Things I Learned My First Semester Back

Well, folks, it’s that time of year again.  Another semester has come and gone, and you know what that means… another “Things I Learned” article!  I know you’ve been waiting all semester for this, so I won’t make you wait any longer.  Here are the things I learned my first semester back after studying abroad:

  1. It is hilarious watching 2000s kids try to figure out how to work cassette tapes.
  2. There should be a Cats marching show.  I don’t care if you think it’s stupid and has no plot, it would be boss.
  3. There are like a million different types of pillows.  There should not be that many types of pillows!
  4. No soda?  Cookie dough is not soda.
  5. Everything is an adventure.
  6. Music just requires a little dissection.
  7. “The deeper the lie, the truer the echo.” (Once Upon a Time 3.6)
  8. It’s good form not to be an asshole. (Once Upon a Time 3.10)
  9. “There’s more to life than the next fight.” (Once Upon a Time 3.10)
  10. “Do you ever wonder if a jellyfish’s soulmate is a peanut butter-fish?” -Anonymous, courtesy of Dr. E
  11. Sometimes you feel better just because you move an object from one part of the room to another.
  12. Europe gave me the confidence to go places alone.
  13. It feels like last semester didn’t even happen.
  14. The eczema I used to have probably was due to my dust allergy.
  15. Sometimes I randomly become a little sad because I am not abroad anymore.
  16. Knowledge isn’t always power; sometimes, it’s pain.
  17. Far too often we come to the church as slaves (to our religion), and not as the friends we’re intended to be.
  18. I hate the key of A Major.
  19. Overstrictness is a known cause for depression and anxiety.
  20. Bambi is an adult movie.
  21. Burr stops waiting at the same moment that Hamilton throws away his shot.
  22. Never forget Neal. #illbethereforyou
  23. I only want to wear sweatpants when I have the autonomy to choose to do so.
  24. The implications of gaining two cup sizes if pregnant are terrifying.
  25. I do not put things away because then I cannot find them.
  26. I have grown brave.
  27. Big fish forget they are big fish if they spend too much time swimming in a sea filled with only big fish. -Ryan Pierce
  28. Luther makes Norse bandaids.
  29. “My brain has too many tabs open.” -Anonymous
  30. Quote of the semester: “That speaks to me on a spiritual level.”
  31. “Because of ‘Dixit‘ now I’m stronger!” she sang to the tune of Kelly Clarkson’s “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)” when she kicked “Nyon Nyon” by Jake Runestad’s butt in a way that she wouldn’t have if she hadn’t learned the “Dixit.”
  32. You know it’s a bad night when it ranks up there with London ER night.
  33. I never thought I’d miss London this much.
  34. “Pumpkin spice is perfect for when you’re in the mood to drink a candle.” -99.1 the Mix
  35. Pretzels and M&M’s are my jam.
  36. This whole new astrological sign thing, possibly being a Gemini instead of a Cancer, is giving me a huge identity crisis.
  37. Europe opened me up.
  38. The key to happiness is appreciating the little happinesses now instead of always waiting for the big ones to come later.
  39. I do not understand true college town party culture.
  40. If something vaguely says “documentation,” it’s probably referring to your dog’s license.
  41. “If your significant other is mad at you, put a cape on them and say ‘now you’re super mad!’  If they laugh, marry them.” -Anonymous, courtesy of Sleepy Panda
  42. Both my roommate and I have the same middle name as Rory Gilmore.
  43. Read Hamilton the Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeremy McCarter.  Just do it.
  44. November 9, 2016 or the day that the empath inside me nearly died from overstimulation.
  45. Necessity provokes adaptability you didn’t know you possessed.
  46. A new appreciation for understudies.
  47. “History is entirely created by the person who tells the story” (page 33, Hamilton the Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeremy McCarter).
  48. I really don’t understand the point of the electoral college.
  49. “If you want the rainbow, you have to put up with the rain.” -Dolly Parton
  50. Season 2 of Gilmore Girls: I hate Jess because I’ve been Dean.
  51. God bless grilled cheese.
  52. Sometimes my heart aches because I miss the girl that I was in Europe and it feels like some of her was lost when I crossed back over the ocean.
  53. How I cope with things?  In the most “Hamilton” way possible: “I’ll write my way out.”
  54. I cannot imagine being an American abroad on 11/9/2016.
  55. Avoidance is the best motivator.
  56. November is always my worst month.
  57. Looking at my pictures from last semester when I was abroad is like ripping out my heart with nostalgia.
  58. I fall for voices.
  59. Humor is my shield.
  60. Trying to avoid someone almost inevitably is a good way to run into them all the time.
  61. How I Met Your Mother is basically the late 2000s/early 2010s version of Friends.
  62. I hate the grab ‘n go line.
  63. God bless LMM for watching Gilmore Girls.
  64. American coffee has nothing on Italian coffee, but like any Lorelai Gilmore wannabe, I need it in my life.
  65. Orange cats have very thick skin.
  66. All of Manu Chao’s songs sound exactly the same.
  67. “Any dog that is under 25 pounds is a cat, and cats are useless.” -Ron Swanson, courtesy of Daniel Suhr
  68. Please, for the love of all that is good in the world, stop saying “like” in the middle of your Spanish sentences.
  69. I like the idea that art talks to each other- that poems, for example, often subconsciously and sometimes- and this is the magic- consciously, talk to one another.  It’s like they have lives that are all their own.
  70. I wish I knew the words for “authorized heritage discourse” and “subaltern discourse” in Spanish.  Thanks Prof. Kennedy for never letting me unsee that.
  71. Hearing Pablo Neruda read poetry is a new and unusual form of torture.
  72. As the author of “Ode to Pancakes,” I am basically the next Pablo Neruda.
  73. “Martes 13, ni te cases, ni te embarques, ni de tu familia te partes.” -Spanish refrain
  74. When you’re feeling bad, listen to boleros.  The lyrics will make you laugh and feel better about yourself.
  75. Cell biology sounds made up.
  76. Outlines are life.
  77. The joy of watching a squirrel run through the snow.
  78. Perfectionism sucks the joy out of a job well-done.
  79. Some classes just kick your asses.
  80. There is nothing like ending the semester with takeout Don Jose’s and binge watching Gilmore Girls on Netflix with your roomie.
  81. “Classic manoever.”

It’s been a good semester, but now it’s time to rest and gear up for the next step in the journey.  As Dr. Last would say, “Onward!”


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