The Big Question of What's Next: Part I
You've probably been wondering where the heck I've been since my last post ... Vienna, Munich, Amsterdam (again), then home then I casually moved to France for six weeks and then explored Barcelona and London before *surprise* settling down at Wake Forest for the real college experience. Oh also, some internet troll hacked my blog and stole my IP address. So here we are for the long haul, let me explain that.
After a year of living in more than one country while technically it being my first year of college, a year of adventures and growth I was really ready for what one would call a "normal college experience"... or so that's the story I told myself. I am a people person by nature so the transition to Wake Forest as a sophomore was quite smooth at first because I submerged myself almost immediately to keep busy so that I could stay present and keep myself away from thinking about what my life looked like this time last year. I ran all around campus doing everything I was "supposed" to do: going to football games and frat parties but more importantly studying hard and doing amazing things like join the crew team and Mock Trial and declaring a double major in Politics & International Affairs and French Studies.
There's a lot I could unpack here and probably will when I get the chance to write again, but the biggest thing I have noticed about college is the culture of staying busy. I constantly hear "God, I am just SO busy", people literally compare just how jammed their colorful Google Calendars are, how much one can be just going nonstop. It's almost like an unspoken competition about who can do the most, cram the most in their 24 hours. Quite frankly, this kind of culture is addicting and from when classes started in August to mid-October I could barely tell you what I did because I was just so caught up in the stream of staying "busy" like everyone else.
And then came October 17th 2018, the day after my 20th birthday. Midterms and Fall Break had just finished and we were gearing up for the second half of this semester. It was the end of crew practice around 7:20AM and the girls in my boat were putting our boat away and under freak circumstances when we were lifting the boat over heads my head was perfectly in the way and I got hit. Concussed.
The treatment? No thinking. No class. No technology. No stimulation of any kind. Just rest. This was definitely not the prescription I wanted at all, but let me tell you it's exactly what I needed. I was knocked out of the game and the vicious cycle of staying busy and was literally given the time to just exist. I followed concussion protocol until I was allowed to do "light thinking" and this was literally the moment when the rusty gears started spinning slowly and my usually hyperactive brain was picturing reality differently.
What was going on here you ask? Well the truth is no matter how stupidly busy I was I was fruitlessly trying to fill a void that isn't supposed to be filled in the first place.
So what was I ignoring? Well, that deserves a whole another post. To preface: I was ignoring the conditions of an environment where I thrive the best and can proactively contribute the most to society by trying to fit myself, a round peg into the square hole of the constructed society that college campus life is. Ladies and gentlemen, I am talking about the fact that Kira Ann Tabor feels most alive when she is challenged and where else to find this kind of experience is one where an American is minority ... yes, I am talking about the ever infamous to my vernacular concept of *abroad*.
I am just now finally capable of finding the words to describe a feeling that I couldn't before. I had called my mom and told her that I wanted to go abroad again for another year, but since moms know literally everything the breakthroughs just kept coming. Are you ready? I don't want abroad to be just something that I do. I want the international experience to be everything that I am.
I have talked a lot today, but now that you have made it this far the moral of the story here is that the idea of what college is "supposed" to look like is a myth. I am thankful for a liberally thinking school like Wake Forest University to help me explore this idea and come the decision of how the rest of my experience will be shaped by this incredible institution.
Without further rambling, with the full support of my parents and the amazing people at the Center for Global Programs here at Wake Forest, I will be graduating May 18th, 2020 and after which I will be moving to Europe to continue my studies at graduate level in an international context before applying to law school. I don't know exactly how any of this will shape out, but that's what makes life an adventure and it all starts with a goal.
I am a writer and an external processor as much as I try to ignore this fact. It's always been something I have been good at but never have taken upon myself, so I hope you are ready to follow along this journey with me.