OPEN THREAD: Back to School!


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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  1. 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<)"

    • 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’.

      • 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.

        • 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!

  2. 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.

    • 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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?

  5. 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!

  6. 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!

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

    • 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.

  9. 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.


  10. 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.

      • 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?

  11. 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. : (

  12. 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!

    • oberlin is awesome.
      and if you can’t find more than one woman to date there you’re doing it wrong. my straight bff dated lots of women, and she was straight. point being, dip your hands into the stream, young grasshopper. you will find the fish.

      • Thank you Allison!

        I LOL’d when I read that last part of your post and since then I have been randomly thinking of it and bursting into a smile or an outright laugh at the most inconvenient of times, no doubt scaring the unfortunate people who find themselves in my presence when these outbursts happen.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. There are no lesbians or bisexuals in Harvard’s Class of 2015. Okay maybe 2. THe LGBTQ party was lame and all of the upperclassman lesbians were super intimidating. Hope things pick up…

  17. 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?

    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.

    • 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! :)

  18. 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!

  19. 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.

  20. 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… 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!

  21. 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.

  22. 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.

  23. 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.

  24. 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!!!

  25. 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.

    • 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!

  26. 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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