time moves slowly and then it doesn’t

In a few short months, I will end my studies at the University of North Texas and graduate with a degree that has a really long name.

I feel excited and nervous and terrified all at once. Somedays I am woefully nostalgic and other days I am a bundle of excited nerves.

I am not sure what I will do after I graduate, but I do know it will not be in Denton, Texas. I am forever grateful for college and this sleepy town. I experienced so many things that I never thought I would, I met so many people and had my heart filled and then promptly broken. My last year here was not good but I was able to fix that and will leave Denton with hopefully a good taste in my mouth and nothing but warm feelings.

Growing up I was a nervous sheltered child and at the core of my being that is still who I am. In college, I learned to be more, say more, and do more. I gained and I lost, and that is life.

Deep down I am still that eighteen year old girl in her childhood bedroom listening to Al Green and packing my books away. I am still that nineteen year old who thought she could never love again. I am still that twenty year old who fought long battles and came out with a few scars and a couple of good stories. I am that twenty one year old, laughing and loving everyone and discovering her love of whiskey.

And now I am that twenty two year old with no idea what her future looks like but has come to terms with that.

I cannot say that college was the best years of my life because I hope to God that I live a good enough life to where I don’t say shit like that or constantly try to relieve my glory years.

These years were glorious but I hope the years that follow it are even better, especially with all that I have learned and will continue to learn.

My advice for incoming college students?

  • Boys (or girls) are fun but don’t let them ruin your college experience. I’ve seen this happen to too many people and almost let it happen to me.
  • For the love of God, do not stress that final so hard that you resort to taking adderall and other nonsense like that.
  • Call home.
  • Drink water before you go out and after a long night out. (This saved my life a few times.)
  • Hang out with people that don’t mind taking care of you if you drink too much.
  • Don’t ever go to a party alone.
  • Small loads of laundry throughout the week.
  • Don’t be the reason the dining hall starts closing early. (That’s a story for another day.)
  • Annnnd, take lots of pictures of yourself and your friends. You’re going to love looking back at them one day.
  • Time moves slowly and then all at once. (I’ll let you figure out the meaning of this one.)

 

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on uncertainty

It’s a cool morning in my sleepy college town. The wind is gentle and the air smells sweet. Down the street, a symphony of five chihuahuas barking at every car that drives by is reaching its crescendo, as the owner has finally come home from morning errands.

It’s those crucial days before the cold air really sets in where the weather is warm in the afternoon and freezing in the morning. I like to think of this as fall, but in we only have two seasons in Texas, summer and summer lite.

In a little over a year I am going to graduate college, the arduous task finally over. And I will join the league of educated 20 somethings who have no idea what the next step is.

Of course, me, Rubab Raza, anxiety personified is worried about this step.

And so I ponder, what is next?

God I wish I could tell you.

I am reminded of the passage from Sylvia Plath’s book “The Bell Jar.” In the passage the author discusses the choices she wants to make and how unbelievably hard it is to just chose one.

Below is an excerpt of my favorite quote from the book. (I recommend clicking the link and reading the beautifully illustrated comic.) 

2013-09-12-plath

Illustration by Zen Pencils

Lately, it’s been hard to decide which way I should be going, what steps I need to be taking.

Do I want to stay in my beloved Dallas or should I move to a different state, or another country?

There’s so many figs on the tree, and I cannot chose for fear of missing out on something else. It is maddening.

I am certainly blessed to live a life where I get these choices, where I can pick whatever path I want to go down and am not limited to stereotypical choices.

I have options, and with those options comes uncertainty.