(Some more pictures of the trip will be at the bottom!)
So June 3rd through 15th were among the best twelve days of my life. The Greyhound trip there, in case you didn’t see my tears on Twitter, was kind of terrifying. (Leading up to my boarding the bus, my mother and her friend told me horror stories and reminded me that arteries are a good thing to stab.)
Despite the massive paranoia following me, though, the ride wasn’t too bad. I was lucky enough to sit next to this old man from, I believe, Poland. He seemed pretty cool (although I avoided speaking to him or anyone haha). There were also phone chargers, thank god, and I had brought a pound of beef jerky with me. What made the trip enjoyable, even, was the thought that I was on my way to see Morgan. Despite it being one of the sketchiest situations I’ve experienced in a long time (I’ll throw in a little vignette at the end), it was, overall, a pretty happy ride.
About fourteen hours after I boarded the bus, I arrived in Denver, Colorado. (In all honesty, I couldn’t tell whether the station there was more or less sketchy than the station in Boonville, Missouri.) After I grabbed my luggage, it took me a few minutes to find Morgan, since we hadn’t planned where to meet beyond the station haha. But about two seconds after I saw her I got to hug my favorite person in the world so that made up for all the awfulness of the bus. <3
In addition to hanging out with the cooliest person in the world, I survived a two week stay in an online friend’s basement, I for-real hiked for the first time at Hanging Lakes, Morgan and I went indoor skydiving, and I saw how Doritos are affected by being twelve thousand feet above sea level. And that’s not even half of the awesome stuff we did together. (Plus we also met up with this other pretty cool online friend.)
It was a truly amazing time. In a way, it made me feel as if I really can live an extraordinary life; seeing a large portion of the world isn’t something that’s considered part of normal life, but neither is spending fourteen hours on a godforsaken bus to see a friend you met on the internet.
(Although, heh, this trip did teach me I need to be a little more careful with my spending habits.)
Morgan is now in Senegal, and although I miss her, I’m super excited and happy for her.
And now, onto the topic of college…
In August, I will be attending Truman State University with a declared major of Computer Science. I may?? double major in Mathematics or something, I don’t know for sure; likely, I’ll at least get a minor in Mathematics (as that shouldn’t require many extra classes). Either way, I’m pretty confident I’ll still keep my main major Computer Science. Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been internally debating whether or not I want to maintain a 4.0 GPA; is it worth the extra effort? (However, I’m definitely going to keep my GPA above at least 3.5, so that I can keep all my scholarships). And I believe that I’m leaning toward, yes, it is worth the effort. Coming from a small town high school, though, where generally the most studying (outside of class) I did was glance over the study guide before the test, and going to the most rigorous public university in Missouri… Learning to study is going to be fun. After some adjustment, however, I’m confident I’ll be able to handle it. I’m starting to actually use calendars to keep track of what I have going on, and I will aggressively make use of Anki, an SRS (Spaced Repetition System; essentially, fancy, scientifically based electronic flashcards) program, for all of my classes. So yeah, hopefully that four-point-oh will actually happen!
In all honesty, at first attending Truman didn’t seem especially great; it was a college, not in a tiny town, so I was really excited to go, but I had picked it because 1) low tuition and housing and 2) lots of scholarships. But now that I’ve visited the campus a few times, talked to some of the staff, made friends with other incoming freshmen on our class Facebook group (everyone! seems! so! nice! and! open! minded! it’s such a beautiful breath of fresh air after confederate flags and homophobia and hicks around here), and all the great things I’ve heard about it… I’m really glad I picked Truman. I’m so excited for the fall.
-the dude in the row across from me
That was the second thing I heard once I boarded the Greyhound bus (the first was this guy wearing a Travyon Martin shirt telling me there was an open seat right behind him, but that doesn’t make as good a story so we’re ignoring that). I mean, I’m paraphrasing, as I don’t know how to properly spell the demonic gurgle-snarl that spilled from his lips.
Shortly after that, the first real (story-worthy) words I heard on the bus:
“Crazy sh*t happens on the full moon, especially on a Greyhound bus.”
That kind of set the tone for the rest of my time on the bus. (Really, it wasn’t that bad; it was very intimidating, for sure, but nothing bad happened) I spoke to a fellow passenger maybe…. twice, unprompted.
However! I’m probably gonna ride another Greyhound bus during winter break, so. If anyone else has taken a trip with Greyhound, or plans to, feel free to chime in; I’d love to hear about your experiences. For anyone intending to ride, I’d recommend wearing an old pair of jeans and not the nicest looking hoodie; I felt a lot more comfortable like that than I would have if I was wearing something nicer.
But yeah, if you’re looking for a cheap way to travel somewhere in the US, it’s not the worst choice you can make! If possible, try to drag a friend along with you.
and now a lot of pictures of me and the bae!