The Grumpiest Ginger

Small-town girl in a lonely world


Gunter Kleist

Her eyes see through your lies

I’ve always been a sucker for small communities. I think it’s because I was raised in them. I like little groups of close friends, small classrooms where the teacher actually has time for his or her students, and places where there are a few faces I can recognize. I went to a tiny elementary school, where my eighth grade graduating class was only 12 students, and my high school graduating class was only a little over 100 people. I always pictured myself going to a small school for college because that’s the only environment I’ve been in, academically and socially. Right off of the bat, Johnson felt like home. I made friends quicker than I ever have before, and I felt like I fit in with my classmates, even the ones I didn’t befriend. I spoke to my professors on a regular basis, and getting homework done was easy because I was so happy to be here.

Over the years here I have made some of the best friends I’ve ever had, and I’ve learned a lot too. But I think I’ve realized that there is a point where a small community begins to feel suffocating. I see the same people every day in class, I hear the same doors slamming and the same alarms going off and the same voices talking outside of my window, and it’s exhausting. I can’t focus on homework or reading or even TV shows because every day feels so alarmingly similar to the last that I find myself wondering if I’m stuck on repeat. The monotony is killing me. I can’t do homework, I can’t focus in class, I can’t do any of the things that I love because it’s all so boring to me now.

I’m not sure what the trigger for this was, but I’m not too pumped about it. It isn’t through any fault of the school itself, because there is so much that I still love about this place. I love the views, and I love my friends, and I love the community here. I feel like I’m the one who’s stuck, because I have no idea if anyone else feels the same way as I do. I feel like I’m a stagnant, muddy puddle while everyone else is like a river, or at the very least, like a trickling stream or something.

It’s weird because I thought that your 20s are supposed to be a time for huge ~personal growth~ or whatever, but I’m mostly just exhausted, hungry, and irritated all of the time. I feel like I’m talking to the same people every day and going to the same places and asking the same questions and hearing the same suggestions. I don’t know if this is something that I can remedy by just talking to different people because there are no different people. I don’t know if this is part of one of my own issues or if I’ve just got crazy spring fever, but I can’t wait for this to pass. If anyone has any suggestions for turning a puddle into a stream (and I mean that in a metaphorical way, not literally, I’m not particularly interested in landscaping tips) let me know.