The first fifteen years of my life, I lived in the same house; a burnt yellow exterior, green carpeting on the stairs, a black and white banister, and ugly red lights hanging from the ceiling in the kitchen. Every corner of that house has a different memory. That was my home, and still is in a sense. However, my life started to shift dramatically after my parent’s divorce; and in the following years, I’d move houses twice, go abroad, live at two different colleges, and still continue to live away and work for summers at a time at sleep away camp. Of all those places, Dynamy has been the hardest but the best residential experience that I’ve had. As a residential gap year program in the United States, Dynamy aims to support students find their passions and connect with others in a collaborative and experiential environment. I’ve had to work through tough situations within my apartment. I’ve had to set harder personal boundaries and be a better self-advocate. But that has also made it the best, because it has taught me an enormous amount about myself and my peers, in regards to my living situation and how I live.
My social life has never been the best, as I spent most of high school and my year at college without more than one or two friends. I wasted a lot of nights alone, thinking I didn’t deserve any more than what I had. I’d lay on my bed, hopelessly imagining what it would be like to have those breathless nights, screaming car rides blasting music, laughs and memories and craziness with people I cared about. I can’t say I haven’t had many opportunities to start my social life fresh in all the new places I’ve been to. It seemed as though every time I put myself out there, the less it felt I got in return, so I kind of gave up on having real friends. I was nervous Dynamy was going to end up being the same, but I somehow managed to hold out hope that things would be different– and surprise… they were! I made friends quicker than I have anywhere else. Dynamy’s independent living and apartment-style living has provided me with something I’ll cherish forever.
I made more random Walmart and Price Chopper trips than I thought I’d ever make. I went to the playground at night with my friends more than I thought I ever would as a twenty-year-old. I went on more spontaneous drives with no destination than I thought ever would. I have people to do that stuff with now, and though that’s normal for so many people, for me, it’s new and refreshing. But my deep-rooted belief that I was inherently unlikable crept in more often than I would’ve liked. I’m still working through it, and I’m not going to pretend everything is perfect, but I’m in a much better place than I was even just a few months ago. Even as the seasons have shifted in Worcester, and people have come and go, I still remain hopeful that my social life will only get better from here.
Below is a poem written by me, and a good summation of my thoughts and feelings about my (social) life at Dynamy thus far:
when saturdays aren’t painted with bright colors
and you sit on your bed staring at white walls scattered with mementos
you have to make your own fun
breathlessly running around the park
swinging back and forth
seeing my breath and rubbing my numb hands together
and walks with a biting chill
earth shaking laughs and the good kind of tears
i didn’t ever have that before
and now i have those
mini anniversaries of strange jokes and spontaneous adventures
so whatever these months have held for you
frustration or freedom
bitter cold or refreshing warmth
you gave me a reality i care to remember
Thanks for reading!
To learn more about Dynamy and why it is one of the best gap year programs in the United States, contact them today!