Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Life Update: I Survived My First Year of College!

I recently got home from my first year of college (still feels really weird to say that). And I enjoyed it. I had some trouble adjusting to things (roommates, homesickness, anxiety, etc.), but for the most part, it was a great experience. And I know I made the right choice for me. I found a college with an amazing community (I especially love the English and Women's Studies departments, which is handy, since I'm majoring and minoring in those, respectively). I made friends, I got jobs, and I managed my courseload well.

The one thing I didn't do too much of this year? Reading. I mean, I am an English major, so I did a lot of reading, don't get me wrong, but it wasn't reading just to read.

I know I'm not done with reading--I've read many, many books since I've been home--but I think I'm making peace with the fact that my reading habits have changed and will continue changing over the next few years.

The first big change this year was the amount of books at my disposal. Those dorm rooms are tiny. There's not much room for the three bookshelves I have in my room at home (I know, I know). So I had to choose my books, back in August. And I switched them out at breaks, for sure, but still, it was a smaller selection, and how did I know in August what I'd be in the mood to read in October?

One of my biggest regrets from this year is not going to the public library more. I got a library card on my first visit, of course, but I have never used it. I was just so busy that I could never guarantee when I was going to be able to get downtown to return anything, so I didn't risk it. Next year, I am scheduling time for the library. And, aside from the fact that I love libraries, this will help with the variety of books I have at any given time.

Another big change for me is my reading taste. I have never been a huge nonfiction fan, but now I guess I sort of am? It started with a few celebrity memoirs, then I dove in headfirst with the multitude of feminist nonfiction I've been recommended in the past year. Just this summer so far, I've read Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Irin Carmon, How to Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran, Sex Object by Jessica Valenti, and We Were Feminists Once: From Riot Grrrl to CoverGirl, the Buying and Selling of a Political Movement by Andi Zeisler.

And of course I still love fiction--I've also read heaps of that since I've been home--but I'm definitely spending some more time in the nonfiction area of the library these days (it helps that all of these books recommend other books, and thus the TBR grows).

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I've changed over the past year. How could I not? I still love reading, and no matter how many books I read in a given time period or what sort of books they are will not change that. I had a few moments this year when I thought I was losing part of myself because I wasn't reading as much as I normally did. But I have to be able to give myself a break. Everything else about my life changed this year, why was I expecting this to stay the same?

That being said, I have jumped back into reading this summer and I have loved it. I'm working on the balance between reading and school and work and life, and I'll keep you updated.

If you made it this far, you've read what basically turned into a journal entry for me... but I think my blog will also be changing as a result of the reading changes. Stay tuned!

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