Something has been getting me down for the past two weeks, and I can’t quite pin it down. I haven’t been particularly short-tempered or grumpy, but just feeling a bit depressed. Unmotivated, anxious, really upset over small things, tired (god…), and I have an overwhelming desire to watch, of all things, television.

I don’t really think this is the result of my disappointment over my grades. I won’t make a 4.00 this term. At best, I can make three A’s and one B+, but I’m not sure what that GPA would be (it’s weighted by the number of credit hours, and B+’s get more points). And I can’t even talk about grades to anyone, because I get laughed at and called an insane perfectionist. But I don’t think I am; these classes are Calculus II, of which some is new, but not difficult, really, Chemistry, the basics of which are review but does get a bit complex for me (molecular orbits/hybridization kicked my ass for some reason, and we don’t even have to do any math), and Physics, which always has been, and will continue to be, my failing (hence the B or B+). But the point is, these are not Organic Chemistry or Quantum Mechanics courses. I should be sailing through. So I don’t think my demands of myself are too high. And yet, despite my goals, I find myself not taking this so nearly to heart as I did my junior year of high school and before. I don’t think I’m a failure as a person, or mentally crippled, or anything so negative (other than perhaps lazy) if I’m not making a 89.5% in a class. (And note that boundary–I have no problem in riding the line, because I am lazy.) I’ve found it’s not such a reflection on my person as I used to think it was. So pulling a 78.5% on that Chemistry test I had at the beginning of the week (class average was 69%; passing is 60%) didn’t send me home in tears. I was rather happy not to have gotten a 30%. Maybe Dr. M was sympathetic because I attended all those recitations and review sessions. I will have to nearly ace the next test and my exam to get my grade back into the A area. But I don’t think academics is what is keeping me down right now, really.

Then there’s the running. I’ve told myself (on repeat) that I will be patient, that I will take this one day and one week at a time, and damn the supposed “schedule”. And I’m generally fine with my slow progress. But right now it seems so slow. Sometimes I just want to visit the doctor and rant and rail and make them look in my lungs and find out why it’s taking three to four times as long for me to get better than it does for anyone else I’ve talked with/read about. I know patience is the key, and persistence, but goddamn it, I’m hitting the treadmill more than five hours a week, and the results are almost exclusively external.

See, this doesn’t normally bother me so much.

And then there’s the weather. It’s been snowy, and cold. This damned cold… I am almost never warm; there’s always some extremity that is pale and frosty, or numb with cold. My furthest outside on-campus walk is to get food, and I’ve been skipping meals to avoid it. I can’t stand it. I can’t (read: refuse to) run outside because of the snow and ice and cold (I shudder to imagine the unexpandable lead sacs my lungs would turn into if I tried to run outside, not to mention the amount of fluid I would hack up later). I can’t drive anywhere, again because of the snow, etc. I’m on a little island, surrounded by a moat of snow. And it’s not even really the snow so much as the single-digit and negative temperatures (in Fahrenheit, no less) that last all day. The afternoon warmup means getting up to a whole 15 degrees.

Last night, I walked out on Thorn at 23:00, having fucked up the Classified page (a page full of ads, and I messed it up), and leaving a two column by half-page block of space on our second news page that I wasn’t sure how to fill, since our lead story was shorter than anticipated (thank goodness, quite frankly) and wouldn’t have spill-over. By the time I left, I’d had two of those weird, frustrating bouts of “Ohmygod, I’m not going to cry over something so silly as this… *swallow*”. I just couldn’t get it together, so I left it in my mini-boss’s hands. I won’t have that luxury next term, as I will be the news editor, responsible for story assignments, editing, and page layout.

My roommate and her boyfriend have been hanging out in our room more frequently, which leaves me in an odd predicament. While they certainly aren’t having any kind of wild monkey sex, they are chatting and being boyfriend-y and girlfriend-y and all private and stuff. So I’m like, okay, I’ll leave, because of all the things I may be, an intrusive voyeur is not one of them. My leaving, however, causes Bridget to make a big ruckus about how I don’t need to leave, and makes Theodore feel uncomfortable, because he knows that Bridget would probably bow to my discomfort before his lack of desire to walk all the way back to his dorm, and yet he doesn’t want to make me feel bad. If I come back from somewhere, and they’re chilling, I just don’t come in, and go hang out in the lobby, and it’s usually not a big deal. But if I’m already settled in and entrenched in homework, do I pack up and leave? Do I stay and hunker down in front of my computer with loud music on headphones, trying to acheive tunnel-vision and deafness, so I fade into the background? It’s not like I’m shooting the shit or playing Diablo II–I’m doing homework. One part of this is that Bridget is so much more mobile than I am. If she and Theodore leave, they go to his residence hall, or go on a walk, or any other of about a hundred places, it seems. If I leave, I go… to the basement study room, which has no wireless Ethernet, and limited wired ports. Or the lobby, where the damned television is always on and it’s cold, because that’s where the entrances to the building are. But it frequently seems like I’m just sort of this… lump over in the corner of room–if not class, meals, or workouts, I’m pretty much always there, because that’s where my computer is, and what I do is on my computer. But I’m fretting about this, and Bridget’s loudly declaring that they aren’t doing anything, so how can I be intruding (to which I reply that everyone needs privacy, particularly couples), and Theodore is too lacking in assertiveness to give me any kind to response (subtle or otherwise) at all. Of course, Theodore’s problem could be the fact that the guy only has eight (I’ve counted) facial expressions. He’s a bit hard to read. But it’s just weird and awkward, and it will only get worse next year, when I will be the only single girl out of the four of us that will be sharing a suite. My only rule so far: no hanky panky when your roommates are around. The story of the guy who woke up to hear “boot in wet mud sounds” in the middle of the night–without any advance notice from his roommate–will stick with me forever.

I’m sure I’m not the only one suffering from this bout of feeling down. There are several girls on my floor that have been getting smashed every night this week, despite tests and early morning classes, bringing home weird guys and scaring their roommates. My destructive behavior? I’m missing lunch to write this, sleep has been, ah, scarce this week, I’ve been watching too much Law and Order, and I plan on staying on the treadmill more than two hours tonight. The endorphins can’t hurt, can they?


  • Luke

    You shoulda seen an ent page…

    Hey, just so you know you didn’t fuck up page 2; just put things in a not so complementary position…I hit one button and just swapped two things positions. Now if you wanna see a fucked up page there’s one taped to the book case in the office…12 point font for a story…it took Dess 30 minutes to fix that page…

  • Rackrent

    Ok, here’s what I think:
    1) you’re not a destructive perfectionist: meaning having high standards but won’t kill yourself if you don’t meet them
    2) I agree with your roomie boyfriend rule. Maybe they could move somewhere else when you’re studying or at least alternate so that you’re not the one who goes out of the room every time?
    3) the cold weather is evil. It makes you feel dull and cold and depressed.

  • karsh

    I think a bunch of folks are going through the ringer in 2004 – this year just AIN’T start out like I wanted it too. I’m working on trying to turn it around. I’ve gotta.

    And the roommate situation? My roommate sophomore year gave his girlfriend a key to the room, and she would come and go as she pleased. And they’d have sex whether I was there or not. Eventually, I just started having him give me money so he and his chick could have some alone time.

  • Jenny

    i think it is great that you are taking your grades less personally. i, too, am learning to do that and have found it extremely beneficial to my mental health and emotional stability.

    ps – cold sucks – and ours isn’t even as cold as yours. boo on cold.

  • Hannah

    I am feeling what you are feeling about cold, Melissa. I live in Massachusetts, you live in Indiana, we’re in similar boats. Probably the worst thing about the cold here is that there’s always a very strong wind, since I live about 100 yards from the Charles River. Sigh.

  • Michael

    i feel u

    So, I think things are beginning to improve, but for the past few weeks everyone up here (myself included) has been on edge, and I think that it has something to do with the whether and our disappointment at the return to responsibility after such an awesome Christmas break (on at least my part).

    I think I took care of my whole don care so much about grades ne more deal in high school. Sata-Caldwell was a pretty big part of it. But, I am definitely happy with my attitude toward grades and I am less stressed because of it, I hope it works out well for you.

    Holla @ my dad, he should have some Cons for you about the military. (He was ready to get out of the Marines, but they didn’t wanna let him go, so he kind of…explained to him that he has memory of some things and whatnot, and I was honorably discharged quite hastily. )

    Lemmejustsaydo that I feel u bout that roomie stuff. Me and la hermosa never even act boyfriendy/girlfriendy in her room if her roomie’s there, but whOOOoooa my roomie. So he told me b4 we got up here that he would not b exclusive with his girl when he got up here (her idea, in order to make sure that they were meant to be together yadda yadda yadda). Well, les just say thaz worked out better for him than it has for her. For awhile he was just chillN with all these random folk (many women). but then, I guess as things got worse with his women, he “hooked up” with this girl that lives 50 feet away (same floor). So now, ESPECIALLY LAST WEEEK, I could come home at any given time and there would be rapid movement and whispering under the covers, and so i’d get/ leave what i need and head out, THANK THE LORD FOR ADRIA AND TIM AND VERNON AND JENNY (who all took me n on these occasions). NOw let it be understood that I have no trouble with him havN a life, but when like 10 nights str8 I wake up to either, “boots in wet mud” or the rhythmic tapping of his bed against the wall and its creaking, I begin to get upset. I hope they have this stigma that would give me a week off at some point.

    I would call this man b4 i came home to ask him if i shud just not come home, and he’d just tell me to come home, and then, there they are. DAMNIT! are they just exhibitionists? My RA Bryan told me I should just (an extreme variation on one of my own ideas) sit up and stare and begon to masturbate. Well, were the situation reveresed, I ‘d hop str8 outta bed and use my football player body to kick little Michael’s ass.