when you find your old journals…

Last night I found my old livejournal site and proceeded to read the crazy thoughts of my eighteen-year-old self. I started the journal as a freshman in college and kept it running until a few years after I finished grad school. Looking back now, I was still a small child then even though I thought I was sooo old. I know I’ve written about what I would say if I could give advice to my younger self. But, good god, the things I wrote about: failing my sciences classes (completely realistic), obsessing and I mean obsessing over one guy (completely insane), and thinking everything in my life was the most important thing ever (completely obnoxious, also possible direct quote).

The great thing about writing everything down is that when you read it years later, you’re immediately taken back to that moment, those feelings, those thoughts. My writings really aide my nostalgia around this time of year, because I work at a college the nearing of graduation always takes me back.

Memories that have been dormant, come rushing back when you read your own words. It can be therapeutic but also cringe worthy, see all of my posts from 2004-2009. Yes, college was that long ago for me. Yes, I am that old. Yes, I’d love a do-over.

But, I’m now patting myself on the back for keeping all of that info documented. If you tend to live in the past like I do, those memories are everything.

I must have been a scribe in my other life. Or the person who invented cheese.

dear me…

The latest thing to be going around the web…do people even still call it the web? am I that old?…is #dearme. What would you tell your younger self? Younger me was a shy, strange girl who took some time to come out of her shell. And was a total weirdo. Seriously, weird, but I kept it on the down low because I was too worried about what others thought.

I would have told smaller me that it’s totally ok to be uber strange and eccentric. Having a different personality is much better than trying to fit the mold of everyone else. Also, don’t worry so much about what other people think. I know that one seems to come up for just about everybody, and it’s completely true. It’s much more ‘acceptable’ to try and fit in than stand out on your own. And most of the people who may give you crap for it, will become meaningless to you once you move on from middle school and high school. Surround yourself with amazing people, leave the rest behind because ya don’t need em.

I’d also tell myself to use more sunscreen, try to create a stupid game that could make you millions as an app one day, and attempt new things in college. College me definitely would have benefited from the knowledge I have now. Your friendships will become lifelong, and you’ll look forward to meeting up again and reminiscing about the good ole days. That dude that you were ‘in love’ with for years will turn out to be a bum that you never really liked anyway. Don’t waste time on stupid things, like said dude, or petty things, college is the best time to find yourself, who you truly are, and who you want to become. Hallmark card aside, everything you went through has made you into the person you are now.

Dear me, it’s been a good ride so far. Got a lifetime of knowledge.

What would you tell your younger self?

 

 

the graduate.

05.20.14

It’s that time of year again. Thousands of college kids finishing up classes and walking across that stage. I suppose working at a university makes me a bit more nostalgic to this event. It always takes me back to those overwhelming feelings of excitement, sadness, urgency, and a bit of fear. Yea, being the graduate is a strange thing. You’ve waited for it to happen for four years, give or take a few, and when it does it’s over so quickly that you wish you would have stopped and paid a bit more attention.

In those often boring, often cliched commencement speeches, no one really tells you that this is it. That you’ll never get these years back, and you’ll never be able to recreate them (and trust me, you’ll try). You’ll never see all of these people again, or feel this exact way. I suppose they don’t say those things because now as I type them it sounds a bit over dramatic and tragic. Instead, they’ll talk about doing great things, remembering why you came to college, and about giving back. And that’s fine and all, but no one really prepares you for the nostalgia.

What they really should be saying is ‘take in this moment’. Take a silent minute to sit in that seat among friends, peers, teachers, and let it all sink in. Go over all of your college memories. Laugh. Smile. Shed a tear. You’ll never be back here in this moment. Take it in.

Hallmark cheese aside, I wish I would have had that speech rather than one with a guy talking about walking his dog…because that’s relevant.

the downtime.

04.02.14

After you graduate college, you find that you have a lot of free time. You’re no longer cramming for tests, pulling all-nighters, or going to multiple parties in one evening. You no longer have a bunch of friends charging into your room at any given time with food and drinks. No, life has slowed down a bit. So much so, that the downtime can be a bit daunting. We’re talking hours upon hours of having nothing to do once the work day ends.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s an awesome feeling at first. Relaxation is plentiful. Stress is at a minimum. But, there are only so many naps you can take in a day. There are only so many shows that you need to catch up on. There are only so many lives on those games with the weird looking candies. Only so many coronaritas you can have on a Taco Tuesday before you get too sleepy.

Sure, I could keep busy by doing things like hitting the gym, reading a few young adult novels, or brushing up on current events, ya know, the obvious choices for a girl who eats all day at her desk and watches movies every chance she gets. Maybe we just need hobbies to keep us busy. Like writing a blog about really random things, or watching a livestream of foster kittens, no? Just me?

 

the spring break.

03.25.14

Every year thousands of college students head someplace warm for their proverbial “spring break”. They even made an awful movie about it called Spring Breakers that was all arrests, seizure-like camera movements, and threesomes. While I never went anywhere for break in college, I have watched it on tv, therefore am quite a knowledgeable source.

The spring break that I know consists of good looking people grinding with each other on a beach while holding solo cups and screaming at carson daily to play the thong song. Ok, so things may have changed since then, but the concept is still the same: crazy college kids doing crazy things. I would love to go to cancun during spring break now as a late 20 something. Can you imagine the looks on kids faces if us ‘old folk’ joined them in debauchery and beer pong?

Nope, our time for spring break has come and gone. Now, we spend it in an office, pale and sunless, waiting for 5 o’clock so we can head out to a happy hour somewhere and reminisce about the good ole college days. Live it up kids, you may only get to go on a spring break once, but if you do it right, and don’t end up in jail or expire yourself, once is enough.

 

the party life.

02.03.14

Remember in college when parties were one of the best things ever. The thrill of victory that came from shooting things into cups. The swarms of people standing idly by, making it impossible to use the bathroom. A rush of terror if someone mentioned the word COPS!

Imagine if you tried to party like you used to. Drinks flowing, music blasting, random people being random, trying to bust a move or four. Yea, the club can’t even handle you right now, and not in a good way. Really, your body can’t quite handle it anymore; see — the hangover or the changing body.

Nowadays, we take things a bit slower, and with a touch more class. We make dips and desserts for our parties. We play board games. We have semi-intellectual discussions. We drink craft beers and middle shelf liquor. Yup, that’s the party life we live now. And I sort of don’t mind it.

How ‘adult’ of me.

the in-between.

01.08.14
There comes a time after you’ve graduated, left the college campus, and entered the world of student loans, where you find yourself in an odd state. Not physically, though that could happen if you’ve managed to score a job, but more mentally. You’re no longer a student, but not quite a working adult. You’re an old alum at college, and the new kid at work. There seems to be only the in-between.

And while I take full advantage of this limbo, i.e. lying about my age, making up a ridiculous major, and/or getting free tickets with my old school ID, there are plenty of disadvantages as well. How do employers plan on taking us seriously when they still view us as mindless college kids? How are we supposed to get ahead in our careers when coworkers think we’re the college interns? It’s like we’re playing dress up. Yes, we look the part of a ‘job owner’, but we’re still young and stupid, at least according to everyone else.

It’s an endless cycle that every grad must endure. Like initiation to some not-so-secret, a skull above any other, type of society thing. You just have to get through it. And continue to use your ID for free stuff. I mean, we live by the rules, we die by the rules, right? Too much?