This week, I’m doing something a little bit different. Winter quarter is an undeniably tricky time for college students in Seattle—a freshman, in particular. It gets dark at 4:00 p.m., it’s cold all the time, and rain is just one of those things that casts this overwhelming feeling of “I really do not want to get out of bed.” After winter break, it really started to sink in for me that the life I’d become accustomed to for 18 years wasn’t mine anymore. Home, San Diego, my house: these are all temporary, and the place where I now spend the majority of my life is Seattle. And while I’ve completely fallen in love with it, it’s not home. I found myself feeling everything I’m used to feeling, but completely multiplied, and so whenever I was feeling sad or heartbroken, or the inability to ever feel actual solitude, I turned to the farthest I could get from reality: media. I found solace and comfort in movies and music, and I healed through these art forms.
One of the factors that I feel like no one tells you about college is how susceptible you are to a tricky combination of feeling lonely, and the inability to ever be completely alone. The lonely is expected; you’re moving to a completely new place with completely new people, and no matter how many amazing friends you’re making, your surroundings are still unfamiliar, and there’s something really lonely about not knowing what’s going to happen next. A show I turned to when I needed to feel grounded was Gilmore Girls. There’s something very comforting about an entire show dedicated to the themes of family and growing up. Gilmore Girls sort of got me through high school, in the sense that it was something I could always go back to and because it highlighted familial values. It reminded me to appreciate my family—my mom, in particular. It served the same purpose for me this last quarter. Relating so heavily to Lorelai and Rory’s dynamic in terms of my mom and I, it was comforting to be able to watch them interact when I was missing it.
Another form of media that really helped me grasp all of these ~changes~ was Pure Heroine by Lorde. This entire album is sort of an ode to growing up, and I found that having this as something to refer to, whenever I felt like I was the only one in the world confused about this notion of getting old and changing, was really important. One song that I found myself tuning out to is “Ribs.” It highlights small but comforting rites of passage, like staying home alone, kissing the same person over and over again. One line that really just made sense to me when I was really struggling was, “And I’ve never felt more alone/ It feels so scary getting old.” Because, honestly, it’s just real. Everyone’s here by themselves pretending they know what they’re doing, and because of this overwhelming pressure, we tend to convince ourselves that we have to do this alone. Growing up is f****** terrifying, and I strongly believe that it’s so important to surround yourself with people that you feel comfortable expressing that to. “You’re the only friend I need/Sharing beds like little kids/Laughing till our ribs get tired.” The end of the song brings up having someone that makes you feel like a kid again; someone that alleviates the stress of trying so hard to be an adult when we’re not nearly equipped enough yet.
Overall, winter quarter (February, in particular) was a lot. It was a time when I felt forced to analyze myself and the situations I was in, and I found that, at many times, the only thing that stayed constant and unchanging was music and film. I feel like it’s so important to find time to be by yourself and allow yourself to decompress from the pressures and deadlines and expectations that we’re constantly exposed to during our freshman year of college. It’s easy to become lost and confused, so having a North Star—something to always come back to, whether that’s a show or an album or a person at home—is so incredibly important. February was a slow month for me creativity-wise. I wasn’t writing and my articles were practically non-existent. I’ve committed to myself to thrive in March, so I hope you missed me because I’m back, healed, and ready to create.
CAMERON PAYNE | Ready to create | KXSU Music Reporter