Today I had two surprises.

The first was when I woke up and realized it was Tuesday. I honestly truly thought it was Monday, and yesterday was Sunday. I suppose that’s what comes from normally working on Sundays; you equate working with that day of the week. (This explains my lack of posting yesterday. I didn’t think it was a week day.)

The second was sitting in class realizing that I had forgotten to bring along a notebook or pen or anything at all. This brought my denial crashing home, a simmering sort of denial that I’ve been intermittently trying to pick out the reason for. I don’t want to go to school.

The funniest thing is, I thought that working some over the break would keep this from happening. That I would stay neater and more organized, and more on a schedule. Instead, the more I worked and the closer school starting came, the worse I got. Not horrendously so, but rather dramatically so for me: my knapsack isn’t packed; I haven’t looked through any of my books, to speak of; I haven’t even ordered book covers, which I have found hugely helpful in keeping my books alive through the semester when they’re constantly crammed in my knapsack.

Work I don’t mind. School, for some reason, I dread. I have narrowed it down to not being physical—though the long days and short nights do wear me down, that’s not what I dread. And it’s not mental; although it can be wearing trying to cram so many piece of information in my head in such a short time, I cannot honestly say I’m concerned about my ability to learn the information. It seems to be purely emotional, hence “I don’t want” to go to school.

I emotionally do not like be graded. It not only feels stressful, it feels, well, degrading. Do we have to assign numbers? Can’t we just talk about what I didn’t understand, and do better next time?

I emotionally struggled with most of my professors last time. I felt like they were fighting me more than helping me; they left me feeling discouraged and like I was on my own.

I emotionally did not like being on campus; it was always strange and never felt like home—and even if you could get familiar with some of the rooms or locations, it was always filled with strange people you didn’t know.

I didn’t like the class work, because it seemed so pointless and game-like, irrelevant to real life.

It was wearing feeling like I had nothing more than a tentative truce with at least half the class; we have utterly no common ground and no reason why we’d want to be around each other. Recognizing we’re stuck with each other for the duration of the program, there is no active antagonizing. . .but not really anything close to camaraderie, either.

The other half of the class, the over-achievers (the half to which I belong), accept me, but in some strange way, not as an equal. It’s rather implicitly obvious that I have the overall highest grades (it’s never been explicitly investigated, so it’s quite possible it isn’t true. However, as it’s been observed before, it isn’t the facts that matter, it’s only what people believe).

This means that, from either half of the class, I’m approached as “the smart one”. I do not need, and do not want, to be approached as “the smart one”. I already take myself and life too seriously; it’s better for my mental health when people tell me to lighten up and stop being so wound up. I’d rather be counter-balanced, not pushed over the brink of What If I Score Lower Than A Ninety? (This is basically the mantra of the overachievers.) Congruently, I find myself in the position of trying to encourage people who score lowered than me, and resolutely trying to refrain from saying, “I can’t believe I missed that question!!”—after all, when it quite possibly was the only question you missed, people don’t have much sympathy for you.

Finally, I don’t feel competent at school. I didn’t say I wasn’t, I said I don’t feel I am. I’m faking it. Every day I come in and fake that I know what I’m doing, that I’m confident and in control. Really and truly, there will never be anything familiar about school. It’s a time of constant transient; it’s kind of a question of how well you roll with the waves.

So I have avoided, as much as conveniently possible, the looming existence of the next semester. Unfortunately, I have run out convenient ways to avoid it. Tomorrow is my first day dropped off by the boys at 7:20; it is the first day I will back with nothing but me and my knapsack (and therefore, it had dang well better be packed!!); and it is also my first day where I have classes back to back from 8 am to 5 pm, with nothing but a half-hour break for lunch. If there was ever any hope for the denial of school’s existence, it will all be utterly crushed tomorrow.

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