All in all, it hasn’t been a bad start to the year (other than the whole having-to-get-my-feet-under-me homework thing). Classes and work are promising, I’m taking some stuff that’s been hanging around since freshman year in hand, I’m trying to spend more time visiting with friends and being generally more social. And most of all, I’m seeing the effects from living in Europe on my RIT lifestyle – the first time I’ve been happy for a sustained period of time since I left high school.
I know college is supposed to be the best time of everyones’ lives, but for me, it hasn’t been. I think most students here would agree that RIT is pretty decent academically but not so hot from a typical college experience viewpoint, and for the past three years, mine has probably been worse than average. High school was so much fun, surrounded by close-knit friends, great teachers, and a distinct lack of all the bad sides (ok well there was teenage angst, but otherwise…) of high school, that it was pretty hard for anything to live up to that. Living in a fresh place with friendly people whom I really understood (despite the language barrier) and a less stressful climate, where I could have a new start and see new ways of looking at things, did wonders for my outlook on life. I’m hoping this lasts throughout my senior year – even Rochester winter – and beyond. There are some things important to me riding on that hope.
I’m rediscovering things that made me happy in high school that had been forgotten in the “maturing” process of being a College Student. Waking up in the peaceful time at sunrise, having pleasant thoughts instead of worries occupying my mind in spare moments, watching Direct from Brooklyn while doing homework, or doing it with people, having lunch with friends and taking the time to chat. I learned that I can actually hold my tongue even when the perfect riposte comes to mind, though it’s still taking work to remember that consistently.
All this has already shown a reflection in my designs. Of course my work has been steadily improving since Adam’s “you all suck” lecture last fall, but I think living in an environment that actively makes me happy made me remember how to take more pleasure in my design. Dessau compared to RIT made me realize how much not only direct work environment matters, but also the people and city you surround yourself with.
I have a little seed of sunshine in me now, but it remains to be seen whether it grows or withers under RIT’s winter…