• Rachelle Saint Louis

Commuter Chronicles #4

The week of September 10th to 14th.

Monday was surprisingly not my day this week. I may have jinxed it last time when I wrote that whole spiel on how great Mondays are. I think I just woke up in a sort of funk on Monday. There was a lane closed on I-95 so traffic started getting bad half-way through, but it got cleared up after two exits. Parking was fine, there were over 300 open spaces in the parking garage so that was no biggie.

My classes were fine, but I was a bit tired. Everything felt foggy and I wasn't really into it. During my three hour break between classes, I texted one of my friends so we could meet up, but she was busy. I walked around a little before going to the café in the Breezeway and buying a burrito bowl. I didn't see anyone I really knew. I started to feel so lonely, I felt like crying (which I actually did do). I went to my car to get my lab book so I could do the homework.

I decided to go to the First-Gen Office. I'm really happy I went. I started talking to Alex and Mia, and more people started coming in. I cried in front of them, but that was okay. They helped me see that I was not alone, and I'm not the only one that feels this way.

I met a few other people in First-Gen and I even convinced someone to come to rock climbing. He actually came on Friday. I'm really branching out and trying to talk to people more.

I stayed in the office until I had to go to class. We had a quiz in lab that I was not prepared for, but I think I did okay. After the quiz, we did our week's lab. There weren't too many questions in this week's lab, so we got out pretty early. I ended up talking to Nicklaus on the phone for an hour before I went off to Zumba. He's having a lot of problems with his roommates and I think he just needed someone to vent to.

Zumba was great. I got my ticket early this time. I stayed for the full class and I really felt the burn.

On Tuesday morning, I did a few errands for my mom before going to my Tri-rail station. I just got the MyStopMobile app on my phone so now I know exactly when the buses come. It shouldn't be a surprise that the bus came late again. It was really hot out, but I was wearing my new, super comfortable pants.

We got to the school around 1:25 and I went to the library, as usual. I was using my phone to read the textbook for my Social Psychology class, so I really needed to get it to the charging station. I didn't do much in the half hour before class, but it was nice to have somewhere comfortable to sit.

Between Precalc and Bio, I went to the library with one of my classmates to study for the Bio quizzes. I ended up seeing a group of people from my high school (they graduated the year before me) and we started talking. We were reminiscing about the AP Calc class we'd all taken together. It was so nice to see them again.

My classes were fine. We did a review in Precalc for Wednesday's quiz. We had the two pop quizzes in Biodiversity, which Professor Brooks had warned us about. The first quiz didn't have the things I'd studied and he worded some of them strangely. Thankfully, it's only worth 8 points total. The second quiz was extra credit and he basically gave us the answers.

I got to the stop a couple minutes before the bus, since I was using the app. The bus had an issue, so everyone at the stop had to take the one behind it. Either way, we got to the Tri-rail in one piece with 15 minutes to spare before the Northbound train.

On Wednesday, I came to school an hour earlier. I had a meeting with my adviser to plan out my spring schedule. It went well and I told her that I was planning to double major. She wrote the paperwork out for me and sent it to her office. I'm probably going to have to take both Chemistry and Biology next semester because of all my dual enrollment credits. Hopefully that works out.

After my classes, I met up with Mia at Cinnaholic. It's really close to the school, a five to ten minute drive. She knows how much I've been struggling with this transition to college and she invited me out to talk. I had a wonderful time! We talked about our classes and Mia gave me a lot of advice about applying to be an orientation leader. We talked for three hours!

I stopped by the rock climbing course afterward, but I didn't actually climb. I just went to say hi and see if there were any familiar faces. I saw Jackie (the one who coached me to the top last time) and met a student from France.

Thursday I decided to drive to school instead of taking the train. I ran a few errands for my mom before leaving for school. I got to the school at one o'clock and by some miracle of intense prayer, I got a parking spot on the first floor!

I went to the office of first gen since I still had an hour to go before my class. I saw Alex, Ron, and Mia. Ron let me have the last chocolate bar. I've been pushing myself to talk more to my classmates so after Precalc, I talked to one of the people in that class. We have Precalc and Bio together so we walked to the dunkin' donuts in the library and talked about Professor Brooks. We each had a bagel, since the dunkin' donuts doesn't sell breakfast sandwiches.

After Bio, I went to the meeting for the National Council of Negro Women, the NCNW. I'd gone to the first General Body Meeting two weeks before and I really enjoyed it. At this week's meeting, we talked about Mental Health in the black community. It was a safe space where we could talk about our experiences. I'm really happy I went. I love what the NCNW stands for. I just paid my membership dues and the induction is at the end of this month.

Friday, I left my house way later than usual. I got to school a few minutes before class, but I had to park on the fourth floor, pretty far from the elevator. I ended up being two minutes late for class, which isn't too bad considering there are 200 people in my Social Psychology class.

After class, I decided to stop by the Office of First Gen again to pass some time before rock climbing. Ron was in a meeting, Alex was out of the office, and Mia doesn't work on Fridays, but that didn't mean the office was empty. I saw two of the other girls that work in the office, and one of the guys I'd met earlier this week. I stayed and talked and it was nice. We ended up walking to the cafe and I went into The Burrow (the bar and grill on campus) for the first time. It's a really nice place, and they have a black bean burger so I'll definitely be going back to try it.

I went rock climbing and saw Isaiah there, the guy I'd invited Monday. He didn't make it far, but he tried and that's what counts. He says he'll be coming back.

Today I Learned:

Monday: It's okay to feel sad and lonely, especially in college. Everyone gets lonely at some point. Being a small fish in a big pond does not mean you are invisible.

Tuesday: It's best to dress for comfort when taking public transport. It's also great to see old friends.

Wednesday: If you don't ask, you won't learn. And also, Mia is great.

Thursday: Join a club, it's one of the best ways to make friends and get out of your comfort zone.

Friday: Talk to people. I feel like this is something I go over every week, but it's true. Talking to people is important.


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