The first week back from long weekend was tough. Schoolwork was hard, crew was disappointing, and I reached a point where all I really wanted was one night at home in my own bed, with my cat purring beside me, to relax and not think about schoolwork. While I haven’t been homesick at all this year, I really missed people from home. I don’t know where you are, but it’s been raining almost nonstop for two and a half weeks here, and everyone is a little (or a lot) sick of the weather.
Just like good things, bad things also come and go. I can say with a decent amount of certainty that this point is behind me. I’m back in the groove.
Read on if you’re at all interested in the details…
A little while after my last post, I returned to campus for crew preseason. Despite the rain – do you see a theme here? – it was a lot of fun, and I loved really learning how to row. I stayed in a big room by myself, and when I was not at practice I was sleeping or eating. That said, I was not upset for it to be over so I could move back into my own dorm and return to classes.
Spring term didn’t change my schedule much, but my free period shifted, which took some getting used to. All over campus, buds appeared on trees that had been bare so long I was convinced they would stay that way. Snow fell, then melted. The sun came out once or twice (I think twice), and I even wore shorts one day.
After about three weeks of classes, I headed home for long weekend. But before I could tuck myself into my own bed, with my cat purring beside me, I got to race with varsity on the Charles. It was my first crew race (ever), and my first time even being called up to a varsity team (ever). It was really rough; I was all over the place, but I was so proud of myself and my boat.
Long weekend was much too short.
I returned a few hours early for a rainy crew practice in preparation for the race the following day. It was good to be back early and settle in. The race on Wednesday went much better than the first, but not as well as it could have. The next day, one of the girls who was out came back, so I returned to JV, where I am now.
Thus began the aforementioned very rough week.
While staring at scribbled comments on an essay for English class or my half-completed chemistry test redo and not knowing what to do, I had a lot of time to think. I thought about where I was a year ago, and where I might be a year from now, and how disappointed I was to be rowing with JV, and then how confused I was about the partial pressure of hydrogen gas in a 2L vessel at 298K, and how I couldn’t read my teacher’s comments on my essay, and how it all kind of sucked. During this time, I lost my grip on perspective.
Lamenting over a subpar race, I forgot how awesome it is that I am physically capable of rowing, that I’ve shaved over a minute of my 2k time since I started erging, and how lucky I am to be part of a well-endowed rowing program. When I was struggling to write my essay, I forgot how awesome it is that I go to this school after working toward it for three years, and how the work I’ve done this year has been miles ahead of my best work last year. I forgot that in the fall I didn’t even know what partial pressure was, and now solving for it is (read: should be) no big deal.
Perspective is everything. I try to check in with myself when I worry that I’m losing touch with it. Ate too much at dinner? You have access to delicious healthy food, and there’s always tomorrow. You had a bad practice? Your body allows you to do so much. You’re tired, and you have a lot of work to do? This stinks, certainly, but take a breather, get some rest, and wake up determined to tackle your challenges.
Last night, my school brought in bouncy carnival activity things, and though it was not as warm or sunny as I would have liked, I had a blast. Country music played through speakers draped in garbage bags (thanks to the rain), burgers (and tofu) were grilled up, and there was even a mobile brick-oven pizzeria that got rave reviews. I played badminton, found out that I am not any better than I was when I first played seven years ago, and relaxed with my friends. I have wonderful friends. I would have been happy just to sit on the patio and watch everyone else play around; the atmosphere was so reminiscent of summer I could almost taste August. When the night was over, I returned to my bed and watched old episodes of Bones. I didn’t allow myself to do any work after class yesterday, and it was so refreshing.
With four weeks left before exams, I am thrilled to be back in the groove.
…which is not to say it won’t be hard again. I’m sure it will. But with the right attitude and a healthy dose of perspective, nothing is really that bad.
P.S. This chronic nail biter has not bitten her nails in over a month! Victory!