My first second semester of college went by too quickly. I can still remember the feeling I had of sitting down in my first class of January - International Politics - and finally realizing the sensation of being a truetruetrue college student. I knew where my classrooms were, who I would eat lunch with, and my favorite places to study (or take a quick snooze).
My friends became family and new acquaintances became friends. Even old pals from back home became even closer as we struggled together to stay in touch and see each other on weekends.
Over spring break I went down to Birmingham, AL with Habitat for Humanity. Two 8 person vans spent a total of 21 hours southbound on the highway singing along to The Avett Brothers, the Fleet Foxes, Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeroes, and whatever folk/bluegrass/classic rock music we all knew the words to. I learned to fully appreciate beautiful weather and how happy seeing the sun high in a blue sky made me. I discovered how good it feels to work and sweat and throw a frisbee around for hours.
I also met Patrick, a junior from Kentucky who loved Monty Python and the Black Keys as much as I did. I don't really know when I realized that I liked him - maybe it was during one of our frisbee games, or during one of our after-dinner talks in the grass outside the church we were staying at, or maybe as we sang along to Wagon Wheel.
When we came back to school to begin the second half of our spring semester, I tried to forget how happy and free I felt in Alabama and be content with settling back into schoolwork again. Lucky for me, I still got to feel some of those things when Patrick and I started dating soon after the trip. I'm still terribly awkward about the whole thing and I'm finding it difficult to share how I feel -- but I absolutely love where we are.
He's back in Kentucky for now, but he will start studying Arabic for 8 weeks in Tunisia soon. I won't see him until late August but we're texting and we try to Skype every once in a while. Once he's abroad I'm not really sure how we'll stay in touch regularly, but I guess we'll see how it goes.
I'm only in Rochester for about a week then I'm headed to Tennessee for a few days for Bonner Congress. Then I'm either staying home for a bit again or I'm moving straight into the house I'll be living in for the rest of the summer in St. Paul. It's right on Snelling and I'm sharing it with 3 (or 4?) graduated seniors who are all working in the cities. I'm going to be a Summer Reads VISTA with Americorps from June 17 to August 10. I'm so excited to be doing something worthwhile and that will be filling up most of my time. I'm also looking forward to spending my summer in the city. None of my close friends are staying on-campus during this time, but many upperclassmen that I've gotten to know well the past year are, and it's going to be a lot of fun hanging out with them.
I guess first I just need to get over these next few days at home. At college, I'm known for the pride I have in my hometown but now that I'm here, I'm already ready to go back. I guess that's the way it's always going to be - it's hard to be content with where you're staying at the time. It's been so much fun seeing and hanging out with my high school friends again but I can't help but feel restless. It's the same exact thing that I felt at the end of J-term... sounds like it'll be a trend for the next few years.
Now that I'm back home, I've been searching for some sort of summer project to occupy my time. For now, this blog will be a part of that search. I'm actually absolutely terrible at keeping blogs up, and I think that's pretty obvious to anyone who's tried to follow me, but now that I have more time than I know what to do with, I might have a little bit to write every once in a while.
Since I've been in Rochester I've started carrying around a disposable camera with me. Last week I went to Whitewater State Park. It's one of my favorite places in the area because of the beautiful beautiful beautiful hiking.
I also recently drove to Milwaukee with a few friends to see the Black Keys (!!!!!!!) and it was one of the best nights of my life. I screamed, yelled, cried, and basically felt the full range of emotions as I watched my favorite band play from practically the front row of the general admission section. It was an absolutely beautiful show.
I guess that's all that I have for now. Hopefully I'll be back soon with more to say.