If my math is correct, I have been at the University of Iowa for just over three weeks.
And if it’s not correct, well, I am an English major, after all…
I’ve settled into a routine already, which is just plain WEIRD to think about. I mean, when I got here – and for weeks before I left home – I kept freaking out because OMG COLLEGE. My first few days on campus were spent in a kind of daze: I can’t believe I’m really here. I can’t believe I’m in college already.
And: What the HELL am I doing here?! College? I can’t handle college!
It’s a big change. I’ve gotten lost so many times in the past few weeks. I’ve met sooooo many people and then completely forgotten their names. I’ve put my brand-new Adulting Skills to good use – time management, staying healthy, and DOING MY LAUNDRY ALL ON MY OWN. (Yay, me!)
On one of my first days here, I woke up in the middle of the night, completely disoriented. I kind of freaked out a lot? Because I was sleepy and confused and WAIT THIS ISN’T MY BEDROOM HOW DID I GET HERE OH WAIT THIS IS MY DORM ROOM. And that describes my overall experience at college, I think: A lot of freaking out and confusion in the early stages, but I’m beginning to make sense of it now.
I have a nice little routine already AND I LOVE IT. Of course, this will probably change as the semester progresses and I have more and more Big Assignments, but I’m honestly really surprised by how quickly I settled in. I felt so lonely and bored and out of place at first, but I don’t now. I LOVE COLLEGE LIFE.
So far, my days look something like this:
Waking up. First at an ungodly hour because my roommate’s first class is earlier than mine and her alarm is really shrill, and then again at a reasonable hour. So, like, 7:30 or 8.
Classes. My earliest class starts at 9:30, and my last class ends at 5:50. I love my classes. I LOVE TAKING NOTES AND RAISING MY HAND AND OMG I’M SUCH A NERD. I’m not used to having to sit still for so long,though… it feels weird to sit at a desk for an hour or more.
Studying. I have only one class on both Wednesday and Friday… and both of them are in the afternoon! PERFECT FOR LONG STUDY SESSIONS IN THE MORNING. I do as much of my homework as possible while sitting in our huge green armchair because it’s squishy and comfy and awesome… and my desk chair is not.
Exercising. I don’t do this as often as I’d like – ideally, I should make time to do this every day – but hey. I’M TRYING. It’s better to do a little than not at all, right?
FREE TIME! I don’t know how much of this I will have as we proceed further into the semester, so I’m trying to make the most of it. I usually have one to three hours per day, depending on how much homework I have and whether or not I decided to exercise that day. I use this time to blog (because writing helps me relax and also process my thoughts better), read graphic novels (because I am secretly a child and they are basically just highbrow picture books), and watch Once Upon A Time (because I’ve always wanted to live in a fairy tale). So far, this seems to be working quite well – I’ve kept this blog up to date, read one or two graphic novels per week, and watched one to three episodes per week. I love that even though I’m super busy with COLLEGE STUFF, I still have some time to do the things I love!
Sleeping. I LOVE SLEEPING. I LOVE IT EVEN MORE NOW THAT I’M IN COLLEGE. I may wake up late – well, later than my parents probably think I should – but I also go to bed at midnight because SO MUCH STUDYING. I’ve turned into quite the night owl? Wow. I feel like such a rebel for posting this at 11:54 PM.
Oh, and meals should be somewhere on that list. Hmmm. THEY ARE KIND OF IMPORTANT, AFTER ALL. But I didn’t know where to place them! I don’t eat at the same time each day, because I have one class at lunchtime and one at dinnertime – I mean, the dining hall is open pretty much all day, but I’m in class at a time when I would normally be eating, so… yeah.
What about social thingies? DO I DO SOCIAL THINGIES? OR DO I HIDE IN MY ROOM MOST OF THE TIME? Well, yes. YES TO BOTH QUESTIONS. I do hide in my room a lot, because I’m a tiny introvert who is easily startled. APPROACH WITH CAUTION. (AND ALSO WITH COOKIES.)
BUT. I’ve made friends here! I meet one of my friends for breakfast a few times a week (and it’s been good motivation to get up early, TBH). That same friend and I also have a “study group” that is, at present, composed of just the two of us, but hopefully we’ll find a few more people soon! It started as a study session for our City of Literature class, but it soon turned into “let’s just bring whatever homework we have from any class” and then we read the amusing bits out loud and giggle at them. Because that’s what good friends are for.
I have Spectrum meetings every Wednesday night AND THE SAME FRIEND GOES WITH ME BECAUSE SHE IS JUST SO AWESOME AND FRIENDLY AND QUEER. The comic book club meets every other Tuesday, and in a few weeks we’ll have our first discussion. (We’re reading the first volume of Preacher by Garth Ennis – which reminds me, I need to pick it up from the library tomorrow…) Additionally, I’m going to start canvassing for the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign soon!
Apart from that, there are scattered social thingies here and there – going to a movie with friends, hanging out in someone’s room and just talking, et cetera. I want to try an exercise class or two at the school’s wellness center, too, so soon there’ll be another activity to keep me busy.
So there you have it – my days. I’ll probably write up a formal “a day in the life” post for my freshman year of college, but in the meantime I just thought it would be fun to give you an idea of how I spend my time here at the University of Iowa!