Sophomore year [This is Thirty series]

Previous post: Freshman year

Picking up from where I left off, I started the summer after my Freshman year feverishly applying to as many jobs as I could once I got home to my parent’s house. After a few weeks, I ended up being offered two jobs: a cashier at Jewel for $6.55/hour and a dog walker/care attendant at a pet motel for $8.50/hour. I took the higher paying job since it was closer to my goal of getting into veterinary care than Jewel was. I also took a summer Calculus course since I received a D in the class during my Freshman year. Once I had the job and class lined up, I decided to start taking steps to try and fulfill this bet I had placed with my friend Polina that we could get boyfriends for the summer, or “summer flings.” I was also tasked with the goal of getting over my internet crush mentioned previously.

I turned to the internet for help in my endeavors to find a local boy to date. Since I was a poor college student, I used a website called OKCupid. It was free and full of mostly creepers minus a few slightly normal people. Some people were on there only looking for sex, so I had to weave through quite a few guys before I settled on three of them to meet. I met three guys over two weekends in mid to late June of 2005. The first guy was nice and lived about 10 minutes away from me. The second guy was a dud, he showed up several hours late and had way too many weird quirks for me to consider continuing to see him. I found myself instantly falling for the third guy, especially on our second date. Over the next week, I broke things off with the first guy and a wave of patience overtook me as I continued to go on dates with the third guy but didn’t feel like I should rush anything.

On July 17th he asked me to be his girlfriend, and I gladly accepted. I liked him a lot but didn’t really see us lasting much longer past the summer. In August, I went to Ireland for the last two weeks of the summer. I missed my boyfriend greatly, and was surprised that he emailed me while I was away saying he missed me as well. Once school started up, our relationship became long distance. We somehow made it work, between me going home to visit and him visiting me at my school we saw each other at least once every 2-3 weeks. We also regularly talked via email, text, and phone calls. We even exchanged a few long-winded, heartfelt letters. Despite all this, in the back of my mind I had doubts we would work out due to the distance. I felt like it was harder on him than me, so I chose to give it a try as long as he didn’t get too lonely. When I went home for Thanksgiving, he told me that he loved me. At first I was struck speechless, but then I found the words to say that I loved him too.

At school, I started working at the meat science lab part time between my classes and I found myself trying to make friends but somehow got unlucky and found two creepers. The first was this guy I met while ushering at Krannert Center for performing arts. He hung out with my friends and me a few times, but one day was texting me about how he liked me and wanted to kiss me. I quickly ended that friendship. In December, I was invited out to a local bar on campus with a bunch of friends and co-workers. One guy in particular who was new to me was talking to me and being friendly. After some time, he told me he had had a rough week and needed a hug. I ended up giving him a hug. Since it was late when we left the bar, he drove me back to my dorm hall. When we got there, he got out of the car and tried to hug me… then tried to kiss me goodbye. Once I realized what he was trying to do, I pulled away and walked away very quickly into my dorm hall, not looking back.

This scared me to the point where I couldn’t tell anyone what happened. I completely cut any communication with the guy. After a few days, things died down and I felt a lot better. Unfortunately, since this guy got upset after I stopped talking to him, he found my boyfriend via facebook and ended up sending him messages. He made up a story that he kissed and made out with me, and that we liked each other. Needless to say, my boyfriend instantly reached out to me and asked me about what happened. I ended up freaking out all over again, but after thinking logically and talking to my mom, I told my boyfriend everything that happened. He believed me over this random guy, even though this guy doctored up a “chat” between us that never happened. He was upset I hadn’t told him right away, but understood that I got scared and was being stupid. I calmed down a lot once I knew my boyfriend believed me and thought things would get better from then on.

I also told myself I would never put myself in a similar situation ever again. I would never give out hugs to people I barely know, and I would be much more conscious of the vibes I was giving out and receiving from other people, especially guys. My boyfriend and I had a great winter break full of good quality time, but once I went back to school everything changed. On our 6 month anniversary, I received an email from my boyfriend on how he was confused since it felt like I wouldn’t open up to him and was feeling distant from him, even when I was right next to him. This started my Spring 2006 semester from hell. Between my boyfriend who suffered from anxiety and my brother who started having his own issues, I lost a ton of sleep and was constantly stressed out. I would go back and forth in my mind, I would want to dump my boyfriend one week, but then after we hung out I would love him even more and not want to end things. Somewhere between all of this, I decided that my boyfriend wasn’t my one and only, and since I felt this way I also chose to not have sex with him.

I spent my spring break with the Christian group I was a part of, in Panama City Beach. This was a great time and it helped me realize something that I wasn’t 100% sure of until this point. It was this week that I chose to wait until marriage for sex and everything related/close to sex. This also was the start to a new phase in my relationship with my boyfriend as well. At first, he felt jealous that I was learning everything that I was about God and Jesus, etc. But I reassured him we were both beginning our relationship with God and that it would be a slow and steady progress. We went into the summer looking forward to spending a lot more time together rather than apart as we usually did during the school year. I hoped to help my boyfriend feel less anxious and more calm overall. Being around him and my brother seemed to have a positive effect on them that I hoped would continue in the summer.

Next post: Junior year

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