a personal style blog by Lauren Pfieffer

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Back From Kent!

Coral Dress, Blue Beret, Gold Bangles: Forever21.
Floral Purse, Tan Flats, Flower Earrings: Thrifted.
Binocular Necklace: Giveaway win from Triple Thread.

The past two days have been the biggest learning experience I've had in years. Spending two days at Kent for my college orientation was certainty not what I expected. I had awful lows, and wonderful highs. If you read my blog just for pretty outfits and pictures- I advise you to stop right here ;)

My family and I woke up at 4:30 on Friday morning to set off to Kent State, an hour and a half away. We arrived early for check in, and seeing my roommate for the first time since February was wonderful. Her name is Michelle. She's a quiet soul but so sweet and loves to dress in all things girly and romantic like myself. We're already discussing the Modcloth room accessories we want to purchase for the dorm, he. We checked in and headed up to our small cubical of a room. More or less exactly what we will have this fall. It's small but I like small. I like feeling confined to a space all my own. The closet is small, but I think all of my dresses will fit. Just maybe.

The day was filled with what seemed like a million seminars. Some important, some not so much. Financial aid, signing up for classes, what to expect (but not when you're expecting)- typical college information. I started to get anxious when I was separated from Michelle to go to an individual group session for the school my major is under- The School of the Arts. They made us do 'ice breaker' activities to introduce ourselves and such but I don't know what came over me- I was so shy! It frustrated me because everyone was just talking away, making friends and there I was; staring down at the floor. One thing that makes me really upset about being so shy is that people figure I'm probably too stuck up to talk or that I think I'm better than everyone else- something I would never be in a million years. I tried to join the conversation a few times, but wasn't too successful.

The rest of the day was filled with lunch (which was so delicious, I'm going to gain 100 pounds) and more seminars. One in particular really was interesting to me about social media and such in today's college world. He talked about how as students and young adults, technology consumes our lives totally, and that sometimes we forget to actually live and enjoy the moment. We're always too busy documenting it. He talked of other social concerns and was so funny- I'm not one to smile or laugh but he had me cracking up!

After all of the informational sessions were done (and I was exhausted by this point) students were free to do what they pleased. The guide team put on this huge party downstairs in the dorms though. They had free ice cream, dancing, music, four square, and lots of games. My roommate and I are neither social creatures, so we just walked around the whole campus chatting and laughing as the sun went down. It was seriously one of my favorite parts of the trip getting to bond with her. I find so much in common with Michelle, but we also differ on a lot of things so it's interesting to talk to her. We went back to the dorms around dusk as the party started getting wild. Exhausted I went to my dorm to start to settle down. I showered and got ready for bed, never being so exhausted in my life.

The night time was absolutely horrible. Night has always been something I've so greatly feared and a trigger for my OCD. Ever since I was little, I hated spending the night in any place other than my home. At sleepovers I would call my parents, crying in the middle of the night begging them to pick me up. My freshman year of high school when I went to swim camp I was so upset that I slept in the bathroom tub all night. My first night sleeping at the dorms was more or less a disaster. My OCD makes it so that I need a very particular bed time routine and college life certainty isn't that. Kids ran up and down the hall, pounding on every door yelling 'wake up, PARTY' and everyone was screaming and cussing at the top of their lungs. Multiple people tried to open the door up, luckily it was locked. I found myself getting really upset with everything for some unknown reason. I suppose the fact that this was going to be my life for the next four years. I started having an awful panic attack and shaking and feeling like I was going to be sick. My head was pounding and I felt so dizzy. Scared to death I left my room and called my parents who were sleeping in a dorm building nearby. I talked to them and they helped calm me down, but it wasn't until looking up some breathing exercises for panic attacks that I finally was able to calm myself down. I didn't fall asleep till well after 2 and I lay there thinking how much I wanted be one of those kids at the party. Being outgoing and able to meet friends so easily. I was so jealous of them about something that comes so easy to most people. Why can't I talk? Why do I fumble and bumble around and hopelessly say something to embarrass myself? Why can't I just go to a party and not want to leave the second I get there? These are questions I ask God every night. I prayed to him that things would change. That I wouldn't be this girl sitting in her dorm room night after night, being as miserable as she was in high school.

The next morning I woke up with brighter eyes and a lighter heart, feeling much better. I got ready and went down to breakfast and was off to a 'college 101' seminar that was interesting. After that, I went to schedule my classes which was a stressful, but a nice learning experience. Kent is a liberal arts college, so I do have to take sciences and maths and such even though they don't relate to my major. As a freshman, I only get to take one fashion class a semester, and the other ones are my core classes. I'm a bit disappointed that I don't get to take more fashion classes, but I already knew this ahead of time. I just hope that things don't feel like high school all over again...not sure if I can handle it.

Coming out of 'battle' afterwards I was surprised to receive a text from Michelle, wanting to meet up one last time before we parted. I don't know why it surprised me. I just...no one had really ever cared about me. I've always been the one wanting and pining to be friends with someone else while I mean nothing to them. This little act of kindness just made my heart so happy, and saying goodbye until I see her in three months was definitely sad. I'll miss her.

My family left Kent and went to explore downtown which was absolutely incredible. Even though I've visited Kent a few times, I've never been to the downtown! I fell so, so in love. It's the perfect little, quirky, fun town I've always wanted to live in with brick streets and street lights. They had yummy restaurants, a store that sold wands and all sorts of 'magical' stuff (perfect for HP fans), a popcorn shop, a train station, ADORABLE clothing stores that will drain my wallet, a toy store with quirky toys like bacon band aids, old fashioned ice creams shoppes, and a student run fashion store where design students from the college can sell their clothes. I am SO looking forward to exploring and finding new places to take photos next year.

I left Kent not happy, but not sad. I wouldn't say I had a good time at my orientation, but I will say I learned so much. More than I could ever learn just reading about campus on the computer. At the end of the trip we were asked what our favorite part of destination Kent State was with multiple choice. More than half choose making new friends, then getting a better feel for campus, then my choice- learning what it's like to be in college. I think that all this time I thought Kent was going to be a fairy tale. I was going to waltz in, make all of these friends, love being away from home, and breeze through my classes. I don't think any of that will be true though. It's going to be hard for me to make friends- I know I'll be shy in the beginning. I realize how much I'm going to miss the familiarities of home (ahem, no more baths?) and probably call my parents crying a lot in the beginning. And I know that my classes are going to be challenging, that I'm going to have to study more than a half hour the night before a test. College is going to be hard, especially at first. I'm going to want to come home, want to give up, and want to come back to my safety zone. I'm scared. Scared out of my mind. This is the scariest thing I've ever 'signed up' to do. My orientation made me realize a lot of things and that I'm not ready.

But I'm okay with not being ready for this. My whole life I've been content with sitting back and accepting what I already know how to do and am comfortable with. I want to feel uncomfortable, I want to feel lonely, I want to feel awkward and depressed and struggle. Because I know in the end all of it will be worth it. I'm not going to give up on this. There's too many opportunities, too many chances at living life, and too many chances at finally being happy. If it means being unhappy for awhile, then fine, so be it. I want to live my life, not stand by and watch it fly by.

With much love, Lauren.


Maria said...

I read this entire thing and I STILL can't get over how similar we are. I am absolutely the most socially awkward person ever! Especially with people I've never met. You must be an introvert just like me, because I love small groups of people, small places and being alone.

Lauren, please please please don't beat yourself up about it. You are wonderful, amazing and unique and just because you don't gel at parties doesn't make you any less of a person. I know you are going to be just wonderful at college. The first 6 months will be the hardest but after that it will fly by and you will enjoy it. :)

Lovely outfit too, you are the cutest beret-wearer around!
xx Maria

Unknown said...

Lauren, Don't ask for God to change you! You are so amazing all in yourself. Being an outgoing person who can go to parties probabaly isn't something you'd enjoy because it's not who YOU are. God will give you strength to make it through these times while you are away from home i just know it :) Isn't it all exciting though? Just focus on the positive! Ohh, By the way your pictures are BEAUTIFUL.. i wish I was so photogentic.

With love, Taylor

Anonymous said...

I struggle with an eating disorder and some OCD problems, and they are always triggered by anxiety and unfamiliar things, so I can relate to this. What I think was great is the fact that you recognized that the situation wasn't ideal, but you didn't let the bad things overpower it and spoil the memory completely. Sometimes that can be half the battle. And once you get used to things and routines, you can relax and get to know people. At least that's how it works with me. At my new job I was a basket case for quite some time, but somewhere along the line I stopped worrying and became myself, and I only realize it after looking back.
With God on your side, this college experience is going to be wonderful. Just let Him be in control.

eleanormeleanor said...

Hey there!

First of all, I've never commented before, so I'll just say the standard issue "I love your blog, you're so pretty and have fantastic fashion sense, etc". Haha. Anyways, formalities aside...

This post brought me back in so many ways. I'm going to be a junior in college in the fall, and I think back to my orientation two summers ago and this pretty much summed it up. I was so nervous. I've always been on the awkward side, and I tend to get nervous and come off kind of rude in large groups of people I don't know. So I left my orientation with a similar story and a similar feeling. I was nervous but also somewhat prepared.

College at first was a nightmare. I hated my roommate for a series of complicated reasons, and for most of first semester I had one friend. I sat in my dorm most nights on FB talking to my high school friends and wondering what was so deficient in me that I couldn't be like those kids you described, out at the parties and making friends and whatnot. Finally, in late October, I started hanging out with some new kids I met in my classes, and things took off from there. But this is what I learned.

Those kids that are running around banging on your door are going to keep doing that for a while. They are going to be drunk and loud and obnoxious and for the first couple months it will seem like they are ridiculously cool and awesome and like they're all best friends. But the fact is that friendships made under the influence of alcohol or what have you are usually pretty darn shallow. A few months into school,you'll see - they aren't all that happy in reality. Most of them will spend their first semester/year gallivanting around with their party friends, and once things get serious second semester/sophomore year, they'll find themselves longing for actual connection. Colleges are full of ALL kinds of people, and if you just wait, you'll find people who want to do the same things as you. It might take a while, but don't worry, it will happen if you stick it out, trust me. You don't have to be wild and party hard and whatnot, just, y'know, yourself (as cliche as it is to say so), and you'll find yourself surrounded by people who love you and who you love.

Sorry for the long winded-ness, I just wanted to pass on some of my wisdom. The awkward beginnings are worth it, in short. Good luck and don't worry!

Ashley Holloway said...

You don't need to change! It might seem like everybody is all about partying, but I promise there are quite a few who aren't into it all. I worried constantly in college that people were nothing like me and that I would have a hard time making friends. Instead, I met lots of wonderful girls who are a lot like me <3 College is full of high highs and low lows, but it will teach you so much and you will meet so many amazing like-minded people!

Lauren said...

Hey hey! I'm pretty much the same way, but my mom gave me a piece of advice that I use all the time and I think it might help you with making friends.

People always love talking about themselves, so my mom always told me that if I got nervous or shy, I just need to ask questions. It allows you to not have to talk and you get to learn about others.

I hope that helps a little bit. I know how hard it is to make friends (all my friends are guys because I struggled so hard the last two years of high school when I moved). For me (and I believe you're this way too), I only truly want deep friendships. So if someone else isn't willing to step into my life and make an effort, then I'm not going to give effort either. And being introverted, they (and I) have to give A LOT of effort. It seems to me that most people don't want to have super deep relationships. But I know you'll make deep friendships in college (it sounds like you and Michelle are going to be just fine together).

So I hope my little bit of advice helps you (haha I think I might have rambled a bit, but whatevs). You're gonna do awesome. And if you ever need someone to talk to, I'm always here. :) Love ya girl!

Britney @ Scout and Company said...

Hey Girlie!! I sure do hope you had a wonderful experience!!

I gave a little giggle when you said that people might think you are stuck up. Because I've been contemplating this the last few days!! A lot of people in my degree think Im a snob and its something I am working on before next semester. They think I'm a snob because I don't go up and socialize with them but I don't do that because in the past I've built up these walls and barriers to keep me 'safe' and not get hurt. Maybe thats what you have done too?

Michelle sounds like a super sweetie and it sounds like you already have a friend!! Which is great! I am sure that you will meet some more lovelies too! If there is one there is bound to be more!

Its great to hear that you have learnt from your orientation! One thing I think is that you shouldn't have to change yourself! But you will naturally grow and change for the better. For example I am so much more sure of myself now than I was when I started uni. It doesnt mean that I have a life filled with besties and parties like everyone else seems to BUT I am more than content with my life! I am sure you will find this too!!!

Downtown Kent sounds so cute! Its sounds like the perfect little village and I am sure that you will spend a lot of time there with friends laughing and drinking tea and the like!!

I think I get jealous too at the party goers in my degree (there are a LOT!) but I believe that we must realise that we aren't party goers. While the majority are we don't have to be! We don't have to do it just because every one else is doing it too! We don't have to hide it. We don't have to fit in to societies standards. Because we are brilliant the way we are!

You are perfect and extraordinary the way you are! In the short time I have known you you have shown me so much kindness and love. You are amazing!! I think sometimes you just need to remember that! :D
-Britney of Lemonwood and Honey

Ashlyn said...

I've been thinking all weekend how excited I was to get to read your post about Kent. I was really hoping it'd be if not a "good" experience, a helpful one!

My college experience was pretty atypical of people with our introverted personalities. Since my school is so small and I am on the cross country team, I found people to at least speak to at school events pretty quickly. But even now, I'm still struggling to find that place where I "fit" on campus.

I have to say that the only thing that really got my through freshman year without something crazy happening is my roommate. A good roommate is seriously the biggest blessing, and it sounds like you've got a real winner.

All I can say is keep your head up and just embrace optimism when it comes to these situations. And if all else fails, remember that everyone else is too worried about themselves to judge you too harshly.

Much love,
Triple Thread

Mihaela said...

You look so pretty! I wrote you an email on your yahoo mail. ;)

SM said...

I'm sure you'll find some great peopel that are similar to you. And since you're getting along with your roomate things will be easier. I know what you mean about making new friends and talking to new people. I have the same problem and it is been torturing me for years. I had a really rough time moving to another city when I started university last year. I still have difficulties from time to time adjusting to it - work, university, people... but it iscertainly not bad as the beginning. I guess you just get used to it nd try to make the best of it. And if you find people to hang out in between things a lot better =)

Carlee, Little Sloth said...

I freaked out a little at my orientation as well! It more or less what I expected just overwhelming when it happened. But then when I finally did go to college in the fall it was different. I think I was 'mentally prepared' for it all which helps a lot. You will love it! Thanks for sharing so much.


Ma Cherie D said...

I don't lnow what is better, zour dress, or zour bag :)

Ariel Tyler Henley said...

I am absolutely obsessed with your outfit! I love the honesty of your writing- thank you so much for sharing. Transitioning into college is hard at first, it is, but it is such an amazing and rewarding experience. You just have to remember that EVERYONE feels the same way that you do. I moved to the other side of the country for school and I didn't know anyone. It was really really hard at first- but I have never been happier! I have the most amazing friends and school. It'll just take a bit of an adjustment period, but you'll get there!

Unknown said...

Wow some of these comments are very long! Hello Lauren! I am Maria's sister: Josephine. I love your blog, Its so welcoming and warm. You are really beautiful and so are the clothes you wear


Sarah said...

You look so pretty. Such a lovely place to take photos.

Teddi said...

lauren you will, live your life. you are now. you are going to be doing so much growing. just remember to please be kind to yourself. i know you can do it! i believe. :)

Haley said...

Hey Lauren! I just wrote out a long comment but then it didn't go through so let me try again! So this is the first time I've ever read your blog, I found it while scrolling through the Teen Vogue Fashion Click. What caught my eye is the title "Back From Kent", because I will also be attending Kent State next year as a freshman and will be majoring in Fashion Merchandising! How crazy is that!? I had DKS last week and it was an emotional time for me too. I have a blog too...but I haven't posted in ages and I've kinda given up on it but I still love reading blogs, and I look forward to reading yours!! :) If you want to contact me you can email me or find me and message me on facebook!

Ulia Ali said...

You're so sweet and I love how you express your feeling in your blog. We all feel like you sometimes. I am very shy person in new companies too, but I guess I am getting better now :) At school I was really silent girl, but every year I become more and more open to new contacts and people, so don't worry about it.

beautiful look btw :*


claire said...

i just can't get over how similar we are, everything in this blog post about being introverted and OCD is just so relatable. I don't even know what to write in this comment, there's not enough words an it wouldn't make sense if i tried. On a lighter note, the town by kent seems so cute! x

Kezzie said...

Lauren, I remember my first two days of University. I didn't seem to make any friends on the first days of orientation and I felt wretched. I am shy too and awkward with people I don't know (less so now I am old! But still...). I was living at home so I didn't have the student acccommodation issues to deal with but I was really worried. I forced myself to go to the first Freshers evening event even though I felt sick with nervousness. I walked into the bar (where it was held) and wandered around. Mercifully, I recognised one of the music students from the orientation and just bit the bullet and chatted to him. He invited me to go and sit with him and his friends and then I was fine for the evening. Still, it wasn't until lectures that I actually started to feel comfortable with people and open up.
You'll be fine and it's better when you get on with the learning, people start to be themselves and you have common ground to build relationships upon!
By the way I got a Kate Middleton engagement ring style ring (not engaged though :-( )!!! I remember you said you liked them

Emily said...

Aw, well I'm glad you left it feeling that way! I mean, I would've loved if you left feeling absolutely amazing, but at the same time, its the bad things that really make you appreciate the good things! (Am I making any sense? Haha) I'm so glad Michelle makes you feel so good, I have a feeling that you two are gonna be great friends:) Lovely photos too, you're absolutely gorgeous in coral!

Jennifer said...

You are so cute! Darling dress!

xo Jennifer


Midwest Muse said...

I love your dress and Lauren! I think it will all be fine. You need to learn to let go of your inhibitions and embrace the new. It's really hard, I've been there (not dorms, but college) with panic and anxiety. I've got it WAY in check. If you've never tried/heard of EFT you should look it up. It's amazing tapping/breathing exercises that help rid anxiety or anything else that you're trying to work out. It kind of changed my life. Plus remember, if you ever need to get away, I'm only fifteen minutes away and I'll come rescue you.

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