I have been back at school for about a month. I’ve been back in America for almost two. Yes, I am still sad about leaving London. No, I probably won’t shut up about it.
I have half a post about all the things I miss about study abroad. I have half a post about the rift between students and full-time SLO residents. I wrote two short stories in the past few weeks: one I submitted for a contest, the other I am turning in for an assignment. Two of my abroad finals were due within twenty-four hours of each other. To top it off, I am sick.
Am I being dramatic? Sure, always. But do I feel like actual crap? Yeah.
Honestly, it could be worse. I am knocking on wood as I write that. Because even though I feel like my head is going to explode, I understand next to nothing in my astronomy class, and my back is in a more or less constant state of pain, I have great friends, this gloomy weather is giving me some peace, and Stranger Things Season 2 has a release date! Plus, it is Girl Scout cookie season, and a box of those (or two) is enough to get anybody’s mood up.
So let’s talk life updates:
Just being a serial series reader…
I love a good book series. I mean, I love stand-alone novels, as well, but I get more attached when I am focused on a set of characters for more than one book. I just finished the Embassy Row trilogy, by my favorite author, Ally Carter. Everything she writes has me in suspense and in love. I can’t wait to reread that series as many times as I have sped through her other ones.
But until I am ready to send myself down the path of Grace Blakely again, I am reading the newest Confessions of a Shopaholic book: Shopaholic to the Rescue. I adore Sophie Kinsella and her books. Becky’s wild adventures always have me laughing and rooting for her to come out on top. This particular novel has her on the hunt for her runaway father. There is some mystery and some struggles. But there is always fun.
Meanwhile, I am back (and always) on the Harry Potter train, following Harry, Ron, and Hermione on their search for the Chamber of Secrets. I got all the books on my Kindle–easy access to a series that has touched my heart in so many ways. I no longer need to carry around seven heavy books (though that is not something I am against) to hop on the Hogwarts Express to the best wizarding school.
I’m trying my hand at expanding genres.
Reading, of course. I will always try something new. From the Shopaholic series to Harry Potter to The Martian, I love to read everything. It’s how you expand your horizons. So reading, yes.
Writing? Well, writing across genres is not my strong suit.
In an ideal word, I am the next Richard Castle, and I can pop out a crime mystery best-seller, easy. In this world, I can come up with new ideas at the drop of a hat, but actually turning them into a story (novel or not) is a much different task. Lucky for me, I had a writing assignment where the gothic genre was a requirement. Now, I wouldn’t say my attempt was great, but it was definitely not my worst.
Since then I am inspired to try my hand at plots and characters that are not my typical go-tos. Different kinds of relationships and plot-points. Also monsters.
I know, I know. Who is this girl? I’m still trying to figure that part out, but everyone has to start somewhere, right? I mean, I can’t create a world as wonderful and extensive as J. K. Rowling’s wizarding one overnight. Or, you know, ever. But I can try to create something powerful like she did.
So I haven’t been to the gym as often as I originally planned.
It’s not for lack of trying. I made a schedule for myself, and I intended to stick with it–and I still intend to stick to it as closely as possible. Unfortunately, work and school have gotten in the way a bit. My work schedule does not always allow for me to hit the elliptical or go to a barre or zumba class as often as I’d like. Midterms, papers, and projects came at me like baseballs at the batting cages, and they just haven’t stopped.
If I do find some time, it is usually to play racquetball with Tori–which, honestly is so fun. I wish I was actually good at it. Public apologies to Tori that my skills are so poor and I can’t keep a real game going.
That being said, I get there as much as I can. And you know what’s really weird (and maybe a little unnerving)? I actually want to go. I want to go for a round on the elliptical or do a few laps on the track. I know, I know–who am I?? But with this rain, all I want to do is, well, something. Something active that isn’t running up and down the stairs at work doing stock checks or moving boxes. I miss going to Zumba!
I forgot how fast-paced the quarter system was.
And while I did sort of miss school, I did not miss this stress! We start classes, and you turn around and suddenly you’re taking midterms. Then you blink and your final paper is about to be due. I am trying not to let the anxiety take over, but it has not been easy.
Yes, tears have been shed. I have pushed a lot of emotion down and bottled a lot of things up (I don’t know how I do it, but it happens), and it all likes to pour out of me when I least need it to. Like in the middle of class.
But it’s fine. Everything is fine. I will get through this–I always do. And I do really like the quarter system. I like that I get to take so many different classes in a year. It means I get to try new things, and that’s always exciting. Things happen very quickly, so I am never bored–okay, that’s not entirely true. There is always something to do. It keeps me on my toes in the best way. I am working on the over-stressed thing. One day I won’t freak out about little things so much.
My favorite season is starting.
Now that the wildly overproduced Superbowl is over, baseball season can finally kickstart. Season at Cal Poly is just starting, and I am stoked. I’m hoping not too many games get rained out–it was an issue with the series at Cal this past weekend–because there is not much I love more than hanging out at Baggett Stadium
admiring butts in baseball pants watching my favorite sport. And eating hot dogs. There has to be hot dogs.
As exciting as gearing up for season at school is, it certainly is not MLB level. I can’t wait for my phone to blow up with ESPN notifications letting me know everything that’s happening: who is scoring, who is striking out, and how good Mike Trout looks in the outfield.
Okay, okay, so that last part is not something ESPN is going to be reporting on (unfortunately), but if I can’t go to the games, then watching the livestreams and game casts will have to do. That is, unless I can take off enough time to make it out to Arizona for Spring Training again this year. Since Edie lives out there now, it’s like the universe is begging me to go. At least, that is what I am telling myself.
I missed Costco pizza a lot.
Self-explanatory. Thank God a slice is only $2.
Okay now back to studying, procrastinating, drinking coffee, reading my classmates’ stories, and parking struggles. Oh, and listening to a lot of Ed Sheeran.
PS The Maine’s new album comes out so soon! Not soon enough, but new music will solve so many of my problems!!