When I was younger, I never had to worry about what my weekend plans were going to be. I made it a point to schedule my play-dates to end by 6:30 p.m. at the very latest, ensuring enough time to get acclimated for the night ahead.
Friday nights were for new episodes of Hannah Montana followed by Suite Life on Deck. Saturday nights were a similar situation, only with iCarly followed by Victorious.
Weekends during my childhood were a constant for me. No matter what, I always knew that come 7 p.m. on Friday, my entire family would be seated in front of the TV, watching Disney Channel.
As I got older, the variable changed, but the weekends still remained a constant. No matter what, I always knew that come noon on Saturdays, my entire family would be seated at a table at Lange’s Little Store and Delicatessen.
Ever since I got to college, for the first time in my life, my weekends have been a toss up. No longer was there a time where my family was all together for two days straight. In fact, unless each of us texts what we are doing in our family group chat, I have no clue what my family is up to.
Sometimes my dad will send a selfie on a plane headed somewhere for business, or on the couch with my dog, and my sister will send a video of a street band performing on Church Street from her home in Vermont. My mom sends old home movies of my sister and me when we were younger. Empty nest syndrome is clearly hitting her harder.
All I know is that my parents are sitting in front of the TV and eating sandwiches from the Little Store. But they’re doing it without me.
Going off to college has been a huge transition for me. In part, I think it has to do with the fact that I don’t do well with change. My life is essentially a check-list of to-dos.
Up until college, my years were filled with soccer games, practices and tournaments. My last two years of high school were filled with both soccer and my first real job working as a counter girl at a local soup shop, and later a hostess at the shop’s restaurant. Whatever time I had on the side was spent babysitting, watching Netflix or doing whatever work I had.
The rigidity in my schedule left little time for spontaneous acts of change. And that was okay with me.
Along with finding comfort in familiarity, I also value my own space and find myself to be a very independent person. It’s hard to find alone time when you’re essentially at a “play-date” every day with hundreds of new faces, but this time I can’t schedule them to end by 6:30 p.m. on a Friday. Alternatively, that’s when many of them start.
Now that my freshman year is coming to a close, I look back on the things I did to try to ease my transition and reflect on how much I have changed.
Club soccer was something I participated in during the fall season and that helped me keep up the type of schedule I was used to. I go to the gym as often as I can as a stress reliever and as a way to get a good sweat while having time to myself. It has become such a huge part of my routine that has filled the void in my schedule that appeared when soccer season came to an end.
I always go to Johnny’s on Thursdays to get a salad with grilled chicken. I also always go to Upper on Wednesday nights to get the best, worst Chinese food I’ve ever had, only sometimes breaking it up with a random Chipotle order during the week.
Being part of the paper, and especially being an editor this semester has added a huge time commitment to my schedule. It’s kind of like my soup job. I now have something to help balance my other work.
And yet, my end goal remains the same as it did when I was a kid.
Get my work done in a timely manner and ensure enough time to get acclimated for the comforts that my routine has always allowed me.
Megan Klein, ’22, is an assistant sports editor for The Brown and White. She can be reached at [email protected]