many emotions in a short span of time as I did moving into my dorm as a freshman. The process was both overwhelming and exciting; it was scary, but also the start of a new beginning. My brain barely formed a coherent sentence the entire day, and energy came in random spurts that usually ended in someone crying. But it was for sure a day that I will never forget and different than any other move in day I will have in the future.

1. OMG it's finally move in!

2. There are a LOT of people here.

3. I definitely brought way too much stuff with me.

4. How am I going to get this up four flights of stairs?

5. There is no chance all of this will fit in that tiny dorm.

6. I'm about to meet my roommate, I'm terrified.

7. She is so nice, maybe this won't be that bad.

8. Oh no, Mom is spontaneously crying again.

9. And Dad won't stop telling me where I should put things.

10. They are driving me insane and I've barely started to move in yet.

11. Woo! Bed is made; mission accomplished.

12. Yep, definitely brought wayyyy too much clothing.

13. Thank God my Mom volunteered to put all my shirts on hangers; that would have been so much work. 

14. Dad is occupied with setting up the Keurig which means I can organize my toiletries in peace.

15. Two hours later and it is finally starting to look like a room instead of a prison cell.

16. I can't believe this is where I'm living for the next year.

17. Oh my God how am I going to live alone?  I've never been away from home for more than two weeks.

18. What if I get sick? Who is going to take care of me since my Mom won't be here?

19. Okay, relax, you're an adult, you can do this.

20. Time to put up pictures; that will make me feel more at home.

21. Just passed the three hour mark and I am just about finished; I can't wait to take a break.

22. And Mom has started to cry again.

23. I'm sooo hungry.

24. Eww, I have to eat dining hall food from now on.

25. This is my last meal with my parents; that's weird.

26. And now I think Dad is about to start crying.  Great.

27. Oh no, I might start crying.

28. Nope.  False alarm; I'm fine.  Everything is fine.

29. Once we get back to my dorm, my parents are leaving.

30. OMG my parents are leaving.  They're going home without me.

31. I miss my dog already.

32. And my sister; I miss her a lot too

33. Okay, time to say goodbye.  You can do this without crying.

34. Mom is sobbing and hugging me like her life depends on it.  

35. Don't cry.  Don't cry.  Don't cry.

36. Everything is going to be great.

37. OMG I'm actually a college student now.

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Working With People Who Are Dying Teaches You So Much About How To Live

Spending time with hospice patients taught me about the art of dying.

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Death is a difficult subject.

It is addressed differently across cultures, lifestyles, and religions, and it can be difficult to find the right words to say when in the company of someone who is dying. I have spent a lot of time working with hospice patients, and I bore witness to the varying degrees of memory loss and cognitive decline that accompany aging and disease.

The patients I worked with had diverse stories and interests, and although we might have had some trouble understanding each other, we found ways to communicate that transcended any typical conversation.

I especially learned a lot from patients severely affected by dementia.

They spoke in riddles, but their emotions were clearly communicated through their facial expressions and general demeanor, which told a story all on their own.

We would connect through smiles and short phrases, yes or no questions, but more often than not, their minds were in another place. Some patients would repeat the details of the same event, over and over, with varying levels of detail each time.

Others would revert to a child-like state, wondering about their parents, about school, and about family and friends they hadn't seen in a long time.

I often wondered why their minds chose to wander to a certain event or time period and leave them stranded there before the end of their life. Was an emotionally salient event reinforcing itself in their memories?

Was their subconscious trying to reconnect with people from their past? All I could do was agree and follow their lead because the last thing I wanted to do was break their pleasant memory.

I felt honored to be able to spend time with them, but I couldn't shake the feeling that I was intruding on their final moments, moments that might be better spent with family and loved ones. I didn't know them in their life, so I wondered how they benefited from my presence in their death.

However, after learning that several of the patients I visited didn't have anyone to come to see them, I began to cherish every moment spent, whether it was in laughter or in tears. Several of the patients never remembered me. Each week, I was a new person, and each week they had a different variation of the same story that they needed to tell me.

In a way, it might have made it easier to start fresh every week rather than to grow attached to a person they would soon leave.

Usually, the stories were light-hearted.

They were reliving a memory or experiencing life again as if it were the first time, but as the end draws nearer, a drastic shift in mood and demeanor is evident.

A patient who was once friendly and jolly can quickly become quiet, reflective, and despondent. I've seen patients break down and cry, not because of their current situation, but because they were mourning old ones. These times taught me a lot about how to be just what that person needs towards the end of their life.

I didn't need to understand why they were upset or what they wanted to say.

The somber tone and tired eyes let me know that what they had to say was important and worth hearing. What mattered most is that someone who cared was there to hear it.

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My First College Gal Pal Road Trip Was Amazing

Every girl should have one good girls trip.

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In some way or another, everybody has a list of things they want to do in their lives before it's all over. After all, we're human. There's adventure to be had in every life. One thing I have always wanted to do before I grew too old and grey was go on a road trip with my gal pals to the beach. A couple weeks ago, I achieved this memorable milestone, and it allowed me to open up to new surroundings and experiences.

On this trip, I went with two of my friends from college, Kait and Lindsey, to visit my roommate Elizabeth in Virginia Beach. This was pretty big for Lindsey and I because neither of us had been to Virginia Beach before. Thankfully Elizabeth and Kait knew their way around the city, so we never got lost on our way to and fro.

Like most vacations, my favorite parts probably took place at the beach. I'm always at utter peace stomping through mushy sand or leaning down to splash the salty water that tries to knock my short self over. We took pictures and did something us college girls rarely have time to do especially in school: Relax.

The four of us did not live up to the crazed stereotype of girl trips in movies. Although I finally got a chance to sing along to Taylor Swift in a car ride with my friends, so that's always a plus. We played "Top Golf" one day, and by some miracle, I actually won the second game by a fair amount after much humiliation in the first one. We visited some of Elizabeth's family, and I finally got to meet her giant dog Apollo (I call him 'Wolf Dog'). Everyday was another chance to ask with enthusiasm: "So what are we doing today?"

Our trip wasn't like the movies where we all cried or confessed our deepest darkest secrets. Everything the four of us shared was laughter and this calm feeling of being at home, in the chaotic peace of each other's company. We understand each other a little better due to finally seeing what we're like outside of Longwood University. After this, all I can say is that we're most definitely planning the next one!

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