Becoming a Junior

I am a college junior. And while I do feel the cliché response of, oh my goodness, how did I get here, time is flying, it also feels like the most ridiculously natural thing in the world. Not only am I a junior, I feel like a junior. Here’s a few reasons why:

1. For the first time I’m living off campus in the most darling house! This means that while I have the extra responsibilities of providing my own furniture, and remembering to take the trash to the curb on garbage day, I also have the extra freedoms of using nails to hang paintings on the walls, and lighting candles, or for that matter, possessing a lighter! I’m on a minimal meal plan, so I’m beginning to cook for myself. While most of my meals have been simple quesadillas or chef salad, I have managed to make homemade refried beans, and tried a new recipe for roasted chickpeas. I’m also dealing with adult situations such as paying rent and setting up Internet service. Sometimes it feels like my life is an endless cycle of calling customer service and going to the bank. Lately, my housemates and I have frequently exclaimed, “Too much adulting!” But as much as being an adult can be a hassle, it feels natural and right to be in this new place of independence.

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2. The first day of school felt remarkably undramatic. Even after four months away, going to class didn’t feel out of the ordinary. Maybe that’s because, as my friend Kaylee reminded me, it was my fifteenth first day of school, but regardless of why I felt so comfortable, I think it truly shows just how at home I feel on my campus. I know how to get where I need to be, I understand the many systems that are in place, I constantly run into people I know, and for the first time, I get to be the one to authoritatively answer the endless questions of freshmen. Being an upperclassman is a wonderful thing.

Home Sweet Home3. In this moment I feel rooted, yet scattered. The roots come from knowing I am where I belong and being willing to pour into this place, even though I suspect I won’t be here for much longer. I am invested in my university, plugged into my church, and in love with the place I live and the people I encounter on a daily basis. The scattering comes from traveling, and leaving pieces of my heart in faraway lands. Not to mention that half of the people I love most in the world don’t live in Oregon. This juxtaposition of being rooted yet scattered leaves me in a place of tension to be sure, and yet, I also feel a peace. While this time of life is transient, it’s also incredibly beautiful!

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So this semester I’m going to live into the reality that, no matter how short this season of life will be, today I am a college junior.

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6 thoughts on “Becoming a Junior

  1. Well said, Kelly! My first day of school was pretty much exactly like yours. It felt so normal. Then again, it should feel that way by now. We’ve been students all our lives–navigating first days are part of our scholastic job description! Also, I love your image of feeling rooted, yet also scattered. I feel something similar, I think. I’m a senior this year, so I still feel deeply rooted to my college, yet I also feel the future beginning to pull on me more than ever. My mind keeps drifting ahead of me, wondering where I’ll be a year from now, after I’ve graduated. It’s exciting to think about the future and all the “adulting” I’m going to do… but it’s also kind of scary! 🙂

  2. It is exciting to finally know about campus schedules, workings, and all the places. I see underclassmen asking the questions I once asked. Thankfully I know the answers now. It is a good confidence boost for when I have to ask my own questions for “adulting”. I totally get how you feel here.

  3. “Being an upperclassman is a wonderful thing.” I loved the simple directness of this statement (and I also loved the rest of your post!). You’ve captured so many of the tensions and benefits that accompany our current student status. Daily–really, multiple times a day–I think about these issues of transience, rooted-ness, independence. Thanks for sharing, and you are most certainly not alone in your feelings and thoughts!

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