Thursday, June 5, 2008


It's beginning to sink in more and more:

I really, really can't wait to move back to the dorm.

I love my apartment, of course, and living here definitely has its benefits. My roommate is the most wonderful person in the world and it's going to be very hard to not live with her next year.

But I have so many good memories of dorm life. Even from the very beginning of freshman year, when I didn't know anyone and kind of had to carve out a niche for myself. This fall, I'll already have a niche of sorts--I'll be the RA. That's another thing entirely to be excited about. I can't wait to get to know all the people on my floor and on my staff. I can't wait to decorate a dorm room again and actually be able to buy food when I need to (living off-campus without a car sucks balls, by the way) and live with a bunch of people instead of just one or two others (however awesome the one or two may be). I'm already starting to online-browse-shop for things with which to decorate my roomS. Yeah, plural. Ashton RAs get a bedroom and a sort of living-room. With a COUCH. I am totally excited about having a couch. Dude. Freshman year, Jill brought the couch out to the lounge, and it was the best thing EVER to sleep on. I have yet to decide if I'll bring my couch out to the lounge. I kind of want it in my room. Maybe right by the window, so it can be sort of like a window seat. I think I'm going to make my "living room" very open to my residents. Not, like, a free-for-all second lounge, but kind of like "hey, if my door's open, come on in. There's Scrabble and Trivial Pursuit and a deck of cards on the table." But probably not until halfway or so through the semester. If I have a crazy party floor, I don't want those motherfuckers near my Scrabble board.

I don't want to be the Mystery RA that no one ever sees. Of course, I don't want to totally relinquish all authority by being best friends with all my residents. I kind of want to be a fusion of the two RAs I had the past couple years. My first RA was more of a friend than an authority figure, although she did sort of yell at us for having cake fights in the lounge. By the end of the year, I was really close to her, but pretty much nobody on the floor saw her as an authority figure. Much drama ensued. Last year, my RA was a nice person, friendly, but she definitely had her own separate life that did NOT include RA duties like "getting to know your residents." She was definitely there for us during, um, crises, and she did nice things for us and was awesome at planning programs, but I didn't feel like I really knew her as a person. Made it hard for me to really go to her for advice on anything (fortunately, I was/am still friends with RA #1, so I'd call her if I needed sage advice from someone older and wiser). I want to fulfill RA duties like planning programs, enforcing policies, allowing no shenanigans, etc...but I also want to get to know my residents and be able to hang out with them and have fun.

In other news, I think I have perfectionist tendencies.

That definitely relates to being an RA. I want to be, like, the poster child for RPS, I guess. I want to be the best RA EVAR. I want to make my residents' freshman year(s) the kind of year that makes them not want to leave school for the summer.

The perfectionism thing also relates to my schoolwork. The other day I caught myself talking with Maren (sociology teacher) about what I could possibly have done wrong in order to get a 96% on my exam. OH NOES! a 96! Which is STILL AN A! But it wasn't as high as my last grade, which was an A-PLUS! Bloody hell. Halfway through that conversation I realized...wait...shit. This is getting out of hand. That, and Maren had made mathematical errors and I'd actually gotten a 98%. Thank God. I was in danger of failing college.

I think last semester went to my head. My GPA last semester was 3.93. My sole A- was in an honors literature class, and I'm terrible at literary analysis. So I was kind of proud of myself. Like, a lot. And now I'm freaking the fuck out, trying to get perfect grades in both of my classes this term. Granted, it will be nice to go into my senior year with a higher cumulative GPA, and maybe a burst of perfectionism toward the end of my undergrad career will make it easier to get into grad school. But A counts the same as an A+, and neither is a particularly terrible grade, you know? And as Kate pointed out to me, you know, people are able to value you for things other than academic performance. HOLY SHIT, REALLY?! I mean, I'd never thought that through to that extent, but really, let's diagram this (in text because I'm useless with Excel):

Preschool/kindergarten. Bored out of my skull in school and pretty much coasted. Didn't have much of a concept of self-worth yet, but people tell me I was a happy child.

1st-3rd grade. More or less got straight As. Every time I missed a spelling word on a test I'd spend the whole day in tears and dread telling my parents, but generally I was kind of the teacher's pet. Probably could've skipped one of these grades. I still didn't have much of a concept of self-worth, but I definitely remember being happy, and I don't remember thinking anything bad about myself at this point.

4th-6th grade. Still got mostly As, with the occasional B in my advanced reading class. I was still a crazy perfectionist, and many battles were fought at home over that one class. Apparently, because I was getting a B, this meant I was slacking off and underachieving and blah blah blah. This is when I started getting depressed and withdrawn. Not too severely, but it was beginning.

7th-8th grade. Crashed and burned, epic fail. I still had a couple As, a B or two, but I was way confused in my math and science classes, which resulted in Ds and Fs. Cs in geography. I won't go into my parents' response right now because it's not something I like to remember, but these years were when I was depressed, suicidal, thought I was a worthless jerk from hell, etc. Yay.

9th-11th grade. Getting better. My grades were basically As and Bs with the occasional C in high school (I think my whole transcript had maybe 2 or 3 Cs on it). Also, I started feeling better about myself. Not entirely, of course, but I didn't hate myself and want to die anymore. I started to kinda like life.

12th grade. Burst of perfectionism. Didn't get straight As, but I tried my damndest and I knew it.
Hardly slept that year. Still felt pretty good about myself, though.

Freshman yr of college: Grades fluctuated. Nothing below a B, but I was still unsatisfied with that. I was happy, but I lived in constant fear of Not Being In School. Different story. Confusing.

Sophomore yr: Grades same as freshman yr, basically. Emotional state also the same...basically I was glad that it was not summer. Failing all my classes would've made me happier than that summer did.

Junior yr: I've been pretty happy with myself this year. I have my typical Moments, but in general I think I'm a fairly smart, competent, intellectually sound young adult. I made the Dean's List both semesters.

'Course, it's just a correlation.

Fucking balls, my hand hurts and I still have to write a paper for the most irritating professor since Sarah Sinwell. DOCTOR Sinwell was easier to listen to than Ann Carmichael, though. Carmichael can't get through a sentence without saying "um, uh, um" about twelve times. And she's impossible to reason with. And she tends to dismiss everything everyone says, and then she'll say it herself in this tone that's like "Listen To Me! I Can Teach You Things! Underlings!" I won't hold it against her that she's slightly incompetent with technology, but it gets annoying.

Anyway, I have to write a paper for her. Yay.

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