Heya readers! I don't know if there are still any of you out there; these past months have been crazy, busy, hectic, fun, surprising, and an over-all whirlwind that has prevented me from posting anything in my blog. The time has been flying through my fingers faster than a speeding bullet. Well, that must be how it is for all of us poor "starving" college students. Whoever started the rumor that freshman typically gain 15 pounds within the first year of school was seriously misinformed; in the first two months I ended up losing about 15 lbs. Hooray, I guess?
Honestly, the past few months have been more of a learning experience for me than any other experience in my life. After living with my family for eighteen years, it was quite a shock to move away into a dorm apartment with seven complete strangers. Let's just say that it's been enlightening, terrifying, and wonderful to hear what other people think and believe; so often it's different from what I've learned growing up. My family had rubbed off and become so much a part of me that I had almost began to believe that we were "normal"... Nope! Apparently the family tradition of waking up before eight o'clock because of my early-bird dad is not very common. My roommates were almost horrified when I woke up at 8:10 the other day, "You actually slept in for once, Jojo?! That's impressive." Yeah, some old habits die hard.
That's not all that's different though; the music is different, the food is different,and the weather is more unpredictable than a two-year-old's temper tantrums. This must be what the early settlers felt like when they reached the Americas... Everyday is unexpected, great, terrible, moving. Some people disregard the traditions and morals that I've held dear to me thus far in my life. Some encourage me to keep going and to push through it all. Sometimes I feel a rift when others think differently, but I'm learning to accept this blend of differences in background and history. College has become a testing ground to see if I can keep my head above the opinions of others, to stay true to myself while trying to learn and grow with those around me, and ultimately to try and maintain my own sense of individuality despite the influence of the crowd.
As for what I've been doing with my life is another story. Many of my friends have been leaving on missions to serve as missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Some of the best days of my life up at the university have been the times that I've spent reading those missionaries' letters. I couldn't be more proud of them for sacrificing two years of their lives in such selfless service. Way to go guys! Admittedly, I check the weather in Tijuana every single day. It always brings a smile to my face to see that a certain missionary friend is getting plenty of sun while I'm shivering under all this snow.
Lots of my time is spent learning new things. A few months ago, one of my neighbors taught me how to crochet hats; we've undertaken the task of trying to make 100 hats for children with cancer. I can't wait until we're done! Along with becoming quite the mad-hatter, I'm also attempting to learn an instrument that is also slowly driving me mad. The majestic and nearly-impossible-to-convert-to organ. After only a month into the school year, my bishop called me to be an organist... I had never touched an organ in my life, and so I was pretty scared at first. Despite the initial shock of being asked to learn to play a fourth instrument, I've found it to be a humbling experience. To all of you who laugh and think that the organ is just like the piano, keep dreaming like I did, it's much harder than it looks! There's no sustaining pedal, and the grand organ is so loud that a single wrong note becomes glaringly obvious. However, learning something so different has been a good experience for me. It makes me appreciate good musicians who make playing instruments look so easy!
Surprisingly, my first finals week in college wasn't too bad. Not to belittle the woes and struggles of my classmates, but the college tests weren't much harder than high school AP tests... Actually, high school was much rougher in my opinion! Christmas break was a lot of fun, and I spent a lot of it with my cousin Alexis and her friend Joe. The three weeks that we had off were a riot; we all slept in late through the morning and stayed up playing games, teasing each other, telling tacky jokes (okay, okay, that was just me,) and watching some funny and weird movies that I'd never seen. There's never been a break that I've enjoyed more than this last Christmas. I'm really going to miss them when they leave on their missions this year!
Anyways, I'll get back to blogging when I have more to say. It felt so good to write again!