Finding Familiarity in a Strange Place

As I embarked on my four-year journey at an unfamiliar school in an unfamiliar city, I sought comfort in running. Everyday at home, prior to going to college, I ran the track, and I did not anticipate that it would be different when I arrived at college. After the chaos of Welcome Weekend ended, I decided to go to the track. I expected the stereotypical track: six to eight lanes and a red, rubbery surface that my feet would practically bounce off of (this surface is easier on my knees than other ones). To my surprise, the track I arrived at only had three lanes, and it was grey, and made of fabric. It was indoors and illuminated by fluorescent lights, not the natural rays of sunshine I was used to. My toes dragged a bit on the carpeted surface every time I attempted to sprint. Even when I walked, I tripped frequently. This was nothing like the track I envisioned. This was nothing like the track at home. Nevertheless, I felt out of place. After a few days, it occurred to me that the track was not the only strange aspect of my new environment. For example, walking to class everyday I had to get used to all of the new faces I passed. For the last twelve years, I was surrounded by the same people five days a week. As many high school students do, I took for granted the patterns of the world around me. Just two months ago, I counted down the days until I could meet new people and “start fresh.” I was convinced that I needed something new, something bold, and so I moved to a new city only to find uneasiness. After some pondering, I considered my thought patterns and how cyclical they are. One moment I am bored with monotony and the next I long for a constant. The problem is not my perspective. I will never be satisfied if I am constantly searching for the abstract idea of excitement that I do not know exists. Instead of longing for the familiarity of home and its constants, I must realize that there are constants in my new environment. I am still the same finicky person who cannot make up her mind that I was before I came here. I still am fascinated by anthropology and classical history and literature. I still love running. Also I have continued to keep in touch with many of my friends and family members from back home. Although my schedule is new to me at the moment, one day it will be another routine that I am bored of. Perhaps one day, I will miss the convenience of an indoor track.



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