One Week, One Month

It is one week until I leave DC for the first time since coming here 92 days ago. It's also exactly a month until I will leave with my first semester of college complete.

Has college been how I thought it would be? Yes and no. Classes are just about how I expected them to be - lectures a couple times a week, papers, etc. I hadn't really imagined my classes being as large as they are, but I guess I can't complain as a freshman, and I know things will get a lot more personal each year.

I do have a couple pet peeves, and they probably need little explanation: water and noise. I think I drink WAY less than I should here, largely because the water really isn't that appetizing and I forget to bring water bottles to the dining hall to steal drinks. Finding somewhere quiet outside during the day has got to be impossible, and even during the night there's usually a building buzzing or something like that. The airplanes (and helicopters) overhead can be annoying, but I've pretty much gotten used to that. Speaking of the devil, I actually hear one right now, but it isn't anything I can't handle most of the time.

I may be in a huge city, but Georgetown is a smaller community than Ketchikan, and in much the same way as K-town, I can recognize people pretty often on the street and at events, but I'll never have the same people around me all the time. Just like Ketchikan I can even go outside at 4 am and enjoy the solitude and night air. Sometimes people complain about Georgetown being isolated, but I really appreciate how much it's a community unto itself. I don't think I could have handled a jump to some college on the streets.

After writing all of the above, my blogging was interrupted by a mission. I went to get milk from the dining hall in order to make chai tea with a packet sent by my wonderful and amazing girlfriend. When I got to my dorm building door to go outside, I was more than a little surprised to look outside and see absolutely pouring rain. In fact, before I had left my room I had said on Skype "I think I just heard something explode in the sky," only somewhat jokingly. I rationalized that it might have been an unusually loud plane, though it was a little late for it and the sound was quite different.

Yes, readers from parts of the world where thunder is more common may take this time to laugh at my ignorance. I honestly can't remember having heard thunder and seen lighting more than two or three times during my entire childhood in Ketchikan, and it seems to never happen over the city - only to the west, over Gravina or beyond.

But all the same, I didn't break my stride going out the door, and although I may have sped up a little bit going to the dining hall, I commented at least twice on the way how fun it was to experience the rainiest I've ever seen things be here. (I was on the phone with my mom at the time, so don't get the idea I talk to myself. ... Although that may not be entirely wrong...)

In short, I think DC and Georgetown really fit me well. GU does have its downsides - above all its cost - but really that's something that everyone here recognizes. There literally hasn't been a week where I haven't read in some GU publication about something relating to the fact that, as the best colleges in the country go, Georgetown is dirt poor. It really is - comparatively - and although this isn't necessarily what a student should want, Hoyas get the best bang-for-endowment-buck around. All the while it's the tuition buck that will soon make red figures on the theoretical ledger of my life.

That aside, I think I am totally adapted to college life. It's comfortable for me. In many ways I have transferred and adapted many of my old habits, even with some changes for the better. I'm quite proud of my desk and room organization, though like in my old desk, I still have a drawer basically designated for random crap. (It's always the middle one on the left.) I've rationalized my clothes drawers: At home, pants sat above shirts, but now they've been put in the proper place on the bottom. (Unfortunately, socks' natural alignment with underwear, handkerchiefs, pins and other assorted items places them out of the scheme in the top drawer.)

For a while, I know I had gained a "Freshman X" - as I did not and still have not touched a scale since arriving here. Since then my eating has calmed down, and all-you-can-eat croissants have been replaced with regular bowls of yogurt, granola, and occasionally a few grapes. I feel a bit more trim than a month ago, though my net change weight has probably got to still be a gain.

Last in this hodge-podge of commentary, I have to say that while I've obviously experienced some big changes, in my activities, the people around me, my living, I think I've been able to deal with those changes perfectly to my satisfaction. My positivity, self-esteem, and my comfort and trust in my life haven't dropped for more than a minute or two. I really do miss my loved ones and all the happiness of home, but it's all tempered for me with the joy of new experience, and with the knowledge that my return really isn't far away. I know in my heart that life is good, and I know I am exceptionally lucky in a million different ways. Things are going great.


  1. I'm glad you have adjusted well to college life at Georgetown. Keep up the good work, P. W. We miss you, but we'll see you soon! Stay well and happy!
    Love, Mum


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