Ok, so I’ve decided it will be a lot easier for me to keep this up if I stop feeling like if I write I need to write about EVERYTHING I’ve been doing. So now, if you’re reading this realize I’m just writing about what seems most memorable to me now.
First of all, I have been here nearly 3 months now. Recently I wrote down the week number in my planner every week until I leave. This wasn’t me “counting down the days” its just me wanting to forever remind myself that time goes so quickly here and that the time I do have here is so precious. Its not perfect here, but its not perfect at home either and I just need to live here and now because home will always be there and I won’t always be here.
Now to explain the title. This week I came to the realization that one of the things I’m finding quite hard is just being so known by everyone. My town has about 20,000 people. My school is small. There are 3 classes of 30ish people in my grade. So there are about 90 people in my grade. These kids have had the same friends have had almost the exact same friend groups since the 7th grade. I am the only exchange student in my school. Everyone knows everything about everyone, always. I come from school in the US with just under 3,000 students. My grade has 700 students. For me, pretty much every year I keep some friendships, make new friends, and loose touch with others. It is assumed that you will change and thus your friendships will change along with it. Here, there is no such assumption. Your friends are your friends forever and people don’t seems to change much over the years. For me being here only a year this is actually really nice. The friendships I have here feel very secure. But imagining having lived my whole life in this environment feels stifling. I miss that in Ann Arbor to be different is expected and to be like everyone else is just boring. So, walking in the hall at school earlier this week I realized that one of the major things I miss about coming from such a big school is ambiguity. I miss knowing that I have my group of friends who love me and thus I don’t give a damn what these random people in the hallway think about me. I miss feeling like I can just let go of the random people in my classes and feel no pressure to be super charming and talk to everyone because I have my friends and I’m not really looking to change them. Pioneer may be a bit of a rumor mill but in reality no one knows everything about everyone. Here, the people you pass in the halls are your friends or friends of friends and they are who there is. There aren’t enough people to just decide to be antisocial sometimes. However, the pressure is good. Its good to be pressured in to talking to everyone all the time. It is impossible to be even slightly anonymous here because everyone knows who I am. I feel some what watched sometime by the people around me. But its good, its all good. For me, this year, it is good that my school is small and that everyone knows me and that I am getting to know truly everyone also.
I really did mean to write about what I’m actually doing here but I’ve run out of time! My host sister’s host family from her year in Denmark are here for the week and I should go greet them.
Sometime soon I will write more I swear.