Sunday, August 26, 2012

Narcaplexy 101: College Survival

The summer has caused me to disappear, I realize this and I really do apologize about it. No internet connection other than my super slow iPhone 3 my dad gave me because I broke my awesome Galaxy phone can barely get Google to work. Anything else is just a lost cause!

Baldwin Wallace University's Class of 2016
But today as I write out this post, I'm not anywhere near the home that I've know for the past fourteen years. My residence hall at Baldwin Wallace University, North Hall, is my new home for the semester and likely the entirety of my freshman year here at college. I've got a twin bed raised up as high as the bed posts allowed so that I could fit my mini-fridge and microwave underneath. My little wooden desk is next to my bed, with a built in lamp that I ignore and used my own special lamp with a natural white-light bulb, because yellow-y light slows your brain and makes you tired. On top of my desk sits a plasma screen TV that I haven't even gotten set up yet, and once I do I still won't know what to do with it other than watch movies--I never had actual cable at home! And my closet where my dresser is shoved into is full of everything I need, from clothes and toiletries to my narcaplexy medications and my marching band uniform, safely tucked away in a yellow garment bag and waiting for that first football game in just two weeks!

And of course, my roommate has one of each of the furniture I've listed as well, right across the room from mine. Her name is Rebekah, although she goes by Becca or George, a joke from her friends back home. Becca doesn't have a TV or fridge or microwave, not that we even needed two of each, but because she traveled much farther than I did to get here. You'd know it just by her deep British accent that she's from the UK, a foreign exchange student for the semester, maybe the year if she begs her "Uni" to let her have another semester abroad. The things Becca says are fantastic! Just hearing her talk makes me smile, amused by the strange British terms that no one understands here. According to her, a shopping cart is a "trolley", chips and "crisps", cookies are "biscuits", a hoodie is a "jumper", a t-shirt is "vest"... I could make a whole dictionary of the words she says! I even think she's beginning to brush off on me: in just the short week we've been here I've started using words like "fantastic", "precisely", "begun", and "first-year" instead of the American term "freshman". But Becca is great; she's fun and easy to get along with and we agree on a lot of things. I'm fortunate to have a great roommate :)

Another thing great about Becca is her reaction to my narcaplexy explanation. She thinks narcolepsy is really interesting and cataplexy she seems to understand on a level that most people require a lengthy explanation for. And best of all, she doesn't bring it up all the time or hardly ever, really. When I need a nap she just says okay and will continue to read her book or Skype her friends or go find her other foreign exchange student friends that she's made. And the first time I "blacked out" after little sleep and a long day of Band Camp while laying on my bed talking to her and my new sophomore friend Kassie say playing with my iPad, both girls realized I've fallen asleep and when I didn't respond to their voices, they realized it was a pass out kind of deal and that I was best left alone to sleep it off. When I came to likely just minutes later after vivid dreams of being at home and having a cataplexy attack on the floor that my brother could help me out of and I couldn't get through no matter how hard I tried, they just looked at me and smiled, asking "Did you fall asleep just now?" I don't think I could've asked for much better friends to start my year out with.

The football team: Awwww Jackets!
So you've got the gist of my experience so far: I'm loving this place without a doubt in my mind :) And I already have a million and one stories to tell you of my experiences here so far, something I'll gladly delve into once I've gotten a shower! The Greeks threw a dance for the freshmen last night that went until 1am and it was really hot and sweaty dancing with the hundreds of other excited suddenly independent members of my Class of 2016. And to top that off, I didn't even get to bed until 3:30! While at the dance, I conveniently "ran into" the new friend I made in the laundry room yesterday morning, after I had been keeping my eyes peeled for him all day ;) We spent hours together dancing, playing corn hole, walking back to our residence hall together, and doing a lot of talking. Even after we got home, we were up late in the lounge playing an impromptu game of 20 Questions and Make Fun of Americans with my roommate, and I nearly physically held my eyelids open.

So he's another story, one I'd definitely LOVE to go into more detail about ;)
But like I said, I need to grab a shower first! I can hold my thoughts and words for a little longer... Then I can go write this in the lounge instead of my dorm room and maybe I'll "run into" my new friend. He doesn't have football practice until noon, after all! :)

Wakeful thoughts and a great morning to everyone!