Well I am finally back from my college trip. I guess I didn't blog about the trip before I went because I was so busy getting ready for it. I have been off visiting an all girls college l near Boston for the past 4 days. Two days I visited the college, and two days were travel days mainly. I am so relieved because I had narrowed it down to the all girls school and another college and I have finally made up my mind. I am finally done with the college application process, FINALLY and OFFICALLY! I am sooooo excited!
I have to say I did not like the all girls school much. The all girls environment was strange and felt rather unnerving to me. It was almost intimidating in a way. The campus was so quiet and serious. It was like a nunnery or some sort of convent in a way. I am a good student who takes themselves very seriously, but this type of environment really lacked the excitement of college and in retrospect when comparing it to other colleges seemed rather dull and dry. It felt like any second someone was going to say "Yes, Mary Margaret let's go to the dining hall and have some crumpets and tea". Not really my thing.
I see myself as someone who is much more down to earth and although I am not much of a drinker or partier, I like my fair share of excitement and activity. And although it was not the thought at the front most of my mind, I kept thinking, "boy would my tics stand out here". There would have been a lot of places that would have been really hard for me to go to: the main library (which was absolutely silent), the smaller dining halls (which were like the dining halls you might find in a convent almost), the science center, many of the smaller libraries, and even the main student center where almost every voice was at a soft tone or a whisper. There was a part of me that wondered "These girls are so serious and dedicated to their work. Would they just think of me as mere distraction or disruption to their success?"
There were so many other things that I didn't like about the college though besides those that were TS related. I wouldn’t be able to minor in Creative writing, I would have to take mandatory PE classes, oh and the fact that there were NO BOYS.
Anyway, I am soooo excited about my final decision. I think I have made the right one for many reasons. the campus I decided on has excitement, a down to earth attitude, and seriousness at the same time that is not quite taken to such an extreme. The people there seem so much more accepting. And there are boys, lol. Don't get me wrong, I like my time with my girl friends and I am certainly not boy crazy, but the boys add an extra layer of excitement and flirtatiousness to the campus. I have grown up with a brother my whole life, I have had romantic relationships with guys and friendships with guys as well.
My tics didn't pose a giant problem for the trip or anything which was really nice. I have been having a decent amount of motor tics but my vocal tics were pretty mild this week. I had a fair amount of comments on my motor tics and some on my more mild vocal tics but I just brushed the comments off and acted normal. I got everything from "are you cold" and "are you getting a cold" to the more concerned "are you OKAY?". But I avoiding getting into the explanation of TS and simply answered "maybe I was getting a cold" "yes I am a bit chilly" and "I'm fine". There was only one time during the whole trip that my yelping vocal tics came out and when I decided to actually explain.
When I was walking with a prospective student and a current student to the science building (which was quite a long walk) I could feel my bad yelping tics building up. I suppressed and suppressed and suppressed until it actually got to the point where it became awful painful . I had no choice and I had to let it out. I tried to disguise it as much as I possibly could, but the student's reaction was "Are you okay? Was that a sneeze?". The typical reaction. I tried to brush it off by just telling her I was okay and not explaining. I didn't feel like explaining because I wouldn't be seeing her ever again really. But it just got worse and worse and when I couldn't suppress any longer, my yelps came out loudly even though they were still semi-suppressed. I was expecting a reaction which I really did not want, but that's what happens when you start yelping out of the blue. And like I predicted, the student I was standing next to reacted. She jumped a bit and said "Oh my goodness, you have squeaky sneezes". I decided to take the opportunity to see how a Wellesley student would react to my tic explanation. So I explained and said "Actually I have tics...not like the bugs...like movements and sounds that just kind of happen". I didn't want to get to into the "I have Tourette's but I don't swear" explanation and this one seemed to fit better for the situation since I wouldn't really be seeing this girl again. The student was awesome about it though! She just treated it like normal which is the best reaction I can ask for most of the time. She was totally okay with it and said that she was sorry she kind of jumped and she really didn't mean to make me feel uncomfortable or anything and I told her that was totally fine because I do it all the time and sometimes even my friends still jump! She even put her hand on my back as a sweet kind of gesture letting me know everything was okay. This kind of experience really makes me feel like everything will be alright in college and that people are mature and understanding enough to really be accepting.
A good experience overall that helped me make my decision for college next year! I am soooo excited for college and I have a good feeling that I will make plenty of friends and people will accept me, tics and all, just like in high school!