Thursday, September 10, 2009

hello higher education.

Summer:  A change from the routine of school and work for some; A nostalgia, holding tight to traditions like their yearly trip to the beach, or their 4th of July pre-fireworks picnic; fresh air; shining sun; and a feeling of goodness all around.

I would have to say that my Summer of 2009 reflected much of this cliche American pastime. I spent so much time with the people that make me happy; my family and my friends. It started off with an amazing mission trip in Tennessee and a vacation with my family to one of the most beautiful beaches in North Carolina.

I enjoyed every single minute of my three months, because I knew that the next four summers would be quite a change from the first eighteen of my life. Even more, I knew the next four school years would hold more than I could even fathom. And that scared the shit out of me. 

By mid-July, many people had already left, some people for bootcamp, some to summer internships, working all the time, or already getting settled at their place of university. When my long-going boyfriend moved halfway across the country, I was forced to start thinking about what my freshman year at college was going to encompass. 

I had to make priorities. What was the most important?  

Here I was, eighteen years old, trying to figure out what I was going to do with myself. I was going to a party school- not my scene. I was a liberal Christian ready to make a difference in the world and do something that, for me, was unheard of in the college experience. Erin boldy go where no college girl has ever gone before?...

or have they?

Well, I have officially been at college for seven days, and I can say that each one has been significantly different than the one before. The first day, drastically weird. The second day, drastically weirder. And as the adrenaline pumps my fingertips to type, I joyfully explain that I am not alone. Within hours of arriving to my new home, I was flooded with invitations to Christian groups, substance free groups, and groups of people who were in it for others. I was so excited.

and I still am. There are so many people at this University dedicated to changing the college stereotypes that we are so overwhelmed with our entire lives. I dedicate this blog to them, all of those people who have opened my eyes in the last week. To all of the people I am about to meet in the next four years, thank you. Because I have no idea what is in store for me, but I have made the decision to be unique, to live my life making healthy choices, to learn to my full capacity, and to not do it alone.

Monday, July 13, 2009

hello world.

Erin McCarthy at your service: 
  • Blonde hair, blue eyes, 5'4", normal as can be.
  • Product of two very loving parents, one brother, two dogs. Product of Suburbia and all that it entails. Product of the Me Generation, and rightfully named. 
  • Caught in the messy, sticky goo that is the summer between two important chapters in my life- high school and college- and trying to figure out just about everything is all about.

The world around me is changing, and as am I, careful to put much emphasis on the three letter suffix added to the word change. In reality, it is a process, always constantly happening. However, in this particular moment in my life, I am happy to find myself witnessing the own change in my life as it occurs. I don't want to wake up one morning, look at my reflection in the mirror- hair and smeared makeup frizzy memories of the night before- and say to myself, "wow, I've changed." So instead, I find the need to record my feelings, record who I am, and be able to look back at how it all really happened.

So far this summer, I have gone through phases, beginning with my high school graduation. 

Seeing everyone that I've grown up with for the past 12 years was incredible. It's weird to think that each one of the 350 graduates of the class of 2009 at Dublin Jerome have their own stories- something I realized when the valedictorian's speech wasn't even remotely relatable to my life. "It seems like just yesterday we were pulling our first all-nighter, making hundreds of flashcards for that big exam," she said. haha, no? I can't remember EVER pulling an all nighter for an high school test let alone holding the memory of one so dear that it felt like just last night.

As the class all filed out of graduation into the arms of their loved ones, and out the doors of the Schottenstein's Center, I couldn't help but think how powerful this simple walk through the arena's arched doorway was. That was the last time us 350 kids would all be together. We were all funneling out into the world to make people of ourselves, and each with these dreams of making some sort of impact.