“I did find lots of articles on a ridiculous new study rating the children of gay parents versus straight parents and claiming we were less likely to graduate high school – daughters of gay parents “considerably less likely.” I just got accepted to Stanford, bitch. Don’t tell me I’m considerably less likely to do anything.” Throwback from Blog #1
Today I finally got my own laptop, so I’m thrilled to write my first update from Stanford! Tomorrow will mark one month here and wow – what a crazy four weeks it has been. It’s somewhat different than I expected, but I love what this place brings out in me, and I wake up every day in awe that I’m living the dream I’ve had for so long.
Likely to most of your surprise, I survived my backpacking trip without getting horribly lost or eaten by bears! I still have 19 scratches on my legs from our trip through a briar patch – to complement my bike crash scab and perpetual bruises – but don’t worry, my foot fashion is still probably too distracting for people to notice. (No boots and sweatpants yet, but I’ve definitely been “rocking” socks and Sperrys.)
The trip was hugely influential in my time at Stanford so far – not only did I bond with amazing friends and coin the term “hella bitch,” but I met one of the leaders of Fossil Free Stanford, which completely unexpectedly has become what I’m most involved in outside of classes. Stanford divested from the coal industry last year, and now our team is working to get the school to divest from oil and gas as well, in an effort to help curb alarming climate change. That goal may take far longer to reach, but I believe we can and will. While I have done community service and fundraising my entire life, this is definitely my first rodeo in environmental activism; as someone who gets her feelings hurt very easily and is incredibly impatient, I know this will be a challenge for me on many levels, but I can’t wait to grow from it and become even closer with some of the bravest and most compassionate people I have ever met. One of those people recognized me at the first meeting and said she loved my blog! It truly blows my mind the support 321 has gotten, and I know I have only scratched the surface of what I hope to do with it. I thought it would be harder to write once I got to college since I’m now so far away from my family, but in fact I’ve felt the opposite: leaving home has made me realize just how wildly lucky I am to have people to miss so much. I appreciate my parents more than I ever have, and feel even more compelled to share why I think they’re so amazing.
The hardest part about college has been being away from sisters; the best part has been finally being a two-minute walk away from my best friend and the brother I’ve never had, Ben. I met him at Stanford’s Admitted Students Weekend, and we have been inseparable for almost six months; first online, then when he came to visit me in the amazing “Bentucky” adventure, and now as we experience college together – almost always side by side. He is the most courageous and resilient person I know; a gay Orthodox Jew (FYI, that’s apparently even harder than being a gay Southern Baptist) who fought epilepsy while working all through high school to help support his family as they recovered from the recession. While the challenges we’ve faced are so different, the perspective we’ve gained from them is very much the same, and I think that’s why we are so perfect for each other. A few days ago I told him – very seriously – that he’s made our search for my “Elusive Future Boyfriend” even harder, because knowing how much I can love him makes me not want to settle for anything less. The struggle is REAL, because Jillian’s – basically perfect – boyfriend Lucas sets the bar for Elusive higher still. BUT I have not lost hope that someone will be up for the challenge. 🙂 As of now, I’m happy to still be able to empathize with Teagan’s “Sixth Grade Single Struggles” and seriously do – sort of – love the freedom and independence that brings – especially in college when we’re all trying to find ourselves or make ourselves anyway.
As soon as I finish writing this, I’ll go visit Ben – many people get confused and think I live in his dorm or vice versa. We have laundry dates – Mom, no bras have been washed with the towels yet – and he is a huge part of why I’ve been consistently so happy these first few weeks. While I love Stanford and have so many incredible friends here, there are still moments where I know I would have felt lost or alone if I hadn’t known he was always a phone call or bike ride away. He’s in our family group text and by Parents’ Weekend in February, my moms may try to one up everyone else by saying they have a daughter AND a son who go here. 🙂
While you wouldn’t know it from how tough he is, I know the challenges he’s facing with his own family right now are unfathomably difficult, and that is maybe the most important reason why I’m so excited to start blogging again. I know sharing my family’s story can’t single-handedly change people’s minds, but I hope it will make them think. And at the very least, I hope that this blog will reach a few people who are going through what Ben is, and that they’ll know how deeply I admire and respect their bravery.
Up next week, some of the Kinseyist things Kinsey has done in college so far, including losing my bike three times in one day and combing my hair with a key.
All my love.