Well, That Ended Better Than I Expected (Reflection)

Taken from frannylovesyou
So the year is drawing to a close as it tends to at the end of December and once again I am sitting down to think about things.  And quite honestly, this might be one of the most somber entries I have ever written.  Just even going through briefly the moments that stuck out in my head, a lot of them are either a testament to my character or something really crappy that randomly happened to me.  But here is a run-down of everything: the good, the neutral, the weird, the bad, and the in-between.

I rang in 2011 with friends for the first time in my life.  January started majestically with sparklers and good friends and random company, but everything was shiny and wonderful.  And I thought that that would set the tone for the rest of the year.  But we shall see.  My friend stayed over and she left for home a few days later.  I took time to spend with my friends.  Oh, and family too.  I saw a musical with my aunt.  In addition, I went to see a Daily Show live taping with two friends and I had a huge fit of fandom.  I also felt so cultured that month. But sooner or later, the return to school had to be done, so I went back early for Rush Week to do some work and earn some money.  I have never seen or returned so many packages in one week.  I also have not seen so many people exert themselves for temporary validation by a group.  But I also realized that me and the nice boy I met the prior October were not meant to be doing anything other than being best friends.  So we sat in a broom closet for hours discussing everything about our friendship and concluded that we shall always be best friends.  And then school actually started on the coldest day of my LIFE so far.  I resolved to make a few changes for studying, such as actually doing my readings before class and such to catch up with materials.  And due to the cold and recruitment things for fraternities and sororities, my friends spent a lot of fun indoors just talking and having fun.  I signed up for a ton of bio classes, a Shakespeare class, a math, ballroom dancing for physical education and the auto-tutorial computer science class for Matlab that apparently bio-engineers need to complete by the end of sophomore year.  I went to ballroom dancing and, honestly, I was surprised how comfortable I felt there.  With computer science, I was in the for the not-so-awesome time of my life.

During February, I wanted to set a schedule with my school life.  And my set a schedule, I guess that meant waking up at 5 AM every day to work out and get my bio readings out of the way.  Or doing my bio lab class homework because I had a Wednesday night lab.  I spent less time going out on weekends and more time staying in with my friends because the frats all had pledging things to do for the boys that they wanted to be part of their brotherhood.  The hardest thing I had to do in the whole month was that computer science science.  Me and the best friend would get together most days of the week and work on it.  And boy, was it taking a toll on my self-esteem.  I could not seem to crack it at all.  He would spend 30 minutes on a program and be done.  I, on the hand, would spend the same about of time and come up with one working line.  One night of working on this program, a Thursday of course, my computer had stopped working and "blue screen of death"'d me so my friend and I decided to go out.  We went out for a bit and then proceeded to go sledding with two of my guy friends.  Sledding was relatively uneventful...until I realized the next morning I could have broken or sprained my finger.  I got my first x-ray done and wore a splint to the first day of biomedical engineering lab session.  At the lab session, I had been assigned to a group, and soon I learned that have the worst luck when it comes to being put into a communal working environment.  And yet, at the same time, I was applying for co-op housing, which involved spending time with the people who lived there and cooking with them and other such activities that would have been part of living in the house.  Everyone seemed nice, but alas, I did not make it into the cooperative living system and thus had to experience the terrors of the Cornell housing lottery.

Which, actually, happened in March.  The snow began melting and spring was slowly returning to us sun-deprived children in Ithaca.  But the pressure was rising.  The Matlab course was coming to an end, with the deadline approaching as quickly as Spring break was.  I spent most of my work shifts either recovering from the day or working on programming.  And never in my life have I been so frustrated.  I can usually accept when I am bad at something...but not when I'm getting graded on it.  With March also came the arrival of a new crush.  I met a boy who was really tall, quirky, and just a very sweet boy.  We went to a SWE gathering together and then I started going to his shows like a groupie/ fan girl.  And then St. Patrick's Day was on the eve of spring break, where I got to meet my friend's new girlfriend, who I became very close friends with, and just had a very strange but fun night, as nights at Thumpty tend to go.  But spring break came at a good moment.  But, I still had not finished my Matlab final project to complete so I could not entirely relax, as the word "break" seems to suggest.  Yet I did have good times.  I saw a taping of the Colbert Report and saw a rather forgettable but fun movie with a close friend of mine.  Lent also began so I decided to give up wearing pants to allow more creativity and to make the most use of my clothing and to build self-confidence.  Probably not the healthiest decision, but it was other things that made me sick most of the time as the semester was drawing to a close.

And my self-health further deteriorated right into April.  My stomach and it's acid reflux was awful.  I saw the movie Sucker Punch with a friend and I had not been that inspired to work out and make my body perfect in my life.  So waking up at 5 AM no longer was for reading or doing homework.  Or reading and learning calculus for the class I stopped going to.  It was for working out, which I think took a toll on my grades, my body, and my self-esteem.  I spent more time hanging out with my new crush a lot, even spending an all nighter with him to study for math on the eve of course enroll.  Course enroll worked out but when it came to the test, I did not do as well as all the work I had been suggested, which was a feeling that seemed to pervade in other classes as well, especially biomedical engineering intro class where most of my grade was contingent on 3 other people.  It was taking an objective look at my performance in Cornell engineering that I realized, I might not be able to make it to affiliation as a bio engineer.  And I was crushed. Because the GPA requirement was just out of my reach and looking at the classes I would have to take, I would not have made it to the 2.50 limit.  And that feeling made me rather aloof.  To this day, I feel awful that I didn't give my best friend enough praise for his final performance in the one class he was working hard that he was actually seeing results that he could be proud of.  We even went to a party together afterwards and the feelings of having completely let myself down were so strong that I got a bit sick and dizzy and subsequently wandered campus aimlessly for hours.  Many other social interactions died as well.  When I'd go places with my friends and boys would approach, I legitimately was not having it.  I have not felt so genuinely miserable since sophomore year of high school.  And then I went to a few meetings with professors and towards the end of the month, I realized what I must do: I needed to transfer out of engineering.

So the beginning of May was spent filling out forms and scrambling to finish my homework because it was the last week of classes.  Slope Day marked the end of classes, as it tended to go with my group friends, it was one of the more bizarre days of my life.  It involved lots of weird music and going to the gorges and everyone being dramatic and not quite in the right state of mind.  And then study week officially kicked off after a Lord of the Rings extended edition marathon and then sleeping and then finally buckling down to study.  I was so stressed out but heck, I had tests to pass.  Just pass, not even particularly do well on.  And then at the end of it all, I watched Doctor Who with a friend, packed, had brunch with my best friend and parents, and then left for home for New York City.  And that was freshman year.  I think I can safely say that I learned a ton about myself and what my capabilities are, even if I was an ungrateful cow in the process of it all.  But when I got home, I realized, I had no grades, no boyfriend, and I absolutely hated my body.  I had gained the freshman 15 and then some.  So I basically came home and started working out like crazy.  I got a gym membership and was there for two hours or so a day.  I tried a bunch of different work outs, my favorites being spinning, Pilates, and this rope thing.  And I also started driving lessons again, which sucked.

My birthday kind of happened in June.  I spent time with friends, but aside from that, it wasn't particularly crazy or special.  But the next weekend was super fun.  I went out to a club for the first time because it is 19 and over, and that worked out with my age.  The music was fun and I was dressed to a T.  But I hated everything at the same time because I wasn't small or dainty and felt like a whale.  But, see, I don't let people in on that insecure side of me because no one needs to hear it.  Towards mid-June, my friend came to visit and we just went out and partied and other things normal young adults are supposed to do during the summer.  She was transferring to Northeastern shortly after Cornell summer ended, so spending time was nice.  And then soon I packed my bags and went to Poland to see family and take classes in Krakow.  It was nice seeing my friends again, now that we're older and can do European young-adult things.  But it was still so strange because I hadn't been in Poland in 4 or 5 years.  And even though I was born there, it did not exactly feel like home.  But I guess it was something I'd just have to get used to.  But what was nice, I had a working cell phone which I didn't have previously, so that made me feel more like I lived there.  Even if for a little while.

So, July was not spent in the US and instead I was abroad in Poland.  And for the first time in a class-related setting, I had roommates.  And just as most stereotypical first roommate situations, you might not get along with all your roommates.  I had some strife with two of them, but the third was chill.  The clubs and bars in Poland were really nice and the 4-weekers, as we called ourselves, formed a pretty tight-knit group. We also did touristy things and became very close with a few members of my class.  One of them, actually, I started dating about a week into the program.  He was very attractive, quirky, painfully shy, but treated me fairly well when we were in Poland.  Having a summer romance was something I had never experienced.  You're in a foreign country together so exploring things made it that much more special.  And enjoying nightlife together was something else as well.  Most goings-out felt like a date.  And, as relationships tend to go, we did fight.  Not a lot, but more than I'm used to.  We both had the same group of friends so we hung out with them too.  I stuck around boys more because they weren't fussy about where we went, though I did have a few girls that were very low-key so they accompanied us too.  It's not like the summer program had its own fair share of drama.  Stuff tends to brew when you spend so much time around the same group of people.  But the weekend "school" trips tends to diffuse tension, or brings people together.  About 45-50 people in the program got food poisoning and nothing brings people together like caring for each other.  Those four weeks were some of the fastest in my life.  The classes were fun and didn't feel like I was technically in school for 6 hours a day.  My biggest challenge during the whole trip was writing a 5 page essay on Polish literature in Polish.  It took me a week but I conquered it and felt awesome.  I got A's in both my courses, which I happily brought home with me.  I also brought with me my summer romance, thinking that we could make it in the U.S.

August was a quiet month.  I would have gone right back to my exercise regimen, but after working out, everything ached and honestly, I got a cold from the difference in temperature between NYC and Poland (it was early-spring, late-fall weather the whole month of July).  I reconnected with a few friends, one of which I thought I lost forever because of an awkward situation towards the end of senior year of high school.  I also saw my boyfriend a lot towards the end of the month before I went back to school.  We went clubbing and he joined me and my friends for a farewell "Cupcake Day" party.  And then I moved into my new dorm the last weekend of the month.  My room was/is huge.  I'm pretty sure it was meant for two people at one point.  But somehow, all my clothing fit.  I had to reset my schedule a bit from when I set it up last semester due to the internal transfer situation I got myself in.  I prepped myself for a very difficult semester at school.  Not because my classes were particularly difficult but because of the pressure on the classes I was taking.  I signed up intro psych, intro physiology, physics, differential equations, and intro nutrition.  But the first week before classes started was filled with setting my room up and hanging out with college friends that I hadn't had the chance to see all summer.  And then one of the most turbulent semester of my life began.

September was still relatively relaxed, but I went into with an academic vigor.  I was going to do all the readings for every class before they are due.  I was going to start my homework the lesson we learned it.  I was going to do a good job on everything.  But carving in all that work was difficult.  I signed up for my building's soccer team, so that ate up my Wednesdays.  On September 11th, I decided to watch the tapes from that day for the first time in 10 years.  She was scared and sad because no one had asked her about it. So I did and we bonded about our own views and perspectives about the day.  The hardest part about semester was balancing friends and work, especially when the first round of prelims showed up without warning.  I spent many weekend studying instead of interacting with people and I was reverting to the same habits in terms of thinking of people that I had earlier.  But then my boyfriend would come and everything would be happy, because, hey, someone wanted to spend time with me.  But I still crawled into a work flow that might have actually started to demolish me a bit.  I mean, it's hard when you feel like you're one of the few people in your immediate circle doing loads of work and having no results come from it.  Oh, sounds like most areas of my life this year.

In October, I spent a lot of time waiting.  I spent a lot of time with just wanting to see my boyfriend and with all the work I was doing and all the time I've spent being with friends, that seemed like a lot too much to ask for.  We hit our first major fight, to the point that I had to write a blog entry reminding me why I was with him.  And I guess all this frustration about not seeing him when I was supposed to and being so stressed over school at the same time was what led up to a new low in partying on Halloween.  For the sake of discretion, I won't go into it, but it was bad.  The next day, I spent a lot of time looking at my ceiling and wondering what the hell am I doing with myself.  Besides, you know, staring at my ceiling and trying to read my psych textbook so that I don't miss five or six questions like I did on the last test just from not reading that part of the book.  I also managed to get my math homework done on time and heavily debated dropping the class after getting a progress report.  And me, being stubborn and having a little too much pride sometimes, didn't.  And it was just because I was doing well on the homework.  At the end of the month, I also picked my courses and had a pretty poopy day.  I managed to break some of my dishware by accident and got so excited to see my boyfriend that weekend and then he said he wasn't coming...

And the second hardest month of the year award goes to November.  The first hardest was April, if you couldn't gather.  So I was just really upset that he wasn't seeing me the first weekend, so we rescheduled for the next weekend.  I took the last round of prelims for 2011 between Halloween and when I was going to see him.  I decided to do something really nice and bake him a peppermint chocolate cake that doubled as girly time with my friend.  And then I went out for a bit because I was done with tests and met and caught up with a few people I hadn't seen in a while.  The next day, Friday 11/11/11, I was on top of the world.  I did so much better on all my tests because, yay, I finally kind of got myself together in terms of studying and doing so much better, I was elated.  I hadn't gotten above a 90 in anything since high school, so you could imagine my excitement.  But as I'm getting tea in the library, I get a text that kind of shut down my mood for the rest of the day.  He said he wanted to break up.  Like, why do you tell me this the hour you're supposed to be leaving see me and after I've been having one of the best days ever?  And he also mentioned to me he lied to me a bunch of times because he liked me that much, which didn't make any sense.  I was totally heartbroken for many reasons.  People generally don't lie to me and if they do, it's something really stupid, like "I was at the library" instead of "I was chilling with so-and-so."  So that shattered my trust a bit.  But it also turned out he wasn't into the relationship for the passed two months slash eight weeks, and that hurt a lot.  I guess what I was most angry about was that I couldn't see it coming.  And so, I resolved to just be selfish until I felt better.  I realized I bend myself over backwards for people, like baking them a freaking cake, but people barely do the same for me.  So I went out and met some wonderful people.  Thanksgiving was little morose because I wasn't feeling like myself and my uncle just had a blood clot, but I was grateful for all my friends then more than ever.

And finally, we arrive at December.  Unlike most people I knew, all my work was done with the first two days of the last week of classes.  So I sat at home trying to take care of myself and still recover.  But it was also rather stressful because I was hosting a Polish club Christmas dinner that weekend and my power went out so I had to relocated all my stuff to a different fridge that was probably miles away.  And then that weekend was the most eventful weekend in a while, as in I had a lot of events to go to.  A boy I met during my selfish weekend in November asked me to a formal as a date-date.  And another friend asked me to his frat's formal.  And it was a lot of fun.  The boy from the date-date and I connected really well and then all of a sudden started spending a lot of time together, which somehow did not interfere with me studying for five finals.  I also met with an epidemiology professor and somehow got offered a research position.  And then five finals later and lots of crying, the school year was over.  I want to say that I felt like crap afterwards, but I really can't.  Even though my GPA did not reach the guideline for transfer, a week after the semester ended, I got an email saying that I had successfully transferred out of engineering.  And that was the greatest gift I had ever received for Christmas.  And then Christmas came and went and I've been spending lots of time with my friends, going out, having fun, and Skype-dating.  And tonight, I am enjoying the company of my friends.

I ended this year a lot happier than I expected to.  Honestly, I was expecting to still be angry and single and not having accomplished my major academic goal, but that lame expectation was turned around.  So I'll be ringing in 2012 a lot happier than before and hopefully any other goal I want will be fulfilled too.  Happy New Year everyone!

No comments: