Blog · College · Undergrad

The Waiting Game

Fuuuuuture. //Image credited to Spongebob and greeneyedcutie3.

“No one’s signing up!” I complained, throwing myself down on the couch like the diva I wish I was.*

“Chill out,” my roommate and BFFL Ellie counseled sagely. “Registration just went up tonight.”

I huffed and kicked my feet, choosing to be more furniture than functional.

“Honestly, you’re never satisfied,” Ellie continued. “You want things to happen immediately. People to sign up immediately, potential jobs to answer your application within the hour. Girl, you gotta let the world catch up with you!”

I remember once being asked something along the lines of what virtue is overrated? and I answered “Patience. If you want something to happen, do something about it.”

Granted, taken at face value this is a horrible philosophy. Life is full of waiting rooms, and I’m not just talking about those adjacent to doctors and dentists’ offices. There are moments where waiting is the only civil thing you can do. There’s a whole two-spread page in my favorite book Oh! The Places You Will Go! by Dr. Seuss:

Waiting for a train to go or a bus to come,
or a plane to go or the mail to come,
or the rain to go or the phone to ring,
or the snow to snow
or waiting around for a Yes or No
or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting.

Granted, the next part does back me up some:

No! That’s not for you!
Somehow you’ll escape all that waiting and staying.
You’ll find the bright places where Boom Bands are playing.
With banner flip-flapping, once more you’ll ride high!
Ready for anything under the sky.
Ready because you’re that kind of a guy!

There should always be a sense that wherever you are, especially if you’re in a waiting room, it’s temporary. BUT waiting is an essential part of going somewhere. You need waiting rooms. You need a buffer zone. Imagine if life was literally one thing after another with no break in between. No comma. No period. Just a stream of everything. Even if the events were circus after party after ice cream, it would all eventually catch up with you emotionally, mentally and physically.

Still, I’m sure you can sympathize when I say that seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and it’s just. Not. Getting. Closer. Fast enough. You can see the end, you can see the outcome, but there’s still a stretch in front of you.

I can see how some people might see that as an incentive to work harder. For me, it just means finish faster, sprint to the end! Which, let’s be honest, rarely delivers the best QUALITY of results.

But AAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH! I just want to know. I guess a more appropriate analogy would be watching presents on Christmas morning. It’ll be the there, it’s not going any where. But the not-knowing is killing you. It gets to the point where you don’t even care if it’s those beautiful dance shoes on the top of your list (*cough*) or an accounting ledger for “budgeting”.

Part of what motivates me is also fear. Will I get a job? Will I be able to support myself? What problems will I have to solve and what about my ability to solve them? WHERE will I be? So much uncertainty. Though I’m lucky, I know that worse comes to worse I go back to Tampa/St. Pete with my parents while I try to find my feet.

But I don’t want to do that. I want to get out there and learn what I’m made of. Meet people. Learn and grow and see exactly what life without school entails (even if only for one year). I want to embrace a new life that, if I’m not ready for, I’m ready for a try.

I’ve been in school for almost sixteen years (if you don’t include pre-K). That’s over three quarters of my life. It’s so hard to imagine myself doing anything but attending classes, taking tests and writing papers… but I’m excited! I want to know how it works on the outside!

I do plan on returning for school (right now it looks like PhD–all the way, baby!), but I want to know something different. To quote Disney princesses from the 90’s:

I want moooore…

Not the most definitive end. But at least this is out there. I’ve made a statement and I can move on (or at least, make attempts).

* I have moments, but it’s exhausting!

One thought on “The Waiting Game

  1. “I’ve been in school for almost sixteen years (if you don’t include pre-K). That’s over a quarter of my life.”

    Well, from the perspective of “sixteen years is longer than a quarter of your life” that’s true. I’m guessing the final tally is closer to three quarters though.


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