Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Swagger of a College Kid.

It's been the week of midterms for me. Last one tomorrow.
And instead of stress, I'm feeling nostalgic.

There's just something about schlepping to the library that I love. I totally go out of my way to appear studious with my contacts out and glasses on, over sized sweaters and hair piled into a messy bun on the top of my head. 
I head for a table meant for four to five people and claim the whole thing by sprawling my stuff across it: highlighters, water bottle, laptop, charger, cell phone, notebook, newspapers, 3X5 notecards, books, Pride and Prejudice soundtrack, pens, snacks, coffee...whatever it takes to immerse in a subject.
My ideas and imagery of what college would be like came from watching sweater-clad Keri Russell study for finals and navigate New York City in Felicity. I was in middle school at the time, but now, with three months left, I don't think I've ever shaken that ideal: here I am writing a 20-page paper at the library and drinking my third cup of coffee, the definitive college student. 

Most of the time, I'm really ready to graduate.
(I'm reading Ralph Waldo Emerson's Self Reliance and am so excited to just "get out there!" and "do stuff!")
Until I realize time is running out on the things I love to hate, like living with 83 other girls or studying all night in the creepy, antiquated, eerie silence of the Great Reading Room. 
I plan to enjoy these undergrad-specific things to the fullest in the coming months - knowing full well they're beautiful because of their time limit.
But it's hard not to shake the feeling that these are things I've come to define myself by.

Recently - as in, I was informed of this only two days ago - my Dad moved from his job as an attorney at a private law firm to an attorney employed by the Oklahoma government. 
And while this job is a much better fit for him and I've always known he was dying to make the change, it still threw me for a loop.
I realized how much I had defined my Dad by his daily suits and ties and the black glass building in downtown Oklahoma City housing his office with the free Coke machine that requires a long elevator ride up to get to and a secretary's greeting at the front.

Good thing I saw Confessions of a Shop-a-holic amidst an economic crisis. Moral of the story: it's important not let the external define you. Gucci purses, business suits and nerd glasses included.

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