College, Man

As I slumped down in my cushiony lecture hall seat, defeated and crushingly disappointed by the result of my 8 minute long battle against UT Austin’s merciless registration system, I realized something I had all too long tried to ignore:

I have no idea what I’m doing.


And not just in a “my life is a mess, until magically it isn’t thanks to a hot guy & some retail therapy” à la Cher from Clueless way. I mean like in a “I’m moving to a new city, starting at a new school, and being forced to socialize with new people in less than 2 months HOLY F” type of way.

Because after three days of nothing but overly excessive orientation meetings and one too many of UT’s “we know you’re all uncomfortable but just try for our sake” icebreaker activities, I had somehow managed to fail at the only real job I had that weekend: scout, deliberate, and secure 12 hours of class for my first semester of college.

The only way to truly describe college registration is to compare it to that of a typical high school movie scene. (I’m sorry, it’s all I could think of. As far as life experiences go, well- I live in Texas suburbia. I have none.) Don’t let them see your lips quiver. Trust no one. NO making eye contact while registering. Focus. Show fear, and it’s over. With only 2 or 3 spots open per orientation, landing a seat in a class like “Hollywood Holocaust” or “Beauty, Fashion & Visual Culture” is just about as VIP as being invited to the popular kid’s table.

So naturally I found my rightful seat near the dumpster.

Even with the 15 backup courses I had lined up, 3 extra web browsers on standby, and 1947+ under-the-breath pep talks, I somehow landed in one of the strangest undergrad courses offered. Somewhere between the chaos that ensued from 2:00:23 PM to 2:08 PM, I had lost all my wits and turned into a giant mush pile of stupidity. I’m telling you, as soon as that registration link went live, my brain went dead.

Granted, the way my schedule turned out I totally could have gotten it worse. But that doesn’t make up for the severe anxiety attack I had to pretend I wasn’t having with a room full of my future classmates surrounding me. (It went something like: I KNOW YOU’RE PANICKING BUT MY GOD GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER THESE PEOPLE HAVE TO THINK YOU’RE NORMAL!!!)

The moral of this sad, sad story boils down to this. In the name of being transparent on the Internet, I would like to proudly admit that in my current state, I am one huge, slightly above average looking mess. With move-in day right around the corner, I have never felt so disorganized, unmotivated, or unwelcome to change. That being said, I have also never felt so curious, eager, or hungry for what’s to come.

I guess that’s what life after the suburbia bubble feels like in a nutshell.

College, man.

xx, TSJ


  • Reply Mitchell Gregor July 17, 2016 at 2:41 PM

    I had no idea you had a website! This is so cool Joanne! Shoutout to Joe Payne for the incredible writing skills. Article couldn’t be more true!! Keep up the good work!

    • Reply Joanne Xu July 17, 2016 at 2:43 PM

      Thank you Mitchell, I’m so glad you liked it!!

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