About a Brain on Fire

Having recently made my way back into the world of academia, I decided to take a stroll down memory lane by leafing through some of the papers I wrote during my time as an undergraduate student. One that stood out to me was a book summary I wrote about Susan Cahalan’s bestselling memoir Brain on Fire.

My Time as a Hard-Nosed Reporter

My second year of college found me doing everything I could to be involved on campus. I wanted to have the quintessential college experience of rushing from activity to activity as a student, but the only “activities” I rushed to and from were ice cream and pop tarts. It wasn’t my best year. So after some soul-searching, I decided to apply to write for the school paper.

Standing at a Crossroads (Yet Again)

Today I want to share something I wrote and then proceeded to keep to myself for over four years. I wrote it at a time when I was vulnerable and searching, and I have been scared to share it because I knew that doing so would highlight the flaws I wish weren’t still so visible in my life. I would have probably continued keeping it to myself if it weren’t for the events of recent weeks, but before I dive into that story, here is what I wrote in July 2014:

When I Grow Up

I seriously considered starting this with the lyrics to the 2009 song “When I Grow Up,” but I would like to believe that my readers are too highbrow to recognize that dated pop culture reference. The reason that I used a somewhat whimsical title is because I want to talk about the future. The one that I envisioned at different stages of life, and the “future” that I ended up living.

It’s a Hippo…It’s a Blimp…No, It’s an Overweight Student Dancing to Richard Simmons!

I was a junior in college when I decided to try a radical form of exercise: 80’s workout videos. I was sitting on my bed thinking about my resolution to work out that year but was still unwilling to go to the gym. Faced with this conundrum, I racked my brain for a gym alternative. It was not long before memories flooded into my mind of times spent working out to old Richard Simmons DVDs.

Same Place, Different Person

I had the opportunity to reminisce about my college graduation when I assisted my office at today’s commencement ceremony. As I worked, I saw students who looked like they couldn’t wait to move on to the next stage of their life, ones who looked mortified that their parents were buying flowers for them, and ones panicking about having to leave the place they had called home for so many years.