Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Learning how to: College, the artsy kind

This is my first week of a legit college experience and let me tell you, it feels great! I'm sure as the semester goes along, my attitude will vary but as of right now I'm riding this high for as long as I can. The weather is so-so, which I believe plays a huge part in how I classify the success of the day. Day one, was bright and sunny and we even had class outside in a park not too far from school. Day 2, was a bit more on the dry and technical side as far as academics goes plus it was dark and raining. But today, again, it's bright and sunny and I get to play in the kitchen all night. So far, so good!

I was a tad bit afraid of how I would come across to my peers because I can be very dark with my humor and some would even say inappropriate. But, I've learned from a dear friend (Cham Cham) that as long as I say it with a smile, I can probably get away with it. Haha! He's got a valid point though and I know this now from personal experience.

You know how in high school you tend to gravitate towards those just like you? You form cliques and little adolescent gangs of carbon copies and think "Hey, I'm rad because everyone I hang out with thinks so too?" Well, in my high school experience, I was definitely not that girl. I applied myself vigorously in high school. I studied hard, always did my homework, showed up on time and I even dressed the part. I'm talking business suits and a damn soft leather briefcase. But the people I hung out with were so not like that.

First off, I was raised by boys. I'm talking the kind of boys who ride dirt bikes, played with guns in the jungle, drank beer and smoked weed. I don't have any biological sisters so I never had a Barbie Doll, played dress up, or had slumber parties with caboodles and pictures of pop stars plastered around my room. To be honest, I didn't even have my own room until I was in high school and my brothers moved away. So, I don't necessarily know how to naturally play well with girls.

This is the foundation of the kind of girl I am. I am comfortable around that kind of masculine environment. It sounds so slutty to say "Oh, I only have male friends." But it's primarily true in my case. As a disclosure, I do have a handful of amazing women in my life. These women are the kind of women who also have a very unique background. But what I think is most common among my very few girlfriends is that they are all intelligent and open minded. Which, I like to be believe rings true for myself.

Anyway, so my first day of college I have a lecture class. Basically, we sit in groups and discuss topics that don't necessarily have a right or wrong answer. I always get nervous in this kind of environment because, assessing the line up of potential team mates I can already spot the clusters that are so stereotypical of a high school clique. Given that I am enrolled in an Art School, I thought that my peers would surprise me and link up with other students unlike themselves. As it turns out, I was wrong. All the girls in Fashion linked up, all the music dudes linked up, all the nerdy (and I say this with admiration) gamer kinds huddled in the corner. And BOOM- there I am, standing alone, off to the side and perfectly content with it.

To my surprise, a flock of varied guys who don't necessarily visually fit in to the other groups start making their way towards me. Aha! I have assembled my sweet gang of misfits, without even trying. I like it already. Now, maybe there is some sort of invisible beacon that sends out a signal to other military related people because the one thing we all have in common is just that- the military. There is NOTHING about myself that screams military anything so I think it's interesting that I find myself surrounded by these types pretty frequently. But, to be honest I don't mind these particular guys. They all have a pretty well rounded idea of life and how to "go with the flow" yet still maintain who they are and what they believe. I like that we had an unbelievably deep conversation and no body got heated to the point where punches were thrown. Again, I like. Strong personalities yet the ability to keep an open mind and accept the idea that we can disagree without being dicks to one another. And I just had an epiphany- I AM in a clique, technically. Damn it! Hahaha, oh well.

Day two. I'm in a class full of culinary students. This is where I feel more at ease. Although, I was under the assumption that once again when we break off into groups the military folks will somehow smell it on me and come my way. But to stop that from happening, I was proactive this time. I sought out someone who I knew without a doubt had no military affiliation and started up a conversation. We don't have much in common which makes for a very interesting partner. I get to learn all kinds of new perspectives from her and I hope I get to teach her a thing or two myself. And yes, I purposely chose a girl. Going against the grain here- it's what I want most out of college, at least socially.

At the end of the night, I was bidding my farewells to a rockstar group. The two military dudes in my class did eventually find me, they're cool though and the others I'm content with. They have great life stories, great life ambitions, pretty similar sense of humor, and they all seem to have a willingness to be open minded.

What I've learned about myself so far is that even though my life has not really been this structured in a long time, I immediately fell right back into the mindset I had in high school. I do not procrastinate (something I prepared to battle with for the first couple semesters), I read with excitement (even though reading 90+ pages on resume building and cover letter etiquette makes me want to kill myself), and I knock out homework on the same day. I was skeptical about how I would readjust to college life but so far, I'm functioning off of muscle memory and if history repeats itself- I will be on that Dean's list in no time!

More to come as the weeks unfold. I hope you stick with me on this journey. Until next time, have an amazing day.

Hugs,
CrisM

Daily Nugget: When you actively pursue your passion, there is a glow that emits from within. You might not think anything of it, but be careful because this glow can be very attractive to people. Don't lose focus of your objectives just because you're getting more attention than you're used to. And also, floss.

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