Tag Archives: Graduation

The Exciting Life of the Post-Graduate (or how I killed my childhood)

Well, I did it. I graduated from college. Finally. Onwards and upwards into the world of the post-graduate. The job holder. The apartment renting, career-driven city girl. This, this is what I have been working towards for four years. This is what got me through the all-nighters, the crazed study sessions and frenzied paper-writing parties. The promise that, after it was all over, a world of possibilities waited. Along with copious amounts of hard work, disappointments, adjustments and student loans, of course, but still (optimism is key).

So far, this strange new world has consisted of the “Once Upon a Time” season finale, educating my dad in what I can and can’t eat as a pescetarian, temp agencies, and unpacking. Lots and lots of unpacking.

One might think that since I’m only moving home for a little over three months, the unpacking would be simple. Child’s play, even. One might even be so naive to assume that it would be done within the first few hours of arriving at home. One, in that case, would be horribly, disastrously wrong. Day three of being home is half over, and still, there are piles of boxes, duffle bags and suitcases that haven’t even been touched. Overwhelmed doesn’t even begin to explain it.

Of course, I claim full responsibility for this. It was my idea to simultaneously unpack and sort through everything my parents had stored for me while I was at college. This was to make packing for the city easier. All it’s done so far is cause me to be trapped for three hours, surrounded by knick-knacks, jewelry I haven’t worn since I was 7, and clothing I forgot I had.

As I sat on the floor of my hallway last night, fighting my dogs for access to the small piles of random items I had tried to organize, something started to come over me- I felt it creep up from the very tips of my toes, claiming more and more of my attention the longer I stared at the piles- shit. I was getting sentimental.

I couldn’t help it. Here was my childhood, just lying on the floor in front of me. Things I would never wear or use again, but that had played a starring role in my elementary and middle school days. And here I was, unceremoniously throwing it out. What an asshole.

I gritted my teeth and continued the destruction of my childhood, throwing out jelly bracelets, notes from the 6th grade, and butterfly clips, trying not to let myself connect those things to any sort of memories. And then, something hit me. A new feeling. One that kicked sentimentality in the face. Freedom. This was freeing. I was making room for new things, new adventures. New memories. I started smiling as I chucked a pile of mismatched earrings into a nearby garbage bag. Really, this was just step one in my journey to New York. Screw sentimentality. I’m a college graduate with everything in front of her. Celebration and de-cluttering are really the only viable options.

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Whistle While You…what’s that word again?

I’ll admit it. I am currently procrastinating. This would not be a problem if it was the first day I had been putting things off.  Nope.  It’s been a solid week of no work for this chick. Felt great, too, until  around 7:30 this morning. And yet, here I sit, typing out a new blog. My one defense is that it’s on a completely relevant topic: procrastination.

We’ve all done it. Whether we’re trying to avoid schoolwork, shopping for that incredibly finicky friend’s birthday, or applying for jobs, it’s an epidemic. I usually explain it away by saying, “Well, I work better under pressure,” and this might be true. However, here’s when I know I’m getting really desperate for procrastination activities:

1. I actually want to work on my survival job resume. This is a welcome task, something to celebrate.

2.  I call home for the seventh time that day, and my mother suggests that I “go play outside with the other kids.”

3.  Every single edible thing in reach is in danger. And I’ve just eaten lunch. For the second time. In an hour.

4. I tell my roommate that I’m going to the gym by myself on a Saturday, and I’m not joking.

5. I think it’s high time I pull out those bank statements and receipts and balance my checkbook. And, hey! While I’m at it, why not draw up a little financial plan for the next five years?

6. I run out of Prairie Home Companions to listen to, and start writing my own.

Yes, it’s beginning to look like the end of my procrastination is drawing near. Or it did. Until I got this text, actually, while I was writing this: Water Balloon Fight. 4:30. Damn. My homework plans foiled again. Well, at least I’m succeeding at one thing,  right? I mean, no one can say, after this week, that I can’t avoid work as well as the next college senior. And this skill is just bound to come in handy, time and again.

K’s Room. 5.4.11. (Or other uses for Toilet Paper)

With my impending graduation, reminiscing has become less of a hobby and more of a habit. I assume this is normal, as it’s pretty much running rampant throughout my entire class. Every quick exchange includes a comment about what little time is left and , “Oh! Remember when in freshman year we…” Luckily, I think we’re far enough out from the date that no one is falling into a hysterical heap on the floor at the mention of the time they blew their nose in the dining hall in October of sophomore year. I know this is coming. I intend to find shelter and wait it out when it arrives.

I can’t help but share a memory of my own, one that sticks out in my mind as a milestone in both college, and my life. Don’t worry. It’s not a dramatic coming-of-age tale, nor is it a Hallmark movie moment. Actually, it involves toilet paper. Lots and lots of toilet paper.

So, around this time last year, I was running through life at my usual pace-an all-out, no prisoners sprint. This included 18-credits of classes, two shows, and my lovely job of baking bagels. Rest was not an option, nor was finishing any sort of assignment ahead of time.

After a long, tiring, frustrating rehearsal, and the 20-minute drive back to school, I was not feeling particularly social. In fact, I was downright grumpy. Snow White and the Seven Dwarves grumpy. Before Snow White. I knew that two of my very good friends were on campus, and most likely waiting for me to get back (Let’s call them the Artist and the Intellectual). I was also well aware of the fact that I would most likely have a hard time escaping to my room once I bumped into them. So, to circumvent this, I sent the Artist a text, Hey. I’m exhausted and I have a paper to write, so I think I’m gonna call it a night. I entered my dorm building a few minutes later, dreading the next few hours I’d be spending with Microsoft Word. And there were the Artist, the Intellectual, and Kate (From “A Titanic Evening”), standing rather conspicuously on the staircase, waiting for me. “I know you’ve gotta do stuff, just wanted to say goodnight.” They followed me up the stairs to my room, watching me a little more closely than befit the situation, but I shrugged it off. And then- I found out why.

I opened my dorm room door, and was met by a wall of white. Streamers hung from my ceiling, blocking my view of the room. No, not streamers. Toilet paper. I entered cautiously, expecting there to be something in the room they wanted to obscure. But the toilet paper did not end. My entire ceiling was covered, the toilet paper hanging down in long strips.

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I was stunned. And then I was laughing. Uncontrollably. It was as if I was swimming. There was so much toilet paper hanging from my ceiling that I couldn’t see more than maybe 6 inches in front of me. The Artist stepped forward, and announced that this was an Art Installation entitled, “K’s Room. 5.4.11.” It was made up of four industrial-sized rolls of toilet paper and two hours of manual labor. Two. Hours. Then, I began to notice other things. Missing things. All of my make-up that had once resided on my bureau had been replaced by paper replicas. A paper dress and shirt hung neatly in my closet. Even my shoes had been replaced.

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Amazed, I called several other members of the house, all of whom seemed to know, but came to swim in my room regardless. A rousing game of hide and go seek followed (really, there was THAT MUCH toilet paper). It was the most unexpected, wonderful, insanely ridiculous thing anyone had ever done for me. Now, excuse me while I go collapse into a hysterical heap.

Bagels

It’s 4:30 pm, and I’m just getting dressed. On the off-chance this looks as startling  and a tad bit sad to you as it would to me, allow me to explain.

I make bagels. I am the bagel maker. I make certain that the baskets at the bagel store where I work stay overflowing with various culinary carbo-loaders for people who have clearly never heard of sleeping in. And I do this at 5 in the morning. I am not one to generally complain, but if you are one of the people waiting for the door to unlock at 6 a.m. on a Saturday, I ask you to ponder what has lead you to such actions. I digress.

At the wizened age of 20-something, I have what I would consider a highly complex and tragically mature understanding of the workings of the world. My first mistake. I’m graduating from bagel hell and undergrad in less than two months. Two months to accept the fact that there is no going back after this. Two months to get used to being very wrong about most things. Two months to buy a notepad and start taking notes on “How to Make it in the Big City and Life in General.” And here I am, sitting on my lofted bed in fuzzy pajama pants at 4:30 p.m.

While I have always had the habit of speaking in a declamatory fashion, I believe now might be the time to start putting words like “I think” or “maybe” at the ends of my statements. I should watch and listen more than I speak, try to learn from those around me, and believe those who came before me (I mean, they’ve “been there.”)

I should do all of these things. I should get out of these shockingly comfortable pants and into some jeans. But who ever does what they’re supposed to?