OPEN THREAD: Back to School!

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It’s the week before Labor Day weekend in America, which means 35% of you Autostraddlers are starting or returning to college, probably wearing something super-duper cute!

So how’s it going? How’s your roommate? Are there any cute girls there? Have you been to any parties? are you having a party you want us to know about? Do you feel sad and weird and out of place? Are you having the time of your life? Have you experienced peer pressure to engage in unlawful activities? Called your Mom crying? (I did! Both the year I started at Sarah Lawrence and the next year I transferred to University of Michigan! Double the fun!) Did you get the classes you wanted? How’s the food? Has this helped you at all? How are you? Have you spoken to your LGBT club about hiring Riese to come speak at your college? You should get on that.

We’re gonna stick this post to the front page for the next week or so if you have any feelings you’d like to discuss with the group, you can do so. If you’re not going to/returning to college you are still welcome to share your feelings about this time of year, even if that feeling is “fuck you elitist motherfuckers and your parents’ money/generous financial aid packages” or “I am so glad I decided to backpack in South Dakota instead of going to college, you silly motherfuckers!” or “I like my job better than college!” or “I just had a grilled cheese!” or really, I could go on forever. I’ll turn it over to you.

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    I am SUPER DUPER FUCKING EXCITED for high school! I’ve met a bunch of people and talked with them on facebook and things like that and they’re all sosososo nice and extremely nerdy (it’s an IB school you have to test into, so there really isn’t anyone who doesn’t indulge in at least one thing slightly nerdy). The juniors have decided to adopt me already, and I’ve met a bunch of people in the GSA, and since it’s a brand new start I don’t have to worry about coming out to people I already know. I don’t think I’ve wanted to go to school anymore than I do RIGHT NOW.

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    I wish I was now *sigh*
    My uni in the UK doesn’t restart for another month, and I’m stuck living with my parents and in a stressful job until then. But enjoy it all you cute American college queers ^^, you have my envy

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    I’m a junior in high school and I’m ridiculously happy with school at the moment. Two art periods to do whatever the hell I want, and once I finish a portfolio I’ll get college credit. My friends are amazing and OH MY GOD THERE ARE SO MANY NEW PRETTY GIRLS.
    Unfortunately, they all identify as straight. Whatevs. I can convert them.

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    SCHOOL! i’m doing my last two years of my undergraduate degree agay (I meant away but I’m leaving that there)from home and OMYGOD. so many lesbians!! by the gulf of mexico!! would it be super creeper of me to just hang by the basketball court even thought i don’t play? I DON’T CARE, I’M GOING TO DO IT.

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    I started a student exchange in Denmark this semester, actually I arrived here about a week ago. Some of the Autostraddlers have already heard me cry about this, but my complicated long distance relationship thing ended two days before I started orientation. It’s been so hard to go out and meet people when I just want to cry… which probably accounts for the reason I’ve been missing so many activities.

    I still don’t know what I’m studying since there seems to have been some kind of gigantic administrative mistake surrounding my enrollment, and the fact my student visa hasn’t been granted yet… quite frankly I just want to just want to jump ship and run back home!

    Also, no fellow queers or feminists in sight yet. Just a surprising amount of derogatory comments about non-white people (from fellow exchange students) and calling girls ‘slutty’, which isn’t doing wonders for my sense of belonging here.

    Sorry for the rant, but I have just started college, and that is honestly how it is going. Seriously, I thought studying abroad was meant to be fun!

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        Thanks :) can’t deny it’s been one of the suckiest weeks of my life. But, I am also really hopeful it’s going to get better with time, even if that takes a while.

        It’s nice to have Autostraddlers around, though, I am really grateful for you lot.

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      You should put all of your energy into planning a trip to Sweden. Go to Uppsala and Stockholm and possibly random side trips. Kalmar has a beautiful castle. You should plan a winter trip to the tiniest town called Porjus where you can avoid all the tourists, see the northern lights, go dog sledding, and drink chocolate milk outside in -20 degree weather, which is what I did.

      In other words, I am not looking forward to going back to school, but I definitely would be if I could go back in time to August of last year when I had just gotten to Sweden for my semester abroad.

      Good luck!

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        Thank you Marie, that means a great deal to me :) I really appreciate your offer of advice and support, it is so kind of you.

        I might take you up on the offer of how to find queers, because I haven’t seen any signs of a queer presence around the university, although I know there must be one!

        Ok, maybe this is overshare, but I have already overshared, so I may as well share this too :P I just wanted to say, it has been really tough and I was pretty down when I posted that comment, because I was having so much trouble enrolling in my classes, and panicking because class starts Monday and I didn’t even know what area I was going to study!

        But today at last I spoke to someone who can help me, and I am feeling better… like I still want to die right now, I really do, but I also feel like with time things will get better. Maybe not straight away, and I know it’s going to be up and down like a yoyo for the present, but that in the end I’m going to be glad that I did this.

        How are you? How is life in Odense?

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      Oh gosh, dear. I know exactly how you feel! I just started my first year of university in Squamish, B.C. And being from the middle western states, ended up leaving my relationship as well. It’s so hard, but give yourself some credit for having taken such a huge chance. You never know what’ll happen, this could be a great opportunity for you.

      And same for me – so far, no queers in sight! After leaving my lovely group of gays back home, I feel lost and out of place swimming in a sea of heteros. My roomie came home last night and threw an array of condoms and glow sticks all over my bed just before passing out. I’m thinking that maybe once I’ve re-established my academic habits (after 4 years out of schooling) I might try to start an LGBTIQ club of some sort. Maybe that could be a good option for you as well? Maybe not. In any case, I hope it gets easier and you make some good connections with people! I’m glad you’re already starting to feel a little better!

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    Uni (what we Brits call University) doesn’t start till the 26th of September so not that excited yet. Although, I am excited to see everyone again and to start my 2nd year.
    Being a bit socially awkward, I started my first year trying to be extra friendly to everyone so that I could fit in somewhere even though it killed me to do so. Not that I don’t like talking to people, it’s just that it takes a lot of nerve for me, especially to girls ;)
    So yeah, I joined the LGBT society. They were really friendly except I always felt like I didn’t fit in. Is there anybody out there who feels the same way? Maybe 2nd year will go better.
    I also joined Softball ^_____^ It’s pretty fun but I haven’t met anyone even remotely gay yet. It seemed like everyone was coupled off when I got there so I didn’t feel like coming out to them just yet. Exciting bit – I’ll be Treasurer for them next year hehe

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      LGBT groups are funny things… while I was at uni the queer group was pretty much dominated by gay men with a couple of, for wont of a better term, enviro-dykes thrown in for gender balance. I felt like I didn’t fit in cos I’m bi and femme so I stopped going… the next year queer femmes totally took leadership of the group! I should have stuck around to find out ;)

      Nice work on being Treasurer for your softball group! That’s one of those jobs that really make the club tick, hopefully it’ll be rewarding for you.

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      I have six~ years of experience of trying to like my various universities’ LGBTQ groups. I’ve basically given up now I’m a PhD student. I just feel so old around everyone. Luckily some awesome people set up a Queer Culture group which is much more fun and less “partay!” dominated.

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      :( At first I didn’t find people I fit in with at university, either. I joined societies but never went to any of the meetings because they were all centred around going to bars and that wasn’t what I wanted out of, say, the Spanish society. Stick it out, and try doing things like sitting with someone you recognise and talking during lectures. It’ll easily progress into getting a snack together afterwards or something but you don’t have to talk much because you’ll be busy. It’s like you’ve automatically got an activity in common! I didn’t try LGBTQ groups because I didn’t identify that strongly as, well, anything, but I hope you have more luck with them this year, and I hope you figure out who is worth staying friends with and can drop the artifice with the people it feels too forced with.

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    this september will be the first in like, 18 years that i’m not going back to school. it’s one of the most bizarre/traumatizing feelings ever, so to cope i’m going to visit my alma mater this weekend and cry a lot. (i was also there last weekend. also cried a lot.)
    also like an hour ago i smashed my head into something sharp and i’m like 73% sure i have a concussion and now i can’t go to yoga tonight so all in all, things are pretty shitty. whine whine whine whine. i want an autostraddle group hug/cuddle puddle. :(

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      Yep, me too. It’s weird and shitty and I hate NOT learning. So much so that I’ve been listening to informative books-on-tape at work. Also I’ve been going up and visiting friends on campus, and I keep forgetting that they’re still in school and I want to hang out all weekend and they’re like, “um, homework,” and then I’m like, “Um, jealous.” I’m jealous of their homework. HOLY SHIT.

      The only thing that is getting me through it is thinking about grad school in a year or two. So at least there’s that.

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        I’m going to be a high school english teacher and i’ll be tutoring high school students before my classes start every day. I’m soooo super jazzed! Also, I get to apply to my university’s school of education this semester. SUPER YAY TO LEARNING FOREVER!!

        ps. what are you gonna be teaching?

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      you guys YOU NEVER HAVE TO STOP LEARNING. since graduating college i’ve completely educated myself on SO many things and i never would’ve expected that. i mean granted i can count learning all of queer history and theory myself as “work” (maybe i created this website so school would never end!), but there are so many ways to keep learning, like documentaries, and longform.org, and so many books! i feel like college gave me a little peek at what i might be interested in, and in the seven years since then i’ve been doing an independent study on what interested me most. i still read books that are usually read for school, like seal studies has a good series. THE FUTURE IS BRIGHT FOR YOU

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    Last week there was this really adorable queer girl outside my bio lab and we both stopped and smiled at one another but I’m so dumb/awkward I didn’t say thing. Then yesterday I saw her in the bookstore and again lost all ability to speak. This is going to be a long semester because THERE ARE A LOT OF ADORABLE QUEERS.

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      Quarters are the WORST don’t these people know that living at my parents’ house makes me paranoid to even open an Autostraddle page? Like is there a way that they can secretly see all the pages I read? I clear my history every 5 minutes in case my dad pops up over my shoulder and asks me to google something, for fear that “effing dykes” will pop up in the drop-down bar that exposes all the lesbionic (okay so AS and effing) pages I frequent whenever I type in a different address or search item. Stressful!! I’ve already gotten raised eyebrows for watching Ellen and Rachel Maddow…

      Unfortunately I have no suggestions for you in terms of how to survive 17 more days, except that if you’ve gotten this far you can make it 17 more. If you speak a foreign language (and they don’t) you can easily read lesbo books right under their noses in said foreign language withouth them knowing, which is twice as entertaining since a. books are entertaining and b. it’s like a trick!

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        I’ve had that paranoia! Here’s what I did: specify one browser for work/parent approved browsing, and one for fun! Then you never have to worry about AS/effing showing up when you google/let other people use your computer on the work browser. Also, it’s great for compartmentalization when you need to use the internet for homework but have a tendency to end up on facebook all the time!

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          This. Is. Brilliant. Seriously I’ve broken out in sweating before when someone has casually said “hey can I see that for a minute” and it’s legitimate, like they’re trying to find something to show me or log into a page that I can’t, and yet it is clear that I am hesitating to let them see it an anxiously grab it back before they discover via my history that I’m a total lesbian. (If, that is, there is still anyone around who hasn’t already figure it out.) If only it were this simple to fail-proof compartmentalize my life into separate categories of parent approved and totally gay!

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          Glad to hear I’m not the only one who does this! Chrome for me, shitty internet explorer for the parents haha. Also, I sometimes go into “secret agent” mode on chrome by clicking control-shift-n. Mhm.

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          Great. Onto my next issue: how can (inconspicuously) I clear my parents’ netflix account so that it doesn’t start suggesting gay and lesbian romance films based on “what you’ve (i’ve) recently watched…”

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          You can’t…this is why I’m stuck watching The L Word online even though it’s on Netflix (I don’t want my parents to suddenly see it on Recently Watched). The only thing you can do is watch a bunch of other stuff of the same genre so that the Gay & Lesbian Romance category is replaced by another.

          Believe me, it would be so much easier if one could delete things from Netflix.

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    I AM SO FUCKING SICK OF COLLEGE AND I CANNOT WAIT TO GRADUATE.

    this school is so small and full of stupid pretentious over-privileged rich white kids who say the dumbest shit in class and I am SO OVER IT.

    also today the girl who is kind of my boss (I’m an RA and she is the head RA) told me that I “will never survive in a real job” because I HAVE NO IDEA WHY she just said it and I am so sick of her bullshit already and we haven’t even been here for two weeks yet.

    also this whole “not having a meal plan” thing is not really working for me and my inability to cook anything other than pasta…

    I just have to get through this year! I can do it! ughhhh

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    UGH

    So on Monday I woke up at five am to be at my lab at seven only to be told that there was no lab that day. I kinda chewed my prof for not alerting us to this somehow because I was supremely pissed over being awake at seven am for no reason and was maybe also still feeling the effects of the sleeping meds I took for the very first time so I could go to sleep early enough to even wake up at that hour. ‘Cause taking new meds before important days is a totally good idea, right?

    Then I went home and wrote a half lucid rant on Tumblr about it an passed out until three. When I woke up I thought about it some and realized that OF COURSE you can’t have a lab before lectures YOU BIG DUMB JERK and deleted my weird drugged rant. I obviously have never taken college level science before.

    So now I feel supremely bad for throwing a tantrum at my instructor and plan on making her like me with lots and lots of fresh strudel.

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      At least your instructor bothered to show up in person to tell you guys that there was no lab. I once waited outside a lab for a full hour with some other similar idiots before deciding to check on the course website to find that there was no lab and my butt was paralyzed from sitting on a hard concrete floor for no reason.

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      My friend and I once bribed a bio professor with cheesecake to cancel class, when she asked the class what we would give her for cancelling. Then she told us she was going to a conference…we made the cheesecake anyway. I’m pretty sure I had a crush on her and didn’t really realize it at the time… :)

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    I was a total wimp last year and didn’t join the LGBT group on campus or anything else for that matter, and had a really, really shit time during my first year at university. Don’t be like me, people. Do something. Meet someone. Volunteer, get a job to pay off some of that crippling student loan debt, hang around the nude beach… JUST MEET PEOPLE, YOU WON’T REGRET IT.

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          i’m pretty sure i did that accidentally at my new high school- all new kids are required to check in with the guidance counselor and offhand i asked about a GSA. she had no idea what it was. i also brought up the many homophobic slurs i’ve heard here (not directed at me, just in general used to describe something bad). and now i find myself in a situation of not being out and starting a GSA in a homophobic environment YAY!

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        Are you at UNLV? We have Spectrum, I’m on the email list, but it’s generally shit. You’ve gotta kinda search to find the queers here. It took me a couple years but now I’m with in this rather incestuous of lady gays. Already beginning to worry if the drama is worth it. Are you gonna be at dyke march?

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          Nope. CSN!

          I’ve had brushes with incestuous groups of ladygays in Vegas and I have to say lonerhood has virtues. I’m supposed to be on the dyke march task force but I’m still way confused about what’s even going on.

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          Yeah it’s been only a short while and I’m already beginning to wonder if the drama is worth the hookups/occasionally platonic relationships. You should let me know what’s up if those gals ever get their shit together, I’m down for the march and all of the Shedonism bit. It’s my first pride being 21 and also being single so I plan to take full advantage.

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        Are you at UNLV? We have Spectrum, I’m on the email list, but it’s generally shit. You’ve gotta kinda search to find the queers here. It took me a couple years but now I’m with in this rather incestuous group of lady gays. Already beginning to worry if the drama is worth it. Are you gonna be at dyke march?

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    I go back to uni on monday, not looking forward to 8am lectures. But hopefully there’ll be some hot newbies else I’ll just spend group work talking about how sexually frustrated I am like I did last year.

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    I’m going into my sophomore year! This year I’m in a new online highschool program that supposedly focuses on getting you into a good college. I’m pretty excited because they have conventions every year, so I’ll actually get to meet the other students. And I’m taking a digital photography elective which I’m crazy excited about.

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    I feel kind of sad…I should be going back to school and getting in on all the awesomeness of city life and feminist rants. I planned on being all adorable and great at GSA meetings and maybe actually flirt with some pretty ladies. But due to a life fucked up for all the right reasons I won’t be going back yet. It makes me kind of sad and a tad bit jealous as I watch everyone bitch or clamor on about their profs. But I guess I’m pretty hopeful for going back too. Anyone else sitting out this semester and feeling sadfaced about it?

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      I am not, but I have been in that situation too. I am sorry, it sucks, to know what you love doing but to have to be cut off for it for circumstances outside your control. As shitty as it is, life gets fucked up some times. You did a good thing waiting til it was the right time to go back, because whatever is going on in your life, it would have fucked stuff up even worse if you’d try to go back (I did this – mistake!).

      There will always be GSAs and feminist rants and pretty ladies at your school. And you will always be adorable. And when you go back with an enthusiasm increased by your time away, and the maturity that comes from going through whatever it is you’re going through, it will be 100% awesome – maybe even more awesome than it would have been otherwise.

      Best of luck!

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          I’m still in highschool, I just have had sucky experiences with UT parking.

          And, gay history class at UT?!

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          Ahh, sucks! But yes – it’s freaking awesome so far. I’m pretty sure there’s like, 5 straight kids out 40, so.

          But yeah, if you go to UT, get involved at the oUTreach Center for LGBTA students. It’s awesome. Dr Sacco is our “founder,” if you will. She’s from LA, so she’s super liberal and hilarious.

          This is the first semester the gay history class was offered, and Sacco said the admins didn’t think it would be successful. But it filled really quickly, so that just proves them wrong! It’s so interesting, though, and is basically like one big group therapy session where we talk about our feelings and get some learning in us at the same time.

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          I’ve read about the oUTreach Center a lot! I def hope the gay history class will still be around in two years when I start college.

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          I go to MTSU too! I’m in Gay and Lesbian Lit. this semester, which is fun so far, but somewhat disappointingly full of straight but supportive ladies, so not all I’d hoped for but still cool.

          I managed to park with my expired pass for the first day, it’s insane that you got that many tickets in half the days. You must have taken some prime spots or just had the worst luck.

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          Holy shit, another MTSU person! I wanted to be in that Gay and Lesbian Lit. class but I needed to take Research and Argumentative writing first. Let me know if it is good, I might take it next semester. As for the ticket, (to make a long story short) apparently I was suppose to know that parking facing the grass at my dorm is for R.A.s only… Just another way The Man is getting me.

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    I’m in the Netherlands, so Uni hasn’t started for me yet (classes will start on the 12th, oh god), but I’m like really, really nervous / freaking out about it.

    I’m really worried that maybe I chose the wrong major, and what I will do if that is the case. (I mean, I think I’ll love it. But you never know until you actually start doing it. Also, I’m paranoid.) I have no clue what I want to do with my life so if this fails I’m pretty much screwed.

    I’m also really worried about making friends. I’m very shy, and though I met about half of my fellow students already during introductionweek (my major is very small, about 38 students in my year) and I like them, but I’m worried about them liking me.
    Because I just don’t say much around new people, and I tend to be extremely awkward at first, and people just aren’t attracted to that, you know? People tend to like bright, funny people, not people who need to force themselves not to fade into the background.

    I have my high school friends, and I love them, but we’re alll going to be doing our own thing this year and if I don’t find someone, I’m still going to be really lonely.

    Ugh, I’m feeling so pathetic right now.

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      Charissaaaaaa!!!!!! I have no idea what Uni is like in the Netherlands, so, assuming it is vastly different than how University works in the US, I’m still going to answer your question based on the US system because I’ve been taught that our system applies to everything. :D

      First. In the US, if you choose the wrong major, you can change quite easily, especially your first year. If you can’t change your major over there; change your attitude. Try to talk to a career services center about all the future opportunities your major can give you and see if any of those seem like a dream job or something you’d like to do. Most college students have no idea what to do with their life, so, you’re not alone.

      Also (Here’s a secret that may surprise you): your major does not dictate your future. I know philosophy majors who are now doctors. Anthropology majors who now work in marketing and public relations. I could go on. Companies want lots of experience these days so, if you’re interested in a different field, try to start interning or working in that field on the side to gain experience. Furthermore, you don’t have to leave Uni having your future mapped out. If you can get a job out of college, especially one that you like, that’s a great start, BUT IT”S ONLY A START. So take a breath.

      Another option is that I know so many international students who come to the US for graduate school or undergrad study abroad. Graduate school degrees are often loosely, if at al,l related to undergraduate, so that’s another option for future majors and career paths. You’re not as stuck as you think.

      Making friends can be difficult. I know that 100%, but the more you immerse yourself, the more opportunities you’ll have. I think I made one or two friends from class, and the rest I made in my student organizations and campus jobs. Networking on campus (if you have a campus, I dunno) is invaluable. Many of my friends aren’t in my major, and that’s okay too. Just follow Jactance’s advice above: GO OUT AND DO! If you let yourself sit at home and fade into the background, it really will be difficult. Be involved. Stay involved. And don’t expect everyone to be your best friend. You have “adult” friends now too, so, some can be foodie friends with whom you go eat at different restaurants. Some may be adventure friends while others are work friends or chat-before-class buddies. There is no cookie cutter for the many types of friends you can have.

      Also: Be a good person. Bright, funny people who are fake or mean will lose friends once they see beyond the glitter. You may only make one or two good friends, but, if they are also genuine friends who will be there for you when you need them, you are far better off than making twenty “fake” friends. And High School friends are great! But give them space to also grow and change. You’re all going to grow so much, and it may be scary at first to think you’re drifting apart or changing into other people, but don’t hold yourself back or try to hold your friends back because of that fear.

      You’re not pathetic. You’re a kid (I use that term loosely) starting University. Everything you’re feeling as listed above, is totally normal. And, I know saying that doesn’t help the feeling go away, but most of us have been right where you are now, and we looked into that dark void of the future, and we had the same fears and the doubts, and some of us had terrible experiences, and some of us thrived, but we’re still here. And, more importantly, we’re here for you.

      I’m sorry that was long, but I hope it helped. Keep us updated! And Good Luck!

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      I was über-shy. What a future shrink termed “morbidbly shy,” which is apparently the technical term for it. Like, burst into tears when I had to play my eentsy-beentsy guitar solo in the Jazz Combo with which I’d been practicing for weeks. Like, turn bright red and mumble something and run off after flubbing the answer to a simple greeting. Then beat myself up for it for year afterwards. Yeah, pretty shy.

      I do however, turn into an outgoing, funny person once I am comfortable and I know the people around me. Usually, in school, this would take me almost a full year, but I was a special case.

      Anyway, people love good listeners. And they see great and interesting things about you that are invisible to your eyes/brain. If you can keep that in mind and just keep showing up at functions and small, late-night group hang-outs, you’ll be golden. People will like you. I’m sure they do already. Finding a job with a small group of employees can be really helpful too.

      One of the things I did (sort of a cognitive behavioral therapy technique) to make myself relax around people was to “lie ’til I believed my lies.” OK, just here’s how it goes. It’s not actually lying: it’s saying to yourself what most other people actually think. But it doesn’t seem like that to you at first. For instance, tell yourself you’re just as interesting as anyone else. That you have unique perspectives on things. That you’re attractive, etc. (I know, kinda Stewart Smiley, but it works.) It may sound TO YOU like you’re lying at first because you don’t really believe it, but as time passes, you actually see that your experiences are reflecting the “lies” you’re telling yourself.

      Hope that helps. Whether you try that technique or not, you will make friends. And good ones. Even if you’re shy. When in doubt, always be a good listener. Poeple really appreciate that. And it’s a great skill to have, even after you’ve blossomed into a confident, talkative person.

      Good luck. I wish you the best this year. Much love.

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      - Going to uni does not automatically mean that you will lose contact with your high school friends. If it’s important to you, try finding a way to keep in contact. They are probably facing the same stressful stuff that you’re facing. What about trying to get together in your old town, one day a month to discuss all the Feelings that you’re probably having in abundance ?

      – About the major. Of course, depending on the type of bachelor that you chose, there’s usually loads of options to take courses that belong to other studies. For example, f you chose anthropology as a major, taking courses in the history department is not weird at all and broadens your education! Look into this!

      – As for the shyness: socialize as much as possible, but do it on your own terms. You will most likely not be the person to host stand-up comedy night. But you could be very active in something else! Something that suits you and your personality. At my college, there was this guy who taught power yoga, there were student organised salsa classes and we had an active choir, for instance. As for me, I set up a student crochet and knitting circle, who met in my living room once a week. In your average student city there’s an abundance of activities of all types, so there will be something that suits you. Also, use this opportunity to try things that you always wanted to do but never did. Photography classes? Kickboxing? Museum excursions organised by the art history department?

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      I had my first day at uni in the Netherlands today!
      I just moved here from another country, so everything is even more confusing -also, they all speak dutch! Hm.
      But it’ll be fine, for me and for you too.
      But I still haven’t found the queers yet…

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    I recently started my second year of law school. Today we had a student organization fair (i.e. all the clubs put out a table and try to recruit you with offers of cupcakes and awesomeness). Apparently, we have no LGBTQ organization… This makes me sad. So sad. *sigh* Is it too much to ask for to find at least one other queer person to share a rainbow cupcake with?

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      Can I join you in this? Maybe I should take the MCAT, LSAT and the GRE… very helpful when you’re applying for MFA programs that don’t require any of them.. but like, I should have more stressful things in my life, right?

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    This entire summer has just been “Can I go back to school now? How about now? Can I go now? OMFG I JUST WANT TO GO BAAAAACKKK”
    Being at home is nice for about two weeks and then I want to die.

    I am so super duper PSYCHED for this year though! Living in an apartment instead of a dorm (ew dorm), taking classes I love, going to queer club, seeing all the friends I didn’t make until the end of last year, having partypartytimes, and most importantly- getting out from under my family’s thumb!

    Gaysplosion 14 days away and counting…

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    I’M A FREAKIN SENIOR!!!!! This both excites and freaks me out at the same time. Still pretty active on campus. The freshmen are cool, but they’re starting to make me feel a little old. Nonetheless, so far so good. Classes started today, but they seem good. So far, good times…until I start pre-cal tomorrow :'( (but I have friends who like math)

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    I’m three weeks into my senior year and I am just done. I want it to end. Next year is college for me and the application process is stressing me out, not to mention the sheer cost. Also none of my friends are applying to any of the same schools as I am so I’m basically going to get to start afresh next year which will be sorta nice but probably also lonely. I think I’ll just bake cupcakes for my entire dorm and hit on the cute girls who compliment my baking skillz. I just have to get through this year first.

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      Just change “three weeks” to “two weeks” and I could have written this word for word. It took me so long to even be able to think about the application process without having an anxiety attack. AND WHAT GENIUS DECIDED COLLEGE SHOULD BE SO EXPENSIVE.
      Not to mention all my friends are applying to like U Chicago and Yale and I’m over here like “Um, I want to go to UC Santa Cruz or Sarah Lawrence because there are lots of cute queer girls.”
      Seriously though, using baked goods to meet people/cute girls sounds like a really, really good plan.

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      So I’m a freshman in college and as much as I love it and all my predictions of it being hot woman mecca are correct, really try to slow down and savor this year, I didn’t realize how much I liked my friends and the place I lived till I had graduated and didn’t really get to see anyone over the summer. Good luck with college apps and all!! I know it’s super stressful, but it’ll pass and you WILL get in somewhere.

      And also baking to get girls totally works. Totally.

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    I am a freshman enrolled in both an Intro to Women’s Studies and a Gender and Politics class, and I am having the time of my life. I corrected my teacher on her use of binary-enforcing language and she thanked me for doing so, and both classes in general seem like they will be super fun and give me a context in which to read all the gender theory-related books I still haven’t gotten around to reading but really want to.

    Also, I mentioned BITCH Magazine in class and told the teacher it’s meant to be written in all caps, so the whiteboard had the word “bitch” written on it and crossed out to then be replaced by “BITCH.” It rocked.

    I haven’t kissed anyone here yet, but I somehow met another clever, musical, non-binary person on my first day and we are currently doing a careful flirtatious dance around each other like the shy baby queers we are, so there is much hope.

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    I am in my last year! Its hard here for me though, I am pretty butch and you don’t see too many other butch girls on campus. I admit I get a lot of stares and it gets kind of annoying. Also still single for the 3rd year in a row :-/. Been in classes for 2 weeks and am already swamped in work, I can tell my senior year will not be easy. Never really got into any of the LGBTQ clubs on campus, mostly because no one in them is like me. They are all hipster/hippie strange queers. I mean to each their own but I just don’t fit in so I just never got involved. Excited to finish up, even though I have no idea what I am gonna do after I graduate ugh.

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    does riese actually speak at colleges? because I’m going to be one of the leaders of my school’s GSA this year, and since last year was a mess (our board members weren’t willing to do aaaaanything…) we’re trying to come up with awesome ideas. i feel like anything to do with autostraddle would be awesome, right? anything to get some queer girls to show up!

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    I dropped out of college after last semester, and I miss it. Well, sort of. I miss making out with girls and campfire sing-alongs and playing Jenga and getting drunk on red wine and smoking too many cigarettes while snow falls in my coffee and pining and workshops about quantum particles that involve spinning in circles and I miss the woods and sledding and talking about feelings under fairy lights. But other than that, fuck student loans and double-fuck homework. Never mind, I totally miss homework and getting checks from financial aid. ;_;

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    I’m in New Zealand so I’m actually nearing the end of the academic year now, which is all stress and wishing I’d managed my time better over the course of the year. Today I’m finishing up the draft of my Honours thesis which is due tomorrow, then I’ve got just one and a half months left to get everything else finished (which is three more research essays all between 4000 and 5000 words in length). I’m stoked atm though ’cause I just heard from my supervisor that his research proposal is getting funding for this summer scholarship scheme thing, which if I got it would cover the cost of me doing an MA next year. So keen you guys.

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    I just started college and all the people I’ve met are really cool. Also, mostly really gay. Or really gay supportive. I just came from a class and when asked who in the class thought same sex marriage was OK, all the kids said yes. Every one. I think I’m going to like it here.

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    I just started college and I feel like I’m a little older and way less cool than everyone else. How the fuck do you meet cool people without coming off as a total creepy spaz? I think maybe I need to be patient and “let it happen” but fuck, I’m so impatient!

    Also my roommates don’t curse so I feel the need to make up for them by cursing more than I normally do. Fuck fuck fuck.

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        But I’m not a freshman! I’m a junior transfer, so technically I’m an upperclassman or whatever, but I definitely feel like a freshman. I keep getting lost and getting my key stuck in the door but at the same time I’m 22 and I can’t find anyone who wants to just grab a beer and chill for five minutes.

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          I transferred my junior year!!! I totally feel you- it can suck because you’re not 18, yet you don’t know what the hell is going on. Does your new school have any resources for transfer students? If you like food, chill in the dining hall. It’s a good place to meet people.

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      I gotta confess that if I’m really starved for conversation with people remotely into the same things I am, I cheat. I have a recycled-cardboard notebook that I painted little logos and symbols from all the shows/books/movies/comics that I like on in black ink. If I go out somewhere on campus and sit down, I leave it ostentatiously out next to me so that people who are fans of any of them might stop to look and say hello to a fellow fan. You can also do this with quotes from favorite books or movies. Big block print for short quotes, smaller print for long ones.

      I did the same thing with xkcd strips on my three-ring binder when I transferred high schools in junior year. The small print meant people HAD to ask me to hand it over if they wanted to read them. It was basically passive-aggressively baiting people to talk to me, but it helped a lot when I was lonely and too painfully shy to strike up conversation with strangers.

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    im a couple weeks into my freshman year of college. i came out to my close friends from high school about a month ago so i went to a meeting for queer women on campus last night…it was really scary and took a few tries before i could actually step into the room. i am proud of myself for doing it, though! when the meeting was over i went to the bathroom and cried for a minute. then i happily walked back to my dorm :)

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    I’m about half a week into my first year of college and I was just wondering: do you have to be super out and open at all times? For example, I went over to the Pride Union today for a couple hours and chatted with people, but I’m currently just sitting in my dorm (it’s 9:31pm here) listening to people walking by in the halls. I’m kind of tired and I probably should be working on (kind of optional) homework, but I feel like I’m missing out on prime friend making time or something. So, all my experienced college queers, is it necessary to be out and chatting with new people 24/7 or is it alright to kind of have some time to yourself?

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      You have to find a balance that’s right for you. It’s important to go out and do things and join stuff and be open to life, but being in a dorm can be super overwhelming at first. It was for me, especially because I really value my alone time as time to “recharge”. I’m a true introvert and people tire me out. A couple times I felt like snapping because it was so hard to be alone, I couldn’t even walk to the bathroom without going past 10 people. On the other hand, I’d suggest trying to be a little more outgoing than you usually might be the first two weeks or so, but after a while you’ll settle into a routine.

      Summary: Needing alone time is fine, just make sure you aren’t using it as an excuse to hide out. You sound like you’re doing fine, just keep going to events that interest you and don’t be afraid to talk to people!

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    Just started my freshman year of college and I am in love with this place already. I freakin love the Bay. My roommate is kickin, I’m joining Gamma Rho Lambda (look it up), and I haven’t cried yet. I did, however, get a bloody nose on my first day of math discussion. Awesome.

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      Are you going to Berkeley? I love Cal! I didn’t go there, but I escaped to Berkeley for many weekends in college and loved the atmosphere and community there. Plus, SO MUCH GOOD FOOD. La Burrita, Naan n’ Curry, Top Dog, Vik’s Chaat, Cheeseboard, mmmmmm… so jealous.

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    Hey!
    I began college last week, I´m from Ecuador so my experience as a new student is totally different from yours. I study in the same city I live so I´m still stuck living with my mother. I´m studying liberal arts wich is awsome and I´m very happy with the classes I have. We don´t have any LGBT club or anything like that so I gues I have to figure out how to meet new people. I guess I´ll focus on my studies, I want to take classes related with sexuality and also with documentary creation. I love documentaries and literature. That is until now what I lived as a new students.
    Greetings from Ecuador to everybody!

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    my fresh start at a new high school in a new state couldnt have come at a better time it seems like. even though its only the third week of school, it feels like its been three months already. new friends are cool, mostly just really funny because almost every stereotype about the south i heard in new jersey are pretty much true when it comes to the people i know now in tennessee. the only problem is that i have no clue who is any kind of queer here and me not being out makes it even harder. i’ll just have to see how the rest of the year goes, but hopefully my new straight girl crush on the german foreign exchange student in my german class doesnt last the whole year. for now, i just have to get through this year, decide if i want to graduate early next year, apply to all the colleges i want to go to/can afford but end up in some college here in tennessee because my parents want be to be stuck here forever, then see what happens from there.

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    been back at school for about a month now.
    it’s been ok.
    a few new classes, but haven’t met anyone interesting..yet.
    I did go to a couple of lgbt events, one was a public boycotting of a manifestation of a anti-gay group, that was fun.

    and I joined a queer group, that was cool.
    now I’m being flooded with work and I’ve got tests next week so I can’t do fu stuff or work with this awesome club I’m a part of.

    I am trying to be more social this term and actually,like, talk to people and stuff.

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    I’m not in university anymore, but I am a teacher and my school starts fall session today. In 2 hours! I am really excited for new classes and new students.

    Also, can I make an article suggestion? I was really fortunate to go to a school with a big Queer Resource Center that got a lot of funding, but I know that’s not often the case and I’ve seen quite a few people lamenting here over the lack of queer groups on their campus. Maybe we could have a post about how to start your own queer groups? How to build a community, how to get school approval funding, ways to advertise, fun community activities, etc.

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    I’m a senior in college. I feel old next to all the 18 year-olds wearing NYU lanyards, holding maps, and being socool because they live in NYC.

    I haven’t met any cute girls yet, which is a shame because, well, why wouldn’t it be?

    And I have to start grad school applications. And working on my senior thesis. On top of an internship, 2 jobs, being the president of one club and being on the exec board of another.. and today I was asked to direct a musical.. oh, and a senior project, too. And raising a puppy. And occasionally class.

    Riese- My LGBT group is trying to get Haviland and the Unicorn Plan-It girls to come talk at NYU, so I guess you could come if you want… :P

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    I refuse to let getting stuck around the last girl on Earth I want to be stuck around ruin my year, even with having every group project so far with her (certainly not my first choice or my choice at all xD). Having to be around her after loads of her drama & pressure was the cause of anxiety attacks. Also she yelled at me during lunch yesterday for dating someone that wasn’t her when I knew she liked me, because everyone automatically dates anyone who likes them in her mind. And the brutal honesty of the world continues to knock her about… (I almost, almost, retorted with, “Who the f*** said I would EVER want to date you!” but I still have to work with her for projects & I know better than that xD). Plus side parents are forbidding my working with her for future projects (And the don’t even know the full extent of things).
    Things I’ve been excited for:
    1.) AP 2D design (2 block class of wonderfulness, complete with close friends)
    2.) American Studies (AP English 3 & AP American History merged & added humanities like things, complete with two awesome teachers, one of whom I had last year & am closer to, and brilliant open discussions with somehow related tangents that are not child or conservative mother friendly every single day. Also, books I love, & I got to write an extremely open-ended impromptu essay over dissent v.s. disagreement, which had horrible writing, but was awesome nonetheless.)
    3.) DFC (Dance For a Cause): the dance club (bboying & hip hop choreo mainly) in which I’m reunited with all my seniors from dance club my freshman year that I rarely got to see last year, plus people we’d sneak in from other schools freshman year, & then more people. (Random fact: I am one of two caucasians, everyone else is either mixed asian, or wholly asian. Which means for the first time in a long time I get more notice for something other than discerning my gender. I confuse people like crazy. xD)
    Unexpected awesome:
    One of my best friends for over 4 years is making a GSA. I declined from the treasurer position I was offered (because of time constraints & anticipated parent chewing out), but I did find us a sponsor (my wonderful physics teacher) and am still going to help run it as much as I can/am still needed for. Despite the chewing out due to discomfort & underdeveloped mind wrapping around my sexuality from my mother. For a conservative Christian mother who generally opposes homosexuality, I’d say she’s trying pretty hard to really understand, especially since I haven’t even been out to her for a year. We still clash a lot, but we clashed over stuff before I was out to her, now it’s just newer stuff that may hit harder at times because it’s narrowed to directly at me. Honesty & openness are things I strive to go by and I stand by my decision to continue to try to do that when it comes to my sexuality, especially to my parents.
    I refuse to be completely overwhelmed by school, which is why I opted out of AP for math & science, my weak points. Kind of disappointed with the low level I put myself in, especially physics (because regulars physics 1 is blindingly slow compared to the GT Chemistry class I had last year). I got used to be surrounded by higher speed/ expectation classes & the students that come with that & thoroughly enjoyed it even with the higher stress level. It hurts to try to dive into the shallow end the way you would the deep end (I’d say this mainly refers to the depth of the class itself, but there are certainly undertones of my annoyance of having to wait multiple minutes for everyone to get done with something when I’ve grown accustomed to everyone being done in under a minute).
    Above all, I’m glad I’m getting the education with all the many options I have access to, not being stuck at my house all day, great collaborations when they happen, and the hope of future opportunities all this could lead to.

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    I am starting up my first year in graduate school. I moved across the country, don’t know anybody, don’t know my way around. This is my first opportunity to join a queer community. I don’t really know where to start. I am really just beginning to figure myself out. It’s really frickin’ scary.

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        I am addicted to vegan muffins. I am addicted to getting good grades…I need them for my merit based scholarship, sigh.
        My life…my life..

        AND I CANNOT WIGGLE MY EYEBROWS..ENVY IS ME! *makes goofy faces in attempt to wiggle eyebrows*

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          Aww! If it helps, I can’t whistle or snap my fingers?

          Also, I’ve found that the vegan version of various desserts tends to be consistently pretty good, while regular ones are so terribly hit-and-miss. I wonder why this is?

          I think you will do fabulously this year, based solely on the goofy faces.

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          I think it might be people trying desperately to be like THIS VEGAN THING IS AWESOME HERE IT’S NOT SO BAD AT ALL so they put more effort into it.

          I don’t know, I made a fricking fabulous vegan gluten free cake once. It could also be that if you’re the kind of person who cares enough to make specialty baked goods, you’re probably an adept in the kitchen.

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    I love how excited you all are to go back to school! This is my second year at college and i am still to afraid to go to a LGBT meeting! What happens at these kind of meetings? Are there better ways to make friends without coming out to my current group of friends?

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      Noooo don’t be afraid to go to an LGBT meeting! If the gay groups at your school are anything like mine you will meet the coolest cats around. And you don’t have to come out to your current group of friends–you can just make up something like “I’m gonna check out sailing/knitting/kickboxing club” or “I have a meeting with my professor” or even the mysterious “Yo. I got somewhere to be. Peace out. *nods head like a badass*” Eventually, once you feel comfortable, you can tell your friends where you are going. They might not even think you are gay/bi/queer because you go to an LGBT meeting– there are a lot of straight kids who are interested in queer issues.

      Hope this sort of helps.

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    Reading about everyone’s excitement makes me want to be more positive and to try harder to like college.

    I’m only three weeks into my freshman year and already pretty depressed about it all…I had an idea that if I moved away from home and made a real effort that I would be able to be social. Nope.

    Gah. Crippling social anxiety sucks. :p I haven’t made a single friend yet, I don’t know how other people do it.
    Also I am a bloody coward. There was a LGBT coffee hour thing today, and I went to the building that it was in and walked around the outside before going back to my dorm.

    Sorry to be so negative, I needed to vent. Not giving up though!!

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      I’m not in the best position to be doling out advice, but after the failure to make any friends whatsoever that I mentioned earlier, I decided to shape up during summer classes.

      Things I did:

      Talked to the person sitting next to me in class during break/before class. It can be something utterly inane, like “how did you find the assignment” or if they look really bored or whatever say something like “man this section is really boring eh” (warning: say this after you’ve talked to them at least once or else it seems kinda snarky). Just get a conversation going. If it dies down just keep talking.

      Volunteered at some events around campus. Great way to meet people! Also, after signing up to things you feel more obligated to go, so less of a chance of chickening out.

      Joined other non-LGBT clubs. If the idea of coming out to some people you don’t know feels awkward/scary, then don’t do it (until you feel ready)! Join other clubs, since it basically guarantees that you will meet people with similar interests besides pussy. Pussy is generally not an interest that you can talk much about anyhow, so find something you CAN talk a lot about. Talking is good! Talking is fun! Talking makes friends!

      Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find a job yet (working hard at it, but nobody wants to hire a kid with almost no experience). Jobs are similar to volunteering experiences in that you meet people, but you get paid!

      As you can see, most of my advice centres around finding excuses to talk to people, because approaching random strangers is super creepy. Keep the conversation going! Good luck!

      PS: If the people you meet are jerks, feel free to stop talking to them.

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        Thanks so much for all the advice. :) I really appreciate it!
        I’m just so bad at starting conversations…these all seem like great ways to make that a bit easier.

        Also, good luck with your job search! Have hope…I just got hired this morning, and I have basically no work experience.

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    i feel like a failure because i’ve been on campus for 20 hours and haven’t made friends yet. i’m so used to have friends! how does this work?

    also i feel like an idiot for even being in school, i have so many loans.

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      I find that misery can actually create excellent company. Complain about college-paperwork in a public setting and you will have ten people falling all over themselves to sing the song of The Applications Process That Time Forgot (Oh God It Was Awful). Nonexistent parking, bad food, aching feet, dreams of showing up late and naked to every class–seriously, either someone else is anxious about it or they’re ready to reassure you that it’ll get better and share their own tricks for making it easier.

      My first high school started off every year with a potentially-fatal hardcore backpacking trip with inadequate equipment and terrible food in freezing weather. The collective power of our mutual loathing for the idiots in charge of this dubious venture made for fast friends. I’ve believed in shared bitterness as a tool for forging bonds ever since.

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    I finished my MA in 2007, and though I was never so glad to see the end of something in my LIFE, I’m actually auditing a class this semester. FOR FUN. It’s crazy.

    When I was in grad school, I ended up fucking hating my major, so I took some intro German classes to get away from it and to give my brain a bit of a break. And I loved it. But now I’m forgetting things, so since I just moved to a new town that has a college, I’m auditing a German class to brush up! And since I’m just auditing, there’s no pressure or anxiety about grades and whatnot.

    Also, there is this SUPER HOT girl in my class! She’s my age (she’s basically taking German for the same reasons I did!) and she’s from India so she’s got this beautiful accent and she’s super nice and PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF APHRODITE LET HER BE A QUEERMO!

    I’m also sort of auditing a algebra class by proxy. My mom is finally going back to school to get her degree and they put her in the intermediate algebra class, in spite of the fact that she hasn’t had math for over 20 years. So she’s freaking out and convinced she’s going to flunk, so I stepped up all “Oh, I’ll tutor you. It’ll be fine! Quit worrying!” And then I remembered I haven’t had a fucking math class for 12 years! Plus, I was in the humanities, so I took one alegebra class and 2 stats classes (which were basically classes on how to use a computer program and interpret the results) and then I was done! So I’m having to read ahead in her book, teach myself all this math that I’VE NEVER HAD BEFORE, and then turn around and teach it to my mother because her prof is a super mathy kind of person and doesn’t know how to communicate with non-mathy people.

    Currently, my mom has 100% in that class. I’m trying not to let that go to my head, especially since it’s just going to get harder from here.

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    I am done with school, but to all you college freshman out there or new dormers, sometimes it can feel weird or awkward or lonely or whatever. It’ll be OK. It took a little time, but I eventually found my niche. You will too. And if it’s the worst year of your life, transfer schools!

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      You can do it! I went to a far away college when I was 18 (I’m from Maryland, the school was in New Mexico) and I know how scary those first weeks are. Trust me, most of my life I’ve been the new kid, and I’ve always been shy, but it’ll get better fast! You wouldn’t believe how quickly we can adjust to new situations. And remember, everyone’s just as afraid as you are. But you’re going to meet a lot of incredible people and learn a lot of incredible things. Since your school is three hours away, you’ll get to experience life in another part of the country too. Three hours isn’t terribly far away though. Presumably, you’ll get to go home on holidays and it won’t be too much trouble for your family to visit.

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    After a two year break from real people college I’ve finally managed to get back in, and its weird as hell. I’m working on adding my women’s studies double major and all of my classes are fab, but most of my friends have graduated and are off being adults with jobs.

    And after winning this gigantic struggle to get back into school, the girl I was seeing has run off to grad school in a far off land. So, bittersweet, to say the least :/

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    You guys, if you smoke, pretend to smoke, enjoy candy cigarettes, or can carry around a lighter without blowing anything up, it’s possible to make friends. Blah blah smoking is gross, but it is true that smokers form their own little community,and you basically have instant friends!

    Also, I like going back to school because I am a big nerd.

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      Okay this is terrible because I’m a huge health nut but every once in a while I really need a smoke. I’m just telling myself that smoking once every few weeks won’t rot my lungs out.

      Also, chicks look inexplicably hot when they smoke!

      Also also, being a nerd is cool!

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          I hate to be the public service announcement here, but if you smoke you should really roll yr own so that you don’t get all of the icky added chemicals, including tar, that are in most cigarettes.

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    I started my junior year of college like a week and a half ago in the midst of some serious transition, which was stressful and still is. The week before school started I: got a four month old pit bull mix puppy from some street people, came home to a flooded apartment after being out of town, quit my server job, got a new job working the late shift, and then school started. I think I’ve missed all my classes at least once, often twice by now, and I’ve just tonight finally got my puppy crate trained enough for me to be comfortable leaving him alone in the crate for my eight hour shift (thank you Cesar Milan). I don’t get my paycheck for another week, but I’ve run out of money for my old job. A fuse has blown in my apartment and most of the lights and outlets won’t work, this has been going on for a week because I procrastinate horribly. And I’m just ignoring the very large pile of dishes in my sink at the moment. So school is like, number three or four on my list of priorities right now. Girls are no where on the radar. Life as an adult sucks. I’m fairly certain I’ve whined about this to everyone I know, but damn.

    Oh! And to top it all off, Maggie Gallagher is coming to our school.

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    I moved in today, but my roommate isn’t here yet and so I’m here all by myself. Our room(s) – it’s a weird configuration – is kind of separate from the rest of the floor, most of which is upperclassmen who haven’t moved in yet…. But the rest of the first years move in tomorrow, so I’m excited! I’m not used to seeing so many cute girls around, and I’m usually really really awkward and intimidated by very queer presenting people, even though I present very queerly. This will take some getting used to, but I’m excited. Still, it’s hard to leave my mom (who spent most of the evening unpacking my stuff for me while I had dinner/a meeting with the rest of my house.

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      The nice thing about the beginning of the semester is that nobody thinks it’s that weird if you just walk up to a stranger and strike up a conversation on the absolute flimsiest of excuses. Go somewhere you’ll never wind up again, pretend you’re Rainbow Dash and brazen out a whole conversation on the assumption that you are the coolest game in town and isn’t it a shame that paperwork has to exist, and suddenly you will have a new friend. Worst that’ll happen is they’ll turn out to be boring.

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    I’M STUCK AT JUNIOR COLLEGE FOREVER.

    I’ve met some nice people here but overall I would like nothing more than to never come here again. I don’t know how to apply to a real university for transfer but the thing is none of the counselors do either so I’m just trapped in this endless cycle of bemoaning the drastically underfunded and understaffed hellhole and hand-wringing about how impossible it is to get away from here.

    On the bright side, I’m taking a hand-drawn animation course and it turns out I’m AWESOME at it. Not that anyone’s hiring pencil-and-paper animators anymore, but it’s nice to know I’ll have something to reminisce about when I’m fifty-seven and answering the phones while drunk on Irish coffee and regrets at a reception desk in some dying ag town in inland Central California.

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      That blows! Usually four-year schools have the steps to complete an application listed on their website — I found the hardest part to be asking my teachers for recommendations, but other than that it’s just paperwork. Or maybe you could call up the admissions people at the schools you’re interested in in and tell them you want to apply, but aren’t sure how? They’ll for sure help!

      Also, that is a super cool talent AND a good choice in drink.

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        The steps are often frustratingly vague, though–okay, so they need X letters of recommendation and a transcript from all the high schools I attended, uh… how do I get those? I think I’m just gonna have to scrape together some resolve and send letters asking for specifics from the universities I’m looking at, because all of them have different requirements.

        XD Thank you! It’s fun, at least, even if it’s a nontransferable course. I love coffee so much. The first person to dream up adding a little good alcohol to it basically deserves a posthumous Nobel.

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          I can’t help you with the high school transcript thing, as I got a GED, which meant I had to go to the state’s website and request a copy of my GED scores. This says that you should call the registrar at the schools or the school districts, and is probably your best bet: http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080310080436AAFME60

          As far as recommendation letters go, I do have some advice. Do you have any teachers you’ve really liked? Any classes you’ve done particularly well in? Ask those teachers if they’d be willing to write a recommendation letter for you. You should try to give them at least a month’s worth of notice. Here’s a request I sent my Spanish teacher (I always like seeing examples of these kind of things):

          “Hola Profesora,

          This is Emily, from your Spanish 202 class. I hope you had a really great weekend!

          I wanted to ask you a favor. I wondered if you’d be willing to write me a letter of recommendation, as I’m currently applying to 4-year schools for the fall term. With the crazy work schedule I’ve had over the last few years, you are one of the only teachers I’ve ever had for more than a single class (and next term you’ll be the only one I’ve had for 3!), so I feel like you’ve had more time than most of my professors to see what kind of a student I am.

          I really love Spanish, and I intend to minor in Spanish, or double-major, depending on which school I get into and what their program is like (the ability to do at least one of those is an absolute deal-breaker for me), and I will be using Spanish on a regular basis in my future career. I’ve really enjoyed your class, and it was actually the linch-pin around which I formed my schedule this term, when I chose to take my classes at Sylvania, instead of Cascade which is much closer and more convenient for me.

          If this wouldn’t be too much of a burden on your time, I would really greatly appreciate it. I would be happy to provide you with any information that you might need to write a letter of recommendation. Thanks so much,and see you tomorrow!”

          This wasn’t a super formal request because I had a someone more informal relationship with that teacher, but use your best judgement. Recommendation letters are also really important for scholarships, so it’s great to get these and hold onto them so you can use them for other things in the future. If you keep in touch with the people who write these letters for you, you can get them to change things in the future to tailor your letters a little bit better as well for the specific thing you’re applying to.

          I recommend putting something together with a little information about yourself to send to the teacher you’re asking for a letter from, like ‘I’ve maintained a (insert number) GPA while working full time, I’m majoring in (insert major), I’m from (place), I’ve overcome (obstacle)’, etc. so that your teacher has a little bit more to work with. Don’t send this until they’ve accepted your request for the letter though.

          Also, tell the teacher what your deadline is, so they know how much time they have to work on the letter. Give yourself time to mail them when you tell them the deadline!

          Sorry for the super long response, but I know that this kind of thing can seem impossibly difficult without some firm idea of exactly what you need to do.

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      I just transferred out of junior college into a four year school. When I was applying to the school I’m in now, I called admissions whenever I didn’t understand something on the application or needed to know anything about course requirements, which I highly recommend. Don’t be afraid to politely pester your professors at your current schools for recommendations. If you would like any help, let me know.

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        Congratulations on your successful transfer, and thank you! For some reason it’s very much against my nature to ask professors and such for help–I need a little kick in the ass to get me to just screw up my courage and DO IT. Your offer is very much appreciated, I may just do that if I get really stuck. Good luck with your classes, and have a good day!

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          Sure, man. I get that- I’ve always been pretty social-phobic, especially when it comes to talking with professors. It became a lot less difficult once I began forcing myself to go to office hours when I needed help and asking questions after class (I still refuse to ask questions during class). Actually, when I asked for recommendations I emailed two of my professors to ask them if they wouldn’t mind writing them, and then I dropped off stamped and addressed envelopes at their offices. And afterwards I sent them each a thank you note, so I never actually had to speak to them face-to-face.
          If you need high school transcripts, you can just call and ask for them from the administration at your old high school(s). They might even offer to mail your transcripts directly to the colleges you’re applying for. Depending on how long you’ve been out of high school, it might not be necessary to send high school transcripts though. Hope this is helpful!

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      No one at my school really was very helpful in this process either. I recommend first trying to find out what schools you’re interested in, and then figuring out how to apply to them. Many schools use the Common App ( http://www.commonapp.org/ ) which you only have to fill out once, but you do need to pay for schools application fees individually. In CA, you can apply to all the UC schools on one site: http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/admissions/transfer/index.html

      Like Ann and Caitlin said, don’t be afraid to contact the schools you’re applying to! I made a spreadsheet with a list of deadlines and requirements for each school so I could track what I’d sent to which place, and I strongly recommend doing that so you don’t get confused.

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        Oh, so it’s not just my school that’s worse than useless? That’s… oddly reassuring, actually. Thank you.

        I’m terrible with spreadsheets–if it’s not a physical object, I just don’t look at it much–but your advice is still sound; I think I’m going to invest in a two-year calender and just mark in every single due date I can think of.

        I really appreciate your kind words. Thank you VERY MUCH for your patient advice.

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      IGETC! Do all of your IGETC requirements and it makes transferring soo much easier, and use the ASSIST website to check your classes against your intended school’s requirements http://www.assist.org/web-assist/welcome.html
      Definitely get in touch with the schools you’re interested in and tell them you’re having a hard time figuring things out and they should help you.

      I was in community college for four years before transferring, and my school’s counselors were useless. It’s a huge pain to have to figure that stuff out yourself, but you can do it! Good luck!

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        Oh my goodness thank you so much. Especially for telling me it took you four years because I was starting to think that everyone in the history of the world had blitzed through their gen ed requirements in two except me. *hugs* I hope you have an excellent day because you certainly improved mine!

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    I just got back from a year abroad and won’t be taking any more classes/am graduating in November, but damn if it still feels like I’m going back to school because a) I live 5 minutes away from campus, b) a bunch of my friends are either taking a fifth year or working at the university, and c) our campus is basically in the heart of the city and you can’t avoid it even if you tried, and d) I already applied to two jobs on-campus. And yes, I have a love-hate relationship with my university, in case you couldn’t already tell. Damn you, U of T!

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    I’m almost twenty and I dropped out of high school in grade twelve. So, I’m going back to finish. I start next week. It sucks that I have to do it, but I’m excited to finish so I can actually start my life as an adult person. I have goals for the first time ever, and it feels fucking good to just want something from myself

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      It made me happy to read this. Congrats on working out what you want and having the drive to make it happen.

      I’m sure that when you do finish school, you’ll go far in doing whatever it is you want to do, because you genuinely want to do it rather than just drifting toward something because it’s the done thing.

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    I studied in Scotland last year for an exchange programme and now I’m back in France to do my Master’s and i kinda don’t want to, I want to go back to Edinburgh.
    Seriously though, they speak English there! It’s brilliant! And I met AutoStraddle girls and it was fantastic and some of them are my friends now.
    So I guess my problem is that I don’t have enough money to stay there. French people don’t take out loans for studying.

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    I’m a grad student, and I have been one for quite a while now. I’m that dinosaur that first years look at and go like: “OMG SHE’S OLD.” Also, on a regular basis, teachers react all surprised that I’m still there. (Yes sir, I am.) I just turned 26, and it made me rather sad to enroll for yet another year. All my friends have jobs, and I’m the last one stuck in gradville.

    I am working on my thesis at the moment, and I made this gigantic plan that should enable me to graduate before Christmas. I want it to work, but it feels like I exhausted all my reserves already. I want it to be over, SO BADLY.

    Also: JOIN THE ACADEMICS ANONYMOUS AUTOSTRADDLE GROUP! That way we can all support each other with our study troubles! http://www.autostraddle.com/groups/academics-anonymous-study-trouble-r-us/

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    Just graduated a year early over the summer, but I got a job at the university so it’s going to be really weird. Like I’m going to be a Working Woman, wearing nice clothes every day and answering phones and emails like a boss (theoretically), whereas all my friends are going to be taking classes and doing studently things.

    I’m also wondering whether I can/should actually try to go to a Rainbow Alliance meeting despite being all gradumacated. I’d like to second a question upthread about what kind of things happen at those meetings. I just wish I knew how to meet other queer girls. I feel like I’ve missed a huge opportunity by not being comfortable enough in my identity until now that I’ve graduated. I’ve never been any good at meeting people and now I don’t have classes to mandate that I meet roughly five new batches of people a semester. :(

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    College! I’m so happy to be back – but I’m taking Anatomy&Physiology and Organic Chem. together, and the combination really might kill me.

    On the plus side, my girlfriend and I are living together! That’s fun/scary. And I’m learning how to fence! This year is going to kick all sorts of ass. Good luck to everybody!

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    I just got into a Uni here in Geneva but apparently freshmen have to live on campus the first year and I don’t know what to do with my 34 kilo dog of awesome. The man person said that they might be able to make an exception but that I’ll probably end up having fewer friends/close friends and end up being excluded from a lot of things because its such a small community. (Also because the campus where they all live is a decent bus ride into the suburbs from where I live in the city.)

    I don’t know anyone(gay or otherwise) in Geneva right now and obvi I can’t just be like, okay LOVE OF MY LIFE DOGGY go live somewhere else for a year so I can make friends but I don’t want to be excluded from a lot of their events and community.

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      OMG, Freshmen friends would love a place to get away off campus, especially if you’re in the city and you can have people crash at your place after a night out. And besides making sure your dog gets enough exercise and gets let out a few times during the day / fed / watered (chia pup) / etc, there’s no reason why you can’t hang out on campus with everyone too.

      Do you know how many people are going to be missing their pets like crazy? Offer to let people come over or, if you are allowed, bring your dog to campus on weekends or for outdoor events.

      Also, seriously, dogs are such chick magnets. Girls like dogs almost as much as they like pussy … cats.

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      Honest truth? All I could think of was Euripides’ play when I saw your name.

      Because, the truth is: We all make those mental connections.
      Some of them are weird (see above). Some of them are painful (see even farther above). Some of them recall the best memories we’ve ever had. And we often want to preserve them. Almost like, if you “bottle up” college, you can go back years from now and remember “her” instead of the heartache of her absence that you’re bound to feel now.

      But what kind of life is that?

      I could tell you 1000 different things to make you feel strong or brave or independent, but, sometimes, we need to feel weak and frightened and dependent in order to truly appreciate this wild ride we call life. Our ability to remember is one of our greatest gifts and greatest curses, but the difference is not in the memories themselves, but how we manage them.

      It may hurt to find her again in all you see and do, but in the future, it will hurt even more thinking that you lost yourself because you feared that pain.

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    I am a PhD student so I don’t really feel like I got a summer anyway, because I spent it working on my thesis. However, I’m in the UK, so I still have about a month free of Actual Campus Based Stuff and thus free of teaching. Which means I am trying to do some work and read the stuff I need to read to teach it to undergrads, and basically I want to crawl into my bed and cry a lot.

    Mostly I am looking at websites and wishing I had money to buy new clothes for teaching in.

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    Some girl just ran into a door I was opening at my campus library and made a really cute noise and I might have fallen in love. I’m gonna like, hit the missed connections board on Craigslist like “HEY I SMASHED YR FACE WITH A DOOR, wanna go get dessert?”

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    Liking girls at a school dominated by girls and gay guys kind of sucks. Everyone’s overpowered by the estrogen levels and craves men.
    The ones you want to be boyish girls actually turn out to be girlish boys.
    There’s bound to be someone like me in a photography or illustration major or something, though…

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    Dude I can’t wait to go to school!! I don’t move in till this Sunday but all the college-related statuses are killing me. Basically I am moving from a conservative homophobic household into good ol’ liberal Boston. :D

    Also, after realizing that my school consists overwhelmingly of straight girls, I was driven to OKCupid where I met the coolest queer girls ever–so hopefully meeting them in person will lead to at least some long-lasting friendships and at best some awesome hookups ;)

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    I’m finally back in Brooklyn doing my fourth (but not final) year as an illustration major…I can’t wait for the sleep I’m not going to get. Also the job searching that will most likely fail miserably and result in no spanking new art supplies as often as I would like. I mean…huzzah fun times await my young heart? Woo art school? Yippee student loans I’ll have to sell my first born to pay back?

    Seriously though I’m very excited to be back starting a new semester (and a new major!). I wish you all the best of luck.

    Also, I may or may have typed “lick” instead of “luck” just now without even thinking about it…*ahem*

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    I’ve had my best friends for so long… I don’t really know how to make new friends. Properly. Without guys thinking I’m hitting on them. Or feeling super awkward about when I should tell girls I’m queer. I just want to be friends!

    We haven’t even met yet but I can’t help think that by the time they know my quirks, the 4 years will be up.

    I’ve been fairly calm for the last couple of months but with 5 days left until showtime, the panic’s kicked in!

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    school is one of the things in my life i truly love, and i’m worried i won’t be able to go back next week. last week i was hospitalized for severe depression which has plagued me for the last 12 years (half my fucking life!) and has already gotten in the way of uni on more than one occasion. i’m so frusterated right now with how depression seems to run my life! they just started me on a new med yesterday and if it goes well in the next few days i’m holding out hope that i’ll get out this weekend, but that might just be wishful thinking. but i don’t know what’s worse– not being able to go to school due to depression, or going but not being able to give it my all because of depression. argh!

    sorry ladies, i needed to vent :)

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      hey, I am really sorry to hear this, it sucks. I have had to take time off university for mental health reasons and I can relate to the feeling of frustration at not being able to do something you genuinely love and feel that you were meant for. especially when it’s been around for a long time and you start to wonder, will it ever get better…

      this is just a quick note to say, hang in there. The most important thing is you getting better and moving into a space where your depression is manageable. That might require some time off and it might not, only you and your doctors can work that one out. BUT I can say with certainty that with the right therapy and meds, you WILL move into that place and you will go back to school and it will be awesome because you will be super motivated and a stronger person because of what you’ve had to go through to be there.

      I don’t mean to devalue how sucky it is to not be able to go back, if that’s what it comes to… I felt like my world was ending and I couldn’t do the one thing I was ‘born’ for. But in retrospect I’m glad I did, because that was the time I got my shit in order. And I was mad too, mad that for some reason fate had chosen to give ME mental health issues, which I most assuredly did not want and felt like it was massively unfair that I had to work through them. In retrospect I wouldn’t change it though, because it made me a stronger and more compassionate person. Maybe one day you’ll feel the same.

      So I guess what I’m saying is, if it comes to that, try and look at the time as something you are doing in order for you to go back and have a blast and be awesome. You will get there in the end, I just know it.

      I don’t know if any of that is useful to you… I don’t want to sound like I am devaluing the feelings that you have. We are all here supporting you, and please feel free to shoot me a message if you want to talk :)

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    Back at university for my sophomore year! I would say things are fine and dandy if my girlfriend hadn’t broken up with me 3 days before classes started, essentially telling me she wanted to just be friends then doing a 180 and telling me she doesn’t want me in her life anymore and doesn’t love me. Shit sucks and makes it nearly impossible to enjoy things BUT i am trying super super hard and am going to put twice as much effort as I can into my work! I hope everyone else is having a better start to their college semesters!

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    I’ve already been back for about two weeks now. Today is my university’s activities fair where all the freshmen can look around at the different organizations & it’s also our GSA’s first official meeting of the year.

    I’m president of the GSA this year, which I’m super nervous about. Planning shit is hard, especially with a full courseload that I have to do as well! But I’m so thankful I’m able to go to this university.

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    Going back for my second year in law school: FUCK YEAH CRIMINAL & PROCEDURAL LAW!

    Plus, I’m applying to study a year in the U.S, or possibly Canada and I’m super stoked! Just gotta work on my application letter and let all those universities know that they really need this fabulous lesbian with great tequila drinking skills.

    Also, and this is fantastic: Y’ALL, I’M A SWAN! Somehow, I’ve turned into a good lookin girl this summer and it’s pretty great. Everybody in my year knows I’m a lesbian, because everyone is so goddamn gossipy and that feels amazing. Girls have started to approach me, but that’s probably because I look easy, heh.
    I love uni!

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      Been there. Easiest thing to do is to get over it asap– and the easiest way to do that is find a queer girl who is equally as cool. Like, there might be the teensiest chance that she’ll be into you, but I wouldn’t get my hopes up and I especially would not tell her how I felt because she might react in a homophobic manner. Sorry dude, them’s the breaks. :/

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          Rugby is awesome! And it is a wonderful way to meet queer girls. That’s funny, I just realized I was [gay? bi? I still haven't figured it out] this January, and my first crush on a girl was on a straight girl on my floor (who is also one of my best friends). She was actually the first person I came out to, and she was wonderfully accepting and supportive, but I never ended up telling her how I felt because I knew she didn’t return my feelings. Now I’ve gotten over the whole thing, we’re still great friends and I don’t think I’ll ever mention my one-time feelings for her. /story you didn’t ask for

          Good luck with the lesbian-hunting (that sounds more sinister than I meant it to) and with sorting through your feelings for your straight friend!

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    Ah yes.. i’m back at university, and was just reminded of what an emotional rollercoasterride it really is.. one moment i’m super excited because school so awesome, and the next i’m freaking out beacuse of the amount of things i actually have to learn this year..

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    It’s my senior year of undergrad, and I have an apartment and a master’s-level thesis to write (yay honors) and an internship under my belt and everything. Sometimes I look at myself and think, who on earth even let this idiot into college? My chief interests include eating cereal and taking naps… yet I’m supposed to come up with 47 pages of research and analysis on French literature?

    How did this all happen? I think I’m having an out-of-body experience. Also, my campus is not queer enough.

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    I’m doing my Bachelor degree entirely by distance (online). I’ve found that the pros really outweigh the cons and I actually really like it as a mode of study. I’m doing a Bachelor of Arts with my first major being Communication studies and my second major being History and Politics. So in terms of going ‘back to school’, online we actually have no breaks. Our year is in quarters and they are rolling so that means the last week of a course is also the first week of your new courses. It sounds big but with online you can make yourself holidays. It’s only theoretical the term dates. The great thing about online, too, is that you can go as fast or as slow as you want. Thus, I am completing my three-year Bachelor degree in two years making me currently a junior equivalent at 19 :) In exactly 365 days, I will be finished with my degree. What’s so great is that Open Universities Australia is the host for university providers but you still graduate with a degree from a campus university. For example mine is Griffith University, Queensland. You get your testamur from a campus university. And one huge advantage is that with OUA, you can study any courses from the other 7 university providers for your electives, thereby giving you access to all the databases that a university login can give you :) I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to have the motivation to do my whole degree online but three things make it all worth it for me. 1) The knowledge that I’ll be graduating with my peers despite having lived overseas for the past two years.
    2) If I’m able to, and it looks likely, have finished my degree in two years instead of three
    3) When we have get-togethers with my parents’ friends and my parents tell them proudly how they weren’t sure I’d be able to motivate myself but I have done and how they don’t think they could do it themselves. That’s really special for me.
    So, forgive me if that was rant-ish ha. I really recommend it if you are thinking of/have thought about doing online study. I’ve heard Open University in the UK is good, too. If anyone has any questions, please feel free :)

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    I’m moving away from a city I love, and turning down my dream school to move to a town I don’t like nearly as much, and I’ll be 25 this fall and a junior. I’m NERVOUS and afraid I won’t make any friends. What the hell do people who are under 21 even do?????

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    I have three roommates. Two are awesome. One isn’t. I have NO IDEA how to come out to them. They always talk about sex and penises and it’s awkward. AND HOW DO I MEET CUTE LESBIANS? I have yet to meet ANY.

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      Straight girls talking about penises might be one of the most unbearable things to have to sit through. Err I have no magical formula for coming out, maybe just throw a bunch of rainbow stickers and Tegan and Sara posters casually around the room and they’ll get the pictures.

      As for meeting cute lesbians, try THE INTERNET! Or LGBT groups! Or, if you are only looking to get laid, A GAY BAR! Also, see a post somewhere in the comments re: the girls’ rugby team.

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          hah well yes but you can also use dating sites to find cool gay friends. I know, the idea can be offputting, but if you find that you don’t encounter any LGBT people or groups on campus then it’s always an option.

          Speaking of which, what kind of school doesn’t have any LGBT groups?! That’s absurd.

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          Actually, I dug around and I found an LGBT welcoming that is happening on Thursday! Hopefully there are some cute girls there! If not, I guess I can try the internet.

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          Hey, go for it! Even if there aren’t any cute girls (but I’m pretty sure there will be), it’ll be nice to interact with fellow LGBT individuals, make a few friends, and no longer be forced to endure penis conversations.

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    I DON’T WANT TO GO BACK. YOU CAN’T MAKE ME YOU CAN’T MAKE ME!!! I’m graduating this year and I’m in that awkward/terrifying phase where I want to get the hell out and at the same time still have no idea what I’m going to do with my life. UGH.

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    Freshman in uni, about two weeks in, and all I’ve done is cry. The GSA is intimidating, and my roommate was scared enough of me that she moved out after two days, though that does make it easier to spend all my time crying.

    I’m scared of everything (can’t even eat tonight because there’s too many people) and I hate it here and I want to go home.

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    I’ve been back at school for a few days even though classes don’t start until next week. Unfortunately I haven’t really had time to hang out with my friends because I’ve been helping 5,000 incoming freshman move in. (At least I got assigned to help the engineering floor move in? Those boys don’t bring anything besides electronics so there’s not a lot of heavy stuff to carry)

    I think next week I shall go the the LGBTQA center at my school for the first time ever. And come out to most of my friends (I just started coming out recently).
    …Should be fun.

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    Sorry if I’m ranting but its been a annoying couple of weeks…I’ve been at school for the past two weeks, finally home for Labour Day weekend. (Thank Goodness) I have to of the most inconsiderate and rudest room mates ever! They are the pits. It is a RA (who is in a sorority) and her best friend. They always come in drunk, yelling and slamming doors with two or three people, especially late in the night (Wed-Sun). The RA, when I found her online a week before I moved in, basically told me they didn’t want me to live with them and I should move to another room. What is worse is they have their friends or whoever just stay over. One girl A., she practically lives here three days our of the week. Their friend J came in yesterday evening( opening the door with her own set of keys) while I was cooking, looking for one of my room mates. She wasn’t there, so J just goes in the girl’s room and looks at tv till they get home, like 4 hrs. The worst of it is, I came home this evening, the RA’s door cracked open with light on, a few hours later, one of the roomies comes in, knocks on the RA’s door, and I hear a male’s voice. It freaked me out to be in my own place and not know a strange guy was in the same place. Having all of these strange people in and out of our dorm is just… nerve racking. I hate it so much!

    Other than that, I have a ton of work from my upper level art classes and writing classes, tons of reading, plus a job at the art gallery on campus this semester. I also, joined the LGBTQA group at school, which is great, because I’m finally meeting new people again after having petty drama with old friends over the past three years. Some of the chicks are cute, but I feel like a total creeper because most of them are freshman. So I’m completely awkward in this setting.

    All in all, this will be a very busy semester. (>w<)"

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      Ugh, I feel you. This happened in the house I was subletting for the summer. Because I had already signed a lease I spent most of the summer not at home / in my bedroom, only venturing downstairs to make food in the disgusting kitchen. Where I’d often find strange men drunkenly cooking mac and cheese in my kitchen (PLEASE DON’T BURN THE HOUSE DOWN)

      I’d say if you’d be happier if you moved, the other girls haven’t ‘won’.

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        It is just tiring being there and it hasn’t been a month. I can’t complain to the RA about it, because one of my room mates IS the RA. Which is complete bull, because she makes a horrible one. It is understandable if you and your friends go out drinking and one can’t get home, they stay on the couch then leave. But if I see you in your friends room like you live in my dorm, with rollers in her hair watching tv, I’ll take note. I don’t know if I will be able to move, since this year, they are practically maxing out spaces just for the freshmen they let in. I may have to deal with it for now until I can figure out what to do. I’m just glad I have my own room with a lock. My dad told me to keep a tally of who these people are and how long they stay over because the room mates are planning /plotting to get me out of the place, most likely.

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          Absolutely! Your father is absolutely correct. Keep a record of who comes and goes, who stays multiple nights, write down the dates (and time if you can). Also note how it makes you feel. Try to talk to your roommates about it, and if they blow you off, note that as well.

          Then if they try to kick you out, or get you forced out, you have ammo against them as well – and you can even say you tried to resolve it!

          Best of luck sweetie!

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    I’m dreading it times a million. It means travelling for two days by bus (damn boarding school). It means second year of IB (scary, scary stuff). It means my dumb, stupid neighbour and her dumb, stupid music. It means not being able to get onto Autostrad’ (they block it).
    On the other hand I get to see my girlfriend, this is good.

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      pretty fucking gay. But in all seriousness, I’d give it a semester before you try and transfer. The first few weeks of school can be really rough, but I found that after the first month or so things start falling into place. And then if they don’t, you can always go ahead and transfer someplace else.

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    I’m 27 but I’ve take some poor choices in my life so now I’m going back to technical school and then hopefully university. Nursing assistant and from there I can do something else in university. My ultimate goal is to work for an organization like Red Cross.

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    Second week of classes is done and I am exhausted. My last year of school, and very very busy with work, school, studying for the GRE, grad school aps, post bac aps…I am just stressed. But I just keep telling myself its almost over :) Anyone on here go to school at Mizzou?

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    I go to Michigan State, and I get to see my girlfriend every day again. And I get to see all of my musician friends every day. And make music with my friends. And learn from some of the smartest conductors in the country.

    So life is good.

    To all of you who are depressed and tired and nervous, IT’S GOING TO BE OKAY!

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    I’ve been in Paris on study abroad for a week already! Smack in the middle of orientation, still reeling a little from all the things to do and see. :) I’m having a lovely time, although the “aggressively heterosexual” (not my words, but somewhat true) atmosphere is a huge change from Northampton… Ah well, at least I have my fellow Smithies to remind me that other queer women exist. From what I’ve heard and observed, gay men are fairly visible, but the ladies are a bit elusive!

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    I’ve been back in school since early July – the community college where I take my culinary arts courses operates on a quarter system rather than semesters, and the summer break was really short.

    Anyway, our Kaleidoscope Alliance tried to get off the ground, but fell apart after the first couple meetings since the president and her partner were so busy with classes and work.

    It’s also been practically impossible to meet girls — that I have a chance with, anyway — since this is 1) a community college 2) with no dorms 3) in the middle of Nebraska. Once I graduate with a pastry certification in a couple years, I’ve promised myself that I’m getting out of this state.

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    My first week of school is over, and it’s been horrifyingly depressing. I’d almost let myself forget how homophobic that place is. There is one (one!) out gay guy – who I admire so, so much, because I couldn’t be that brave – but no out girls who like girls. I’m out to my friends who don’t go to the same college, but I’m not out there because I don’t think I could handle the fallout.

    I’m graduating in the spring, thank God, but to be honest I don’t know how I’m going to make it that long. I feel so ridiculously alone.

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      I’m so sorry. That’s a rough situation uniquely painful in how quietly soul-crushing it is over time. I’m in a similar boat–not ~really~ out at school because I’m scared, and stuck in a holding pattern until I leave.

      If you need help reassuring yourself that time is passing, I have some stupid advice that may or may not work for you. Go on IMDB or Wikipedia or something and look for movies that are coming out in spring. Pick one coming out around the same time as your graduation, preferably something with hot actors & actresses and LOTS of merchandising opportunities looming in its future (i.e. The Avengers, John Carter of Mars, Men in Black III).

      NOW TRACK IT. That is your job. Whenever you feel like time is moving so slowly that you may actually be going backwards, look up your movie. Has there been an interview? Have new photos been released? Are they releasing action figures for it yet? PROGRESS–they’re doing it, and so are you. It will make you feel productive and On Top Of Things and when you’re all done, you get to see a movie!

      You’ll be okay, I am sure of it. You’ve made it this far; I have complete confidence that you can outlast the bastards from this point on.

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    Hey, fellow grad students,

    How do queer grad students find each other?

    My program’s really small, definitely no queer women here. I can think of a few ways to meet other grad students but… no really, how do I find ya’ll.

    THANKS.

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    I have a lot of feelings about school. I decided to be a math major…because I like math, especially statistics…but I haven’t actually taken many college math classes. I’m only in precalculus, which is supposed to be a really difficult class, and I’m scared that I’m not going to be cut out for my major. I guess if things don’t work out I can fall back on psychology, which is my minor.

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        Yeah, I’m actually taking experimental psych too, which is basically about the use of stats in psych. I’m really excited about it. Thanks for the luck and advice, I intend to do a lot of practicing. I guess a lot of my apprehension stems from not knowing what to expect since I’ve never dealt with calculus and I just transferred into a four year school from community college. Are you a math major too?

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          No, but I’m a physics major and I used to live with a math major so I’m always surrounded by whiteboards covered in math.

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    i’m pretty excited because I got into the women’s studies class I wanted in spite of my not having met the prerequisites. : )

    but then again, class doesn’t start til tuesday and i already have homework in one of my english classes. (though i have a feeling that animals in medieval literature will be an amazing class)

    also, i really need to meet new girls. i’m tired of being played by the same girl over and over again. it kinda sucks. : (

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    I’m currently in the airport, waiting to board my flight back to Ohio for my senior year at Oberlin! Which is awesomesauce in lots of ways, but also terrifying? Having only a year between myself and the Real World is a little daunting. Good thing I’m going into the arts, the MOST lucrative of career paths!

    So, okay, I may or may not have cried my way through packing late last night, but I’m also super amped to go back, because school is where my whole life is, now. And hell, now that I’ve given up on the idea of meeting a lady there to actually date, maybe that means there will at least be some fun casual makeouts/nakedness in my future.

    Also I’m actually really excited to be a TA for this intro theater class? I like the idea of helping the new tech kids find their way (the other 4 TAs will be taking care of the million and one actors). Plus, as the one gay TA, I’ll hold down that fort, too!

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    My roommate is gone for the weekend and she’s still pissing me off. Could her alarm been turned off while she was gone? Nope, nope it couldn’t. Oh look it’s starting again for the third time. Awesome.

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    Been back for about five days with classes not starting until this coming Thursday. I love my housemates; we’re working on our hot male and hot female walls. We have an open house/”Coming In” party this Friday and are making a trip to the state fair today. I love living with my “family” and can already tell it’s going to be a great year. Plus, I just picked up a third major…good times.

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    I’ve been here for a week and I’ve met more awesome people than I met all last year. My dorm last year was cliquey, but this year I’m in an International Learning Community and everyone speaks multiple languages and embraces diversity and genuinely wants to meet people. There’s an ice cream social for queer students in a few days and I’m determined to go and talk to people (anyone else from UW Madison??). I also want to volunteer at the city’s LGBT community center. This is the year of Getting My Shit Together.

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    Class hasn’t started yet, those start on Tuesday (huzzah for learning!) but I’ve been a hermit in my dorm for the last two days after I had a long talk with my long distance first love/now ex-girlfriend because she is already seeing someone new and I was having crazy panic attacks over it (4+ a day most days), and now we’re not talking which I know will be better in the long run but in the present it stinks. So that hurts a lot but there will be pretty girls in this new place, right?
    right?

    I really need class to start. Something to take my mind off this. Being in a new province as a person who’s developed introversion over the summer is a hard thing.

    Tuesday come sooner.

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      Good luck! I remember my frosh week I gave up trying to like it and just enjoyed the time on my own– taking walks around the new city, shopping, organizing my stuff. Classes will start before you know it! They do provide a nice routine.

      And you’ll definitely meet cute new girls! :)

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    I started my junior year at Reed College this week. It’s been nuts. My classes are great, I had to pay way too much money for supplies for my painting class, and my primary and I are working out how to have time for academics and each other. I asked a cute girl out, tho!

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    I’m excited, because I’m starting college (moving in to res tomorrow) and I’m finally able to be out now that I’m free of my strict Catholic high school.

    I’m planning on going to a bunch of LGBT orientation events that are planned the week after classes start but I’m wondering if I should go to the drop-in centre before then.

    I’m also wondering if I should be “coming out” to my fellow classmates or if it should just be something that eventually gets casually mentioned. I’ve stuck with the latter method for the past year, but it’s been with friends that I’ve known.

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    I’m about to do senior year at my very small, very conservative highschool in a barely 9,000 person town domiated by churches and bars, (welcome to Wisconsin people), and I’m…I dunno, I’m in need of a little moral booster. My friends all just graduated, We don’t have a GSA (not enough people to be involved) and I’m one of…oh..one out gay girl. It’s me and me. In a lovely monogamous relationship. I guess I’m just feeling a little alone because I have no one who really…gets me.
    BUT! I have really fantastic classes, and dance team to look forward to. So that’s cool!

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    So, I’ve been at school for a couple weeks now. Freshman at a university in San Francisco, because I’m predictable like that. And I’m not all the way out. And because of that, no one here knows that I want to find cute girls :(
    I have one friend that came with me from high school. He’s super amazing. And has met more lesbians than I have so far. Because I’m a failure like that –.–
    PLUS my roommates have ALL gone home for the long weekend. Leaving me with a 2-bdrm apartment to myself. I’m so very lonely. :(
    Oh well. Just leave it to me to live in effing SAN FRANCISCO and be unable to find any queermos.

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    I am going Back To School in the non-college sense, as in starting my penultimate year of school tomorrow. It should have been the team-building/bonding day today, but it’s my birthday and it’s raining and kayaking in the rain seems like it’ll make me really ill. Also I don’t want to spend my 17th kayaking… I’m instead spending it reading Autostraddle, so shh.

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    Going into my third year in two days, and I’m crazy nervous/excited/jittery/FEELINGS because this whole year is just going to be SO DIFFERENT from every year of my life. I just moved into an adorable apartment that’s a 5 minute bus ride or 20 minute walk from school with a girl I met first year, and it’s my first time living away from home ever so I’m pretty nervous about like roommate issues and money and motivating myself to study when I am walking distance from approximately a million bars.
    I also came out officially over the summer, so now there’s the added “omg” of that. My roommate has like a zillion gay friends. I have a million straight male ones. We’re having a party and inviting them all on Friday and I’m kind of nervous but mostly excited for that. I also have a new job for the first time in over three years and like I look different and am mentally healthy and it’s like this whole year has potential to be super exciting and awesome and me finally being able to be myself without worrying about what people think or just really stressful and awful.
    I also wasn’t able to bring my kitty with me when I moved out and I’m really sad about that.

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    Its my first year in college, I go to SHU a private christian college. I joined the rugby team, which I love! and i just came out to most of my team, I think that they took it well, then again I was pretty drunk. My room mate found my tumblr… so she knows I’m a lesbian now too! I haven’t talked to her formally (or even verbally for that matter) yet, so I really hope she is comfortable with me :/Other than that classes started blah blah blah and GSA starts in October, I am really hoping to bring something to it because the GSA here is pretty lame. OH AND MY COACH LOOKS LIKE TEGAN QUINN! WINNING!!!

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    I feel so unbelievably uncomfortable here. I tried to move out of the dorm I lived in last year but it didn’t work out and now I’m stuck with a whole lot of people that really just crush my spirits. Also because of the generally negative attitude I came in with because of my bad experience last year, I’m “gun shy” and having a lot of trouble making friends with new people. I want to die.

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      Hang in there! You’ll for sure meet new people around campus this year, and there are definitely people in my dorm who basically only sleep there–your dorm and the people you live with don’t have to defnie you life.

      You can do it!

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    I am a junior in high school and this year I have to go to a new school. Its going to be hard to find someone here. (I’m single)It’s a smallish city, and its kinda frowned apon to be kissing/hugging/holding hands in that way with another girl. Hopefully the LGBT community is at the school to help out.Wish me luck! And if anyone has any tips they would be welcome.

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