The Strange Sorrow of Summertime

Huh…sounds like the title of a novel. I’m not sure whether it would be a good novel or not, but I digress.

During every semester before a break, I yearn for said break. I look at everything I have to do for class, look at personal errands beside those tasks, and I count the days until I can be lazy as possible. The things I like to do when lazy during a break sometime manifest most clearly when I procrastinate for one reason or another. I watch YouTube videos, play a bit on my characters in an MMORPG, or browse the Internet mindlessly. When I’m in the thick of coursework and all the stress that comes with it, I wish for nothing more than respite in the form of not having to do anything related to academia.

The break we take for Summer is the shining jewel in the crown of this hope. I don’t just get weeks—I get months. There is suddenly so much time to spend pretty much however I want to spend it, and after all the stress of this last Spring semester in particular, this specific Summer break was something I sorely needed. I dreamed about not having to wake up early to catch a bus to campus for class, and instead being able to wake up whenever to do whatever as I pleased (for the most part). I reasoned that it would be a wonderful way to recover and prepare for my last semester (!!!) of undergraduate studies, and where Spring was hectic, Summer would be swell.

And then…then I remembered why part of me always gets sad around this time.

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On Your Mark…Steady…

Once I turned in my only final exam this last Tuesday, my second-to-last semester of university was done.

This was a semester unlike any I’ve had before. There was stress, which wasn’t new, but it was stress that came in different forms. Some of those forms were positive, while others were the usual negative. In any case, I got through it, and in the process I got to experience a number of unique experiences. There were a bunch of firsts that made my family proud, and I did some things I never would have expected to be courageous enough to do—and yet, I did them! This semester also stands out as my last full-time semester, since I just have one more class to take when Fall rolls around. Getting to this point in and of itself has been a journey in the making, something I’ve been wanting since I was a freshman for the first time seven years ago.

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Why My Brain Sucks 4

Two words keep coming at me: Graduate. School.

There have been a few professors who have mentioned it to me several times because they think I could do well. A provost even suggested that as the next step after the research competition award reception. So many people I started the program with are graduating, and I know some of them are going to attend graduate school.

It seems like a commonsense thought, so why is it the focus of the fourth installment in my Why My Brain Sucks series?

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“I DID A GOOD THING :D”

Last week, in the third installment of Why My Brain Sucks, I said there was an upcoming research competition I’d be participating in. Seeing as I contracted food poisoning a couple of days afterward, I haven’t been able to recount the experience in text form until now.

I couldn’t sleep a wink the night before. I think I got less than five hours of sleep, and only from what can be called two glorified naps. Regardless, I woke up at 5:30 AM to get ready for the 7:30 AM bus out of town, dressed all spiffy in a slacks suit. There was another student on the bus sitting in front of me, so we were able to have ridiculous conversation in order to wake ourselves up from being complete zombies. A television show plot combing plants and CSI came up, but we thought it was really awesome at the time. I had originally been planning on taking a nap on the way there, and I think I took a short one just before the bus got to our stop, but I didn’t mind the least. I also value a hearty conversation, no matter how silly (especially when I’m sleepy).

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Why My Brain Sucks 3

Tomorrow is the research competition, and I’m hardly excited about it. This sucks because not only is this my first time participating in something like this, but it is also my sponsor’s first time participating in that role. He puts a lot of stock into my ability to give a great presentation tomorrow, and I can’t help but think someone else should be doing this instead of me.

My suit is hanging out so I don’t forget that’s what I’m putting on tomorrow morning, and I’m about to put the finishing touches on my presentation. However, there is only a hint of nerves. Everything else is a dark hole in my head where excitement usually comes from. Other people might think I’m being really calm despite the circumstances, when the truth is that I don’t want to be. I’d welcome those emotions, because they’re normal.

I have exercised caution in telling even the closest of friends about my darker days. I don’t want to mar whatever positive image they have of me inside their head. It could be considered a dishonest thing to do, but can anyone blame me for wanting them to feel okay, even when I can’t muster it? I say this because I opened up to someone, and I fear I’ve lost them. This could be real, or could just be my stupid head talking, but either way I do feel like they’re gone. Even if this person told me everything was fine, I would have to disagree–things don’t feel like any semblance of okay.

There is an abyss in my head where thoughts and emotions should sprout from. A chunk of my chest has been cored out and hidden from me, and the absence is most definitely felt. I feel like less than half a person today, sitting in a classroom full of people who were really super happy. The guy next to me even remarked on it, and then noticed I didn’t exactly blend in. He didn’t ask further, because maybe he sensed I didn’t want to chat about it. It could have also been the fact that class was starting, but either way, it was one of those moments when I felt like I really didn’t fit in.

I’ve started to feel like I shouldn’t have been in certain places, doing certain things. Nothing illegal, mind you—sitting on the bus yesterday morning, talking to people at school, other such daily activities people don’t normally think twice about. It’s like I made a last minute decision and everything somehow feels wrong. All the while, life goes on around me, and no one knows the storm brewing inside me.

Bright Mornings Giving Way to Exhaustion

After an eternity of hiding under a proverbial rock, I finally started listening to the soundtrack for Hamilton last night. I was trying to create motivation out of thin air, to take an outline to a full-fledged paper, but music worked so much better. I finished the first act last night, and started listening to the second act on the bus this morning. Although there are the songs that are less about the forming of this country in this act, and more about the heartbreak of things ending too early, I felt that special energy I have always felt when I’ve listened to a wonderful musical soundtrack. It made me smile on the bus, and no one else knew why. It was wonderful.

When I sat down in class this morning, I was still running off of that high. The bus’s WiFi had cut out in the middle of “It’s Quiet Uptown,” and I wanted to keep on listening, but that could come after class. Also, the listening could resume after working on yet another paper, due tomorrow…which, as a matter of fact, I’m procrastinating by writing this blog.

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