It’s been a somewhat weird start to her university years.
Nothing major, not really, just a general sense of feeling in between things at the moment.
One big part of life is August who isn’t going to be around on campus at all, who isn’t going to study any more, whatsoever. August who has moved out of his mum’s house and bought his own little place in Old Town in Barchester.
In that sense it feels like he’s already moved like ten steps ahead of her, aged up in a whirlwind of adult decisions and trademarks. Owning your home seems like an impossible thing for her who lives in a dorm and shares a bathroom with others and gets most of her meals served. That’s even a step backwards in terms of maturity since Jean is used to looking after and feeding her younger siblings whereas now all she needs to do is come sit down at the table and dig into her morning pancakes.
And it’s not like August isn’t supportive of her college education and football scholarship, because he is. He really is. But she can still feel that tiny little stitch of sadness when she thinks about how they’ve shared everything up until now and suddenly they don’t because they’ve chosen different paths for the next few years.
She would have loved having him around on campus, going to silly parties with him and sleeping late in the weekends. It would have felt like they were both grown-ups that way, but more equally grown up.
She travels back to Barchester every other weekend – if she hasn’t got any training sessions or games to play – to stay at his place and when she does, it feels good. Comfortable. Like they’re family.
Her own family is one of those things she can’t seem to find room for in her new life, though, and she knows it makes her mum pretty sad when she hasn’t heard from Jean in a few days but there are just so many things to do, all the time.
If she isn’t studying she’s working out and both studying and working out are things you don’t ever really finish. You can always do just a little bit more, make one last effort.
Jean has never exactly been one for parties and large groups of friends, has spent her high school years out in the football field or at home, helping her mum out. Now there’s a shot at a new kind of life and she finds that she wants to grab it, make the most of it.
That seems to be what college is all about, anyway. Meeting people. Reinventing yourself.
It’s good to have August’s sister at the dorm, even if Jean sometimes feels obliged to hang out with her because of August, rather than meeting new people.
Juno is a pretty dedicated student though, and drags Jean with her whenever she pulls off her famous all-nighters or spend an entire weekend doing reseach for her term paper. If she’s entirely honest, though, Jean has to admit she occasionally slips into a chat window (or five) during those sessions. She can tell that Juno is aware, but she never mentions it.
August calls her at least once a day and it saves her the trouble of doing it herself, which feels like a mean thing to even think – like she’d forget him if he didn’t constantly remind her of his existence – if she considers it too deeply. So she doesn’t.
But then he doesn’t call for two days and Jean instantly gets worried enough to call him, only to find out that he’s extremely busy trying to get a loan fom the bank in order to buy his own shop. She had no idea he even wanted to go into that kind of business, had thought he’d be satisfied with whatever low-ranking job that would appear along his path through life, and when she realises he’s actually full of ambition when it comes to this, she feels a pang of guilt.
“That’s great, babe,” she tells him over the phone as he explains the details of his shop idea. Mostly video games and merchandise, geeky stuff for geeky kids of all ages.
“I hope Barchester is ready for that kind of thing.”
Jean smiles to herself. “I’m sure it is.”
“But unfortunaly this means I’ll have to cancel our trip next weekend,” he continues, and there’s a little pause before he goes on. “I’ll be meeting with some people and hopefully get the keys to the place.”
They had made reservations for a play in Barchester City, followed by a night at a nice hotel and Jean can’t deny that she is disappointed it won’t happen but in a way she’s relieved. It’s been a stressful month and she can easily spend this upcoming weekend doing nothing, just sleeping in and haning out with her dorm mates.
They end up going to the movies together, a whole bunch of them and it’s the perfect low-key entertainment for a lazy weekend.
Some soda, some candy and a lot of mindless fun.
She isn’t even sure what movie they’re watching – something about Aliens taking over random country, initating a great intergalactic war – but she’s surrounded by nice people and she’s fairly convinced she’ll pass her next exams, so life is, all things considered, pretty sweet.
* So, IRL I had another baby. 🙂 (He is, objectively speaking, completely adorable. Of course. A lot more mellow than his super active, super bright big sister which kind of suits us fine. She always seemed to want to grow up fast from the moment she came out, this one seems to be fine with some chillin’ and a lot of eating.) But I had also played a fair bit ahead before I took a little sims break, so these upcoming updates shouldn’t be hard to get out fairly soon. Now I’m hoping my crashes were memory-related because I did a little memory surgery and since then, it seems much more stable. Not going to be too confident just yet, but at least the game is playable and I’m eager to get back in there.