This is my return-to-Vandy story, in bullet-point form, because that’s all I have time and energy for in this whirlwind of renewed activity and excitement:
- Arrive in Nashville, after almost eight hours on the road, rocking the unwashed hipster-in-pajamas look.
- Change the sheets on my bed, just to add to that sense of renewal in the new year. Who knows when I’ll get around to it again?
- Check on my kombucha, only to find glass shards and sticky residue in the kitchen. Forensic analysis tells me that the one-gallon jar of fermented tea exploded due to pent-up carbon dioxide gas during my three-week absence. Oops.
- Glue my shoes back together with stuff that smells like death-by-VOCs. I have great faith that my trusty TOMS can make it through the winter.
- Take the bus to the mall and treat myself to a beanie. (MTA is free to Vandy students, beanie is not.)
- Discover an addition to my National Park quarter collection! Everglades, Fla., makes seven down, 48 to go. Makin’ progress. Go me.
- Reunite with/meet new neighbors. Get through some initial social awkwardness upon having to make small talk again.
- Watch ten a couple of episodes of the hit sitcom Parks & Recreation.
- Walk to the nearest CVS to stock up on everything: new notebooks, microwave popcorn, SSRI pills—you know, whatever it takes to get through the semester.
- Frantically make last-minute changes to my course schedule.
- (Aside: Now this is the real Day 1.)
- Pick up textbooks and re-learn my postal mail box combination. Thank goodness the mailroom is an open an hour later than usual this week! I actually missed that guy who tells people their package is going to cost 49 dollars to mail when it’s really 49 cents. They hand over two quarters, but not before startling.
- Finally declare a second major, after carrying the forms in my backpack since October. It just took me that long to get to my adviser’s office.
- Revel in the glorious food I’d missed for three long weeks. Looking at you, tabouli wraps from Suzie’s Café and Italian night at Kissam.
- Discern which professors allow laptops and which don’t. This is basically the most important question answered by the syllabus, in addition to the assignment schedule. (Pencil in all of said assignments and realize that there are two upcoming Friday the 13th’s, one in February and one in March.)
- Shiver, shiver, shiver and vengefully stomp on ice puddles. I’m not very tolerant of cold weather.
- Write a first-of-the-year blog post, which brings me to this very moment.
This moment, part of the first day of the semester. I am decidedly looking forward to the next 114(ish) days.