This post brought to you by my inability to sleep on my red-eye flight to Atlanta, the first leg in my frustratingly long journey back to Ithaca to start my second semester of college.
I’ve done a fair amount of traveling in the past 24 hours, so I’m already over it. I was impatient on the road back from Seattle; I found myself inching the cruise control up to 75, 76, 77 mph as I raced home, eager to be in Portland again rather than the hours of I-5 in between.
That being said, I would’ve liked to have spent more time in Seattle. Heidi and I spent long hours knitting and watching bad movies on Netflix (reviews to come) while doing some much needed
In addition to the usual lounging in Heidi’s basement, we also went on two college tours to University of Washington and University of Puget Sound. Heidi is a junior in high school, so she’s starting to navigate the college process, and who better to help her than a college student? And, for that matter, a well-versed college student; UW and UPS marked my 19th and 20th college tours respectively.
Having now been at college for a semester, it was strange for me to return to the college search process. Seeing the two schools definitely reaffirmed my own college decision.
I felt remarkably uncomfortable at UW because the campus sprawls so much land and the constant stream of up to 70,000 people (undergrads, grad students, and professors) overwhelmed me. In contrast, UPS felt more personal and community-oriented, which was the vibe that drew me ultimately to Ithaca College.
Interestingly, UPS was uncomfortable to me too, although for two completely different reasons. First, our tour guide took the group to see a typical dorm room on campus. He unlocked the door and we all stepped inside. I glanced over at the display of pictures on the wall and saw some familiar faces staring back at me. Of all the rooms on campus to visit, this one belonged to one of my high school classmates. I never knew her that well, although we were compañeras in Spanish class for a month or two.
Suddenly I felt like an intruder. Being in someone else’s room isn’t weird when you don’t know them and it’s like looking at a catalog, but here I was, nothing more than an acquaintance, observing her rugs and matching duvet cover. A little too much for me to handle.
Later, Heidi and I went to the student center to get lunch. Confused about where to go, we entered their knockoff Starbucks. With my eyes on the pastries, I explained “so we’re looking for like…real food…”
“Is that you, Sabina?”
I looked up. “Becca?”
“Oh my god! What are you doing here?”
“Heidi and I are doing a campus tour.”
Becca is from my town, but she went to camp with Heidi and me for three years. We used to be really close, but we had a falling out right after sophomore year and haven’t really talked since then.
She asked where I went to school and told me a bit about her experiences with people we both know at UPS. Luckily it didn’t feel forced or awkward, even though it most definitely had the potential to. I got a bit of nostalgia for the past, but it passed as we said our friendly goodbyes.
While the sheer size of UW made me squirm, UPS was just too strangely intertwined with my past and I couldn’t relax. This also validated my choice of college; only other one person from my high school has ever attended IC, and I’ve never even seen him on campus.
What I love about Ithaca College is that I have the freedom to leave my past behind me entirely, which, in the end, makes my frustratingly long travel days worth it.