Tag Archives: college

Independence Daze

Midway through high school, volleyball quickly consumed my life. Every other weekday and most weekends were spent at practice and tournaments. Yes, this did take a toll on the thriving social life I was cultivating (on Long Island…), but sacrifices had to be made. Naturally, I wanted to continue this lifestyle in college.

Fast-forward to first day freshmen year of college. I arrived a few weeks early for volleyball. The campus was nearly empty except for the fall season athletes and the weirdos going on an outdoor adventure trip (still REALLY jealous). I said sayonara to my family and headed to my first practice. The exhaustion that overwhelmed my body was suffocating.

Three weeks later, when the crippling soreness faded and my sight was restored, I saw that college was wonderful. The rest of the students arrived on campus and suddenly there was free stuff everywhere! T-shirts, posters, water bottles, tote bags, key chains, rape whistles, you name it! College was turning out to be great! I had a cafeteria that fed me, a custodial staff that refilled the toilet paper, a job as part of my financial aid package, and I had at least 20 friends within a 10-foot radius.

However, like my aching muscles, my excitement over these $52,000 free gifts faded as well. I thought that college was going to just hand me my independence – turns out I was going to have to find it on my own.

Fast-forward to first day freshman year of life. Independence bitch-slapped me in the face and then sucker-punched me in the gut. When discussing the transition from college to “the real world,” I like to compare it to a babysitter playing peek-a-boo with a baby (I’m the baby). This is no typical game of peek-a-boo though. When the babysitter pulls his/her hands back to playfully shout “Peek-a-boo” you, instead, see the devil’s head up in flames roaring at you saying “GET A JOB” and then you cry…you cry a lot.

There’s no free rape whistles here in the real world. There’s no cafeteria waiting to feed me, and there’s definitely no custodian waiting to refill the toilet paper in the bathroom. Living with two boys, I’ve found the toilet paper on top of the roll, underneath the roll, on top of the toilet, to the right of the toilet, or just not at all.  I maybe have 6 friends within 2 miles (including my dad and my step-mom), and finally, the real world definitely does not hand you a job just because you’re in need of financial aid.

These days, I’m rarely sore from exercise and free stuff isn’t being thrown my way. So pretty much, the real world is starting off the exact opposite of how college did. With that, I can only assume that like college, adult life will too balance out. Rather than having an anxiety attack over the overwhelming amount of independence I now have, I’m either going to take on more responsibility or just say fuck it and travel. Who knows? Probably fuck it and travel though.

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Potty-Training

WARNING: For those of you happy with what you accomplished in college and are thusly content with your life now, don’t read this and I hate you*.

* Just kidding**

** No, I’m not

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I had an interview about two months ago with the Head of Strategy at a big-ass advertising agency. Granted, it was an informational interview, but an interview nonetheless. He asked the first go-to interview question, “So tell me about yourself,” so I did. Then we got into a discourse about what his role was at the company, what he looks for in an employee, blah blah, and then he asked, “so tell me about your group of friends.” I held myself back from a witty quip like “oh, am I boring you” or something like that, but I kept it professional. So I said, “Well, my best friend is about to travel to South Sudan to help facilitate mediations with the Sudanese. She moved here from Bosnia when she was 13 – genocide refugee – learned her English from Boy Meets World – pretty average person overall. My other friend is a former circus performer (contortionist), and is now a phenom hula-hooper. My other best friend is doing cancer research at Harvard – also average.” I think this was the first time I’ve had to describe my friends like that. This “exercise” triggered a profound thought, “I’m so fucking average.”

I was an average college student. Sure, I played collegiate-level volleyball all four years, but I never did anything truly resume-worthy. I guess I didn’t really know what college, especially my college, was for. I didn’t know that college was a place to apply for grants and attempt to save the world from evil dictators or soft drinks. If I did know that college was for all of that, no, I probably still would not have applied for grants, because I’m not really a “save the world” kind of person. Maybe I would have tried to go on an excavation in Madagascar or Egypt to find fossils or tombs, but I digress. For the past several months, it seemed as though I just went through college without doing something extraordinary. I guess college seemed like a big waste. Looking back at myself looking back on college, it was not a waste. I surrounded myself with brilliant, funny, worldly, creative thinkers who continue to make me better. I also got to live in the great state of Minnesota for four years which made me appreciate temperatures above zero degrees. For real though, if you’re like me, or like the me of the last several months, thinking college was pretty much a wash, you’re wrong…or you’re not. I don’t know you so I can’t really make that call.

I didn’t do something in college like travel to Dakar or discover a new species of dinosaur, I’m thinking that my twenties can be the time to do that. I have friends that are the farthest people from average, and that is something I will continue to embrace. Sure, I need to focus on the baby steps first like getting a real person job and being financially stable – all right, maybe those are a little bigger than baby steps. Let’s call it potty-training. I need to focus on getting potty-trained and wiping my butt, before I can pull up my pants and do something I’m truly proud of. I can talk about how great my group of friends are until I’m blue in the face, but I want to brag about myself in an interview without lying.

Although I’m a toddler as far as being a twenty-something goes, I’m learning that just because college is over, the opportunity for adventure is not. I’m freaking twenty-two years old! Life is only just beginning now.

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Better Watch Out

I graduated from a small liberal arts college (Macalester, St. Paul), or as my Uncle likes to put it, I “graduated with a degree in nothing,” or as my grandpa likes to put it, “you’re now unemployed.” Well, gentlemen, hate to rain on your parades, but like I mentioned in my previous post, I’m a waitress AND an unpaid intern so I’m double employed. Jokes on you suckas! Womp.

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Seriously though, it could be worse. I could be living with my mom, in Arizona, not paying rent, and soaking up the sun with my dogs. Crap. Take two. It could be worse, I could be working at an advertising agency in Minnesota, surrounded by nice people and not to mention my friends. Damn it. Take three. It could be worse, I could be a Jets fan.

Anyhow, I have decided that I will no longer feel bad for myself, but rather I will embrace any shred of goodness I have and use any shitty situation or person that gets in my way as an opportunity to work on my kickboxing skills and voodoo doll collection. 2013, I’m coming for ya!

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