It’s getting coffee from Brody instead of Alkimia. It’s not being afraid to decipher Kant. It’s learning a new Adobe program. It’s taking a new path to class. It’s adopting a different eating schedule. It’s trying a friend’s neutral nail polish instead of my favorite bright red. It’s beginning work next week. It’s overloading on classes. It’s deciding to rush. It’s letting the desk get untidy. It’s lightening up. It’s letting go.
I know that everyone rolls their eyes at the teenage girl adage “new year, new me.” And I hate to ever relate to a cliché Facebook status, but I’m kind of feeling it—just replace “new year” with “new semester.”
Last semester was comfortable and happy and successful, but as someone who’s always loved—favored, even—change, a new semester is not only refreshing but welcomed. I’ve found that as my daily class schedule has changed, so have my attitudes, my habits. As a lover of change, it’s nice to settle into a brand new routine. It almost feels like starting clean.
I’m definitely not the kind of person who is easily intimidated (I tend to forget that I’m a 5’0” Italian girl most often referred to as “little one”), but like everyone, I have things that make my heart go pitter-patter and not in a happy butterfly way.
I’m finding, though, that things that once would have made me nervous or frustrated are starting to feel exciting and easy. It’s strange; I love change, but I’ve always hated uncertainty. Example: I’ll dye my hair crazy colors, chop it all off. But when a restaurant says they’ve run out of the dish I ordered—oof. Nightmarish.
I’m a planner; I’m a person who organizes expectations. I’m laid-back, but spontaneity makes me anxious. It’s an odd dichotomy, but totally legitimate; I scored in the perfect one-specific-point No Man’s Land of a Type A/Type B Personality Test that I took in AP Psych. I like my little neutral ground.
I’m an obsessive logistics director, an unabashed micro-manager, an overseer concerned with the general order and progression of things. At the same time, I’m calm and collected, cool as a cucumber. (Maybe I’m flattering myself.) Change, when planned and calculated and under control, is wonderful. Change, in its surprise and insecurity and chaos, is terrifying.
College, somehow, has introduced me perfectly to this brand new concept of uncertainty. College has familiarized me with the whole “wrench-in-the-plan” thing. And it’s helped me to acquaint myself with the unpredictability of the real world.
College has taught me to smile not just at change, but uncertainty, too. I’m learning that uncertainty is just another species of change—just instead it’s an adventure, not a plan.
Small steps: it’s making detours on the way home from class, it’s not panicking when it’s raining and I’ve forgotten my jacket, it’s putting this weird agave syrup in my tea instead of honey. It’s me sitting on the marble steps of Shriver in the pouring rain, laughing to myself because I totally ate it leaving my rush party. It’s dancing and singing along with “Timber” as my hallmate plays it for the third hour straight (this is not made-up.)
I’ve always loved to try new things under my own powers and deliberate choices. I’m fearless with trying new foods (ever had kangaroo? It’s like really tender steak), exploring new places, meeting new people. I’ve even always been pretty darn good at rolling with the punches—like I said, laid-back.
And while I’m adept at adapting, it’s never been my favorite. I’m learning to love to adjust. I’m learning to enjoy my evolution. I’m learning not how to smooth ruffled feathers, but how to slick them back so they never shake.
I’m learning to appreciate the unknown, to dive into the unfamiliar. I’m expanding my horizons. I’m plunging.
So, whatever, cliché teenage motto: new semester, new experiences, new me.
PS I know this isn’t an AIM profile and I shouldn’t be publishing angsty lyrics, but thanks Modest Mouse for the title. I ran out of clever ways to say uncertain.