The end of one chapter and the beginning of another.

The last two weeks have been extremely chaotic. Extremely stressful. What is ironic, is that I thought having an activity like skating to do for a project would be a great way for me to relieve some stress built up over all the assignments I need to finish. On top of finishing up all my big projects and papers required to graduate, one of the packages (the skates) I needed in order to complete the project for this class was arriving very late. Because of this complication, in my progress for last week, I was not able to include any media because my package had not arrived, and I was forced to try and change my project plan last minute in order to post the weekly summary. The package ended up coming not too too late, so with some minor tweaks, my original idea was still doable. In hindsight I am actually very lucky that things worked out the way they did, because while I am beginning a new chapter and new hobby, I still wanted a way to share how it feels closing the chapter of my life as a student as well.

Partly out of my own frustration, I want to fully explain this series of extremely misleading images, as USPS tries to make it seem like they did NOT lose my package somewhere in FL and delivered my package very late. In telling this story, I will be utilizing a series of images to create a timeline to better guide the story. I understand that I really did not have to wait all that many days for my package to arrive, however all of my anger was justified in the fact that I had absolutely no idea when these skates I needed for a final project would arrive. I typically have great luck with packages. I have prided myself as being someone who “never pays extra for faster shipping” because everything arrives quickly anyways. Well, unluckily enough, I DID choose to pay for faster shipping this time, and the package did NOT come when it said it was going to, and I genuinely feel as if I was robbed of the extra $50 I paid on Amazon because I was promised a quicker delivery than a sale on a different site. Had I ordered from the other site, it would have likely arrived the same time (or faster) and for $50 cheaper. Bummer. It’s a lot to explain and kind of confusing, so let me better tell this story with the help of some images, provided to me by USPS’ wonderful (NOT) tracking services. 

It all began Sunday, April 18, 2021.

I made the final executive decision that I would order a pair of new, decent quality skates online and document the process of learning to use them over a week. I had a little extra money to spend due to an unexpected stimulus, so I figured it would be a fun hobby to pick up, while still functioning as an assignment as well. Apparently roller skates are really popular right now so they are way more expensive than I had expected. On most websites the shipping times or having to wait for items to restock would have taken too long. But on Amazon, I was given a delivery window of April 21-23. Wednesday to Friday of that week. I thought about it for a while, and came to the conclusion that although it was more expensive on Amazon, it was worth it for the quick delivery, so that I could make sure I was well prepared for class, and plenty of days to record. Super excited about my package coming, I immediately set up delivery notifications. I received a notification later that same day saying that my shipping label had been created, and given that this does not usually occur on the same day unless you order in the morning, I was feeling optimistic about everything arriving on time. 

Monday, 04/19/2021

On this day, I received 2 notifications from USPS. My package had arrived and departed from florida only one day after placing the order. I was ecstatic. In my previous experience, there would likely be no more stops between here and florida, and even though the delivery window was April 21-23, I expected my package to arrive within a day or two. USPS’ informed delivery service made the same mistake as myself. 

Wednesday 4/21/2021

This is where the story begins to get wonkey because of USPS’ efforts to make their tracking history seem like it has sense. When in reality, the mail got stuck somewhere and they changed the dates to make it seem less ridiculous. Because of these changes, I do not have images of the original messages, only what USPS has updated since delivery. 

This day was the first day of the window in which amazon expected my order to arrive. While I was under the impression the package would arrive soon, due to it leaving Florida so quickly, I had not expected to receive a delivery notification from USPS that day! USPS’ informed delivery service sent me a message informing me that my package would be delivered that day 4/21. I was again, ecstatic. I practically did nothing all day but sit by the door of my apartment waiting for my package to be delivered. I could not control my urges to get up every 20 mins and peek out the window to see if I could see the mail coming. While my day came to a halt in the excitement of waiting for my new skates, the day continued. The hours got later. The package did not arrive this day. 

Thursday 4/22/2021

This day actually begins at midnight, as I went online in outrage to check what the updated status of my package would be, as it certainly was not delivered when I was sent a message on 4/21.”In Transit, Arriving late” it stated. As one does with any error code or message, I copy pasted it into reddit in search of answers. There were countless posts discussing this exact issue with USPS tracking… “In Transit, Arriving late”. “It took me 45 days to get mine but it eventually came.” said one user. “I have been waiting 2 weeks and it is out for delivery now,” stated another. While it was somewhat comforting to see that everyone did end up receiving their packages, some just taking longer than others, I could not wait longer than a few more days if I were to be able to use my package for my final project. Reading through these reddit posts caused me to panic, and I will admit that I learned way more about USPS than I will ever need to know. 

Friday 4/23/2021

“In Transit to Next Facility” is what displayed in the details of my order. When searching for an expected delivery date, it stated “Delivery date unknown.” By this point I was genuinely panicking because I needed to post my progress and plan for this project, when I did not have anything to even begin creating it yet. I was so frustrated that I had to abandon my idea, and settled for talking about my final week as a student (cool but ew, not as cool as skating). As all the redditors informed me that “In Transit” packages are doomed to take weeks to arrive, I was feeling extremely down and frustrated that I spent the extra shipping speed money just for my package to get lost. 

Sunday 4/25/2021

By this point, as the USPS status had remained unchanged for two whole days, I had finally accepted the fact that I wasted my money, and likely would have to come up with a new idea entirely. I had even planned to record a few cooking videos and somehow incorporate it into a story. While eating lunch I received an amazing text! “Arrived at Hub” in my city. I was so excited, knowing that it was so close to me. I quickly realized that it had arrived too late at the facility for any delivery to take place until the following morning. I looked online and found that if you have a good reason, they will let you pick up your package early if you know it is there. Definitely don’t have to tell me twice! Just before I went to retrieve my package from the post office, I realized that today was Sunday. The postal office is closed. How disappointing. My skates were so close to me yet so far. Just out of reach. It made me feel worse than when you realize you want Chick fil a on a Sunday. Disappointed, I returned to my room to remain on flat shoes for one more day. 

4/26/2021

Hellllll yeaah… finally 

Skating Progression

In this video I will be sharing the story of my journey to learn how to roller skate again. I have always been able to stand up and move forward on skates. That being said, it was always accompanied by arm flailing and an inability to stop (still working on this). As with all other hobbies I have begun over the years, I never progressed very far, and gave up once I plateaued, or did not know how to continue progressing. I have always been a pretty reserved person, so the idea of willingly going outside in public and falling over and over was pretty daunting for me. I live in a neighborhood where all the apartment buildings can see me while I am skating. I really pushed myself to get out of my comfort zone and to really embrace the whole journey that comes with learning to do any new skill. Falling is inevitable, but eventually I will look back on these experiences and be happy about my progression. Throughout my life, I have always had trouble trying new hobbies and sticking to them. There was always something holding me back and I never had the confidence to fully put myself out there and really fail at something so that I could improve later on. The combination of roller skating being required for me to document the experience, and my anger at USPS for delivering my package late, gave me the confidence boost I needed to go outside everyday, and really stick to trying to improve. I almost feel as if, because I was filming my progression in skating, I was more okay with looking like a fool on camera, and therefore more willing to take risks and improve quicker! This was the first time in my life that I genuinely felt happy to make mistakes and fall, so that I could see it happen less and less over time. And it did! I am still very much a beginner, as my skates arrived many days later than I had expected. I wanted to record the progress of an entire week (or more) of skating, but my skates did not arrive until Monday of these week. That being said, I have definitely made progress. I am most proud of my ability to skate backwards! I would hardly call it skating at this point honestly, but I am able to move backwards without falling which is great! That is the first step to learning how to skate backwards with the strides, confidence, and flow that you see long time skaters have. Check out my skills! 

Over the course of this week, I have done quite some damage to my skates already, but skates aren’t meant to remain perfect! This shows progress!

Here’s what my skates looked like when I got them:

Compared to today:

In concluding the story of this week, I have included an audio interview of myself, and my thoughts on being a nearly graduated student. I feel that the experience of students graduating this year will be different than anything that will happen again. I will be finishing all my exams and completing undergrad randomly on a Wednesday in my bedroom… sort of underwhelming.. right?

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