Oswego Musings Part 1

Looking at my posts from 2-3 years ago is a little bit embarrassing.  Almost like looking at old scrapbook of distant memories.  I have been away from college and Potsdam for a year in Oswego and have for the most part, really enjoyed myself.  Writing this post has become a lot harder than I ever imagined it would.

As some of you know or don’t (I guess since I’ll probably link it back to my facebook everyone can know) I have extreme social anxiety.  I don’t thrive off of being spontaneous all the time and moving to a brand new place, not knowing anyone or anything really about the area last fall really sent me into a tizzy the entire last summer.  I have a very hard time being in situations that are crowded (big concerts, big road races…bars) and I also have a very hard time facing new situations.  Not the whole “oh no so and so are judging me, but I’ve had panic attacks because of it). 

So many questions I asked myself on the drive up…Would I make friends?  Would I still be close to my old friends?  Would I sit in my room and cry because I was all alone? Would I find things to do?  The list that went through my mind last summer was endless.

But let’s start from the very beginning of my internship yes?

I made it to Oswego and when my dad (who drove up with me) and I finally located my room, they had absolutely no records or idea of who the heck I was.  So I sat there for about 15 minutes crying and in a near panic attack before calling my boss to get helpI was already stressed from driving but the fact that I might not be able to move in was really overwealming. 


My boss was more than helpful and I moved all my stuff in.  Then dad and I were on our way back to the airport to drop him off in the morning. 

For those of you who don’t know, I’m extremely close with my family and leaving again in the fall was extremely difficult for me.   The more I seemed to get through college, the harder it seems to get.  I thought it was supposed to be a reversal here.  My dad has driven up with me to college or Oswego the 90% of the time that I make that drive from upstate to VA or vice versa.

The first semester work wise was great.  I worked on pretty cool projects and learned a lot more about public/community health then I did in my courses.  Not to say I hadn’t learned much in my courses but the real world is far more inclusive to learning things in the field.  I worked on various topics dealing with mental health (the suicide prevention walk) as well learning what exactly it meant to be a health promotions coordinator on a college campus.  It was far more overwhelming at some points than others but I truly enjoyed it.

The Walkers beginning the actual walk!  450 coming!
The Walkers beginning the actual walk! 450 coming!
After finishing clean up and 9 hours later...it's nap time.  It was a long process but well worth it and we raised around 20,000 dollars.
After finishing clean up and 9 hours later…it’s nap time. It was a long process but well worth it and we raised around 20,000 dollars.
They played a great prank on me with getting an early 90s computer.
They played a great prank on me with getting an early 90s computer.
I ran the Turning Stone half marathon...because...well why not...nothing better to do
I ran the Turning Stone half marathon…because…well why not…nothing better to do


Also during first semester, I dealt with a foot injury that prevented me from running.  That in itself sent me into an extreme spiral due to the amount of training and also the suspected heights I was going to achieve collegiately.  Let’s be honest here my life is comprised of family and friends, work and my hobbies (which right now is running).  Taking out 1/3 of my life was a big deal and it felt like the countless 90 mile weeks I had logged were absolutely for nothing.

Enjoy this X ray of my foot
Enjoy this X ray of my foot


What if’s can be played here, but it gave me more time to focus on other aspects of my life. (edit: I’ve only come back stronger from my bootleg injury so honestly I have no regrets…plus I made some serious great friends in the gym…I’m looking at you SARAH!)


I can type my foot injury casually now, but just know combined with being in a new area and not many friends at the time, it was a very rough period for me.  I called my parents crying several times…thank goodness they were always there to listen.  

I made friends my first semester with coworkers, was able to see some of my friends that lived in the area and for the most part was doing okay.  There were still times I sat at home on a Friday, Saturday and Sunday night but I was fine with that.  As a more introvert and someone never really into the college scene in college it wasn’t a big change there.  I didn’t want to go to the bar scene and so relaxing at night kind of was my thing.

Aren't we fun.
Aren’t we fun.

When the time came for what I was doing in the Spring, I had absolutely no idea.  I had looked and applied for several jobs and hadn’t heard much back.  I tried to stay focused and determined but it seemed like nothing was working.  My original plan had been move back to VA after the semester and look for jobs there, but I was lucky enough that I could stay and work in Oswego for another semester buying me time to continue looking for jobs (which for those of you who don’t know or are still in college…it’s not streamlined and you will be 100% frustrated.).

Then in November, everything seemed to click…you can go back and read about my long winded whines regarding my cyst but I was able to run the final collegiate cross country race.  It seemed like things were clicking again and I began my long journey to gaining back my running fitness…that really I never lost in two months.

As proven here when I didn't run for 2 months due my cyst and then ran a 24 minute 6k...
As proven here when I didn’t run for 2 months due my cyst and then ran a 24 minute 6k…

Oh and duh I got to see Tim for the first time in four months.  That was a good Thanksgiving.


So mid December I left Oswego for the Winter break and went back home.  I was excited to spend a month off and hanging out down south but knowing I was coming back in the Spring to work again.

Tomorrow I’ll post more about Spring as this is wordy.

Questions for you:

Have you ever moved somewhere completely new, not knowing anyone?

Do you scrapbook?

I feel like my blog is a collection of my scrapbooking, as well as facebook (considering I have 3000+ photos)


  1. I don’t scrapbook but I agree with you, a blog is almost like an electronic scrapbook sometimes. I’ve thought about printing stuff I wrote out though… just to save like that. Your post brought back a lot of memories for me bc I remember reading about that computer swap prank as well as the walk you helped plan/orchestrate.

    I had crazy anxiety last year when I moved to Charleston. That move was so much harder than this last one where we just moved into a home right down the road, even though this one required a home purchase, it was less stressful!

  2. I love this post Hollie, it’s the type that you’ll look back on in several years and go ‘wow, I was way more awesome then I gave myself credit for.’ I had no idea that you had social anxiety, you always come off so secure in your posts so thanks for opening up about that. I have weird social phobias and never know when they’re going to act up. Mainly they surface in networking type scenarios. I can talk to strangers all day long (seriously, it annoys my husband) but the minute you stick me in a networking situation I get a clammy and weird. I think it has something to do with the fact that I’m a genuine person so faking interest in someone just because of what they can offer me sets me on edge.

  3. One of the reasons I started blogging was to be able to reflect on things from the past. Blogs let you keep pictures and document how you were feeling at certain times. This helps for me with my knee injury because I can think back on things from the past and make sure I’m not getting the same symptoms as before one of my surgeries. I’m hoping this whole thing leaves me stronger in the end. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger… Right?

  4. This was interesting to read. I remember reading along while you experienced these things, so its nice to hear your later reflection on events. I’ve also suffered with social anxiety, so I feel you there. <3.

    When I was 19, I moved to Seattle, WA from Juneau, AK without knowing anyone. It was a huge change but one of the best decisions of my life.

    I don't scrapbook. I actually want to start taking more pictures so I can save them for my daughter to see what she was like and what her dad and I are like.

  5. Being uncertain after college is one of my biggest fears, so I give you a lot of credit for taking a job that is still faraway from your family and staying a semester longer than you had planned. I am really dreading trying to find a job after college and entering the ‘real world’. Fear of the unknown is a big component of my anxiety and not having a set plan and structure like I do when I’m in school is pretty overwhelming. But like you, I am close with my family and I know they’ll be able to support me.

  6. I decided to come to DC about a month before I moved. I had no clue what to do post college and was following my best friend to NC and she was going to UNC. I was just going to find a job. She decided to go to Pitt and I had no desire to live there. So Brennan (we had been dating oh a month or two at this point) was like well I’m going to DC why don’t you look. So by default I went to DC. I has been 3 years now and I LOVE my friends, work, running, my life, and obviously still Brennan. SO I am a huge supporter of big moves and starting over. I knew no one besides him when we moved and I purposely lived 30 minutes away in case things didn’t work out. I now have better girl friends than I have in my entire life. Big risk, big reward!! Congrats on finishing up the internship!

  7. I love the idea of blogging and using social media as digital scrapbooking. During senior year of high school, we made scrapbooks that contained pictures (obviously) and personal essays. I actually still have mine at home, and it’s great to flip through every now and then.

  8. I didn’t know a single person when I went to Shippensburg. It was terrifying. One day I sat in my room crying while eating an entire medium sized bag of peanut butter M and Ms. Yep, no shame.

  9. awesome recap. I can totally relate to moving new places and not knowing anyone….I may or may not have cried on the airplane to Colorado Springs last summer, definitely called my mom begging her to let me come home more than a few times lol…but then look, 9 months later she had to come drag me out because I didn’t want to leave! I think this year you definitely made the best out of a less-than-awesome situation – made friends, ran through the frigid arctic tundra winters, got through the injury (believe me I know how frustrating that is when 1/3 of your life gets taken away…but it really does allow you to connect with the other parts of your life more!), and now you are kicking ass.

  10. I scrapbook through Shutterfly! I used to take the time to get the materials and make my own but I just don’t have the time (or money!) anymore 🙁 Shutterfly is a great option though!

  11. You know I have the same kind of thoughts about starting something new with new people right? And I am always that girl whose name isn’t on the list or never gets called… like I am already stressing about not being called for my diploma! I also agree with the statement that it does not get easier to leave the parentals. I am already dreading next Sunday…

    OK but overall I think this experience in Oswego really helped you to grow girl and to realize what is important to you. You have taken risks, dealt with crazy roommates, and met new people. Plus you will be so much more appreciative of Texas winters…

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