I’ve been thinking a lot about routines recently. The ones I keep, the ones I’ve grown out of and why they exist at all. I’m a person that likes routine. By ‘likes’ I mean ‘is obsessed with’. And I guess my routines are my way of grasping for some control in a world that can be disorderly and confusing. The big one could hit any day now, but if I wash my face with Glossier’s milk jelly cleanser at the same time every night, I guess I’ll be ok. And it makes sense that I’ve been hyperaware of my routines now. Big changes are in store, and that means I’ll soon be letting go of my current habits. That’s why I wanted to devote this column to remembering the routines I built for myself in high school, because leaving them behind is bittersweet, but it feels right to let them live here, in the pages of a publication that’s been home to me the past three years.
My drive to school has always felt, in a weird way, sacred to me. Yes, I’ve complained about my 50-minute commute, but I’ve always quietly enjoyed having time to myself each morning. Sometimes, the drive would be meditative; I’d put on music and let my mind wander. Or, often, I’d put on a podcast (How I Built This, Pod Save America or The Daily) and let my brain chew on something interesting before starting my day.
Other routines I was less conscious I had developed. The other day I went up the stairs to the library and noticed that I instinctively took my seat in the cubicle by the back-door, the one I walked through each morning to get to Gov class. For some reason, that was my favorite spot to sit in in the whole library. And sometimes, spotted light would filter through the leaves outside onto my open planner.
My most important routines weren’t the ones I developed for myself, but the ones I shared with others in my life – with friends, going to Alfred during break; stacking our phones at dinner; eating breakfast in sweatpants on Sundays; driving everyone in Tuna; off campus lunches with Kyra. I’ll remember spending the weekend here, in Weiler–sleeping at Danielle’s; writing the editorial with Anthony and Maddy; eating ungodly amounts of Skinny Pop; making fun of Noa for being a GCCDME; starting Pano with Nicole. I used to meet with Axe before every test (…first semester) and talk back to Mr. Klein whenever I had the chance.
Even for all its stairs, I’m going to sorely miss this place. My routines molded perfectly to the curves and nooks in the walls of Weiler and Rugby, and I guess that’s a sign that I felt safe here. As much as I wish I could follow these same routines forever, I know as I’m letting go of these them, I’m making room for new ones. And the beauty of it is that I don’t know exactly what they’ll be. Even in a world that can be disorderly and confusing, I guess, I can be okay with that.