First Impressions / I Love Car Guy: A Recollection of Various NOVA Experiences

So I start my first day of dual-enrollment community college tomorrow. Pretty cool stuff. Today I made a trip up to NOVA to get my ID card and check on some textbooks and things. Here are some observations I made:

– The student body seems to largely consist of people you wouldn’t generally enjoy being around in high school.

– I recognized two people from my former school who I would definitely not generally enjoy being around. (Large generalization. Some great friends of mine go to/have gone to NOVA, so I hope I run into them at some point too:)

– There is literally no way to drive quickly anywhere on campus because it is plagued with stop signs. Slow and steady wins the race, y’all.

– The campus is really nice, and the staff is really nice too. People make community college sound like this terrible awful no-good very bad place to get an education, but I think those people haven’t been to visit yet. It’s a prettier campus than Robinson! And the staff is really friendly and willing to help.

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Look! It’s so pretty that someone did a fancy watercolor painting of it!

– The traffic coming in is just as bad as it is at Robinson, except the majority of it is happening on Braddock Road so I fear for my life a little more than I would back at Robo.

– Actually, the fear-for-my-life thing applies to interacting with some people on campus too.

SO my first impression of half of my new schooling environment is…curiosity. I’m a little nervous about the shady characters, but overall I’m pretty excited to begin. And chemistry! I start chemistry again tomorrow! I wish I could do chemistry every year instead of other sciences. (I know, I know…)

And I just love being busy. I could see myself being a workaholic when I grow up. I’m very excited to begin again with homework and assignments and fresh school supplies and color-coded notes and feeling a little overwhelmed by all the Things I Have To Do. It’s thrilling. (:

For a subject change, I have a story to tell you complete with a life lesson. 

So on my way to NOVA this morning, I hit the brunt of scary traffic on Braddock Road. And this scary traffic either leaves you stranded in a line of cars for long stretches of time, or everyone moves really fast together in packs so that changing lanes could double as a scene from a horror movie. I was the first of the two, stranded for about 15 minutes.

And there’s this thing about waiting in your car for 15 minutes. The first 3-5 minutes are just fine, because you’ve got your Switchfoot CD on and you’re harmonizing along and you’re thinking, Wow, look at me. I am so patient. This rocks. I’m in traffic, and I’m NOT bothered by it! I am SO great. I’ll never be like my parents. I don’t need my phone or anything right now. Content content content. Look at me, God, I’m FRUIT BEARING HERE!!!

And then another minute passes, and you think, I wonder if anyone texted me.

Probably not.

Well, maybe I’ll just take a little peek.

…Are we moving yet?

And soon enough, you’re impatient. Funny how that happens. 

So I was being impatient and looking around, and out of the corner of my eye I noticed the guy in the car next to me. We made eye contact, and he pointed at the traffic and grinned and shrugged. I laughed and rolled my eyes and mouthed, I know, and for the next ten minutes we had this hilarious nonverbal conversation while we waited for the traffic to let up. And once it finally did, we waved at each other and drove our separate ways. 

So Car Guy totally made my day and it wasn’t even 8:00 yet! As he was driving away, I noticed his car (a Porsche) and his license plate, which said something like SOUPED UP or BOSS or something like that. It occurred to me that this wonderfully entertaining guy is probably someone I wouldn’t like if we were in a class together. In fact, I’d probably write him off as a tool or a flirt or a jock. And maybe he is one of those, or maybe he’s all three. Maybe he’s a terrible person. But, he is a nice guy to be stuck in traffic with, and if I got the chance to be stuck in traffic with him again, I would definitely take it.

Thank you, Car Guy. You have earned my respect, even though I know absolutely nothing about you.

So my life lesson is this: Take your opportunities to impact people. Wave at people who are stuck in traffic with you. Smile at the creepy guy on your campus. Keep an eye out for opportunities of acts of kindness. You never know who you’re going to impact. Maybe they’ll write about you. (:

-e

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