27 March 2015

<< The College Journey >>

Part I

As spring break wraps up, I've spent a lot of time reflecting on the past several months. In August, I took my first solo step into the world outside my hometown. The day my parents drove back to Vegas without me was the day this adventure truly started. Like any good adventure, the road hasn't been easy.

For starters, the friend I planned on living with had to bail at the last minute due to financial reasons. So, two months before the start of the semester, I had a two bedroom/two bathroom apartment and no roommate. And housing arrangements had been long since made.

Cue Craigslist: forum for the desperate and despairing. (Luckily, I get along fantastically with the girl who responded to the ad.)

Oh, and a fun fact about this building? It sits right in between two cemeteries. I didn't know that until I got lost walking home one day and took a roundabout route that led me right past one.

The graves used to creep me out terribly, but I got over that fear when I began working on my photography final last semester.

And there's no way I could leave out the college parties. I've only been to a handful- they're definitely not my thing- but at least they didn't disappoint.

On my very first day in Reno, a friend of mine that also attends the university invited me to a party so that she could introduce me to people. I agreed and rode to the party with her group- five of us in all. While at the party, I got separated from everyone (partially my own fault- I felt a little pathetic following my friend around as though I had on a child's backpack-leash) and ended up in the backyard. That's where I learned what the term "shotgunning a beer" means.

Later, when it got colder (which I thought was ridiculous, because it was August, for Christ's sake!) I wandered back inside (and felt immediately overwhelmed by the life-sized sardine can I'd trapped myself in) and plopped myself down on the couch. Where I was almost immediately accosted by two drunk girls: they demanded my name (which I told them), asked if I was a freshman (I said yes), then said if I didn't like it then I could just leave. (They, of course, used a lot more expletives than I've included here.) Not longer after, a friend of theirs (also drunk) distracted them and somehow the three of them enthusiastically came to the conclusion that they should go climb the observatory. On campus. At least a twenty minute drive away.

The three of them ran out the door and, since I never heard about any climbing-deaths or whispers about "what happened at the observatory," I have to assume that they either didn't follow through or didn't get caught.

Another party I went to actually wasn't supposed to be a party. My section and I had planned a birthday party for the four of us who have birthdays in January, to be held at my section leader's house. Not even an hour in, we looked out the window and see the driveway, the sidewalk, and the street teeming with people. They trickled in slowly at first, but once something cracks, it shatters. The house was overrun in seconds. I left as soon as I heard, "Oh man, this is gonna be so much better than a dorm party."

And then there's tonight, where my friend invited me out for frozen yogurt and then we ended up playing Hide and Seek in the Quad for two hours.

But not all of the adventures have been quite so exciting.

I get lost frequently.

There have been several near-misses in terms of car accidents.

No, the dirt and debris on the carpet will not be magically absorbed and disappear. It will show up on your socks.

It took three months to get used to the streetlamp outside that turns on and off intermittently.

It is possible to keep pulling your clothes out of boxes instead of unpacking, but at some point you get tired of ironing t-shirts just so you don't look ridiculous.

Kitchens do not come pre-stocked with the cooking/baking staples.

Keep a mental list if you want to, but when you need that thing that you forgot because you didn't write it down, have fun calculating if you have enough money to buy gas to drive to Wal-Mart and to buy said item.

Living on my own, in a city I'd visited twice prior to moving: that's been the adventure.



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