The college journal of Honey Walker — If found, please deliver to Casas Dulces, Magnolia Promenade.
Week One, Day Three – Freshman Year
College is tough. Dad said it would be, I knew it would be, and it is.
But somehow, when we get back to the dorm, it doesn’t seem that bad.
Even though we’ve just been together a few days, we already feel like we belong together. #teamcasusdulces – that’s us. Home Sweets, we call ourselves.
We’re always eating cupcakes, so the name fits.
I guess I didn’t realize I’d come to feel like this was home-away-from-home–or at least not so quickly. I still miss Mom and Dad, for sure, but now it’s only when I think about them, not all the time.
And I’ve hardly ever got time to think about them. I am busy.
I’ve got homework, and then I’ve got all these skills I need to build. I decided to major in performing arts, so that means by the end of freshman year, I need to have level three in piano, violin, and guitar. Because of my music aspiration, I decided to go ahead and complete level 4 violin already, but that means I haven’t even touched the other instruments! I’ve got a lot of work to do.
Plus, for general studies, I need to get to level three of either writing or fitness. I’m torn because I love both of them, but I already got a start on fitness, so I guess I’ll stick with that.
The way I’m describing it, I know it sounds like I’m complaining. I don’t mean it to. I’m not alone in this–we’ve all got this kind of load! Sure, Emma, Tatum, and Nathan, they’ve already got head starts on all their skills. But they still have to do homework.
Brandon said yesterday, “Hey. It’s not so bad. It’s kinda fun, right? I mean I’ve always wanted to read about the Industrial Revolution! I’m just sort of a revolutionary kind of guy!”
And Emma actually laughs while she does her homework.
“I can’t wait to see my teacher’s expression when she reads my answer! How long do you think it will take her to figure out that my answer is a palindrome?”
I’m starting to discover that the crazy thing about Emma is that she’s not doing this extra stuff to show off–she just does it to entertain herself. She’s sort of goofy, plus she’s so incredibly smart, so if she doesn’t fool around with her homework to make it interesting to her, she loses interest.
Me, I’m just doing my best to keep up with the bare minimum.
I keep remembering points my dad taught me.
“Stick together,” he said. “When you work hard with others, and when you’ve got each other’s back, life just goes better.”
I guess it’s true, because with five of us, even if some of us are grumpy, there’s always at least one person who feels cheerful, and that person always lifts the rest of us up.
“Don’t give up. When you feel like giving up, just dig deeper.”
Seems like I get chances to do this every day. Dad always says just do what needs to be done right then. Don’t worry about everything that needs to be done later. So I try to remember that, especially when I’m doing my homework. I try to keep my focus and not get worried about everything else I need to learn or else I find myself forgetting what I want to write.
“Keep plugging away. You know what they say about talent: it’s made of sweat and tears.”
My fingers on my left hand are so sore from the strings–the callouses haven’t really formed yet, but they will. And I no longer feel embarrassed when I play. I realize that there’s nothing shameful in being a beginner. Everybody is one once, and the only way to get better is to embrace one’s beginnerness.
Plus, now and then, I play a note that actually even sounds good.
My dad also always told me, “Wait to see who someone is before you decide about them. You never know who might be your best friend.”
It’s good advice. Everybody here is turning out to be full of surprises.
“I always figured university was about getting ahead in life,” Tatum said. “But you know what? I think it’s about the food! Seriously! This pasta is great!”
Sometimes, even though college is so hard and I’m working all the time, I have moments where I feel like I can do this. It’s hard for everybody. Everybody is working hard.
And I’ve got a lifetime of lessons from my dad that I can call up whenever I feel like quitting or just not trying.
I think, maybe, I’m better prepared for this than I thought I was. I think, maybe, I will actually be the first one in our family not only to go to college but to graduate from college.
Wouldn’t that make Dad proud!