The thing about having classes on a quarter system is that time never really stops moving. We’re in school for the same amount of time as other schools, but because the year is broken down into smaller chunks, every month just seems to fly by. For me personally, this seems to promote a sort of culture of nomadism. Your classes change every two and a half months. So do your teachers, classmates, even your week to week living schedule. Everyone moves homes and communities every year, people come and go in student groups, the dining hall introduces chocolate fondue one week and then promptly refuses to make it ever again.
Nothing really ever seems to…stick. Which isn’t entirely bad; I understand the appeal of constant innovation and forward movement, especially given Stanford’s location in Silicon Valley. But at the same time, as someone who drinks nostalgia for breakfast and spends a good 20 minutes a day writing things down so she won’t forget them, I also wish things would slow down a bit. I wish people would stay still for a while, and stay for a while. I wish Wilbur Dining would have another chocolate fondue night. That being said, what’s the point of complaining if I don’t make some sort of attempt that fixing it? I might not be able to grab the universe by the ears and force it to stop sprinting on without me, but I can at least collect some souvenirs, verbal, visual, mental, or otherwise.
So without further ado (and by ado I mean rambling), here is 20 things I get to keep from my first twenty weeks of college, even as my classes, rooms, memory, and worldview relentlessly fluctuate around me:
- This cool Linguistics shirt I got for declaring my major
- THE BOOK THAT SARAH KAY SIGNED FOR ME THEREBY FULFILLING A NUMBER OF MY LIFE LONG DREAMS
- The ability to bike through the pouring rain with a FedEx package balanced between my torso, left arm, and left leg
- Twelve hours worth of browser history that consists entirely of “how to write erotic poetry”, two days before I led an erotic poetry workshop
- The knowledge that I did not, do not, will never, look good as a blonde
- The memory of waking up for the first time on campus and thinking, “I belong here”
- The Pokemon poster I painted with Austin the weekend after Thanksgiving
- My beat up assignment notebook that more or less details every single day of my life
- The mad arm and ab gains I got from weight training class (I hope)
- Some really cool photos and videos of me contorting my ungraceful body to the beat of hip hop music:
- My Stanford snuggie
- My newfound love of cheesy scrambled eggs
- Poems I’ve written throughout the past two quarters and the acceptance of the fact that I write a lot of love poems and that’s okay
- New and intense appreciation for my parents and all they did to raise me
- This photo of Will “what do sailors have going for them? nothing!” Marshall
- The borderline compulsive need to mentally keep track of all of my close friend’s idiolects and regional accents (“Wait, did you say mirror with one syllable or two syllables?” “JULIANA STOP”)
- My first college paper and the deservedly harsh comments and grade that made me cry
- My second college paper and the hours I put into making it (and myself) better
- This new and SUPER GREAT habit of reading (and I mean sitting down and really reading) a poem a day and all its done to expand my understanding of poetry and writing
- The knowledge that I will always have the ability to make myself okay again.