Time flies, and the only thing that changes is everything
February 19, 2016
Yesterday, we ditched the TV.
I watched three servicemen unbolt the old, box-like TV out of our newsroom. The dusty TV, that used to blare the announcements every morning in every elementary school classroom I have sat in, was now too antiquated and useless for our iPad-centric class.
During a time when nothing was hashtagged and “apple” simply meant the circular fruit, these TVs were a unique asset of every classroom. Perched precariously against the corner of two walls, it would buzz to life every morning and for fair reasons, everyone always thought the principal had placed hidden cameras in them to spy on us.
On Thanksgiving, Valley Ranch Elementary School principal Cynthia Arterbery would invite a girl known school-wide for having a cute baby-like speech to remind everyone to bring a frozen turkey to school.
“And remembah to bwing a fwozen toikey!” She would say triumphantly in her bloated turkey costume. “Gwobble, gwobble!”
Everyone in their classrooms would watch her soak it up on the grainy little TV screen, laughing at her antics.
What seemed like a simple maintenance task made me feel nostalgic for what I now realize was a slightly strange childhood of mine.
Now that I am a senior at Coppell High School, little things like this remind me that I am not the only one changing. The world around me has transitioned drastically since those days, and it is surreal to think that my elementary school memories happened nearly ten years ago.
It is only February, but the symptoms of sentimentality are already beginning to appear.
Today, I found a roommate.
I finally confirmed a roommate for my freshman year of college at the University of North Texas, which makes this nostalgia all the more ridiculous – home will only be 30 minutes away, yet I can not help but feel like I’m being flung onto a train headed Who Knows Where at 500 mph.
It is not so much the act of physically going to college, but the underlying meaning and expectations behind it.
After living my whole life under the comfortable roof of my parents, I still feel like I am 12. Aka, completely unfit to be an adult.
No one is going to pack my lunch with cute notes anymore and also, I am old enough to be jailed.
I don’t remember growing up this fast.
Evidently, there are many frightening downsides to becoming an “adult.” I put that in quotation marks because once again, I feel like a meager 12-year-old in an 18-year-old’s body.
But at the same time, I feel like I have overstayed my welcome at a children’s birthday party. Too old to be in high school, yet too young to be plunged into adulthood.
It is a weird limbo to be in and is not something I expected from this year.
Tomorrow, I will make amends with my mother.
It might be from the years of watching High School Musical movies, but I feel like I am not doing this whole “senior” thing right.
All my life, I have been convinced that the last year of high school is the best, where you all come together and do synchronized singing, and the principal’s dancing and you’re dancing, and everyone’s laughing and it’s a grand old time.
Let me tell you, that is not the case.
It’s more so a gradual build to the apex and currently, I am just starting to feel it.
Mainly with my mother.
Recently, she and I have begun bickering more than usual. Whenever I accidentally leave a wrapper on the counter, she laments about how my dorm will be a landfill. Whenever I eat her pan-fried mackerel or homemade kimchi, she forewarns me that I only have a few months left with “this kind of food.” She also expects me to fall asleep at 11 p.m. everyday, which is not going to happen.
I know that all of this is shrouded in her attempt to keep me close. I am only 30 minutes away, but I am also the last bird to leave the nest.
So tomorrow, I will try to make amends with her knowing that five minutes later, she will yell at me for having a dirty mirror or not squeezing the toothpaste the right away.