I Survived My 1st Week Of College! (College Log: Week 1)

I feel like I haven’t written a blog in a while and God knows I need to in order to preserve my sanity. So after my two days of orientation the week before I was freaking the fuck out. I knew no one doing my course, not even anyone doing any creative media courses in my college. Those orientation days were really lonely, and if it weren’t for my friends checking up on me via both Snapchat and texts, I probably would’ve cried. I know that I need to make friends within my college and my course, but on those early days I just needed people I knew, who were my friends to tell me everything was going to be alright. Going up for my first day of orientation was also the first time I used public transport without being with my parents or with school. It was my first time seeing the college too as I never went up there for the open day. I went to the Limerick open day and I even had begun to think that maybe I would’ve been better off going to UL instead (not that I could’ve seeing as I didn’t get enough points for the course I wanted to do there). Although there was only a handful of people going there that I knew, I am way more familiar with the campus up there. My brother is currently in his 4th and final year of college (he’s only 20, and he’s delighted not be living at home all year round). He kept saying to me that I should move out and get accommodation at wherever I wanted to go to college. Well I never took his advice, mostly because I don’t think that I could handle it right now. I’ve since realized how much handier it would be if I lived in Tralee. The bus back and forth everyday isn’t the most fun thing, also not the most reliable thing. I wasn’t able to go to any freshers events, except for ones on campus. Correction, there was only one on campus. It was this bad magician that required too much set up for his mind reading tricks. Thank God I had a class so I didn’t have to stay around for the end of it. Also for clubs and societies, they’ll be on late so I have to wait until 20 to 10 for the bus.

Staying on that topic, I signed up for soccer on Thursday and trials are on Monday at 6pm. I have a pretty full timetable on a Monday so that’s going to be an extra long day for me. Also, I’m nervous I won’t make the team. Since I don’t cycle anymore, I need some sort of exercise. Not that the cycling helped but I’m going to pretend like it did. My hope is that only the number of girls needed for a full team and subs, is how many girls actually signed up. Therefore, I will have to be part of the team by default.Sign up day for societies isn’t until Wednesday so I’m not entirely sure how many I’ll join. A couple people have said that they’re just going to join loads of them just to meet new people and see what the society itself is like. For us being TV and Radio students, they suggested we join the radio society and the TV and Film society. I’m still on the fence about most societies but I know that I’m joining the radio society for sure. We were waiting outside a room for a class on Tuesday, and we met some people who were in 2nd year of our course. They were really nice to us and wanted to know all our names and encouraged us to all join the radio society, with one of them saying “we’ll take care of you” in a really creepy way. The guy that said that also said that we’ll meet the best and the only good people in the school, because apparently all the rest are dickheads according to him. Needless to say, I can’t wait to join the radio society.

Now that I’ve experienced all my classes, bar one tutorial, I’ve realized I know nothing. Well it’s not like we did any of this in secondary school. Computer class consisted of talking and playing online games, not using audio editing software like Pro Tools, no we had to learn typing. Well a quote from one of my lecturers the other day was “now I’m not testing your typing skills.” Like what the fuck! I wasted an entire year doing that, for it to amount to nothing, I could type fast enough before so it was for the most part a waste of time. We didn’t even have computer class in 6th year, it’s not like it’s a viable career or anything. I mean who needs computer skills for their career. A robot? I apparently live in 1950 and computers are non-existence. So the first class I had was Social Media Technologies. This module it has 2 lecturers. One focuses on Social Media, the other on IT skills. So this was the social media lecturer and she was teaching us how to use Google Drive. Also we will be creating a website using, WordPress as our platform!! Next we had a Sound and Digital Audio lecture. He showed us 3 videos, without telling us why he was showing them to us. I was really confused why we were watching them. Then he said talked about music being emotive, and then how our brain perceives music. The next day, first thing in the morning, I had New Media Concepts. Now we had been warned about this lecturer in advance. We must attend all his lectures and we will question our life walking out of them, because he’s so philosophical ans shit. Jesus, was his lecture intense. It didn’t help that this was the first time most of us had him and it was a 2 hour lecture. He set up a Facebook group page for our class, which consists of my course, music technology, animation, and creative writing. Some of these people are really opinionated, which is the exact opposite to me because I have no opinions on anything. I worry about how well I will do in this class. It does seem rather interesting though as we will have lectures on things like Feminism and Marxism. We then had Media Principles with probably my most boring lecturer. I mean we had our lecture in a Mac computer lab and he goes “We won’t be using the computers for this, I just want you to listen.” He wasn’t in the room for a good 15 minutes so I had logged in and it was my first time ever using a Mac. I don’t really know how I feel about it yet. We had the IT lecturer for Social Media Technologies and that 2 hour class consisted of creating folders for each of our modules for Semesters 1 and 2. I had to make an email for that too and it starts with socmed (abbreviation of Social Media), so I feel like I start telling people that I’m a med student. We had a class called Concept Development, where we will work towards branding ourselves and making logos for our brand. I keep trying to think of something to use for my brand but every name under the sun is akready fucking taken like “Walk The Line Productions” and literally any good and bad names I can think of, someone has already taken it. Then we had Learning at Third Level, which is essentially supposed to ease us into college life and help us sort out want we want our of college and our respective courses. So we did a test online about our Interpersonal Skills. I knew this wasn’t going to end well because I have the social skills of turtle. I hide away in the event of another human being acknowledging my existence. So my overall score was 44% which wasn’t too bad I guess I mean I still passed, if we’re using the Irish grading system. My listening skills scored 54%, which frankly annoyed me because I think I’m a great listener. Look I know that sometimes I can get a bit excited and interrupt but usually I’m great at listening. It told me that I don’t show enough interest in the conversation, and I need to show whoever I’m talking to that I’m actually paying attention. My emotional intelligence was only 57%, I was furious when I saw this. I like to think that I’m an expert in understanding the emotions of others, sometimes even before they do. I feel like I’m able to pick out the problem quickly enough, due to their current actions or the way thy’re speaking. It told me that I lack the ability to help myself and others to actually deal with the problem, this I couldn’t really disagree with because I know I’m not any bit helpful although I wish I could be. My verbal communication was 36% and my communicating in groups was 31%, the only surprise with these results is that they weren’t any lower. The lecturer was telling me that we really need to work on those. It’s not like I didn’t know this already, I’ve struggled with being social for longer than my course has existed (the course started 7 years ago). I had a Sound and Digital Audio practical, that lecturer was kinda weird. She’s was trying to relate by making some jokes every now and then. The jokes themselves weren’t very funny it was the way she said them, the delivery was key. She was showing us these different cables and there was on that has pins in one type and holes in the other. The one with pins was called the male, and the one with holes was called the female. The lecturer went ” Do I need to explain why that is to any of you?” We were all like no we get it and she goes “Oh you’re a very educated group aren’t ye hahaha.” She then brought us downstairs in the college to the TV Studio where she had gotten the equipment people to set up a soundboard with a microphone and they had cables and stuff in there to connect to instruments. It was really cool and she went and connected the guitar and microphone up to the speakers. There was also a keyboard and a snare drum in the room. She then left the room and let us have a free for all and play the instruments, so I went for the guitar when the guy who was playing it wanted to go look at the other instruments. I played that for a couple of minutes, it was really cool hearing it amplified. Also as we went down to the studio we met the people from 2nd year year of our course and again and when they saw we were going into the studio, they were like “Hey we never got to go into the studio in 1st year!”

My course is the biggest creative media one this year, or so I’ve heard. My course only has 12 people,Music Tech. has 10, I don’t know what Animation has, and Creative Writing has 4. Including me there is 4 girls in my course. As it’s only the beginning, I don’t know what to think of the course yet. I do like having a routine again though. I’ve had breakfast every week day this week, and I’ve been having a lunch at school. It’s good being busy, it helps some of the anxieties go away. Unfortunately, tomorrow is my least favourite day of the year and obviously it’s a Sunday so I won’t be in college. It will be full of anxiety so if I can get over tomorrow I will be happy.

Also these are the videos he showed us in the lecture that he gave no reason for.

Why Do I Fall For People So Easily?

I wasn’t going to write about this but I feel like it’s becoming a problem. So on my first day of Orientation at college, there was this campus tour guide. I think she is so beautiful, like beyond pretty. Since I first saw her I haven’t been able to stop thinking about her. Her voice, her smile, her short hair. I didn’t dwell too much on her on the 1st day because I thought to myself “oh yeah she’s probably straight, I have no chance.” However on the 2nd day, she was promoting and seems to be a member of the LGBT society. I felt like maybe now I went from having no chance with her to having a very very slight chance with her. After the talk I walked to the bus station, and while I waited for the bus I decided to declare my love for the tour guide to all my friends in a group chat. Just completely out of no where for them I start saying that I’m in love with a girl that I haven’t even talked to. Then when I got home I tried to find the tour guide’s Facebook page. To my utter dismay, I did find it and saw that she’s been dating some boy for the last couple of years. So even if she’s bi or pan or any multi-gender attraction sexuality, I have even less of a chance than I did when I thought she straight and maybe single. It’s not likely that’s she going to leave her boyfriend after being with him for this long.

While this currently seems like a big struggle, I’m pretty certain that I should get over it quickly enough. I’ve had crushes on friends before and that’s a lot worse. At least I don’t know this girl at all, I have free reign to admire her from afar. Before you start to think things, I only had big crushes on people when we were near very beginnings of friendships. Like they were brought to my attention, and due to the fact that I kept my head down I didn’t notice people all the time, I would start to notice them constantly from the moment they walked into a room to everything that they did and when they left the room. Like I never really thought about them too much at home, usually I would’ve been in their company or just after being around them, sometimes even just being near them. When I did actually become better friends with those that I had crushes on, I liked being their friend so much that thinking about them as anything else seemed so wrong and I didn’t want to tarnish the relationship that we had created. I know I’m usually really honest in these blogs, and I know you’re probably going to expect me to tell you who I had crushes on but I won’t. I don’t want anyone to feel weird about it, especially since I’m completely over them all now. I will talk about why I liked them so much though. Okay so one of these friends was really talented, I think that’s a common form of attraction for those like myself that wish they were multi talented but in reality is actually just average at a lot of things. Another friend, it was nearly everything about her. Her eyes, her flawless complexion, and the fact that she was all around just a lovely person to be around, very caring and really intelligent (the other girls were also intelligent just in a different way.) Another friend just kind of reminded me of a fictional lesbian in a TV show I watch, but that character later died just like my attraction for my friend did. The one I had the longest crush on again it was her eyes, and talent.I swear though, hand on my heart that I am over them all. Now, I just really want them to be with someone who treats them how they deserve to be treated. Someone who respects them, takes care or them, and most importantly makes them happy. I really don’t want anyone to upset them, and even though I’m only 5ft3 and not the strongest of people, I would beat up anyone who hurt them. I make this threat quite a lot, I’ve never actually hit anyone (except maybe my brother) and I know loads of people are really against violence. I feel like this is just something I say, because I really don’t think I would ever really resort to violence. I would obviously write a strongly worded letter to them about why their mother would be so disappointed with the way they played with my friends emotions and how they horribly handled the situation, whatever the situation may be. I care too much and I just really hate seeing my friends upset. It’s like how I’ve had such bad experiences with my mental illnesses that I would never want anyone, especially my friends, ever feeling as bad as I did,do, and will. Although I have no experience with actually dating relationships, I still know things. While the stuff that they say in weddings is meant to be between the two people being wed, I feel like these things should also be things we promise our friends. For example, in a video I was watching they said “I will support and comfort you, through good times and bad,” I think this should be law in any friendship. So when people say “oh I’m marrying my best friend,” this should already be obvious that you will support them.(By the way, I’ve always hated that expression, don’t know why.) Whenever my friends are with someone, I either am always asking how things are getting on and if my friend is happy, or else if I’m around them as a couple I just see them interact and I know that everything is fine. Have you ever just seen people so right for each other that you just know that they will get married, and every single thing about them as a couple is incredibly cute and you can’t imagine either of them with anyone else? Is that just me? Okay cool. I’ve been told that I’m very observant sometimes, so maybe that’s it. I’m seeing things that others might not notice.

Rekindling Old Friendships and Orientation News.

I met up the other day with an old friend of mine. We became friends in 2003, we were going into senior infants and we were both 5 (I’m older though by 27 days). We retained a very strong friendship for the next 7 and a half years or thereabouts. We kind of parted ways when we went to different secondary schools despite my countless requests for him to just dress up like a girl and put on the blue uniform and join us for the next 5 years. We never fought, nothing bad happened we just talked to each other less and less until we just stopped completely, which happened with all of those from my group of friends from primary school. So we would talk about once a year since the divide in that friend group. It would never be for long just a quick update like how we each got on in our Junior Certs, what subjects were we both picking for 5th year, and also when I challenged him to do the ice bucket challenge at the beginning of 6th year and he did it. Essentially though we hadn’t really hung out for about 4 years which is a long time when you think about it. We were at a party together in May and we were talking at the Debs and we talked a good bit at both of these but mostly just joking around not really catching up. So the other day when we met up we had to fit 4 years of catching up in a mere 6 hours. I was worried before getting there that it would be awkward, what if had changed a lot and I never noticed it because we only had small encounters. It was never us to be awkward around each though. I have never been more comfortable around anyone else like I am with him, except for maybe one person that I became friends in secondary school. I used to get in trouble in school because I was laughing too loudly at something he had said. Well the good thing is, he hasn’t really changed. His voice has gotten lower though and he is finally taller than me. I knew as a child that he would eventually one day be taller than me, so I took advantage of him being shorter than me for as long as I could. I used to ruffle his hair which he hated because he never liked people touching his hair and his hair always had to be flat down on his head, never spiked or sticking up. I also used to rest my elbow on top of his head until he pushed me off which was usually really quickly. Now this post is probably going to be mostly about him so I think I should give him a pseudonym, his name shall be Lyle although I’m sure some people know who I’m talking about. So the first we did when we met up was go into Easons, because he told me that there was a section that had almost all the youtuber books in it. We both love YouTube so we had that to talk about if nothing else. Then we went to Penneys and I realized how much better the men’s clothes are than the women’s clothes in there. I just bought a hat for winter which I already have in a different colour at home. I have bought stuff from the men’s section before but only t-shirts with cartoons and bands on it. I should start buying more stuff from there. Also it makes me feel better about my weight buying from there because obviously these clothes are designed for the male body so they account for muscles and wide shoulders and other such physical features, therefore what I lack in those features I make up for with other features. Lyle was so excited he bought this maroon woolly jumper that he had been looking at for ages that was finally back in stock, he also got a beanie and a dark t-shirt. We walked around for a while before deciding to go to the outlet centre. There we would run into some friends, always nice to see them and we were talking to them for a bit before we let them go off to Tesco while we went the other way. Lyle kept saying “If you want to go with them we can, like I’m friends with them too if you want to hang out with them.” To which I would reply that it was fine that I was with them recently and I would probably be hanging out with them again soon-ish. We proceeded to go find a place for lunch. Now the only suggestions Lyle was giving me were pizza places, which I didn’t mind. We went into one of the pizza places, ordered our lunch and then sat down for a while and talked as we waited for our pizzas to be made. We were about half way through our meal when the friends we had met in the outlet centre walked past the window of where we were eating and they waved as they walked passed. I just laughed and waved back as they passed by. Next we went to sports world and he was looking at sneakers and I was looking at football boots. From there we went on a walk around for a long time and it was nearing the time where he was supposed to leave so, we sat down at the market cross and just talked for a bit. That is until a girl that we went to primary school with came up to us and started talking to us. We both hadn’t seen her in a long time so we were talked to her for a good 15 minutes before we told her we really had to go or else Lyle would be late home, but it was mostly because we felt we had talked to her long enough. We then went and got ice cream. Now Lyle had mentioned to me that he would Snapchat at some point during the day and it was after we got ice cream that I mentioned that he didn’t snap at all and that it was almost time for him to go. So he snapped our ice creams and then is mom passed by and she was going to get some stuff from the shop, so Lyle was able to hang out for longer.

We ended up going to our old primary school because it’s on the way to his house. We walked around to the back and there has been a lot of new stuff added since we were there as kids. They have this castle thing built around the back. You can walk inside it and climb up the ladders that are in there up to a higher floor and you can slide down from up there and it’s actually really cool. Of course he just had to film we the first time I went down the slide and put the caption “still a child at heart” on it. We were up there for a while until we looked around at the other things to do. There was these car tyres in the ground. Half of the tyre was in the ground while the other half stuck out of the top. Lyle thought that you were supposed to jump from tyre to tyre. The 1st one he stood on was sturdy and hard so he leaped to the next tyre which was really flat and collapsed when he landed on it. Needless to say neither of us were expecting that to happen and he ended up falling flat on his face while I was just laughing at him. We looked into the school hall. They have an aquarium now behind the stage, which I think is unnecessary seeing as people will just pay attention to the fish and not to the principal whenever there is an assembly. While we turned away to go back to the castle, Lyle saw a ladder that scaled the side of the building. It looked like the fire escape ladder of a New York apartment. I did not approve of him going up there, but he said he really wanted to so I told him “Fine! You can go up there but if you fall it’s your own fault.” This was like deja vu of when he used to climb trees when we were younger and I couldn’t watch him up there at all, I was so nervous that he would fall. Also he was climbing up higher on the castle the last day, that also made me nervous. He did it for the sake of a snap that he didn’t even use. We then found a path that led into this tiny collection of trees, it’s like a mini forest. We were calling it “Narnia” just because. There was a couple of steps that led to a bench which we sat on for a while just talking some more, which we never stopped doing for the whole day. However, I heard some noise in the trees and Lyle thought he saw something so we both looked at each other and ran out of there really fast and back to the safety of the castle (we ran up the slide too in an effort to escape the forest quicker). There was another way to get up the castle, it was a small rock climbing wall. So there was no wall there so we sat at the edge of that area and dangled our legs off the castle and looked out over the field that’s next door to the school. It was like 7pm so the sun was still out but we were in the shade the whole time. It felt really weird. I was sitting at the back of my old primary school, just after graduating from secondary school 2 months ago, and getting ready to attend college. It was crazy to think how different life had become since we actually attended primary school. I never thought that I would ever get to really hang out with Lyle again, because we never really talked much over the secondary school years, and we were both going off to different places. So I was grateful to have had the chance to talk with him again.

I’m writing the end of this while sitting in college. It’s only my first day of Orientation and I already feel like these next 4 years are going to be very long. I just hope I actually pluck up enough courage to actually talk to someone sooner rather than later. Today we met the Student Union(SU) people and I love our SU president. We did 2 activities after they introduced themselves. First of all, they asked “Is a Jaffa Cake a biscuit or a cake?” We had to go to one side of the room if we thought it was a biscuit and the other side of the room if we thought it was a cake. I went with biscuit because there was more people there and I really didn’t want to be caught up in the debate. The answer was that a Jaffa Cake is a cake. The 2nd thing we did was the president threw an orange ball and whoever it went near/hit had to say their name and an interesting fact about them, then throw the ball to a different part of the room near other people until we had 5 names. The most interesting fact would win 2 tickets for entry into freshers week stuff. It never went near me but my fact was going to be that I was gay so maybe it’s a good thing in some sense that it didn’t go near me.

Returning To The Haunting Grounds And Recent Personal Gay Issues.

Yesterday, my friend and I decided to visit our friends who are still in secondary school. We met up with them at lunch and talked to them for a while as we hadn’t seen some of them over the summer. My physics teacher stopped to talk to me for a couple of minutes, which was basically small talk because while I did pass physics I still didn’t do great, also he wasn’t the teacher who I was really intent on seeing. I went with one of my 6th years friends into the school to look for my English teacher because I hadn’t gotten to see her since I got my results and English was the only subject I really cared about. So we went inside and luckily she was on lunch time supervision so she was in the canteen. I talked to her for a good bit, telling her that I did get enough points for my course, and that I was in visiting my 6th year friends. She asked me was I happy with my grade in English and I told her that I was happy that I got a B because I really wanted that but that I was hoping for a better grade. She too expected me to get a higher grade but I told her where I knew I went wrong because I hadn’t finished the unseen poetry, I was rushing through the studied poetry which I had a lot to write about, and my essay in paper 1 was not the best thing I’ve ever written. She was surprised because she said usually I’m a good writer. I took that as an opportunity to bring up these blog posts. I told her that I had gotten a lot of positive feedback after writing about mental illness and getting messages from people saying that they went through the same or similar things. She said to me “You must be really proud of yourself.” I sort of just smiled and looked down. She repeated it again except putting more emphasis on the must “You MUST be really proud of yourself.” She wished me the best of luck with college but called me Siobhan instead of Sandra, and then finished what she was saying. However, before she walked away I said ” By the way, my name is Sandra not Siobhan.” She seemed so annoyed with herself, she touched my arm and went “Aw fuck it, sorry about that I’ve gotten very bad, you’re nearly out the door and I called you the wrong name.” The school has undergone some changes this year. They have assigned teachers their own rooms. So the teachers just stay in the same room all day as the students have to travel between all the rooms. They have 2 classes over above the gym, a pass maths and an honours irish class. They are both important classes yet they have them above where there is P.E. classes on. They have new lockers which I think are really cool, they’re like American lockers. They have a hook inside for a coat, they can fit the schoolbag as long as it’s fairly empty and there is a shelf inside in it. They’ve made a lunch area on the stage for the Ty’s, 5th and 6th years, yet there is still people sitting on the ground and having their lunch in the corridors. The school really underestimates the space they have in that canteen.

My home life has been pretty stressful at the moment. No matter how nervous I might be about starting college, the sooner I start it the better. I just get so angry being at home these days. My parents keep badgering me about what I have to get done, have I heard from the grant crowd and other such things. I mean if I heard from the grant people I would tell them, my email inbox is very inactive I will know when an email comes in. Also more than likely we will receive a letter about it in the post so there’s nothing much that I can do about that. My parents have recently booked a holiday, and I don’t really want to go so it’s just the 2 of them. My mom said the other night though that if it all goes well that “maybe you could go next time and bring your boyfriend when you get one.” I just went like “haha yeah maybe…” and I walked out of the room, went into my bedroom, and sat on my bed quietly for about an hour. I now feel like I’m actually living in the closet and I don’t like it at all. I guess it’s about time I started getting these negative feelings about being gay, I was lucky that I got the support from my class when I came out but now I’m facing the proper reality and struggle that many gay people face. I wish I wasn’t gay. I wish I could be straight like everyone expects me to be. It would be easier if I just liked guys, but I just can’t. I can’t. I can’t. I can’t.

Yesterday, my mom brought up about how when I turn 18 I should go see the doctor and discuss contraceptives, like the pill. While I know I could be on the pill even being gay as there is benefits to it besides birth control. Either way my mom seems convinced that I’m going to get with a man when I grow up and have kids with him eventually. That’s not me. I’m not going to marry a man. I don’t want to marry a man. Why am I expected to want to marry a man? Why is everyone expected to be straight unless proven otherwise? Can’t we just be ourselves, free of expectations? I just want to be me, but that’s difficult when my parents are shoving the heterosexual lifestyle in my face. I wish someone else could just tell them for me and be there then when I face my parents. Someone that my parents trust and like, who they know is not just trying to stir up trouble. I don’t want to be alone when it happens. Maybe I should take little steps, like telling my brother first. I’m sure he’d understand and not think much of it, especially since his girlfriend of nearly a year is bisexual. I don’t know if I would immediately come out as gay to any of my family members. While I know it might be disrespectful to bisexuals and I’m sorry but I would rather come out as that 1. Because I’m still questioning my sexuality a bit and 2. My parents might be a little easier on me if there is that glimmer of hope/ possibility that I will be with a man.