Things I Learned Over J-Term

J-term isn’t a thing that exists at every school.  Plenty of my friends got to stay at home on break from the middle of December through most of January.  But starting the first Monday of January, I was back at that grindstone.  Okay, it wasn’t actually that bad.  I took a super fun opera class, but even so, I was in school while a lot of my friends who go to public, state schools were at home (probably twiddling their fingers with boredom and wanting to pull out their hair because their parents were sufficiently driving them nuts, but hey).  I guess that’s what I get for going to a private, liberal arts college… but all joking and jabbing aside, I learned a lot.  And you guessed it, here’s another list:

  1. It’s nice to be back “home.”  School-home, that is.  Even though it will never take the place of your home-home where you grew up, campus is starting to feel like a real home too, and you were missing being there even if you weren’t ready to get back to work.  Besides, your parents were starting to drive you nuts.  You love them, but they gotta lay off.
  2. Seriously get over the hat hair.  It’s flipping freezing, and you’d look worse if you lost an ear to frostbite than you do because you have hat hair.
  3. You have way more time than what you know to do with.  Do those random odds-and-ends that you’ve always wanted to do but never had the chance to (like reread the Harry Potter series for the fifth time).  This is one of the only times you’ll have so little class time and so little homework that you’ll still have that freedom.
  4. If you made a Venn diagram of all of the things that you should do over J-term (like start a proper work-out schedule) because you have the time and the things that you are actually doing over J-term, less might intersect than you would like.
  5. If one (or more) of your roommates is temporarily gone because they’re doing J-term somewhere else (like, I don’t know, touring Vienna with the school orchestra), it feels weird not having them there.  And you know that as soon as you get used to them not being there, they’ll come back.
  6. Kerry Ellis is going to be playing Grizabella in Cats in London!  I know that has nothing to do with J-term, but I found out over J-term and I am stoked!  I love love love Kerry Ellis; I think she’s phenomenal, and I was that weird child who loved Cats so much as a child that she’d dance around the living room singing “Jellicle Cats come out tonight,” much to the chagrin of her cousins.  Plus, she’s played three of my dream roles: Elphaba in Wicked, Fantine in Les Misérables (which I’ve already played as well!), and come February, Grizabella in Cats.  Here is just a sample of her awesomeness:
  7. Even though I probably shouldn’t take a nap (or two) every day because I know it’ll screw me up come spring term, I’m going to do it anyway.  Because I can.
  8. Leftover Christmas cookies.  And cheeseballs.  That is all.
  9. You should make a “nest” in your bed to hang out in during those endless extra hours you have.  You can do pretty much everything from there: binge-watch Netflix, take Buzzfeed quizzes, scroll endlessly through Facebook (why isn’t there anything new yet?!)…
  10. You need a coloring book.  Or two.
  11. J-term naps give you weird dreams.
  12. It’s pretty much impossible to sing opera without feeling or emotion.
  13. The song “When Will My Life Begin” from Tangled actually describes J-Term.
  14. You’re going to forget things from time to time.  Like that quiz today.  Own it.
  15. Don’t judge what you don’t know.  What looks like one thing on the surface could actually be something completely different if you knew all of the details.
  16. You realize that you care so much less about what people think about you than you did while in high school.  Their opinions don’t matter; at the end of the day, two people need to be happy with you: you and God.
  17. College students are basically overgrown kindergarteners who are now allowed to manage their own sugar and nap time.
  18. I should probably stop cutting my hair in a bob if I ever want to be a professional opera singer.
  19. The shower is not just the best place to think, but also the best place to sing.  Not only do you get really awesome acoustics, but the hot water is relaxing, the steam is good for your throat and vocal cords, and you sing better when you’re not thinking about what you’re doing and you think no one is listening.
  20. Don’t put your phone on vibrate if you take it in the nest.
  21. Sometimes it’s nice to be noticed by someone in a friendly, affectionate way even if you’re not romantically interested in them just because it feels good to be noticed, appreciated, and liked.
  22. It isn’t really a crush unless you hate yourself a little bit for it.
  23. Singing breakthrough: I slouch because standing up straight exposes the solar plexus which is an emotional center of the body, housing a lot of emotional tension.
  24. Sometimes, you just need to let out a good belch.  Right in the middle of practicing.
  25. You know you’ve found good roommates when they don’t judge you for: all of your stuff being strewn over your side of the room, not leaving your bed for hours at a time and instead just hoarding anything and everything you could possibly need to keep yourself busy in it, and belching or farting in front of them.
  26. Don’t eat before you practice.  You’ll feel your stomach churn, and your abs will hurt even more than normal (from just using good breath support, I mean).
  27. Often it’s not about us liking the other person, so much as it’s the fact that we like that they like us.  Everyone wants to be liked, and it’s hard to not want that.
  28. An “even playing field” is three girls and six guys.
  29. You’ve watched too much Jenna Marbles when you accidentally start talking in her voice.  (“Can you say, ‘Please subscribe to our channel, we make new videos every Wednesday’?”)
  30. One of the hardest things about being a writer is trusting your readers to figure out what you mean without spelling it out for them.
  31. There is a difference between girls and women.  And when you’re a woman in a sea of girls, and there’s only boys for miles, you’ve just got to wait it out.  Someday your man will come.
  32. Sometimes your schedule won’t work out as perfectly as you would like it to, but you just have to grin and bear it, realizing that it could be so much worse.
  33. Brushing your teeth in the shower saves you time in the morning.
  34. Winter boots are for more than just walking in the snow; they are also good for propping the door open when you want to leave your room but don’t want to take your keys and for throwing at your roommate when her alarm doesn’t go off in the morning and you know she needs to get to class.
  35. Every day feels like a Friday.  Which is awesome because J-term is super relaxing, but the trade-off is that Fridays don’t really feel all that special anymore which kind of blows.
  36. What hurts the most about not having a significant other is realizing that you have so much love to give but no one to give it to.
  37. You know you have a good relationship with your roommates and that they have good significant others when you’re able to comfortably hang out with their S.O.s even when they’re not around.
  38. Being misunderstood leads you to be a very honest, if not blunt, person.  You’d rather tell people straight up so that they hear the truth from you than let them manufacture things on their own.
  39. Being alone in a room that you usually share with two others for an entire weekend is kind of nice, but really weird and lonely.  I can’t imagine going home to my own apartment every night and knowing that there will never be anyone there.  It’s so lonely; I need people!
  40. All of the weird stuff about being a “freshman” when you’re in high school is non-existent in college.  I mean, it’s a big deal to go to college, but the fact that you’re a “freshman” isn’t a big deal.
  41. That realization as you’re having a Back to the Future marathon with the guys that it’s 2015.  As in the year that Marty goes into the future.  Weird…
  42. The Spirit isn’t going to move you unless you’re willing to let it in.
  43. When music moves through you, it’s the most beautiful thing.  There is almost nothing sexier than a man playing a piano with his heart and soul.
  44. Sometimes you just have to meet a nice guy who does nothing but restores your faith in humanity.
  45. If you don’t do anything to make yourself look good, to make yourself feel good, how can you ever expect to look in the mirror and feel good about yourself?  You have to try, even if it’s just for you.  Especially if it’s just to you.
  46. If you feel something prodding you in some direction- Fate, the Universe, the Spirit- you need to listen to it.  It’s usually more right than you are.
  47. Spring semester is going to hit me in the face.



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