Oberlin Blogs

Wide Open Spaces

September 30, 2017

Emma Davey ’18

The first blog entry I ever wrote for Oberlin was named after a Dixie Chicks song.

That was a very deliberate choice on my behalf. I chose to title my inaugural post "Cowboy Take Me Away," misinterpreting the meaning of the song in order to convey the point that I was finally leaving my beloved state of Texas and venturing into the unknown - college.

I have recently been suffering from writer's block. Ideas have been swimming around in my head, but nothing that I felt like I could turn into a substantial piece of writing. It wasn't until I was walking to class earlier this week, listening to the Dixie Chicks on Spotify, when their 1998 hit "Wide Open Spaces" started blaring in my earphones, and I was struck by how similar the song was to my own feelings about being a senior.

She needs wide open spaces,
Room to make her big mistakes
She needs new faces
She knows the high stakes

The song is about girl leaving home for the first time. Though I left home now over three years ago, leaving for college at least had a shape to it. It would be different, yes, but at the end of the day, it's just more school. Now, I'm only a few months away from leaving it all for good. I can't say I'm ready. But come May 2018, I don't really have a choice. The feeling of being a senior still hasn't really sunk in yet. When I was in high school, we were constantly bombarded with reminders of our status - Senior Ring Blessing, Senior Style Show, Senior Skip Day, Senior Banquet, starting off cheers at pep rallies, the like. This time, aside from filling out the form to graduate, there's nothing at Oberlin that really reinforces the alleged feeling of superiority I should be feeling. As nervous as I am, however, I'm definitely craving new experiences, especially after studying abroad.

Recently in talking with my parents, I've been telling them how happy I am to be back at Oberlin. I was gone from this place for about nine months! I still miss living in Paris, but in terms of academics, Oberlin can't be topped. I really like all of my classes this semester which include: Constitutional Interpretation, LGBT Identities, Introductory Astronomy, and Racial Politics in a Post-Obama Era. I like all my professors a lot and the readings have generally been pretty interesting. Sometimes the workload is a little much, but this is Oberlin. The workload is always a little much. It's nice feeling excited about the work I'm doing, even though I don't know where that work will lead me at this point.

I thought I would be bored being back at Oberlin, but so far, that hasn't been the case. I think living in a really big city makes me now appreciate what I have here. I do really miss buying wine for 5 euros, but you can't have it all, I guess!

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