I hate how I don’t feel real enough unless people are watching.

My days run on 12 hours cycles.

At 8 am this frigid Monday, I had already gulped down a cup and half of coffee and had written my name on my biology test. At 9 am, I had already contemplated the concept of molecular orbitals and their effects on conjugation. Add to that, the fact that my orgo professor had suggested that we make a workout video for nerds inspired by the stretching movements of molecules when hit by wavelengths in the IR spectrum (just picture nerds doing a odd type of yoga and you understand perfectly).

By 10, I was sitting in chapel with a couple friends and sipping the rest of that second cup of coffee. By noon, I had started another class and eaten lunch with a few other friends. By the time 3 pm rolls around, I was perched in my fourth class, trying to stay awake. At 4, I headed to my job at the college newspaper. Finish up there, grab dinner in 30 minutes and head to my job as a tutor till 8.

And even then, my day doesn’t end. I spend a few hours checking emails, reading textbooks that sound like they are creating a new language (I’m looking at you, Bio textbook. Who the crap comes up with stuff like phosphordiesterase??) and getting my lab notebooks ready for the next day. Then if I’m lucky, I get 6ish hours to sleep.

I look put together if you don’t look too closely at the dark circles under my eyes. What I don’t understand is that fact that I can do this crazy routine 5 days in a row, but when it comes to the weekend, I’m beside myself trying to figure out what’s going on.

On Friday night, I’m the one doing homework till 9 before deciding that I can afford to watch a few episodes of Friends before going to bed. But when I’m sitting there by myself eating gummy bears and laughing carelessly at jokes from the 90’s, there’s a empty feeling.

A boring feeling.

An itch that I can’t quite scratch no matter how many times I switch positions on the beanbag chair.

What’s missing?

But when my roommates are actually in the room or I’m with my boyfriend on Saturday night, it doesn’t feel so off. I’m not sure what changes.

It’s like I’m only enjoying myself when people are present to witness my personal enjoyment. It’s like I constantly feel like I have to put on a performance. After all, isn’t that what I’m doing here? I type words on the screen, move them around, backspace a few times, decide that some things need to be emphasized in one way and others in a different way — whatever will draw the best response from you! I can manipulate the words to say whatever I want. How does that make you feel?

If I lied about everything I wrote on her, would you still read it? Why do you read what I write? What about this show makes you clamor for an encore?

I suppose that’s the point of social media. Look at me! If you look at me and register that I exist, then maybe I really do! Sounds like Instagram to me — which by the way, I still haven’t succumbed to that yet.

It does make me wonder though. I always thought I was good company until I realized that I was bored in my own presence. But maybe bored is the wrong word. Maybe what I’m looking for is calm. I don’t get a ton of that in my week.

Considering that I’m with myself all the time, I really hope that I’m not boring.