P-O-L-E-N

Fun Fact: In the 5th grade, Liesl lost a spelling bee because of the word “pollen.”

Fun Fact: In the 5th grade, I lost a spelling bee because of the word “pollen.”

Picture a little four foot-something, 60 pound Liesl. Now imagine her about to spell pollen.

“P-O” – wait, does pollen have one L or two? – “L-E-N: POLEN”

WRONG!

Well, I’ve definitely learned my lesson, although this blog title doesn’t really support that. It feels like it’s been pollen season forever. For the first week the pollen started up, I was quite surprised by the pollen outbreak, and I was left completely defenseless with no allergy medicine to keep me safe. It was a tear filled week. Eventually, however, I did ask my parents to help a girl out and get me a big bottle of Kirkland brand allergy medicine, and it was great. I still occasionally forget my allergy medicine. Some days the pollen isn’t too bad and I can get away with it, while other days I can be seen rubbing my eyes or sniffling one out of every two minutes. One time I truly think I got a scratchy throat and a little cough just because of the pollen (maybe I was just sick for one day, but it seems more interesting to believe it was the pollen’s fault).

This first year of college has definitely been an interesting one. For a while I was in denial that some of my classes came easy to me, while some seemed completely impossible to me. I can’t really remember if I every physically shed any tears over school this year, but without a doubt, I’ve experienced many mental tears. And I won’t deny that many of those tears were self-inflicted.

Procrastination is real, friends. There were some days I could get away with not starting ahead on my homework or studying for my tests, but those days would always catch up with me, and I would be left in a half-zombie form with all of my hours of work and regret being lugged around in my heavier-than-normal backpack. However, there were days when I actually listened to the productive, logical side of me and started my homework or studying early, or went to tutoring for help on something I knew I was struggling with. All of these things helped me a lot, and when I’m in that state of mind, it’s hard to think of why I would ever want to be out of it.

While pollen can be annoying, especially when you’re the one sneezing and crying because of it while others seem completely immune, no one ever seriously considers getting rid of pollen. Because in the end, pollen has a purpose, and without it, many things wouldn’t be able to come to life. In the same way, college and all it’s academic and social stress sometimes seems unbearable, and sometimes it feels like you’re the only one struggling with something, even though that’s completely not true. In the end, everything serves a purpose. As long as you’re equipped with the right medicine for the right ailment, you can get through anything. Personally, sometimes I still forget to study ahead or start early, and I have to deal with that, and that’s okay. That’s life. This year for me, I feel, hasn’t “changed me” as much as I expected, or as much as everyone warned me it would, but it did help me to really notice the things I want to improve about myself and the things I appreciate about myself. I think that’s wonderful.

We started off the school year with sweat-inducing weather, watched the leaves fall, penguin waddled across ice, and now we’re sneezing because of the pollen. For those of you who have gone through all these blog posts, we’ve finally made it to the final stretch. Thanks for coming along for the journey, and I wish you for the best in the rest of your own life travels!

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