Two days ago I had the privilege of attending Pitt Day in Harrisburg for the second year in a row. It’s a great opportunity for students at Pitt where they get to travel to the capitol and talk to legislators about different issues, all while making connections and seeing what life in politics is like. It’s a good place for a Political Science major like me to go.
While that’s all nice and good, that’s not what I’m interested in talking about today. I’d rather talk about my favorite part of the whole trip, or any trip in general – the ride there and back.
The capitol is exactly 2 hours and 48 minutes away from my college, not including traffic. So really, it’s more like 3+ hours from school to Harrisburg, and even longer to my house in Lancaster. I’ve gotten used to the rides from home to school and back, and I’ve even grown to look forward to them. Long rides give me time to do one of my favorite things: daydream.
I am a daydreamer through and through. I’ve been creating stories in my head for as long as I can remember, from fiction pieces to news articles for the next edition of the paper. I’m constantly writing inside my head, regardless of where I am or what I’m doing. During class, work, or grocery shopping – I’m daydreaming. Despite my ability to daydream wherever I am, I prefer to do so when I won’t be interrupted by other tasks. For lack of a better phrase, uninterrupted time is when my creative juices flow the most.
As you can imagine, I had a lot of time to sit and daydream during the ride. 6+ hours of it.
On long rides like these I usually like to daydream about the future instead of creating a fictional story. Sometimes coming up with new characters and an interesting plot is too strenuous, especially for someone who’s running on less than 5 hours of sleep and no caffeine.
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a little afraid of what my future might be. There are so many possibilities for success. On the other hand, there are so many possibilities for failure. That doesn’t mean I’m not intensely curious.
Next semester I start my job as a Community Assistant on campus (if you’re a little confused as to what that is, most campuses call them Resident Assistants instead). A majority of my daydreams on the ride to and from the capitol involved what my life is going to be like next year with that added responsibility. I’m already juggling 18 credits, a double major and a minor, being the Editor-in-Chief of the newspaper, working 2 hours every day in the Human Resources office on campus, having a social life, and getting enough sleep. Doing all of these things is hard enough as is, so why would I want to add the stress of being a CA? There are multiple factors behind it, but that’s a whole different story that I don’t feel like writing about today. All that matters is that I keep imaging what it’s going to be like. Will my residents like me? What kind of programs will I hold? How stressed and awful am I going to be next semester? When will I end up burning myself out? (Because really, I already know it’s not a question of whether or not I will burn myself out, but when I will. With me, it’s really inevitable).
One of my frequent daydreams that isn’t incredibly stress inducing involves what my door tags for my residents are going to look like next year. Usually there’s a theme involved (in my current on-campus apartment, the theme is superheros – I’m Spiderman, although I would have preferred Daredevil) and it changes at least every semester. For my first set of door tags I’m leaning more towards a Harry Potter theme, although I’m afraid it’ll be too cliche. Every CA/RA on the planet has probably done a Harry Potter theme at this point. Also, I’m a little hesitant to decide what resident gets put in what house – what if I accidentally put a Slytherin in Gryffindor? Or a Hufflepuff in Ravenclaw? That would be disastrous.
Maybe door tags are more stressful then I originally thought. Maybe I’ll make it easy on myself and stick to superheros.
Everybody likes superheros, right?
What I’m really trying to get at in this post is that the future may be terrifying, but daydreaming about what it could be like makes me feel a little calmer about it. Nothing is better than sitting down for a long car ride, putting on some good tunes, and looking out the window while thinking about the possibilities. As scared as I am for the future, I know everything will turn out alright in the end. I know a majority of my daydreams won’t come true, but it’s nice to think about what could happen. I think it might have something to do with hope, maybe.
For the time being, I’m going to stick to daydreaming and thinking about the endless possibilities coming my way in the future.
I want to end this post with some lyrics from one of my favorite songs. In the song “Cough It Out” by The Front Bottoms, lead singer Brian Sella says, “I like the in betweens. I like the time it takes to get somewhere.”
Personally? I couldn’t agree more.