The Beginning of Junior Year, and Life

by Joy Lin

by Joy Lin

Student from La Jolla Country Day School, Class of 2019

I still remember how people tried to scare me about this year. They said I would feel the completely different stress as soon as the semester started.

And I did feel it. The tense time arrangement of study, sports and socialization were so different, busy and even exciting. Three AP courses may sound challenging, but it just felt like going back to the high school in China. I used to think that American History and English would be the most difficult, but I could actually handle all the assigned essays, projects and tests so far. In the more advanced dance class, which focused on choreography ability I was not confident with, I surprisingly found out that the inspiration just kept coming up to me no matter what type of dance I was working on.

Last year, I played both seasons of tennis and softball. I did not have to play another sport this year to graduate but still chose tennis again in order to release myself from the boring exercise of jogging. I learned and hit every ball as hard as possible, and also tried to join the conversation with my teammates. The coach even said I was gradually becoming more outgoing. I was able to chat with people in a relaxing way. I kept making new friends. They either shared the same interest with or always picked a different way from me, but we could still have heart-to-heart talks. There was neither awkwardness during socialization nor loneliness or distance even if I stayed alone.

To be a junior, it seemed that everything worked smoothly and even better than before. However, the most comfortable period of a day to me was actually the mealtime.

My parents used to ask me all the time to put down my phone and focus on the eating. I thought that would be too boring, but now it has been the excuse for me to relax. Every day I was looking forward to having lunch. I would appreciate every bite of every meal because I could not eat anymore if I felt full. The whole motivation of my life has become the next meal. Maybe I was so interested in food that I went crazy for it, so I even started to consider about a related major in college.

Or the enjoyment was just simply because eating would be the most relaxing and healing time in my day.

Some of my friends often mentioned how suddenly and unreasonably happy they were when we met each other. Then I would smile as the response to these excited people, waiting for them to cry about other things happening in a few hours.

I thought they were too childish. They said I had too plain sentiments, so I could not feel them. In a trance, I realized that it has been a long time for me to attain the excitement without any reasons. It has been a long time for me to act crazily, screaming that I love them to any of my friends, singing out loud in public, or behaving ridiculously but bravely.

I was probably too jealous to take a glance at their dramas.

At that time, the only two things bringing me happiness were eating and going back home, the real home.

Rather than getting homesick, I would like to go back to the past. The past is filled by devouring and being freezed by the popsicle after jogging with dad on weekends, by carefully looking towards my crush on purpose and quickly moving my sight away from him at school, by wandering in the bakery and enjoying the fresh smelling of bread and cakes, by always choosing the farthest way home from school just for chatting for longer with friends, by being blamed by mom when stopping having dinner to watch TV, by being reminded of eating fruits while doing homework, and by fast typing in the darkness and being forced to put down the phone before sleeping.

Consequently, I could not imagine how on earth I got so much free time, and I even miss the most boring news on TV at that time.

Have I ever regretted? No and never. It is already so much better than the situation of having no goals, being confused and helpless, and spending every day in a seemingly relaxing but painful mode. The laziness of human nature and pressure in my mind keep fighting against each other and cooperating to torment me together.

At present, I am busier but feeling easier. I enjoy my new host family and roommate, enjoy my food and weight, enjoy hanging out with friends at school, and enjoy my satisfying grade. I am already owning enough happiness not to regret even a little bit.

Now I am finally able to walk in my own way, but why am I still feeling so tired?

Probably every way is tiring like this.

Is it right to have this kind of busy and tiring period?

I am enjoying it though while solving the tasks one by one in order. Someone told me it was a gift to have fun in anything and keep up with it.

If everything making up my life is interesting, why am I still desiring for fun?

I seem to be bothered by confusion again, which I expected myself to never step in again. Isn’t it an advantage in some ways if I tend to write more about it?

Sure enough that people have to be busier, or they will think too much unnecessarily even if they sometimes enjoy their thoughts.

Once I even question myself whether my affectation is only an excuse for writing although it has been a while for me to start a new fiction. I do not remember if I was at the same spot before deciding to study abroad here.

But I am fortunately used to writing down all the ideas immediately after coming up with them. The speed of inspiration is too much faster than memory for me to catch up with. Oppositely, I often seem to remember all the conception but have no clues to the problems of a stressed math exam.

Therefore, I usually circle the unsure part and move on to the next question first. We have to keep starting another journey. Being busy with and enjoying the life in front of me, I can leave everything remained to time afterward.

What is the phrase again? Living at present?

No, it is that “sorry, you don’t have access to your future at this second, so please wait and continue trying hard with all your patience and positive mind.”

Understanding this is such a relief. My interest is still changing from one subject to another, while I do not sensitively consider my future major anymore. It is too early for me to be anxious about it, and I just need to bravely try doing well in every course. When hearing that my friends plan to go shopping on weekends, I will not wonder why they have so much free time and energy to go out, while I only enjoy simple and comfortable days. We just have different lifestyles. In some days, I can do a shorter jogging and dance in my room instead if I feel like it. Without eating too much during a meal or extra dessert, I will definitely taste the new cake baked by my host family. After working hard for the whole day, it is understandable to watch some shows or surf online as a little bit reward.

Gradually, I feel that food is not as worth rushing to get, but still important enough to support my life for sure. I seldom stare at every single one airplane breaking the blue overhead and imagine I am on my way home with it, but still look forward to the break. I mean, who doesn’t?

The life is just starting. It will be so wonderful if I can keep the gift of enjoying and appreciating each moment now.