College Breaks As A Freshman
The real, real.
NEW YORK, N.Y. -- Before I left for college, although I was (and still am) in some ways very lost, I had a lot going for me. I was the sweet high schooler who dropped by America's top local news station often, and the Traveler's Aid - JFK student volunteer who would walk into the office during his shift boldly begging for a break so he could run to the CNN satellite truck outside. I had a good group of friends and was really starting to learn who the *real* ones were... I was a cool kid, by my own right😎, full of dreams. Now I'm just *technically* an adult full of dreams. That word is almost scary: adult. Gives me the heebeejeebees.
Nonetheless, I had a system to my life. I ran breakfast-less, like a penguin across Lincoln Center from the second the train doors opened to the moment I reached my sixth floor classroom. I would catch my breath halfway into that first class and then it was on with the day. Senioritis-infected I got used to not wanting to be there, and I think my efforts to escape the walls of LaGuardia at any chance I could proved that.
So when, I finally escaped for good to Ithaca College, you would think I wouldn't return. Well, guess where I found myself on my first break? That now nostalgic run to high school. Except now, I wasn't running to get marked on-time. There's just something about old stomping grounds and I was going to see a friend still enrolled.
Then, when Thanksgiving break came I wound up going right back there...and this time getting inside the building😳. I was supposed to see a former teacher and the woman in charge of our Disney VoluntEARS Mentoring Program, which I was president of.
I was late, very late. Yes, we’re still talking about the same guy who wasn't late to but one class over the entire semester. Late is not how I roll, and never really was. But, wow — shifting gears so often is taxing. Getting ready in Brooklyn, New York looks like this,
- mom running around usually bothering me, possibly out of love or the lack thereof 🙃
- prepping for a ninety-minute commute 🙄
while getting ready at Ithaca College looks like this
- sleeping roommate 😇
- commute, what? 😌
which is a completely different experience.
Home is just not the same, OKAY and it feels a *world* of a difference from when I left it. As I described in Seeking Home, in the beginning it almost felt like a not-so-close relative's house. Yes, I'm still talking about the place I lived in for nearly 18 years. I'm 18. :)
So much has changed
The trains I rode for years now have seats that can be put up and locked to make room for more standing passengers. The new grocery store finally has its signage up. The piece of furniture I used to organize things has been taken out and replaced. (Thanks, Mom!) I now drink out of the Swell bottle I use at college instead of a glass at home. My limited time here allows me to see my city in these eyes that believe everything here is a miracle and that experience is magical.
So Much Has Stayed the same
I'm still Malick. I still visit WABC-TV. I still geek out over the planes that fly above. I still will give $5.00+ to Starbucks for a frappuccino. (They really should be cheaper💁🏾♂️.) I still am obsessed with following the day's headlines, running up to news vans, and making myself known. I still get to see friends who are here and that is always a ton of fun to both schedule and live.
Now I find myself here -- writing this very blog post, a little over two weeks into my break in-between semesters. Although my third time back home since starting college, things are still weird.
Instead of drunk and/or high friends bursting into my room at 1:00am, I hear my mom moving around at 5:30am🤦🏽♂️. Instead of being surrounded by a roommate and other familiar faces, I'm in solitude in my own bedroom which is bigger than the dorm room I share. Instead of loud music disrupting my (sometimes magical, if I do say so myself😋) thoughts, my bird, Rowen won't stop chirping! Instead of running to another dorm building for laundry (ours caught on fire...lol — wasn't me!!) I have to take an elevator to the first floor and see people who seem to miss the crap outta me (despite only being on a "hello"-basis before I left🤷🏾♂️). There is a thing for everything in each place.
To boot, social media keeps us all connected...possibly too connected. There is no real escape which is a double-edged sword.
No matter what, here...New York City...the Brooklyn grit -- it's home and it is always beyond special to be home. Two more weeks to go, and I'll be back in the college madness.
Thank you for reading.
With ❤️ and gratitude,