Admittedly, starting this whole process is really anxiety-inducing. I'm worried that I'm walking in to a world where I'll just end up being weeded out and burdened with a lot of debt. I am very tempted to bypass this opportunity and look for a full-time job, but I have to try. This is a really exciting one-time opportunity.
For a couple of weeks my parents and I worked hard to clear out some space at their place for me to move into. And despite my whimpering about feeling like a burden and yargity blagh - the entire time they were reassuring, sweet, encouraging, and even excited about it.
And, after a few days of beating my irrationality with a stick, I got excited about it, too. Especially the 30-40 minutes morning bicycle rides with my dad. It's also a super spiffy study environment, away from the too-easy-to-run-amok lure of downtown. And my parents are the greatest roommates on the planet. And our family dog, Gany, is way into my being here.
Yesterday we moved my kitties in, which has sealed the feels-like-home deal for me. And they're already loving it here, too.
Last night, as I was setting up the final touches in my room, my mom screamed out from the front room, "Dinner!!!" -- ooo! perk! -- which I gobbled up, thanked her for, then cleaned the dishes. After about 45 minutes later she hollered again, "Popcorn balls!!!", which are these adorable little vegan caramel popcorn balls thangmabops.
I ate three, thanked her, cleaned the pans, then got prepared for bed - brushed my teeth, picked my school outfit and hung it up by my bed, filled up my backpack, checked the fridge to... ... discover my laptop lunch box. My mom immediately screamed from the other room, "Don't look in there! It's a surprise!"
Omg. After 10 years of enduring the relentless wrath of empty nest syndrome, my mom is clearly excited that I'm back. I get dinner. Popcorn balls. A lunch packed for me. My clothing thrown in the dryer when I'd forgotten it in the washer.
I then set my alarm for 6:30 and went to bed by 10.
Alarm went off. Woke up. Rinsed my face. Brushed teeth. Put on my school outfit consisting of a button-up and thin-as-hell Underworks shorts, sneakers, cap. Packed my mystery lunch then sneaked out to the bus stop.
And received a call.
I answered, "Yes?"
"You didn't say goodbye!"
"I didn't want to wake you."
"Well, I'm up for a minute. Say goodbye before you go!"
Haha. I told her I would, then she said, "Have a great day at school!"
My first day of class were great. First thing I noticed? Transferring from a community college to a private college ='s really soft and comfortable classroom chairs and fancy equipment. For instance, when a teacher wanted to have a powerpoint presentation or video in class at the community college, it was always a grueling ordeal. The professor would have to contact IT in advance, who would eventually wheel in a small, dusty television. Then it would take about 15 minutes to get the professor's laptop setup or the video stuff working. And after all of this time and effort, most of the time it wouldn't work in the end.
Here at the private college? My psychology professor had a powerpoint presentation just for the syllabus - on a screen that was setup in the wall. Wow. And she has us post our assignments online. And creates powerpoints for us to review and/or download before class. The future is here!
She also passed around an attendance sheet that I signed, "Dexter Thomas.", avoiding any fear that my name change hadn't been updated yet throughout the school's system.
Then around lunch time, my stomach grumbling, I couldn't resist any longer and opened up my lunch... to discover this:
A tofurky and cheeze sandwich, celery sticks, banana, and little gelatin-free gummy bunnies.
This poor quality camera phone doesn't give my lunch justice.
It's so cute. I opened my lunch in front of my friend, Gina, who commented, "I can't believe there isn't a note in there. Something like 'Have fun on your first day of class!'" -- and who later admitted that she was jealous and wished she had pre-made mom lunches, too.
Thing is, it actually is exciting not knowing what my lunch is going to be. It's hard to explain why it's so exciting, but it is. Like opening a present - and then devouring it whole.
After lunch I had my second class of the day - where the teacher called role. And it was terrifying. My heart started to race in my chest, worrying that my name hadn't been updated on his roster and he'd call out my previous name in front of the entire class. In anticipation, I'd resolved that if he did call out my old name, I'd deal with it. After all of that inner-terror build up, he called out, "Dexter!" Whew!
I'm so relieved that I had my name legally changed. I hadn't anticipated that it would become such a big deal to me, but it has - and I feel a lot more comfortable and safer because of it.
Did I mention that I'm really excited to be back in school?