Monday, June 20, 2011

Book the Second

When I finished my first year of college last year, I wrote a post about my experiences. Wide-eyed and enraptured at the virtuous expanse upon which I burst upon, merry and gleeful at living the long awaited dream, I finished the year contented.

A year, my sophomore year, has passed. I look back now upon this time and feel little else but desolation and frustration. The ones I once could barely stand to leave had now become distant. The group that gave me deep camaraderie has mutated, leaving me alone and a foul taste in my mouth. With them I once knew so well, I wonder if I had once been blind, or if the shift was in truth so sharp. My roommates, once the ones to work with me all night, retreated towards their newfound frat and left me yet more lost. The days dragged on, and darker grew the winter while I grew ever more detached. Even as I longed for belonging I lived a recluse's life, unable to leave the prison I had built (with others' help of course).

But it has not been all grim. My only solace was Varun. He remained, accepted me for all my oddities and ignored the rest that I called faults. His kindly nature was the single sign that I had not been wholly abandoned, and was my sole connection to the world that left me behind. Though I have not truly treated him as such a friend ought to be respected, it all fell in with well-meaning. For all that's left, I hope to make amends. With the spring came the glimmers of a future, a group that shared my interest in the workings of the universe. Six physics students who dreamt of paving the paths the world would later tread, pioneers of knowledge and understanding. With all the work we'd had to do, I found myself in frequent company of thinkers much like me. And then of course there were those girls, who valued me and what I said, who laughed when I made jokes and treated me as one of them, an equal, not a freak. I hope to see them all again, for I can feel my spirits rise when I am in their presence, and it becomes a chore for me to wipe a happy grin off my face.

In totality, however, the year was bleak. I spent too long alone, too long corrupted by the colder touch of my society. I lost some warmth this year, and came back more bitter for my trouble, which even my parents noted. Speak not of academics, which were fine - excepting one, my E&M, my transcript bore exclusively some type of A. It did not help, of course, that I lacked meaning in the lab at which I worked, and so grew flaky day by day. Although, I did accomplish some, but not enough. No, what lacked this year was the cream to fill the gaps, the time well spent with friends and the activity to fill my life with sport. My feelings with Dil Se degraded, and corresponding friendships demolished, and with little else to fill that void, no wonder I despaired.

I sigh with resignation, but retain a sliver of hope: This summer is a new adventure, across the seas in a new country. There I hope to live the life I lacked this year, to see some unfamiliar faces, to experience a different world. But this paradise is only there if I commit myself to living large. No retreats, no holding back. It's dorms all over again, but armed with the mistakes of two years, I pledge to make these weeks a memory I'll covet in the ages to come.
My first year post: Book the First

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


I'd like to turn over a new leaf.

I often find that I lack the mental willpower to do something like that. As the years go by and I get older and slightly more disciplined I'm better able to carry on things for longer periods of time. I remember I was young when I started wearing a watch. Now I can't leave home without it. But still, though I am rigidly organized for many things and adhere to those standards, there are other basic flaws in my routine that contradict my idealized self. Well, they say you do something for 30 days, it becomes a habit. Maybe I can try something like that.

Long years of biting down on natural confidence (which as a child often manifested itself into an unattractive arrogance) have left me with an overall poor image of myself. I was told that bragging was social suicide; the extremist that I am, I took it the other way and drilled holes in my sculpture of self, leaving me a shell... only to go to college and find that confidence is valued above all else in making connections. The only things that prevent me from dropping into full blown depression are those things that I know I can do well, such as music, photography, Photoshop, math, physics, most things academic, most things computer related that aren't programming... These are the things that form my core, that still fuel my internal fire. It's a loose thread upon which I hang.

It's a feedback loop that causes this poor self image. I don't feel like I have the friends to support me and make me whole. Therefore, I have poor self image; but poor self image certainly doesn't attract friends, leaving me even more desolate than before.

I'd like to be a nicer person (although in some ways, I'm too nice - another problem). I'd like to be more confident. And I'd like to have more self esteem. But I myself have to man up and take control. What should I do? And more importantly, do I have the willpower to do that with myself?