I’m sitting in the student union in the balcony around the rotunda. I’m in the perfect spot to be a passive observer to the social interactions and other things happening below me. I am not an active participant, only an observer. I am sitting above the activity trying to focus on academic work (that focus I believe was lost a while ago). I find myself being very sad and a bit reflective on things. I’m watching all these students enjoy the party-like atmosphere that happens during a Union takeover, but I’m not involved, I wouldn’t know how to be involved. During my undergraduate life I never participated in anything on campus. I kept telling myself this summer that my graduate career would be different and that I would get involved and enjoy my time on campus, enjoy still being young. The fact that it is parents weekend on campus doesn’t help my mood. My parents never went to one of these events when I was an undergrad, and never showed much interest in seeing the campus or anything like that. I suppose most of it is my own fault, I pushed my parents away in a major way when I started college. My aunt has been to this campus more times than my parents have been. My father never set foot on the campus (can’t say I’m surprised, or even bothered by it). I was always closer with my mom anyway, but still, the only time she was ever on campus with me was at my undergraduate orientation and then on the day before my first day of classes, but no other time. Now that I am a graduate student I wouldn’t even think of asking my parents to come to an event like this. The time for involvement was back then, not now.
I keep thinking back on the way that things went before, trying to figure out why I keep doing the same thing over and over. I know I’m on campus more now than I was when I was an undergrad, and I have a desire to get involved and participate in things outside of academics, but I just can’t quite figure out how to dive into it. Times like this I wish I were more like Chris. He isn’t what I would describe as being highly involved, but he has found his own path to being included, and his own way to make an impression on the university. I don’t know why during my first experience on this campus I couldn’t wrap my head around the idea that there is something outside of academics. There is so much going on here every day. The academics I can handle, but it is the social that I still haven’t mastered. I barely talk to anyone when I am here, other than instructors and I just feel so outside of everything. I have to get involved on campus, I have to find my own method, but I can’t stand being this outside of being social anymore. I have at least 2 more years on this campus, and I don’t intend to waste them.