Hello World

By Xuran You ’19

Say goodbye to the beautiful dreamland,

Where fairy tales grow, and villains die.

Since now I have to face the cold-hearted world,

One more time.

It was, without a doubt, my WORST day ever. I woke up with fainting dizziness and nausea, desperate to eat and vomit at the same time. Facing such a dilemma, I chose to do nothing but sulk in my bed, regretting the 4 credits spent last night for snacks. After an hour of self-loathing, I realized I was about to be late for class, and instead of going directly to class, I took a shower in a hurry, and forgot to wash the conditioner out of my hair. Then I took a shower again to solve that unsolved problem and was late for class.

The first class was music theory, where we had 20 minutes of dictation. I spent the entire night before doing online ear-training, and ended up with 31% correct answers, so I was totally confident when I still got nothing on my sheet paper after the music had been played 3 times.

After I finished the test, I only had 5 minutes left to go from Orwig Music Hall to Pembroke for my next class. I didn’t go directly to my class, of course, since that wouldn’t match my dark mood. Instead, I went to Legendary Bike to pick up my bike after a 35-dollar fall.

I had lunch alone: 3 chicken fingers that made my dental ulcer even worse.

Here comes the highlight of my day: my literature midterm. I’ve been stressed out about this for a whole week, yet in which I did nearly zero preparation. OK, here comes the question. “Why does Mrs. X want to kill Sir Williams?”

Who’s Sir Williams?

My dizziness got worse after a 40-minute in-class essay, so I went straight to Health Services, seeking professional help. I was hoping to stay in bed for the rest of the day, getting extensive medical care in a ward, doing nothing but dreaming. I knew I was being overoptimistic and lazy, but I certainly wasn’t expecting to wait for an hour and half to see the doctor, while I nearly fainted in the waiting area.

When I stepped outside of Health Services, got on my bike, and laboriously rode it back to my dorm, I passed by the Main Green, where I saw a lot of students, coming and going in groups, with large smiles on their faces, I couldn’t help but thinking that there’s something wrong with my life. I just want to get a higher education and become a better person; I didn’t expect myself to be dealing with dizziness and stomachache, or adjusting to peer/social pressure. I probably shouldn’t have been riding so fast. My body ached all over; I could barely breathe. What was I trying to prove? What was I trying to escape from?

When I was finally in the safe space of my room, the emptiness and silence were suddenly overwhelming. How strange was that: when I’m with a large crowd of people, I yearn to be alone; but when I’m finally alone with myself, I wish my roommate were with me. I stood in the dimly lit room, looking at the mirror, confused by my look. I felt like I know other people’s faces better than mine. Is it because when we look too closely at our faces, we start to ignore the obvious outline and lose ourselves in the nuances, the details, the things that don’t matter?

That was too much thinking for a fuzzy head, I decided. So I went to bed, ready to take a nap with my conscience reproving myself for sleeping too much during the day and not working on my philosophy paper.

I was even sleepier after I got up. And my stomach was swelling like a balloon. Yet I was still hungry and desperate for more food to comfort it. How much I hate the side effects medication had on my body. I gained 7 pounds within 3 days. 7 ACTUAL POUNDS.

Had I not gone through breakdowns here, I would have still been viewing the world like this. My easy summer life secluded me from the world, and taught me to stay comfortably in my comfort zone, and to spend hours playing beautiful major and minor chords on guitar. Here, life is advancing at an astonishing speed, down beats after up beats, diminished triads after tritones, where you can seldom hear a complete, satisfying, major scale. One day in my first week here, I woke up in tears and sweats, and suddenly realized one of the most important rules of life: Only look at the bright side.

Ok here’s another equally important one: Don’t fear; face it.

I don’t even want to mention how cliché this sound, even this sentence itself is cliché enough. So I would like to recount this day again.

I woke up to a wonderful dream. Then I had a wonderful breakfast at V-dub, and I’m soooo going to have waffle tomorrow morning. I met my friends over breakfast. Though I wasn’t in my best English-Speaking Mode, I still enjoyed chatting with them. In my music theory class, our professor played a very interesting and lovely piece of Irish music. Then my bike was back and alive! Riding it down the slopes, I could feel the wind in my hair as if I was jumping from a grand waterfall, and my entire body was flowing along the current. Though the dizziness was still pretty strong, I was really proud of myself for handling it well on my own, like an independent college student. I also met interesting people this afternoon, had a fabulous dinner with my friend at the Ratty, where I successfully resisted the temptation of eating a piece of DELICIOUS chocolate cake. What makes everything even better is what I’m doing right now. Writing is so fun. SO FUN. I’m so glad that I’ve put off my philosophy paper to do this.

Alright. Time to work on my paper.

Art by He Ri Kwon '16