I know, I know. I’ve updated this blog just a handful of times since August. I have no excuses, other than life got in the way. This time last year, I was two days away from leaving the US for the first time. I completely hated my major and was extremely pessimistic about what senior year of college would bring. Well, senior year has come and gone. I found new excitement for my chosen career, thanks to the best social work practicum and now job that I could never have imagined. I’ve walked across that stage and received my diploma (in 12-14 weeks, for now, I’ve got a really fancy folder that contains info about how to join the alumni association). I’ve watched my two best friends from college pack up and leave town for bigger and better things. Meanwhile, I stay here in Columbia, trying to figure out how to exist in a world without school.
That’s been the dream for years. I’ve talked forever about what I would do in a world without homework. In a world without the next paper deadline or final exam. Now, it’s here and I have no earthly idea what to do. Over the past seven years, there have only been two summers where I did not have any form of summer homework or summer classes. Even those two summers, though, I was looking ahead to reading lists and preparing for the upcoming semester. Call me a nerd or a teacher’s pet, but I always legitimately enjoyed school. Even when it stressed me out or was a dull subject, I enjoyed doing the work. My parents had me in Parents as Teachers from six months old and I started doing preschool-type classes at age three. Even before preschool, I wanted to play school and have homework assigned to me. I literally do not know how to exist without the possibility of schoolwork.
Since I walked across that stage nine days ago, I’ve been in this weird sort of shock. I go home from work every day and have nothing else to do with my time. I know the possibilities are endless. I have a whole stack of books I’ve been dying to read. I can bake random things. I have a Groupon for 10 yoga classes. I could finally learn how to play a song on my guitar. I could take up knitting. I could actually clean my room. I could do everything I have talked about doing for years. But every time I open a book or make plans to do something non-school-related, it just feels wrong. The days feel so long now. It’s like I feel lost, but not really. I have a very clear plan for things. I made random tasks for myself, but since I know there’s nothing riding on it, it just feels wrong to do it.
In time, I know, I’ll be longing for days where I have time to read for fun or find new hobbies. I know this seems like the silliest problem to have. It’s not even a problem. It’s a new reality. And I don’t know what to do with it.