Overview of First Week
First day of school was reminiscent of my freshman year at St. Norbert College. Three years ago on my eighteenth birthday, I moved to campus, nervous but excited to start my college journey. On my twenty-first birthday, my last semester of college began. The fireworks were better this year than any previous.
The senioritis may already be kicking, but I will power through. This semester I am taking Dickens Advanced English Seminar, Sacred Art and Architecture, Gender and Media, and Survey of the Middle East. It’s a full semester, but it’ll be fine. I am not one to usually procrastinate, but I do work hard to finish strong. Slacking is not part of my character.
In the first week, I was running around, setting up meetings and working on my internship. My schedule was in flux, but I worked out the most important things: eating and sleeping. All my classes are Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, so Tuesdays and Thursdays are my main work days. I also TA Monday and Wednesday to reach enough hours. Miraculously, I even worked out a time to workout. I never made this a priority before.
My schedule is still figuring itself out, but I think I’ve got the semester locked in.
Monday was of course my 21st birthday. As syllabi were handed out, people wished me happy birthday and wished to know my plans for the day. I had classes from 9:40 a.m. to 5 p.m. with a lunch break and TA hours in between. Some classes seemed more intimidating than others, like my Dickens seminar, and others I know required less stress. Nonetheless, I knew I was going to be diligent in all.
When classes were done for the day, I returned to the townhouse and hung out with my roommates. We all eagerly waited for my birthday dinner, which wasn’t going to be until 7, so we snacked and chatted about our day. We told each other more about our summers and our hopes for the school year. Plus everyone was excited that I was finally 21, All the other girls were 21 by January of 2018, so I was the last one to come of age. Forever the baby.
My family drove to school around 7. My sisters and my dad made it, but my mom unfortunately was sick, so she sent me her love in balloons (one was a dolphin!), a 21 year old sash, button, cup, and a beer bottle candle (they make those apparently), plus an apologetic call. I wished she could have made it, but I knew she would have been there if she could’ve.
My roommates, family, and I proceeded to go to the ‘The Bar’ in the Ashwaubenon area. At first, it looked a little uninviting going in, but the inside was much nicer than the outside. We pushed tables together to fit the eight of us and looked over the menu. I was carded right away so they could bring me the free light up button to declare it was my birthday and to receive my birthday drink right away. When they asked me what I wanted in my free mug, I froze and looked at my dad in a slight panic.
What was I supposed to get? What alcohol did bars even have? What would I like that wouldn’t kill me? (I have obscure allergies to cinnamon, coconut, berries, as well as other food ones but those were the allergies I was most concerned about).
After a panicked pause and the waiter’s helpful recommendations, I ordered a drink with blue UV and pink lemonade. It was a pretty pinkish blue (surprise) that reminded me of cotton candy and tasted about as sweet. I also was given a free birthday shot of cake UV from the bar and a shot of watermelon pucker from a patron who saw it was my 21st birthday.
It was really strange to be 21. Everyone was so nice, but it didn’t feel real. I’ve always been a baby compared to my class. I’ve always looked like a child. Now I was surpassing the final marker of reaching adulthood by the legal ability to drink.
Anyway, I split a pepperoni pizza with my little sister and enjoyed the company. Everyone kept taking photos and all my roommates were snapping me doing the shots and taking photos with me that announced, “She’s finally 21!!!!” My family took lots of photos together. My dad wouldn’t stop looking at me with a look on his face that said, “I can’t believe she’s 21.”
After dinner, my dad drove me back to the townhouse and asked me how I was feeling after 3 glasses of the blue UV and pink lemonade. They were pretty weak so I didn’t really feel any different. I just had to pee a lot.
I hugged my dad and sisters good-bye and promised to be home over the Labor Day weekend. My roommates then took me out to the Abbey where I could receive my free “I’m 21 and the Abbey Gave Me This Frickin’ Awesome Shirt”. That was really all I wanted.
Unfortunately on the walk back from the Abbey, it downpoured. By the time we passed over the threshold of the townhouse, we were dripping. We all looked like we had taken a shower with our clothes on.
We then relaxed after showering for real and jumping into our pajamas. I made a hot chocolate, curled up in my bed, and watched Jessica Jones. It was a pretty great birthday.