Student Experience Blog

Creature Comforts

Illness has finally taken me. I’ve been lying on my chaise since 4, when I got out of my last class, and don’t feel bad about it. I also napped shamelessly, and then panicked upon wakening because I thought it was Friday morning. I have a test in Idaho Natural History tomorrow, and instead of studying the questions, I’ve been watching Your Inner Fish on Netflix, hoping that will get my science brain going. I’m trying to get healthy in time for another very promising weekend.


I’m writing this blog post at the COI Oscar Party, which seems completely appropriate given the circumstances. This afternoon I got back from a week at the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival, held this year in the lovely but FREEZING Ellensburg, WA.

It was a lot of fun.

I Know Things Now

So it goes like this:

In college, you learn stuff. That’s kind of the whole point. You learn and learn and then, suddenly, you’re in the real world and you have a job and wife named Helen and a dog with three legs that you guys rescued from the shelter and you eat kale a lot and watch shows with Tim Allen and find them funny, for some reason.

And then you die.

It’s good fun, apparently.

A Recently Returned London Explorer's Advice to Future London Explorers


If you’ve clicked onto this to read that means that you have some interest in/ have decided to do the study abroad program in London! YAY! Go you, you amazing person, because this is going to be one of the absolute best decisions of your life and you are going to love every single moment of it.

2C After Five Months, Five Countries, and A Lot of Moving

I am officially back in the Treasure Valley. I’m just not officially back on campus yet. I have started to schlep my belongings over to the Village, one carload at a time, but I’m not sleeping there, which is what I consider the threshold for being officially back.

Before I flew in on Sunday, I finished up whatever it was I was doing in Ireland, stopped in London, went to the Queen’s house, and then hit up Sundance. Somehow I neglected to visit Florida. But my best friend went, and brought me back a Hemingway magnet, which is almost as good.

Adventures at the Sundance Film Festival

On Friday morning, 15 people and entirely too much luggage packed into a white van. It was a very tight fit – knees practically up to our chests, feet resting on suitcases, practically every inch of arm and leg touching the people on either side. But we didn’t care. We were excited. We couldn’t wait to leave.

The drive down to Utah was uneventful, just cramped. We napped, we sang some random oldies that were on the radio, and talked about the films we were going to see and what we were going to do in our free time.

People Like Us

In the end, it’s not my job to be cool.

As a writer, my job is to simply just be in the presence of cool things—I mean, think about it. JK Rowling didn’t really go to Hogwarts, she just wrote the biography of its problematic wunderkind.  

So, I’m not too alarmed by how insanely cool my friends are—maybe a little intimidated or a little bit in awe. But definitely not alarmed. They are over there, doing their thing, and I’m over here, with my glasses and my notebook and my frumpy sweaters.

The Worst Experience a College Student Can Have, Plus Other, More Fun Things

            When you first move into the dorms, and you have your first fire drill, there is always a dark thought in the back of your mind. They tell you the fire alarm could go off at any time and you should always be prepared. Be ready to go outside at a moment’s notice – don’t take anything except your keys, just go because the dorm could be about to collapse. When they tell you that everyone always thinks, but what if I’m in the shower?  Of course, you have to go outside anyway, no matter what.

To Boldly Not

Winter Term, like the men’s cologne I received from my grandmother last Christmas, is a gift I didn’t really know what to do with.

Barcelona Bound

Well, I’m still here. In Belfast, that is. While many people finish up their study abroad and are ready to start up school again in the winter, I’m on a different track. I keep getting emails from C of I people welcoming me home, and have to answer them with a deferral, explaining that I actually won’t be back until Spring term. Not that I mind, I like getting C of I emails. It reminds me that I have a spot waiting for me.