A Typical Friday Morning...
Picture yourself in Friday morning Assembly.
You’ve just caught your breath after sprinting up from Forest Lot, and you’re all bundled up because you didn’t have time to take off your winter coat. You’re tired, immensely tired from having gone five nights in a row with lackluster sleep. Dr. Bynum starts speaking into the microphone and your mind begins to wander.
I get in a weird mood when I am in this sleep-deprived state. My mind feels hazy and I start having a much more philosophical way of approaching life. I start to feel that I have an innate knowledge inside me, but I can’t tell what it is trying to tell me. So I start to explore and become consumed in my own thoughts.
My revelations come in two forms, both equally unsatisfying. One is the obvious realization. The idea that sounds amazing for a second only for you to realize it is a message that has been repeated a thousand times before. I often struggle to write editorials for this very reason. Every time I refect on a message that I want to share with the Hopkins community, I feel like I am unable to say something original. Of course we should strive for political unity and increased awareness of economic inequality. Of course college essays are not all bad and provide us with a moment of self-reflection. I’ll spend so long crafting and refning my editorial only to realize that the end result is painfully obvious. So when I question the world around me, it is quite dispiriting that the only answers I can provide are the ones I have heard all my life. I suddenly feel like a fool.
The other revelation is just a feeling. As I drift off into that state between consciousness and sleep, everything becomes hazy. Emotions and images start washing over me. They feel meaningful, but I just cannot piece them together. My head aches from tiredness, and I misinterpret that feeling as some greater sign. Suddenly I stir and jump wide awake as Dr. Bynum announces that we will not have a snow day. I have lost my train of thought and can no longer remember what just seemed so significant.
For the past four years I have been so busy with schoolwork and sports that I never set aside the time to think about myself. My few coveted moments of free time have been spent aggressively de-stressing (i.e. Netfix binging), and now only as a second term senior, I fnally have time to reflect. I can try and make sense of all these unidentifable feelings.
Recently, I have started writing for just fifteen minutes to clear my mind. It can take the form of a short story, a description, or just a stream of consciousness. Writing lets me grapple with my ideas, but without the struggle of it having to make sense. I am just writing for myself, so it’s okay if I am incomprehensible for three or four sentences in a row. The act of writing without an audience makes it feel so much more natural. No longer do I toil over paragraphs only to still feel dissatisfed. When I write for myself, I can’t exactly express the feeling it creates. It’s almost like I am kneading the knots of my mind. Even a short session leaves me feeling more confdent and relaxed.
So I continue throughout my Hopkins day, still in a daze. Ambling from class to class I try to make sense of it all, but as my morning grogginess wears off, my confusion seems to dissipate. I haven’t discovered any answers, rather I am no longer perturbed by questions I used to think were urgent. I am my normal self again, wide awake, cheery, and ready to learn, but I can still feel something deep down tugging at my conscience. I stare blankly at my desk for a few seconds before raising my hand.