Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Countdown Begins

With just nine days to go until I'm off to Boston University, I'm beginning to feel the inevitable pre-transition jitters that come before every milestone.

Thankfully, I've learned to channel this nervousness into a more productive outlet: dorm shopping.

My creative, girly side has embraced coordinating duvet covers to pillowcases, posters to tapestries, and fans to alarm clocks. (Tip: plan your entire color scheme around your duvet cover, doing the reverse is simply impossible.)

If you've yet to enter this phase of life, let me tell you, there's nothing simple (or sane) about this particular process. Dorm shopping has become a commercialized market that tells you exactly what you need, for instance: extra tall bed risers, twenty drawers from the container store, a loofa that matches your shower caddy, a zebra print bean bag chair. Monogrammed stationary (because people apparently still write letters), a dry-erase board, an alarm clock with artificial intelligence, and last but not least, Extra Long Twin bed sheets –because if you end up with just Twin sized, you better go find a comfy place to sleep on the floor.

Yesterday, walking into Bed Bath & Beyond highlighted the comical nature of the process. Come to think of it, the whole experience was slightly Twilight Zone-esque. Dozens of teenagers, accompanied by their either over-caffeinated or lethargic parents, wheeled around the colossal, overwhelmingly bright store. My mother and I walked by the gourmet food section of the store (since when has linen shopping turned into grocery shopping?), grabbed an artichoke dip sampler, and finally entered the bedding section. When reaching for the same item (check: mattress foam) a similarly dressed parent-teen pair acknowledged my mother and me with a sympathetic half-smile that said "oh, you too?"

Yup, us too.

Finally, I’m that girl picking out throw pillows to make her bed feel homey, despite actually being hundreds of miles away from home.

As I stood on line for checkout and looked at the “stuff” in the cart beside me, an exciting realization entered my consciousness: all of the items in the cart are more than just “stuff” waiting to be purchased and forgotten.

They’re there to serve a purpose.

The high-functioning alarm clock will wake me up every morning before I learn about the psychology of the mind; the red canvas basket will hold textbooks filled with the history of early societies for my writing seminar; my black and white laundry baskets will hold clothes I’ll wear on nights out with new friends, memories imprinting themselves deep into the fabric; my fuzzy, plush pillow will not only look great on my bed, but will also rest my head after a long night at the library.

All of these essential dorm items will occupy my living space as I go through my college years. The years I believe Plato once called “the best time of your life.”

Or maybe it was the man whose kids I babysit for that expressed his envy of the exciting era I’m entering.

Yes, I think it was the latter.

In any case, I’m predicting the next three to four years to be great, but not necessarily the apex of my entire life. That would just be depressing. If it’s “all-downhill” afterwards, I’ll dismiss my gpa thankyouverymuch and trade studying for endless exploration, activities, concerts, and fun.

But since that’s not the case, I’m ready to buckle down and finally study. It’s been a while, and learning has never seemed so exciting.

College, I’m ready for you--

Can’t wait to meet you in September.