Just Checking In

Hello everyone and anyone that cares to follow along here. I’ve survived one full month as a graduate assistant here at Hollins University. For those of you that don’t know, I work here year-round in Student Activities office to help out with my MFA in the Children’s Literature department. I have a quaint apartment on campus all to myself, and I must say, it’s kind of nice being on my own. It’s been some time since I’ve had some solitude, and I’ve forgotten how much I’ve missed it.

When I first moved here, I was so afraid of living alone and having to start over. For me, it’s a lot of work to meet people and get connected in a certain place, but over time, I’ve found friends on and off-campus, and I’ve even managed to plug into a local church. I’ve taken the time to appreciate where I am, in the middle of a valley in the Blue Ridge, and I really enjoy being here down south. One early morning last week as I was driving, I looked out my window, surrounded by the outline of the mountains, listening to a great Alt station I found, and was filled with a deep sense of pride in myself for cultivating this sort of new stage in life. It’s not easy to move on and do something new, at least not for me, but here I am. I’m proud of myself for that.

Earlier tonight, I talked to a Photo Booth vendor helping us out with a theme night my office does in the dining hall on Fridays. She was telling me how she recently graduated high school and is now currently stuck in this inbetween moment of her life where she’s not sure what she wants to do with her future. I told her it’s hard to decide what you want to do, especially if you’re not sure what it is you love yet. But then I offered her a piece of advice my dad gave me. Try stuff. Do things. Sure, those are vague statements, but I believe they hold a great amount of meaning. You won’t know what you do or don’t like until you try it. You won’t meet people by sitting on the couch each night, and you certainly won’t get anywhere if you aren’t willing to do some exploring.

Sure, I miss home, and even being here on a college campus makes me miss my undergraduate friends and career, but I often take a step back to run through a few reminders. I’m here studying what I love and I’m trying new things. I’m meeting people, and it’s not as difficult as the introvert in me initially thought it would be. On a more comical side note, when I introduce myself, most people here take an interest in my last name. It is a smaller town, and I guess there aren’t that many Italians, at least that’s what my dad suggested.

So here’s to continuing this year with more surprises and wonder. Each day is a blessing in itself, so I’ll look forward to making the best of them.