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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Sunday, June 16, 2024

Are you there God? It's me, that girl that wrote you poetry that one time

I began freshman year with a mix of self-loathing, contempt, depression and a dash of delusion. I was working eight-hour shifts at a café nearby because I wanted to support myself, and thus felt that everyone else was childish and entitled. But we all know that game. I call it “cool, aloof girl that doesn't know how to express feelings.”

A combination of social anxiety and exhaustion helped me avoid interactions, which I justified with a feeling that I didn’t need friends.

Look at me! I’m succeeding without people — HAHA I’ve unlocked the key to Gringotts! I’ve solved the mystery of breast cancer! I know how to live without friends! I KNEW I WAS SPECIAL!

My parents were busy trying to make lives for themselves and getting over my decision to move across the country, so their infrequent (though really, pretty frequent) calls were further evidence to me that I didn’t need anyone to succeed. But success is a precarious definition for what was going on.

My “sleep deprivation” and “depression” tend to look pretty similar, which is too bad because my dean later said that she never would have approved my course schedule had I come to see her.

Spring (WINTER) semester was rough. I stopped running because of the snow, and the scones at the café definitely didn’t aid my health. I felt unattractive and alone while quickly sinking into the hole of darkness and doom that was my Haskell single.

By spring break, I was convinced that I wouldn’t return to Tufts the next year. I spent the week in San Francisco re-watching all three seasons of "Avatar: The Last Airbender."

Back at school, I took up a casual conversation with God at night to supplement the lack of social interaction I was receiving. After some sappy poetry on the matter, I quit out of embarrassment and self-pity.

And then, suddenly, it all went away, and there were rainbows and fluffy bunnies running around in my head! Just kidding. I got a summer internship. But that was boring, so instead, I became a raft guide. Or I tried to.

In my attempts, I learned how to row. I re-learned how to yell. I built up muscles in my back I didn’t even know existed. I learned how to wear a big hat. I stopped shaving because it didn’t matter if I was pretty; it mattered that I could get a 1500-pound boat down the river. It mattered that I could get up at 6 a.m. to make coffee and keep working until 10 p.m. after the guests were fed, the dishes were cleaned and the water jugs were filled for the next day.

It’s hard to sum up what feels like a very dramatic shift in my life in fewer than 500 words. And I’m not entirely sure why I am trying to. Perhaps because I looked at my legs today and thought “ugly.” Let the story and the legs serve as a reminder to the brief time when I just didn’t care so god damn much.