Changing Chicken

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Something sad happened today. Something died.

Well, technically speaking, nothing actually died, but it sure felt like something died. My old university email address, to be exact. I removed it from my email client and attempted to finish syncing my UMich email, which, of course, didn’t work, because I have a MacBook and nothing is designed to work with a MacBook, though it is the most amazing computer ever.

I spent my junior and senior year as a full-time student at a lovely university. I am an overachiever from the get-go and so when I wasn’t being challenged I moved up to higher, higher education that is, so I am not especially terrified of Wolverine academics.

But that’s not the point. The point is, I had the most amazing email address at that university. Though I dabble in Gmail and Ymail and snail mail, it became my default. I used it for everything. However, now, with my new UMich uniqname (Wolverine-speak for username), it appears that I have outgrown my email address and I am now in the process of emotionally leaping from one ice floe that I called home to a new ice floe I have to make my home.

Home is a tricky concept with me. I have spent the past eighteen years more or less trying to get away from home. That’s not to say I had a bad home life. I had a pretty good home life. I’m an only child and I have a pretty good relationship with my mother.

 But being an only child can have its disadvantages. While other kids were going to the mall, I was home, because the mall was where pedophiles and rapists hung out. When I went to college junior and senior year, I had to call home every time I walked to class or left a building or walked to different buildings. Going out with friends is something I rarely do because it requires extensive coordination that frustrates the shit out of my friends, which I understand. It’s a safe bet that I am itching to leave for college, not so I can be reckless and party all night long, but so I can grab a bite to eat without calling to make sure that’s okay.

I have to find a way to make this place home while redefining my definition of home. This is not redefining home as being good instead of bad, because my home life was never bad. It was just… very boring. Therefore, I need to redefine my definition of home as including a vibrancy, an active quality. My new roost home is going to be a place where things happen besides studying. This is not to say I won’t be active around campus. My dorm is simply going to be an extension of my life on campus and also function as a respite from the hectic.

There’s also the curious conundrum that involves studying at UMich. The reason I do not, first and foremost, feel that my roost is a place for studying is not because I am not thinking towards academics. Quite the contrary. They are my number-one priority, but after spending years holed up studying, I have decided I simply will not have it any more.

I am going to become a social studier, which appears to be an actually quite prevalent phenomenon at UMich. Social studiers are people who study around other people, often times silently and just simply in the presence of other people, like at the Ugli (undergraduate library) or in the Union. I’ve never done that before. I’ve always studied alone and, I must say, it’s really boring and lonely. So, in the name of changing habits for personal benefit, I am going to make myself be a social studier, for my own mental health.

Here’s to change and changing, however frightening it is to make the change.

-Katie Poule

Mental Notes: Buy Kleenex. Finish packing for orientation. Remember camera.

One response »

  1. You have a lot to look forward to, and a lot of changing to undergo, Poule. I hope you’re ready for it. I’m nervous for you, not because I don’t have faith in you, but because I’m scared that your somehow going to start flailing and not know where to go. You’re either going to be a train wreck your first year, or it will be the most redefining moment of not only your concept of “home” but also of your “self.” And I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it’s the latter. I’d love to see a new Katie Poule.

    Love always,
    ~ Fab

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