college is way different than high school. in three obvious ways, at least.
1.) it's harder. i don't want to sound all high and mighty, but school hasn't ever really been that difficult for me. elementary school was a breeze, middle school i would have to actually TRY if i wanted to get a bad grade, and high school was somewhat of a challenge but overall wasn't entirely too difficult for me (with the exception of honors geometry freshman year..).
needless to say, this high-school-to-college transition period has undoubtedly been the most difficult for me. the classes are harder, the teachers are more demanding, deadlines are more effectively enforced, and attendance is more mandatory (not to say it wasn't in past years, but everyone knows about my issues the past few years with attendance/tardiness..). but the coolest part is that i find i'm actually enjoying this challenge. i'm enjoying the satisfaction i feel when i get to a class early; i'm enjoying the praise i receive for delivering a good speech or turning something in on time; i'm enjoying waking up in the morning and jumping out of bed to get ready for the day so i don't miss learning a new ballet position or tap combination.
being out here and trying to balance everything out has been stressful because it's such a big step up from Dublin Scioto, but words can't describe how much i'm enjoying this challenge; how for the first time i'm looking forward to reading that last page out of my biology text book the night before class, just so i can go to bed with the satisfaction of knowing i'm ahead for a day and i'll understand what prof. smith is talking about in class the next morning. i love it.
2.) there's so many new people. i've met more people out here already than i can count. i've met people in my fhe group, my ward, my stake, my classes, walking to class, at the testing center, in the canon, in the bookstore, at choir practice, at football games, in my building, in the boys' building, walking around on campus, through other people, through family, and in countless other ways.
what's even more amazing is that this is something that people at other colleges no doubt experience, but being here at BYU, i feel like i'm not only interacting with more people, but i'm legitimately getting closer with them and impacting their life even in the smallest of ways, simply by saying hello. my dad even told me that out here, i'd be making friendships to last a lifetime- and i honestly can say i now understand what he meant by that.
i've gotten closer with macey, micaela, calli, annamarie, haylee, topher, elliot, bri, akell, andrew, tyler, teddy, brian, dillon, mike, justin, olivia, ray, jake, and sosososo many more. and i feel a genuine love for them and i know they honestly care about me, too. it's so nice having something, that is such a big part of your life, in common with over a thousand people on the same campus- your faith. it really has brought me so much closer to so many people out here, and i know it'll only help to increase my interactions with those around me.
3.) there's so much more to do. every day, every night, every week, every weekend, every month, every HOUR practically- there's something different to do, something new to try. since i've been out here i've been on two official "dates," and each was unique from the other.
the first was a "star-themed" date, where we went first to baja sol (mexican restaurant) for dinner, then to the movies to see star trek, back to the dorms to make cookies with star sprinkles on top while playing catch phrase while they baked, and ending the night going star gazing up in the canyon.
on the second date, a "phase-three" date this past friday, we walked first to legends grille (sports grille, pizza/chicken tenders kinda eating place) for dinner, then to macey's (grocery store, kinda like kroger back in ohio) to have a scavenger hunt (it was a double date: mike + i were on a team against justin+bri: each team got a cart and had fifteen minutes to go around the store and pick out 25 random objects and put them in their cart. then both teams met up in front of the store and exchanged carts and whoever could return all of the items first, won!) which mike + i sadly lost, then we shared a "king kong kone" at macey's (a 12-inch tall soft serve ice cream cone), walked back to the dorms and chalked a mural that covered the length of the walkway from the stairs in the quad leading up to the canon, ending the night (a SIX HOUR LONG DATE, 6:30pm-12:30am!) by going back to the girl's lobby, playing on the piano, dancing to music, having a handstand competition, playing duck duck goose, and just sitting around talking.
both of these dates were so different and diverse, and i had a blast on each one. each week there's devotionals that i go to with madison, drew's cousin, and each of those has a special message and different meaning to it as well. any day out of the week we can go diving in the rb pool, play raquetball, tennis, basketball, or a plethora of other sporty activities. once a week the girls have a flag football game (even though we have a losing record, it's still fun!) and the boys in our ward have one as well, so we always try to go and cheer each other on. you can go to the eyring science center and visit the planetarium for shows on friday/saturday nights. you can rent out study rooms to watch a movie with your friends. you can play mini golf in the library. you can have a video-scavenger hunt around campus. you can go up to the canyon and roast marshmallows and make s'mores. you can go to the loft, the local dance club, and random people will just come up and dance with you and just have a fun time. in addition to that, there's dances on campus almost EVERY WEEK. seriously, the first week and a half out here i think we had four dances.. it was almost overkill, but still incredibly fun.
this weekend is homecoming and there's so many activities planned for this week i don't even know how to fit it all in.. but i did get asked to the semi-formal dance which i will be going to with justin (: he asked me by making me a remix (so cool!) on a cd, and i replied yes on one of his t-shirts (if only i had a camera so i could have documented this.. hint hint dad check your email hint hint..). everyone's so creative out here in the ways they ask people to not only dances, but out on dates in general! once i get a camera, i'll start showing some of the cutest ways i've seen. some of them are actually pretty impressive. i love mormons (:
of course college is different. it's different than any other experience you'll ever have in your life. and i'm taking full advantage of every second and not letting a moment pass by without enjoying it to the fullest. besides the fact that i tend to sleep most of "free" time away..
but it's never to late to start, right?