Monday, September 7, 2009

Experiencing the Unexpected

Let's make a list of things most people would consider me very unlikely to do.

--Go willingly to a football game
--Spend lots of time hanging out with people outside my little social group
--Wear a lot of makeup
--Eat reasonable portions at reasonable times
--Hang out with a football player from my high school class
--Smoke a hookah

Now let's make a list of what I've been doing since I last blogged.

--Went willingly to a football game
--Spent lots of time hanging out with people outside my little social group
--Worn a lot of makeup
--Eaten reasonable portions at reasonable times
--Hung out with a football player from my high school class
--Smoked a hookah

The entire campus turned into football mania on Saturday, to an intimidating degree. Hardly a soul was seen not wearing green and white, thousands of teenagers and twenty-somethings all funneled down the street in giggling gaggles, people stood on balconies and shouted at those below. It took me a bit to come around to the idea, so while I was hiding in my room mentally preparing myself, everyone else on my floor left. I ended up calling my sister and standing uncomfortably in the crowded stadium with her friends for half the game, hanging out in their apartment for an hour or two, and then heading back to my dorm. Roomie and I watched The Soup together in our beds and fell asleep early. It turns out that football and I still don't really get along, but I think I deserve serious accolades for trying!

Sunday was significantly more fun than Saturday. I texted this guy who friended me on facebook and asked if he wanted to go to brunch with me, but he didn't see my message until I was already starving and in line. I sat alone at a table for a few minutes, melancholily eating my waffle, until a girl, also alone, asked if she could join me. She ended up being a Journalism major and fellow aspiring novelist. We talked about high school and the unusual names we like, and added each other to our phones.

After eating, I had to attend a meeting for English majors, which was made up of mostly boring and pointless information they could have just emailed us. I did, however, meet a handful of interesting Creative Writing majors. While the advisor jingled her huge dangle earrings and rambled about feelings or whatever it is hyperemotional English professors like to ramble about, I received a text from PJ, the kid from facebook. "My friend Michal is sitting three rows behind you, and she wants to meet you," it said. "Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to turn around and wave awkwardly to her. This message will self-destruct in 5...4...3...." I accepted the mission, and within the hour, Michal and I were friends.

We went to visit her dorm, which she properly described as looking like Barbie had thrown up. Michal has a tiny little corner, and her roommates (whom PJ later dubbed as The Bunnies) entertain their various male guests at all hours among the hot pink faux fur and pinking sheered ribbons. I instantly sympathized.

On our way to the Playboy Mansion, we'd run into Michal's friend, Kayla, so the three of us grabbed PJ from facebook and hung out in one of the dorm lounges for a long time. For over an hour, we had one of those brilliantly effortless banter sessions, in which we all provided hilarious insights nonchalantly, without laughing. I love intelligent, creative people. It was sort of like being inside an episode of Gilmore Girls, but realistic and less tiring. Once the dining hall opened, we met up with PJ's friend, Ellen, and had an early dinner together. They all live near each other back home and did a ton of theater together, but I didn't feel left out. They're an incredibly engaging group, and they were really nice to me. PJ knew who I was from the internet, because he used to be really involved in the lonelygirl15 community, and Michal's watched 5AG before. I'm so grateful for the internet sometimes!

We spent a good portion of the evening sitting in a row on the sidewalk of the busiest street with all the restaurants and shops, chatting and playing Peoplewatching Bingo. I was on the lookout for a girl saying something sassy into her cell phone in the hopes that those around would listen to her conversation. Kayla, who was clad in bright blue jeans, was looking for someone else in brightly-colored pants to look at hers. Michal wanted to find a boy with shaggy hair shake his bangs away to smoke a cigarette. I don't remember Ellen and PJ's, but they were equally clever. Anyway, after Michal won Bingo, PJ and Ellen left to meet somebody, and Michal, Kayla, and I decided it was about time for an adventure.

We went to a hookah bar.

If you've never seen a hookah, it's this fascinating kind of tobacco pipe that sort of looks like it's from Aladdin or something. Despite how badass one feels for stepping foot inside a hookah bar, it is, in fact, completely legal, and considerably less harmful than smoking cigarettes. Oh, and it's FUN. I was timid at first, being an innocent little prude, but by the end of the hour, I'd learned to blow smoke rings, exhale it out my nose, and do other tricks. We were given this big plastic tube and a jar of bubble mix, making the event even more fun. We had a blast blowing giant bubbles filled with swirling smoke, and then trying to keep them afloat midair as long as possible. The best part, though, is when the bubbles pop, and smoke explodes in a pretty sphere.

Kayla, one of the most outgoing people I've ever met, somehow became friends with every person in the bar and appointed herself DJ, to much applause from the other guests. She spent most of the time dancing furiously to her blaring iPod, and making me laugh by speaking along, calmly and matter-of-factly, to the lyrics of her bad, screamy music. Meanwhile, Michal and I took pictures of each other letting smoke slip from our open mouths and blowing puffs out the bubble tube. It was so pleasant and relaxed and fun. And NO, Mom, tobacco is not a gateway drug. Just be happy that tobacco's the most rebellious thing I can realistically imagine trying.

We split our separate ways after we finished the hookah, and I headed back to my dorm with the intention of finding Erin or calling my sister. I felt good, though, and it was my last night to go out before classes tomorrow, so I wasn't really ready to turn in. For some strange, inexplicable reason, something possessed me to go knock on the door of this kid, Anthony, from my high school. We had barely talked since our freshman year, and I didn't suspect we had anything in common, but I figured it was worth a try. Anthony was surprisingly happy to see me, and we walked together to this luau-themed mixer down the street. We shouted a conversation over the ridiculous decibels of Lady Gaga and Sean Kingston, watched people play beach volleyball in the dark, and avoided the thrashing crowds of enthusiastic dancers. I texted PJ to see if he was there, in case I needed an escape from a conversation lull, but somehow, as if hell had frozen over, this football player from the opposing social group at my high school and I truly hit it off. We gathered two of Anthony's friends and walked uptown to find something to do.

At the end of the night, I hung out at my sister's house with Anthony, his two friends, a girl from my town's other high school with whom I share a mutual friend, her roommates, Michal and Erin. The most surreal part of the entire surreal experience was when I found out Anthony has seen Rent live and loved it. He played "Seasons of Love" on his iPhone, and I about died from an overload of the unexpected.

Anyway, now it's 8:30 on Monday night, and Roomie's on her bunk below me, watching Family Guy. I spent the day attending pointless meetings, signing up for information about clubs, and spending some more time with Anthony. We had dinner together in one of the dining halls, went to buy textbooks (all his totaled at $100 and could easily fit in my purse; I spent $300 on two flimsy paperbacks and will still need to buy about six more), and shocked each other once again with our similarities. It turns out he knows a ton about Macs and other computer stuff, he's read some books I really love, and I've now lent him Paper Towns. Keep in mind that I DO NOT LEND BOOKS, so this was a monumental moment in our budding friendship. If you'd have told me a year ago that I'd be allowing Hell High School football players to borrow my favorite books and listening to metal music in a tobacco bar, I would have punched you upside yo 'ead.

I simply can't get over how dynamic and fun college is already proving to be. Sure, part of me aches from time to time for my friends at home, but Erin and I just keep getting closer and closer, and I'm adding all kinds of other awesome people to my growing list of friends. I'm quite nervous for tomorrow, even though I only have one class and it starts in the later afternoon, but I'm sure it'll end up fun. In case any readers are about to make a similar life transition, I promise you, it's everything it's cracked up to be!

Sexy: Finishing a blog post! While I have the most legitimate of excuses this time (every chance I get to sit down and write, I'm interrupted by an opportunity to go out and experience something more), I feel so much more at home when I get to let it all out.
Unsexy: The "Freshman Fifteen." I'm determined to not be one of those girls packing on a bundle of weight between summer and Thanksgiving. It's not easy, though, because everywhere I turn, people are tempting me with desserts and grease!

Chipotle burritos this year: 29
Bagel Street visits this school year: 1
Subscribers: 20,186

Bye, guys! Hopefully I'll see you tomorrow. <3


Rachel said...

Woah, I've never been first!

I'm glad you're having such a great time at college, and meeting so many cool people :)

Adrienne said...

please tell me that high school is as good as college. or, at least, not horrible. i'm a freshmen starting tomorrow, and i'm so freaked out.

Eddy said...

I'm so glad things are working out for you. Quite a bit different than how you were thinking and feeling last week.

Good luck this year in college. I know it will be better than anything you imagine!!

RLeviathanH said...

Wow, your college experience sounds much better than whatever my sister does at college (nothing but classes) I'm a little bit less afraid of college now... but not much.
I hope everything goes well with your first class!

Rennie said...

Hayley, you sound like you're having so much fun! Your great experiences make me want to just finish high school and head to college. It sounds cool.
You'll have even more fun, I think, once you actually start your classes.

Janelle said...

I'm so glad you're having a great time Hayley, you deserve it!

Keep having those wonderful experiences and don't let any opportunities go! Even if they turn out to be bad ones, they'll be memories to look back on!

- Janelle xx

Janelle said...

I'm so glad you're having a great time Hayley, you deserve it!

Keep having those wonderful experiences and don't let any opportunities go! Even if they turn out to be bad ones, they'll be memories to look back on!

- Janelle xx

Bigred719 said...

you always are able to make normal and somewhat things mundane and awesome, I wish I had your writing capability and memories like that from freshman year.

Anonymous said...

Hookah less harmful than a cigarette? Really? Come on now.

Anonymous said...

I still have a couple of years until college, but I've already been freaking out about going and not knowing anyone and sitting alone, studying and doing nothing else for four years, but reading how well you're adjusting has helped me out a lot. Thanks.

Margaret said...

Hayley! You're killing me! I want to go to college! Oh, whyyyy did I pick a school that starts on the LAST DAY OF SEPTEMBER?! ...Oh, right. Because I like it. BUT STILL.

Anyhow, I'm so pleased that it's everything it's cracked up to be! I'm excited to hear more exciting excerpts from your life. Good luck with your class tomorrow! :)

Robyn said...

Reading your blog post has made me feel so much better about my first day of university tomorrow!

GeeEmOh said...

That has got to be the ideal picture perfect college experience. Damn I can't wait for next year :/
Yay for Hayley :D

Allison said...

Yay Hayley!!
It's fun to live the college life vicariously through you as I have 3 years of high school left. It's cool how things you never thought would happen work out, like you and Anthony. GMH.

kira902k said...

Wow. I am exceedingly jealous of your life, once again. I'm in grade 10, and I guess I should just wait for it to be my turn for college, but at the moment, reading your blog and seeing my brother experience it himself, I can't help but envy you guys.

Hookah bar, eh? Naughty girl. Hahah :P
And FOOTBALL PLAYERS? It's like one of those movies where the football player actually turns out to be kind and sensitive.
Anyways, good luck with class, yeh? :)


Anonymous said...

"I don't know how to make friends, and I'll spend all my time in a corner, alone!"

MMmm-hmm, and you've been there for how many days now and I've already lost track of how many new friends you've talked about. Is everybody this social in dorms? I had no idea everybody just walked around making friends, you make it all sound so effortless.

But anyways, I'm very glad everything is going so swimmingly for you Hayley!


Katie said...

College is indeed everything it's cracked up to be- as long as you step out of your comfort zone and make things happen. Good work on doing that and keep it up! ;D

seurat2 said...

That was hugely entertaining to read Hayley, and it makes me smile knowing how much better it must have been for you to actually experience. But I'm not surprised you are making so many friends, the awesome in you is always apparent to anyone who bothers to look.

Nokorola said...

Don't have too much fun in your first week Hayley.

You should REALLY say this "I would have punched you upside yo 'ead", in a video so I can see if it sounds as funny coming out of your mouth as I imagined.

Have a fun day tomorrow Hayley.

Holly said...

It sounds all so awesome! Makes me even more eager to go to college. Keep having fun!!

Kaitlyn w/ a K said...

Oh, Hayley. You never cease to floor me with your badassity. I've smoked hookah at least three or four times, and I've never managed a decent smoke ring.

I'm glad you're having an awesome time at college so far. I have to admit that I LOL'ed at your commenter who asked if high school is as good as college. Sorry, Adrienne. No dice.

partyweetow said...

I'd seriously suggest trying to get your books through Amazon or other cheap textbook websites. It can save you tons of money. ^_^

Kristen said...

I'm so happy for you! I'm glad that college is great and is even more fantastic than you expected. Have a great first day of school Hayley : )

*oh and that salad bar you described in the last post makes me uber-jealous of you....just thought you should know ;)

Annie said...

I'm glad you're having a great time! Good luck with the actual school part!

Elle said...

Yay for Hayley! :) This blog makes me so excited to go to college next year. I hope I adjust as well as you, since I can be shy and not the greatest at making friends, but I'm not exaggerating when I say you've influenced me to commit to stepping outside my comfort zone for my college years. I hope I can stick to that promise!

I have to admit, I did an internal happy dance when I saw you smoked a hookah. I love smoking the hookah; I'm Arab-American so I was pretty much raised on it, haha. (Not really; that was exaggeration, people.) Anyway, PJ and Michal and the rest of your new friends sound awesome and extremely cool.

Get down wit' ya bad self! :D

Gina said...

Wow, I have to admit to being super jealous.
I'm also a freshman at college and my first few days involved hundreds of totally boring conversations about what classes people were taking and where they were from etc. I'm now a week in and things are better but I haven't found the kind of awesome, interesting people you seem to have found right away. Jealous! But I'm so glad you're having a good time, and hope the start of classes goes well!

Lauren said...

Oh jeez, I'm jealous. I spent my first weekend back at school watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer alone in my room and am now trying to catch up on all of the reading I have due tomorrow.

I lost the freshman fifteen. The first chance I had to weigh myself once I got back ended up making it very difficult for me to look at myself in the mirror because I'd gone below 95 lbs and it was disgusting. I weighed less than my sister who was like 6 inches shorter than me at the time. Bad times.

Gavin said...

Surprise, surprise Hayley is making friends. Of course you do realise that everyone who reads this blog knew you would be super popular and make great friends. How many of us have to tell you how awesome you are before you believe it?

Your awesome. And I'm happy college is going so well for you :)

smorasnki77 said...

Yay! im glad your doing things you usually wouldn't! it seems like your having an awesome time at college!! don't forget us though!! :]

Martha said...

I've never commented on your blog before (I think) even though I'm a faithful reader.
I chose to comment today just to say that I'm really happy about your experience so far, and I hope you keep taking risks and throwing yourself into the unfamiliar, continue being surprised by the unexpected.
You'll have good days and bad days, good moments and bad moments, and I'm so glad you have this blog as an outlet to capture some of those moments (good and bad) and share them with us (even the lurkers who never comment -- until now). We're rooting for you.

traderbob11 said...

I'm overwhelmed.

Cody Hotel said...

Just remember that the freshman fifteen works both ways; those determined to not gain weight usually end up losing about 15 pounds.

I gained my freshman fifteen, but to be fair I was TRYING to put on about 20-25 pounds to bulk up. It ended up being a freshman 17-ish.

The Vagabond said...

I'm glad you're having fun! It's so cool how you made friends so fast. I guess I'm just not as good as you because I found it pretty hard to put myself out there.

As for the freshmen fifteen. I'm not sure how much that actually happens. It didn't happen to any of my friends and I actually lost weight when I went away to school. Although I suppose it helped that there wasn't (and still isn't!) any Chipotle or Panda Express to tempt me.

This blog makes me LOL IRL so much. It's great. Have a good time at class tomorrow!

Katy J said...

If you haven't heard already, is a lifesaver when it comes to buying textbooks. Go used, all the way. :] Don't stop having fun!

Sarah said...

Your experience so far sounds like amazing amounts of fun. The way you describe things makes your life seem like a quirky, realistic, well-written young adult novel.

Anonymous said...

"I about died from an overload of the unexpected." Quite possibly, my favourite part of the whole post :)

The Anthony anecdote sortof reminded me of The Breakfast Club.

Your college experience sounds AWESOME, my university is in my city so I don't get to live in dorms. A little disappointing because it means I can't have exciting adventures at midnight (parents!).

Anyway, I can't wait to see all your new friends in a video eventually.

jessmcfadden said...

Yesterday I was thinking, like, wow. Hayley would be so much fun to go to college with! We want to do everything the same way and the same amount and... oh yeah; she's my best friend. And go figure. I mean, I'm just saying, you're coool.

Stefan said...

college was only a short time ago for me and you're making me miss it oh so much. It really brings a tear to my eye to hear you tell of how you are doing.

I had a very similar experience and I still with I could relive it. there really are not enough books about college let alone the first few weeks which magically change so many lives as people from so many social groups learn to get along.

out here in the real world you forget how to bridge those social gaps just like high school. Seem like college in the only excuse most people have for branching out.

Maya said...

Gaaah, you're so lucky. I wish I could make friends as easily as you. Your blog never ceases to entertain me, and I'm sure it won't in the future because college sounds awesome. :D

Indigo said...

I can totally admire your ability to write such a lengthy blog post and still make it 100% awesome.

oxiigen said...

Sigh. The more you write about your collegiate experience the more I want to GO. I can't wait to do and see the unexpected...

glad you're having fun!
<333 g

April said...

You have no idea how jealous I am of you. I'm now in my fifth and last year of college, and throughout these last five years I haven't been able to make as many friends as you've made in a weekend. Trade lives with me please?

Maria said...

That sounds great! Glad to know that you're having a good time in college. =)

Hope Is Not A Myth said...

God i miss college, and its only been 4 months since i graduated. I'm glad you are having fun Haley. Enjoy it, fours years goes by amazingly fast.

Ashley said...

My college experience so far has been the exact opposite. I'm sort of jealous of your fun times. I haven't had any at all and I'm in my 3rd year. Glad you are having fun!

but the name is Tarah. said...

I absolutely love hearing these stories, Hayley.
It makes me less nervous for when I start college in, like, two years.

Keep 'em coming.


Scott said...

I want your life. :(

Elizabeth... said...

You continue to amaze me and make me hope against hope that I'll have such fun in 3 weeks time.

flitwicks_choirgirl said...

I spent the last bit of today in a civil engineering lab. in my half of the class I was the only girl. so i've had enough of the boys for the moment. so it's was nice to come here and read some good, girly news. thanks hayley.

oh and i say this out of love, but um, please stay away from the tobacco. it's just not good for you.

glad your having so much fun!!!

SlytherinSweetie said...

College sounds awesome. I'm really glad your coming out of your safety shell to meet more people. That's just great! Good luck in college!!

SlytherinSweetie said...

P.S. My name is Kayla too. He he.

Jordan said...

I just moved into my dorms on August 22nd and started classes on the 26th. I'm a lot like you in, I'm not very outgoing (unless I'm with my friends) and I'd much prefer to stick to my social group.

But since I've started college, I've fallen in love with it. I love (most) of my roommates and the people that live on my floor. I've been a lot more social and out going than I normally am.

I love college honestly and it just keeps getting better, minus the amount of work.


Good luck Hayley!!!

VTBurninator said...

Sounds great!! I'm so incredibly happy for you HGH! =) Have a blast and experience it all because life is what you make it.

Oh and football, I felt the same way. My family would drive 4 hours for the game, I would stay for the first half and then go back to my dorm room till it was over cause it was so boring to me. Then about sophomore/junior year I started to have a blast at the games and even got season tickets during graduate school. Now I try to get my gf to watch them on TV and I'm back to being bored again lol

RoboFillet said...

You seriously make me feel like I've wasted my years at university. Oh well, I guess I never lived in the dorms.

I'm kind of surprised so many people know you from the internet. In my experience it has always been "You do WHAT?" They think it's cool, but they've never even heard of YouTube being used as a social networking tool before. You are somewhat higher-profile than I am though, so I have to consider that ; )

RoboFillet said...

Oh hey and guess what? You've inspired me to start blogging regularly again! I know you're just DYING to read about my escapades what with all the awesome people you're meeting at the moment, but my writings will be there should you ever have a dull moment. They're in the same place they've always been =)

eibbore said...

I know you say your blog readers are awesome but I have never really read through the comments before. Here are some of my fave comments from this post:

"Get down wit' ya bad self! :D"

"How many of us have to tell you how awesome you are before you believe it?" TRUE

lol I <3 interwebs

I wish I would be able to have an American college experience or I at least wish that I'd moved to a college I really wanted to go to and done the whole dorm experience in the UK. Oh well.

Glad you're having such an awesome time. And I am especially glad that your making time to blog. We would miss it too much if you stopped.

Kimbra said...

It sounds like you're having a blast!
I'm glad to hear it.

Hooka is FUN.
I smoked it a few times last summer; I'm jealous that you learned how to blow smoke rings on your first night! I still don't know how to do that.
And to further try to explain what a hooka is... It's the thing that the Caterpillar in "Alice in Wonderland" smokes.

Try going to for books; I found my World Lit book for $28 on the site as opposed to $50something in my bookstore.

I hope your classes go well! And I hope you continue having fun!

Pippa said...

You sound like your having fun at college! Good luck in your classes tomorrow!

Advice (you've probably already heard) from a fellow college freshman learning the ropes:
Try to map out where your classes are, so you aren't one of those freshman who get lost on the first day. Don't wear anything they gave you at orientation (especially if it says "class of 2013"). And, when you go out on weekends, don't walk in big packs b/c upperclassmen driving by in cars will yell, "FRESHMEN!" at you.

ifmemoryserves said...

Wow! Sounds like you're having an awesome time. You've kind of relieved my fears for next year. A little.

alimarie_11 said...

sorry to say but your blog to day has made me even more reluctant for college

i don't want to be sucked into anything you described in here

at least the smoking and football ness, and lots of makeup.

but i'm glad your having fun.

Ravenclaw2313 said...

Your friends sound like a blast. It's wonderful to meet all sorts of new neat people. I want a PJ, don't suppose you could clone him and send one along to Iowa. He sounds like a lot of fun, especially that text message.

As far as getting along with the football player, that is one of the wonders of college, all those weird social barriers are gone. You have the opportunity to find out things that you never would have otherwise. Enjoy it.

shakethedust said...

College is sounding so amazing for you already! You're way more mingly than I ever was, so congrats! I hope your first week of classes goes well.

Oh, and you have the same school colors as me! And I have yet to willingly attend a football game her, and I graduate in December. I guess I should finally give it a shot...


rAm said...

If you keep this pace, by Thursday you'll end up having more social fun that i had in my whole bachelor degree.

Haha, It should sadden me how little exaggeration that contains.

Arden said...

That's really awesome that you're having a great time at college! I can only hope my experience is similar (I start in two weeks):)

Ashley said...

Hayley! I just started reading Kristina's blog recently and didn't realize how great blogs could be. I decided I had to check yours out and see how college was treating you. I'm glad you're loving it. I'm a Junior but I still remember that Freshman feeling.

Good luck and great blog.

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad that you are having such a fantastic time! Last year as a freshman I was nervous too, but it really doesn't take long for you to come out of your shell and have the best time.

Two thinks I think are rather coincidental about what you said:
1. My best friend here at school is also named Erin.
2. I tried Hookah my first week as well. Does your place also have black lights and highlighters so that you can draw on yourself?

heythereamelia said...

Thank you thank you THANK YOU!!! H G Hoover you may very well be my favorite person in this world at the moment! I started college as well this semester and I have never feared anything more... But this post has completley changed my thought, I am now excited! You inspired me to get involved in college. I am loving the idea of it now! I signed up for the local Christian club and a republican club, I'm ready to take this challenge ;) thank you for your inspiration!!! Thank you for your advice! You are awesome and I hope college stays well for you!


Anonymous said...

Happy, Happy, Happy, Happy, Happy Birthday Hayley!