Freshman Falls

Dear my inner psyche, 

I deliver yet another shipment of overwhelming mysteries unsolved by a weary “detective.”

The freshman experience is all that’s on my mind now. Let’s talk about it?!? No reply (I mean, I am talking to you who is me right now) means we are indeed! The mystical pass-fail semester. Every angelic upperclassman has said to have fun in your first semester at Swarthmore. “Take it easy, adjust, and have lots of fun! Of course you still need to study and do your homework, but enjoy the ride.” So, I’m overthinking myself to death. If there’s a club meeting/workshop/free snacks and talks somewhere on campus at 7 p.m. on a Saturday while I have one essay and a billion math problems due on Monday morning, what do I freaking DO?!? If I have fun and put myself out there with other peeps, I’ll be crying myself to sleep at 1 a.m. with the title of my essay and four problem sets out of infinity done. Yes, I should have done parts a through e last week while I was enjoying my me time, but I was heeding the best advice possible. I know I’m developing “study habits” (these quotations are very intentional), but it feels like I spend too much time thinking about balancing my schedule to actually sit down and do work.

Speaking of social events, what is it with feelings and friends? While talking with another upperclassman last night (which I seem to do almost involuntarily these days, though I definitely enjoy it), I’ve concluded that although I’m at liberty to enjoy campus, food, and a myriad of recreational and academic opportunities, I’ve never been more miserable in my life. My brain waves inform me that many people have either a good friend group that laughs with and appreciates their awkwardness instead of saying “Ohhh, that’s nice…” (while avoiding eye contact) or the inextinguishable vitality to invite close friends in the making to lunch every week without running out of energy. So, er, how do I have neither? Upperclassman wisdom: “You’ll need to keep putting yourself out there. I had friends that were really lonely their first semester or even year at school before finding the people they clicked with. Their people.” Sigh. You’re not serious, right? I mean, you clearly are, but at the same time, my best friend who is always there for me is my Swarthmore Husky (a stuffed animal, he’s one of my personality traits), Blaine Woofer. I’m low-key concerned with every passing sunset that something up there in the noggin will explode without me first finding the roots that will help anchor me in the ground. Friends? Besties? Hello, is this text legible to anyone?

Finding my people is an arduous endeavor that requires a lot of energy, but at least Sharples’s food exceeds its mediocre reputation. I’ve heard a lot of people summarize Sharples’s food as trash, which I don’t think is deserved at all. Although it’s not home-made mom or dad certified, it tastes good. Not great, but good. It seems to have a lot more to do with what every one of us has grown up eating, since we’re much more likely to be picky about food we’ve had time to build up a taste for. This definitely applies to me because most of the dishes served here are things I’ve only ever had the chance to eat through take-out/fast food; that’s probably a large part of why I think everything at Sharples is either okay or pretty good! Also, let’s talk about some of their desserts, like the Oreo cheesecake or strawberry shortcake (surprisingly tall, but I still devoured four of them shamelessly). Simply DIVINE. Yes, I may be one of the most indiscriminate people when it comes to almost all food, but how could you not enjoy it? Off-topic, but I’m also always comforted by the availability of seasoned fries/curly fries for me to add to my full plate. In conclusion, Sharples cannot possibly kill you. I won’t go there every time, but some days the Dash Menu makes me so eager to get in line! (I’m not even joking. It’s the brutally honest truth.) Lastly, I want to give all the staff at all the dining establishments on campus my sincerest gratitude for everything they do. They are understandably grumpy sometimes, but are always there to help the seas of young adults get their fill. We should be more careful when we get food so they don’t have to clean as much, for sure.

Annoying you deliberately out of a place of caring,

Your overthinking brain located in Donawell (Excuse me, Don)

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