What A Feeling

Life has a weird way of pushing you through the motions, I’ve noticed. Sometimes you take so many wrong turns that eventually you end up realizing they were just a detour to the ultimate right turn. That is kind of how I feel about college. I took about a billion different wrong turns throughout elementary, middle, and high school. I didn’t even want to go to Cal Poly–so much that I actually offered my acceptance to someone else, wishing they had gotten in instead of me.

But here I am. An english major at a school where the engi-nerds look down on me. Even parents wonder why on earth I chose to come here instead of somewhere else with a better program. My answer is simple, and it is a question itself. Um, have you ever been to San Luis Obispo? Yeah, that is why. I didn’t come here because it has a stellar english program–it doesn’t, but the College of Liberal Arts does a bang-up job of giving me what I need to succeed. I came here because as soon as I took a tour, I was in love. The campus is beautiful, the town is picturesque, and there are mountains to climb and beaches to explore at every turn. I came here for the experience.

And I can tell you I have been getting it.

This place is utterly gorgeous.

There is perfect weather year-round. By that I mean that we have a had a wicked El Nino season so far, but as soon as the sun shines, there are double rainbows, glorious, green, rolling hills, and the most flawless sunsets. The sunsets come regardless of the rain, but it sure helps to sky turn a million more colors.

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This is an actual picture that Alice took with her phone. Crazy, right?

Everyone is so happy, too. Of course, there are quite a few “resting bitch faces” on my way to class (myself included…) but people will smile at you as you walk around. And I can always count on a wave and a grin from a friend on the way to class. A lot of times, we will stop and have a conversation if we are running early enough.

We are all so supportive of each other, and that is the encouragement that really can get me through a bad day.

Even when I am stressed, I know everything will work out.

I get stressed often. Sometimes I feel nothing on the surface, thinking everything is okay, but if I take a minute to think, the anxiety creeps into my mind. It’s not always the bad anxiety, though. I have realized that a little anxiety is good to get me through the weeks. If I am too calm about everything, I feel like that would make me even more stressed in the end. There is such thing as a healthy amount of stress, and it keeps me on top of things.

Like right now, as I write this for y’all, it is a Sunday, and I have plenty of homework and reading to do before tomorrow. However, I wanted to check in, so I am putting off my reading temporarily. Will I regret it later? Maybe. But I still have plenty of time to finish Monday’s homework and make a dent in Tuesday’s, while also making it to church and chapter.

There is enough stress to keep me motivated, but not enough to overwhelm me.

I have the coolest friends.

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Every day, I miss Gracie and Edie and Stephanie back home. I always think about them. But I have amazing people that remind me why I am here and why I continue to power through the Bad Days. They understand me and care about me in the best ways. They make missing my Home Friends less taxing. Some days, all I want is to go home and play Mario Kart with Steph, or go to a diner with Gracie and talk about writing, movies, and TV shows, or say stupid things with Edie and laugh about all the reasons we love being built-in best friends. I miss them so much.

(Also, shout out to Stacey for always sending me Pride and Prejudice Tumblr posts. I miss you equally. And I hope that, if you are reading this, you are clenching. I always know.)

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But missing home takes a toll on me, and I forget all the progress I have made. My fabulous friends here remind me of that progress and they help me keep moving forward. They make me feel like I belong.

There is hope.

Out of everything San Luis Obispo and Cal Poly have given me, the most important thing is hope. I lost that a long time ago, but I am quickly finding it again. I am learning so much more than literature analysis. I am discovering how to live.

And after the not-so-great tone of some of my last posts, I want y’all to know that I have hope and that I am not letting go of that so easily. Clearly, I still have work to do, but I am actually looking forward to it. I have come to realize that life has so much to offer me, and Cal Poly has played a big role in that. There is so much life and love and happiness here. I love being able to be a part of that.

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❤ Ash

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