Sleepless Morning [May 9, 2017]

I am beginning to write this at 5:35, hot tea in hand while moments away from starting season 2 of the Great British Bake Off. I am awake from an irritating and relentless cough from my recent change in location.

Yes, finally my first year at college is over and I am home for the summer. Over the past few weeks, I’ve written over 25 total pages for essays and projects, made two portfolios, and made it out for my 4.0 still in tact. I’m proud of my efforts, to say the least.

This pride is bittersweet though, seeing as though next semester I won’t be returning to my university but instead transferring to Rutgers, New Brunswick campus. I will miss everyone and everything I have forged together for myself, completely alone in DC, but it wasn’t a brilliant fit for me. I need to attend a larger and more socially and academically diverse university.

My sister is on her way to graduating next year from Rutgers, so my anxiety over whether Rutgers will be an improvement is non-existent. She was actually half the reason I came to the realization that my current university wasn’t working out for me; everything she listed about her freshman college experience, and even more recent things, I simply wasn’t seeing at my university.

I felt left behind, watching all my friends excel socially and academically. My life had just become a cycle avoiding people in elevators and scheduling my entire life around how much work I could force myself to do before exhaustion kicked in. There were no social clubs to join besides Greek life to expand my circle or stay de-stressed. At the beginning of the spring semester I felt I was being shipped off rather than returning to a new home. Something deep down knew straight-off that it wasn’t a place I could see myself going for the next two years of my life.

I’m very fortunate that my parents were behind me and encouraged my transfer process. Having their support made my confidence double after sending in my application and transcript, and definitely made the acceptance letter that much more rewarding.

Since being home though, other people have shared their own hopes and desires for my future, but I am focusing everyday to remain true to what I want and my future, rather than the white noise of others. (It’s very laborious, honestly. People need to shut up.)

I wish everyone well in their final exams still to come and the invasive family questions sure to come this summer.

xoxo Ash

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Mock Interview, Real Frustration [April 9th, 2017]

One of the most ironic things about college that I’ve noticed so far is how frustrating it can be, and how there is no outlet for your squabbles as a student. You are an adult and are expected to just nod along obediently, a professor not really giving a crap how much they aren’t in agreement with the four other professors you have.

Maybe it’s just me and the week I’ve had, but I have more than enough to say, but struggling uncertainty on how to say it— and if I’m even supposed to.

Take for example, a certain career development course that meets once a week on Tuesday mornings– just to randomly make something up. Now let’s say that this class teaches a very cut and dry approach to getting a job; less creativity and more sustainability. You, the student, are interested in becoming a writer. The professor has little to no advice for you and all the advice she does give contradicts directly with the advice given to you by your writing professor.

You smile and press on anyway.

This pretend Tuesday morning class then prepares you for a mock interview, testing your skills on not only your personality and interpersonal skills, but on how well you’ve been listening during class. You are an attentive student and feel ready. You study the week before the interview and remember the professor’s advice about expanding on your resume, as well as their advice to particular “routine” questions.

You go into the interview, dressed nice, smile on your face, (mildly) sweaty palms, and a handshake so damn firm you are ready for the UN. You are ready.

The interview is a half hour and the man across from you takes notes the entire time. You have answers for everything. You relate everything back to your resume and how your past experience had prepared you for this job– hell, you could do the job now you are so experienced.

He fails you.

He tells you that you were only supposed to talk about the description of the job in question. He didn’t care about your resume– it was impressive, but he didn’t care. And those questions he asked you? Half of them were illegal and you were supposed to know not to answer them. Yes, even the one your professor helped you prepare for and told you is the most important question to nail.

Everything you were taught was wrong. And now you are sitting in a second floor bathroom of the Student Academic Building trying to use your sweater sleeve as a brown paper bag to stop yourself from hyperventilating.

You are embarrassed, you feel betrayed, you feel stupid, and now you are going to get a B in the class for doing exactly what your professor asked.

I have been drafting all the different ways to ask “What the fuck?” in an academic setting, but I don’t think I’ve gotten it quite right just yet. Hopefully, the inspiration with strike me before I do the same to my professor.

First Impressions [April 4, 2017]

Hello there!  Welcome to The Prettiest Odd, a blog chronicling my hopeful adventures as I embark on the rest of my life, one day at a time.

My name is Ash, an eighteen-year-old living in New Jersey. I identify as agender and use they\them pronouns. I also identify as asexual (and queer). At the moment, I am attending Gallaudet University for a degree in English. In the coming months, that is subject to change as I hope to transfer to Rutgers University.

But, this is all just formality stuff. Let’s get to the meat of the sandwich; the lesser known, more interesting information (although at this point, it’s the least known).

I am bilingual, knowing both English and ASL. I started learning ASL when I was fifteen and took it with me through high school and college. Learning the language, the culture, and the community has been one of the most mind-opening experiences of my life.

Music has been a part of my life since I was a kid, playing the violin for about two years when I was in single digits before switching over to the alto saxophone. I played for about ten years, stopping just as I went to college– Gallaudet is a predominately Deaf university and doesn’t have a marching band.

My sister and I have been Fueled By Ramen “emo” kids since 2005 and refuse to leave all of our childhood behind– expect some throwbacks or reviews of music coming from some of my favorite up and coming bands (or more appropriately, I’m late coming to them).

Besides this “journaling” style of writing, I typically write creative fiction such as poetry, short stories, novels, or plays. Becoming an English major suprised little to no one, although getting to the point of accepting the title and false stereotypes has been a slow process that I am still working on– and will be with you.

Hope you’ll come along for the ride here on The Prettiest Odd, where everything is open for discussion and nothing is too weird.

Love and Checkered Vans,

Ash