– The Beatles, ‘Two of Us’
APEX has just recently come to an end. After spending my spring break doing service work in Hazard, Kentucky, I set foot once again on St. Joe’s campus this past Saturday evening. I was exhausted (I still am) after getting around a collective 20 hours of sleep during the weeklong trip. My muscles were sore from tearing up boards, hammering nails, swinging a sledgehammer, and crawling under a house to fix leaky pipes. I spent my break physically drained, hyped up on coffee and sugary cereal.
And it was one of the best weeks,
– Paul McCartney, ‘Heart of the Country’
Spring break is only five days away. Last year at this time, I was thrilled over the idea of heading home, hanging out with my family, indulging in home-cooked meals, sleeping for outrageous spans of time, and watching every movie I could think of starring Jeff Goldblum.
This time last year, I was also envious of my freshman classmates who were zealously planning and packing to go on APEX. For those who don’t know, APEX is a common abbreviation for the Appalachian Experience, a program that allows St. Joe’s students to volunteer in the Appalachian region during spring break.
– The Beatles, ‘I’m Only Sleeping’
Friday night, 9:04 PM:
It is then that the cognitive dissonance sets in, filling my mind with conflicting thoughts and potential FOMO. My heart knows that I’m thoroughly craving curling up in my bed, smearing on an indulgent face mask, and reading a book or working on my writing. I want to listen to Bruce Springsteen and drink oolong tea.
I want to be alone.
But my head is screaming, “That’s not the college experience! You need to go out whenever you can and do everything!
I’m pretty far behind when it comes to Internet trends. It took me a while to become active on Facebook, and that’s where my social media interaction stopped. And believe it or not, I’m still rocking the old-school flip phone.
It’s not that I’m bad with technology, or that I’m ideologically opposed to the new age of communication. I just didn’t think it was a big deal. I didn’t think I needed to be connected any more than I was.
The shock came first when I was told that I needed to create a Twitter for my job at the campus writing center (@sjuwrites).
Let me make one thing clear:
There is NEVER a convenient time to say goodbye to your friends, pack up your belongings, and start all over at a new school. No matter what time of the year you decide to transfer, you are going to feel like an outsider when you arrive at your new destination. Having recently gone through the transfer process, I can personally attest to feeling lonely, scared, nervous, and mad at myself for leaving my comfortable life at my previous university to begin again at a new school where everything seemed so foreign.
Recognizing that the college I envisioned myself graduating from is not actually the best fit for me was a hard realization to come to.