What a funny month. October has always been an odd month in my mind, mostly because it is one of those meteorological transition months, where I need to wear a jacket in the morning but not too heavy or warm of a jacket, and I certainly don’t want to wear a long-sleeved shirt underneath anything, yet it would be best to wear one by itself come two in the afternoon. The sun sets earlier and by 7 pm I feel like I should be climbing into bed instead of walking to get food somewhere. On top of all of that it’s raining half the time and my bike seat is always wet which is absolutely no fun for anybody. Though it probably sounds as though I’m complaining about things a little too much here, I do honestly enjoy October, because I like the briskness of autumn and the fact that comfort food makes a welcome comeback. Now that I’ve gotten that little digression out of the way, let us gracefully dive into the retrospective of my October.
Coming into October I was doing pretty well; midterms were over, I was doing well in all of my classes, and I had settled into something resembling a routine (though it would turn out later that some aspects of this routine would need to be drastically re-imagined). I had grown more accustomed to Columbus and was going out with more friends, finding new and exciting things to do around campus and the city. I particularly liked walking around Short North and seeing all of the oddities that are present over there, and I found a lot of the shops to be really cool. Also, I finally got around to trying Jeni’s Ice Cream, and I have to say that it wasn’t too bad, but I was disappointed that there were only, like, eight flavors. Maybe I’m just too used to having a wide selection at Mitchell’s but I felt there was a real limited selection there. The service was incredible though, the girl who helped me was very patient as I sampled just about everything and then originally forgot to ask for sprinkles on top, going back and putting some on for me when I asked sheepishly. Also, I discovered a whole shopping complex on the other side of the highway behind my dorm, and my life got 50% better almost immediately. There’s a Target, a Barnes and Noble, a Marshal’s, and even an AMC Theater back there, and being able to walk five minutes to a Target is so much better than walking twenty minutes to get to one.
With the advent of fall break earlier in the month, I got to go home and see my family for the first time since I moved in, which was great. They are all doing well, and they were excited to hear all about my time at college so far, which I was happy to do over a plate of anything other than a burger, grilled cheese or taco from Scott. While home I also got to see a lot of my friends from high school who go to different universities, which was also great. Everyone had a lot to say about their college experience thus far and we had a great time catching up and seeing each other. After having spent a lovely few days back in The Land, however, it was time to come back and start preparing for what would be the most trying part of October: Midterms.
Being the incredibly proactive student I always am, I had prepared myself well for midterm season by going ahead and putting all of the dates into my calendar way ahead of time, so that I could constantly check and remind myself when I would need to start studying and focusing on them. As the week approached, I dreaded the schedule I had been handed for my exams: three midterms over two days. Nevertheless, I knew that if I played it smart and studied in a measured, intelligent manner, then I would be able to pass each of them without going totally nuts. For my Anthropology final, one of my classmates was kind and crazy enough to put together a quizlet, which I used as my main resource while studying. Having to keep track of all of the names such as Omomyids and Propliopithecids was, shockingly, the part that I was worried about most for the test. However, after going through both the quizlet and my notes maybe 12 (13?) times, I had it down pat and received excellent marks on that exam. Next up was Musical Cultures of the World, which I figured may be just as difficult if not more, given that the terms I was tasked with knowing were from several different languages and also sounded quite similar, which didn’t help at all. To combat this challenge, I made a lot of flash cards and studied those every free minute I had, ensuring that I would be an expert on all of them by Thursday morning. After taking that test I walked away feeling pretty confident in myself and happy knowing that I’d studied as much as possible. My final midterm was the dreaded Calculus, a subject which, on the whole, has never been my strong suit. I resolved myself to studying the most for this test, ad my main focus was knowing the formulas for annuities and compounding interest and their functions as well as I could. To that end, I filled page upon page of my notebook with a chart of all of them and their names, spending a lot of time just writing them over and over again until I felt confident in using them properly. Of course I also went through several study guides and practiced other concepts, but I really focused on my weak spots. When I got the exam back, I had mixed feelings, because I had scored lower than I should have and a lot of the points I missed were the result of stupid, careless mistakes that I simply didn’t catch when going through the test, but on the bright side I got every question related to an annuity or compounding interest completely correct. Overall I feel good about my midterms, and I’m happy that I was able to put my best foot forward in studying for them, but wished I had done better come crunch time.
The last noteworthy event on my October review is, of course, Halloween. As I’m sure you know, Halloween has been elevated to new heights as of late, and a greater emphasis is put upon the entirety of October as a certifiably “spooky” month than ever before. These days as soon as Bill Joe Armstrong is awoke from his month-long slumber, everyone expects to watch scary movies every night, eat, drink, and breathe pumpkin products, and go apple picking in at the very least three flannels. And all of that serves as just the run up to Halloween! I, for one, am totally game for all of these activities, but sometimes feel a bit overwhelmed by the high expectations held by everyone for their autumn experience. I am much more content to rake leaves and drink some hot cocoa while wearing a sweatshirt than having to travel all the way out to a pumpkin patch or apple orchard and take a thousand pictures, only to end up with a bunch of rotten apples a week later. My favorite aspect of the Halloween season is actually going and getting candy on Halloween, while putting some thought into what I’m going to wear. This year I dressed up as Steve Harrington from Stranger Things and essentially just out some gel in my hair and got a baseball bat, which turned out to be a hit because everyone and their mother loves that show and Steve especially. I got into a lot of candy that night and the weekend before, especially Reese’s Cups and Almond Joys (the best, fight me if you think they’re disgusting), and after all that the damage was that I gained around four pounds, which I was thankfully able to work off over the weekend by going for a few runs (my other favorite part of autumn-running on colorful, leave-strewn paths when it’s nice and brisk outside).
Well, right now in my mind’s eye I see the apparition of each of my high school English teachers ripping their hair out over my soaring word count and trademark verbosity, so I feel like I should give them a break and wrap this baby up for now. Sorry I was a bit of a ghost throughout October there, but as you can see it was quite packed with excitement and goings-on! I plan on making this blog much more well-kept throughout November and the following months, because I enjoy doing this and it’s a good way to keep track of my weeks and activities, so for those avid readers and ardent fans that I know I definitely have and who refresh my page tirelessly in the hopes of finding that more tantalizing and salacious content has been posted on it, I am fulfilling those hopes and dreams of yours. And for everybody else who is just a casual fan, I think you’ll rather enjoy the stung-together ramblings of my inner-monologue as well. Goodbye for now and I’ll definitely be seeing you sooner than I did last time, so have a great week and remember that, in the words of the immortal and incomparable Sheryl Crow, “The first cut is the deepest”.