Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A Letter About Life in College

To: my sweet sister, Kimber, upon the occasion of your graduation.

Dear Kimber,

This is an exciting season of change for both of us. You are graduating from high school, and in the fall, you are going to BYU. I am graduating from BYU, and in the fall, I will be going to high school (as a teacher). . . (I hope I hope!). I think it's as good a time as any to tell you all you need to know to survive the jungle. Seeing as you and I are so similar, I think that my advice will be especially helpful for you. Here is a list:

  1. don't drink the water. It may not be a foreign country, but it is in town, and you are used to well water. It will taste really gross, and if you try to drink as much as you need in a day, the poisons in it will make your belly ache, too. get a Britta filter. Use it.
  2. Spend as little money as you possibly can in the BYU bookstore. It seems cool at first, because it embodies the spirit of BYU in a sense, but I promise you: you will come to resent that establishment almost as much as you resent someone spitting in your morning cereal. The solution? half.com, which is powered by ebay. Yes, ebay is the answer. Ebay is always the answer.
  3. Eat real food. Food that you literally eat day in and day out will eventually make you sick at the sight of them. So, if you ever want to enjoy Cheerios or peanut putter sandwiches again, make sure that you also eat something else during the course of the day. Like meat. And vegetables.
  4. If you eat junk food, you WILL get fat. It's just one of those things you don't want to learn the hard way.
  5. If you got it from a vending machine, it IS junk food, and it WILL make you fat.
  6. If a boy asks you on a date, and you are in the HBLL, then he's a jerk and a player. Don't bother.
  7. If a boy asks you on a date, and it is not the library, you might as well say yes as long as you're not already in a serious relationship and you're not getting creeper vibes from him.
  8. Never go for a run after dark.
  9. Never run on the river trail.
  10. If a boy asks you out, and you are both in the same ward, then think carefully. It sounds nice, the idea of getting to spend 2 hours every Sunday with your boyfriend during church, BUT, do you really want to spend 2 hours every Sunday with your ex boyfriend?
  11. Use ratemyprofessor.com to find the right professor for each class. Remember, too, that a negative rating might be positive in actuality (IE: "Don't take this professor! He requires you to .....learn! And it will stretch your brain until it expands to capture a larger portion of the knowable universe!" How dare he!)
  12. Take astronomy from Professor Moody. That way, you can say that you took a class from Professor Moody.
  13. Even if you don't go to "FHE" or devotional or institute every week, go to the temple every week. It's a good choice. You may never again have the opportunity.
  14. When a boy asks you "What are you thinking about?" when he hugs you goodnight after a date, he probably is thinking about kissing you. Beware.
  15. You don't have to marry the first jerk who tells you he loves you.
  16. Keep a separate journal to record all of your dates in, and keep a running tally of all the boys who ask you out. Dating is a game of feast or famine. Written proof of the coming feast will help you stave off the hunger of famine.
  17. Learn to find quality, cool clothes at the DI. This is a very difficult and frustrating talent to foster, but it will save you tons of money if you can pull it off.
  18. Do NOT join the medieval club. I will disown you if you do.
  19. Wash your dishes every time you make a dish dirty, and wash them right away. If you leave even ONE dish in the sink, you basically fail as a roommate and you deserve to feel crummy about how rude you are to all of your unfortunate roommates who have to deal with your crap under their noses all day long. Remember: You are living with strangers! They don't have to love you, and a sure-fire way to make sure they don't is to be a slob!
  20. Do not expect your roommates to ever, ever ever clean up after you. You are a grown up. Act like one. They shouldn't have to even look at your mess. Plus, it is not their mess; it is YOUR mess. If you are too busy to clean up after yourself, then you are too busy to make a mess in the first place.
  21. Whatever you do, do NOT put your boogers on your roommates' bed covers. She will throw up a little in her mouth when she finds the green scab on her otherwise clean duvet.
  22. Wash your sheets every week.
  23. Seriously, wash those bad boys.
  24. Procrastination on your part does not constitute an emergency for ANYONE ELSE.
  25. Don't spend more money than you earn.
  26. Continue to read for pleasure. The HBLL is an amazing place where magical dreams come true, if only you dedicate some of your time to reading.
  27. Act like a grown up, even when everyone else is acting like they are 5 years old. It might seem like the cool thing to do, but really it not. You won't regret it!
Well, that is all, at least for now.

Your sister,


P.S.: Does anyone else have good advice for my little sister about college life?

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Sweet Freedom

"Today is a good day to die."
-Lt. Commander Worf

 Do you remember "The Story of an Hour" by Kate Chopin? I read it first in high school. A woman with a heart condition is told that her husband has died in a tragic accident. Locking herself in her room, she does not find pain in her husband's passing, but rather, joy:

"She did not stop to ask if it were or were not a monstrous joy that held her."

And when she learned that her husband was not in fact dead, she died of the shock. It's a very interesting short story; you should read it.

I thought that if Jordan and I ever ended our relationship that I would die of grief. I find myself, on the contrary, released of an immense burden. Just as Kate Chopin's Louise Mallard felt, I feel:

"Free! Body and soul!"

When I read this story for the first time, I had never been in love. I was 15 or 16, and I thought that Louise must have been in an abusive relationship. I thought that Mr. Mallard must have been a horrible man, or Louise must have been a terribly selfish woman.

I find my opinion is changed. Jordan was not abusive. I was not selfish. And yet, here I am, exulting in the inner chamber of my self:

"Free, free, free!"