Christmas was a welcome break. And by welcome, I mean I don’t know what I would have done without it. Armed with information on dropping out of college and switching programmes, I spent my Christmas researching, instead of studying as I had no idea of what the next semester would hold.
Having so much time off and it being Christmas and all, it was the time to look for a job. I was quite nervous, dying for the money not just because I wanted it, I needed it, but at the same time kind of dreading finding a job, the thought of fitting in again. And judging by how college was going, I was extremely apprehensive that any fortune would be in my favour. So, I wasn’t really dedicated to the job hunt, there were loads of jobs going at Christmas time so I thought I’d land one no problem, despite having no experience…How hard could it be?
The answer, is very. Judging by the fact I’m sitting here still penniless, almost a year later. Insert sarcastic smile here> 🙂 .
Anyway, being unemployed gave me a lot of time to think, or overthink in my case. The holidays were great, but as each day passed, the dawning of semester two loomed over me, like a shadow watching my every move, scathing my existence. I felt impossibly trapped, like a leather choker wrapped around my neck. I just didn’t see the point of going back, wasting my time and tuition fees if I wasn’t going to continue with the course, of course my parents thought differently. Obsessing over the curriculum for the next semester after seeing the word “group presentations” sent me into a panic. The thought of standing in front of that hostile environment, never mind that, I wouldn’t even have a group, who would pair up with me I had no friends whilst everyone else already belonged to their own group. Seeing everyone from college going out together on social media just confirmed everything I had been feeling and increased that sinking dread.
Did I go back? Well I think you can guess from the fact I’m sitting here writing this that yes, I went back. Under the influence of my parents, following many arguments and tears and raised voices, I went back.
But I was terrified. That first day back. I couldn’t do it. And for the first time when I say that, I actually mean it, I just couldn’t do it. Halfway through the journey from home to college I had to turn back.
It’s hard to describe the feeling when you walk into a room full of people, and you don’t know who to sit with because you have no one. I know I sound so stupid, but it was the little things, all those little things that add up into one to make your college experience. Having a month off made me forget that feeling, the one of loneliness, of feeling a little lost and dispensable. I had become de- sensitised, but that morning I just couldn’t face that feeling.
I made it in for the rest of the day, and decided after spending the first lecture that I couldn’t survive this semester by myself again. Refusing to accept their sporadic greetings, I went up to Peter and his group of Victoria, Simon and Kai, who were, at the very least surprised, and continued to walk out of the lecture with them into the small canteen at the other side of campus. It was there that we began to share our lives with each other, stories of our families, how many siblings we had, something that they as a group hadn’t even done in the 12 weeks prior to this. Although I had people to sit with, and someone to talk to, I still didn’t quite fit in. As it turns out, I never did. It was nothing they did, or nothing I did, it was just who we were and that was something I didn’t expect them to compromise on, because it certainly wasn’t something I was going to.
Although I hadn’t found myself , I wasn’t going to lose who I already was.