Monday, September 22, 2008

Smoking: Keep it to yourself.

When I arrived at college, I realized tons of people smoke. I'll admit I've been pretty sheltered from the habit my whole life. When I was young, my parents both smoked, but they gave it up when I was about seven or eight, so I don't remember breathing skanky air. Various family members smoked at family gatherings, but it was easy enough to escape before I gagged. Smoking was not something I dealt with every day; I went to school, work, and home, and none of these places had smoke/smokers/smoking.

Then I moved to college, and BLAM! Smokers everywhere! Generalization for the day: Everyone smokes in college. Smoking is so common that my dorm has a "smoking tree" under which people gather to smoke. At my school, you're not allowed to smoke within twenty-five feet of a building's entrance, but this rule is blatantly ignored.

One building has a lovely shade-providing awning, a quaint little bench, and a trashcan outside one of the doors. If you think this is a place to relax between classes and maybe have a snack, you are wrong. This is obviously a place for smokers to hang out, talk, and gag people with their disgusting habit. Nevermind they're withing FIVE feet of the building's entrance; that's their smoking cove. I have to enter through this door three times a week, and each time there are at least three people polluting my air.

One day, there were three faculty members smoking near the door, and they were so engrossed in their smoking chat, they couldn't hear me say a polite 'Excuse me.' while trying not to inhale. The smoke around that area is so thick, I have to hold my breath. Random fact about me: I suck at holding my breath. I think it was my downfall in swimming lessons. ("Dead Man's Float, everyone! Hold your breath and float on your stomach!" "O_O But I'll die!") The only positive thing about this situation is how much I've learned to appreciate clean, unpolluted air.

I may sound whiney, but I don't feel I should be subjected to unnecessarily skanky air just because some cannot follow rules. Why would you want to smoke anyway? It's bad for your teeth, bad for lungs, and bad for your face. I don't know how many times I've seen an attractive guy on campus only to be disappointed by a cigarette in his hand. Smoking is a turn-off, a deal-breaker.

Think of yourself, and don't smoke. If you must smoke, think of others and keep it to yourself.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Concerns of a College Freshman

Have you ever made a life decision then questioned your choice later? I have, and it's eating away at me.

Why did I choose this college? Why did I think this was the right choice? I remember saying something to my mother about it "just feeling right," but I don't know how true that is now. I'm three and a half hours from home. I don't have any friends, and I'm not making much progress in the way of friend making. I get incredibly lonely sometimes.

For as long as I can remember, I've had this drive to be independent. If I had money, I wanted to buy my own things. I loved having a driver's license because I didn't have to depend and rely on other people to take me places. I liked having a job because it gave me a sense of purpose. It provided me with money, and money is very important for independence.

So why am I having such a hard time at school if I'm so independent? Because being independent doesn't mean being a hermit, and that's what I've become. A hermit. I go to class, and I go to my dorm. I refuse to eat in the Caf because I'd have to eat alone. I have acquaintances, but that's all they are. People in my classes who know my name and vice versa.

Why didn't I go to the college less than a half hour away from home? The college where all my friends are? I don't know. For whatever reason, I felt it was "too close." I can't tell you know why I thought that or why I felt I needed to get away from home. What's wrong with home? It's familiar, it's warm and welcoming, and people love you there. Why would you want to leave that? Adventure? Sure. We'll say it was my sense of adventure that had me traipsing to a school 200 miles away.

I love to travel. I've been to seven countries and twenty-something states. I love learning about new places, experiencing new cultures. I went to Europe with a group of people from my school, and it was great. I didn't get homesick. I had a great time. I thought, 'College won't be that bad. I'll be much closer to home.' I've always wanted a career involving travel and maybe living overseas. Now I'm questioning my ability to do that. Could I handle living in another country by myself? Can I be that far from home for that long? What if I limit myself because I'm not independent enough? All these questions are floating around in my head as I'm trying to balance classes, homework, and keeping in touch at home.

In high school, I knew tons of people because we went to school together for YEARS. I miss seeing familiar faces and casually saying 'Hi!' on my way to class. I miss band. I don't necessarily miss playing music, but I miss the camaraderie. I was the president, so people looked to me for answers. I was a 'smart kid,' so people looked to me for answers. I was a good friend (I think), so people looked to me for answers. Maybe part of what I miss is being depended on.

There are many things I like about my college. I like the classes. I like the professors. I like the campus and the town. I just think I'd like it better if I didn't feel so alone all the time. I have hard time letting myself feel this way. My independence complex wants me to push these feelings aside and 'man up.' I've done well so far. I've only had one emotional breakdown. I had a friend ask me if I'd transfer at semester. I told him no. Why? Because I'm stubborn. This is the choice I made, and for now, anyway, this is the choice I live with.

Again I ask you readers, have you ever made a life decision then questioned your choice later?

Monday, September 8, 2008

Oh dear.

I've just had a sudden realization. The past few days I've been experiencing headaches. They've not been too terrible, and I've just been banishing them with ibuprofen, but still, there was no reason for them.

I sat at my desk, doing homework and drinking a bottle of water when I realized, I haven't made tea in about three or four days. The pitcher ran out, and I found myself content with water, so I didn't bother making it. Besides, the cup and a half of sugar I add to the tea is probably not too healthy for me. I hadn't made coffee in at least five or six days because the mug was dirty, and it was a mess to deal with the coffee grounds. I haven't had a soda in over a week. My supply ran dry, and I'm too cheap to buy more. Also, I have a tendency to go overboard when it comes to soda. I don't really know when to stop.

So, as I was drinking my water, I thought about my headaches. It was then that I figured out they were CAFFEINE HEADACHES. Because I haven't had caffeine in days! I'm not sure this has every happened to me before. In fact, I probably wouldn't have even thought about it if I hadn't run out of bottled water and brewed some tea (though I've yet to make it).

So maybe I should just drink my tea in moderation? Try not to drink the entire gallon in twenty-four hours? Wish me luck. I'll give it a shot. Maybe if I mix water in my beverage cycle, I won't be tempted to sit around drinking tea all the time because that's what I normally do.

This has been a weird blogging session. I mean, really, it just bowled me over that I had caffeine headaches. I've only ever had a caffeine headache one other time in my life. Normally, I have a streaming supply of tea or soda. Hmm. I'll keep the water drinking up and see where this gets me.

Saturday, September 6, 2008


I thought you all would like to know that I'm one week from being legal. :D