Monthly Archives: July 2013

Junior League

This time last year, I was in pretty rough place. I had just moved to a city in the Northeast where I knew NOBODY. For the first time since kindergarten, I was no longer a student. It was a lot to deal with and I didn’t have anybody to deal with it with.

I had started writing this blog right around the same time I moved here. In those first few weeks, I was very adamant about keeping to student affairs-related topics, but in time decided to write some more personal things in here too. I couldn’t be the only person whose life wasn’t all rainbows and butterflies after graduation. I started chatting with some of my friends about it, but found it difficult, as many had moved to cities where they already had friends. The ones who didn’t worked for large companies that were filled with all sorts of employees close in age to them. They’d have company-sponsored happy hours and go to ball games together. Meanwhile I was just going home after work and watching How I Met Your Mother on Netflix.

Finally, I caved. I used my blog to figure out how grown ups exist in the real world. Like many posts, I asked for readers to give their input. I hadn’t gotten many comments. In fact, I still haven’t gotten many comments. But on this particular day, one reader decided to comment and told me about Junior League. It’s not that I hadn’t heard of Junior League before, but I imagined it to be full of rich housewives. In fact, I even posted that in a follow up. But this reader insisted that it wasn’t like that. And I decided to give it a shot.

I did some research first. Some Junior Leagues have age restrictions. Some require that you have a sponsor – a member that can vouch for you. Others say that you have to have a sponsor but then say not to worry if you don’t, you’ll just get paired with somebody. I found contact information for the League in my area. They did not require a sponsor or have any other sort of requirements, aside from being female and over 18. I decided to venture out and see what it was all about.

What did I find? Being in Junior League was like being in a big girl sorority. You had a new member period. You had to do volunteer work. There were happy hours and social events. There was an executive board. Most of the members had joined because they were new to the area and wanted to meet people. A lot of the members had even been in sororities in college! One time we joked that a happy hour was more like an alum Panhellenic meeting!

There were times when it was hard. Work got busy, but I had volunteered to be a committee head for our new member project. I almost thought about stepping down, especially when I was having problems with other group members not doing their share of the work. In the end, I decided not to. I had never been a quitter before. In college when things got rough, what did I do? I joined my sorority. At my previous job, I had an incredibly hard time balancing my job with school and my required internship, but I kept going. If I hadn’t, I would have never landed the job I have now. Our new member project wound up being a huge success and the executive board members loved it!

In May came the moment of truth. Not only was our new member period over, but we were going to find out what committees we had been selected to join. Originally I had one thing in mind, but after learning more about the other committees, I was open to not getting my first choice. In the end I wound up getting my first choice – New Member Committee. From a sorority standpoint, it’s a mix between recruitment and new member education. We’ve had a few committee meetings now and I’ve got some tasks lined up for summer.

If you are a female that’s in the same boat as me, I definitely recommend checking out the Junior League chapter in your area. It’s been an absolute blast and I have loved getting involved with something in my city that’s not work!

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July Goal Updates

Since it’s been six months, I’ll fill all you new readers in. Back in January, instead of coming up with a New Year’s Resolution, I set five “goals” for myself. I use the term “goals” rather loosely since there really is no end goal and no way to measure them. At the end of each month, I reflect what I have done in terms of those goals in the past month.

Be More Organized

Clearly, I haven’t been too organized this month. I basically neglected my blogging schedule, my apartment is starting to resemble one of those cluttered second hand stores, and my walk in closet no longer functions as a walk in closet anymore. As in you can’t WALK into it.

However, this past weekend I had this absolute rush of productivity. I realized that RA training is just around the corner (already?!?!) and that if I don’t start doing things NOW they basically aren’t getting done until Christmas. Maybe. I’m hoping that continues into this week and coming weekend, but I don’t know…

One of the things I did yesterday was rearrange my room. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for awhile, but I never bothered measuring my furniture to see if it would all fit. After seeing my friend’s room, I went home that night and started measuring. There are still a few things I’d like to do in there, but I already like how it looks so much better now.

Read More

For most of the month, it was unpleasantly hot and rainy. It was terrible. I did not want to be outside. Then, something wonderful happened…my Nook decided to start working again AND the weather returned to normal. I parked my butt outside and read “The Marriage Plot” by Jeffrey Eugenides (the same guy who wrote “The Virgin Suicides” and “Middlesex”). I bought it at some point last year and I read the first part twice on my iPad without realizing I had already started it on my Nook. I’m so proud of myself for finishing a book for once!!

I honestly don’t know when I’m going to have time to read things that aren’t on the internet in the next month, but I’m hoping to find something small!

Schedule More Me Time

I am super bummed…the vacation I was planning with my friends fell through. A group of people that still live close to Undergrad U did something together, but those that have moved far away were out of the loop. We joked that it was because the boys were trying to plan it. Luckily I will be seeing this same group of friends over the winter at a wedding!

I did take some time off and ran away to my lake house. The best/worst part was that my work phone didn’t have service. This was a wonderful realization the first day, but by the third day had me completely on edge! My service-less phone was somehow able to show that I had a voicemail from a number that I knew to be Campus Security at PDFM U. When I finally drove back to PDFM U, I half expected to see the building that houses my apartment destroyed. When I finally listened to the message, it turns out they had a question about keys to some building. Sigh.

I didn’t manage to sneak in any other time off before RA training, but I’m planning a nice long weekend a few days after move in. Then after that, it’s a long haul until my vacation with my big and my little!!

Keep In Touch

Recently, my best friend from home asked me to be a bridesmaid in her wedding. The other girls in the wedding party are her younger sisters and our other friends from high school. Our high school group has had a group iPhone chat (seriously my favorite feature) going the past few weeks, joking about the wedding and bachelorette party and all sorts of things. While it’s not the same as seeing them in person, it’s nice to have that group feeling.

One of my friends is actually coming to visit me in a few weeks! I’m really excited…since none of my other friends live near me, it’s usually easier for me to go somewhere else rather than have people come down here. Unfortunately it is during RA training, so she’s gonna get some nice R&R while I’m…I don’t know…teaching RAs how to extinguish a fire? But seriously, I’m thinking of all the cool things there are to do in my city and making sure I drag her to each and every one of them.

Be A Grown Up

My to do list has been looking veryyyy grown up lately. Go to the post office, go to the bank, go to the store, make dinner, clean the tub. Ugghhh. Oh and everything wedding related. I swear, I might give up Facebook and exist solely on Twitter. People don’t seem to post as much wedding crap on Twitter. Oh and I still haven’t scheduled a dentist appointment…BUT WHO HAS TIME??

Until next month, mis amigos!

Blogging: It’s Complicated

Every so often I write about how I’m impressed that I actually kept up with this whole blog thing. I’m sure it doesn’t seem like much effort for you, the reader, but for ME, The Author, it is. Whenever I start getting sick of something I love, I realize it’s because I somehow made it into work. I chose my first major in college because it was something I enjoyed doing in my spare time. I thought I would LOVE doing it all the time. Except. I didn’t. I suddenly dreaded it. I hated that I had to do it. More recently, it happened with a side business that my friend and I started. It was something I liked doing on the side, but thanks to my friend’s hard work, it turned into this huge thing. I’m super happy about it, but I’ve actually stepped aside and am currently trying to figure out how I fit better into the business.

You’ve probably noticed some spotty posting in the past few months. I think I’ve even explained it before…how last summer I had NOTHING to do, so I started a blog…well this summer I have EVERYTHING to do. At first I thought I’d take some time during my (brief) vacation to write some posts and get ahead, but that didn’t happen. And then whenever I’d decide to check on my blog, I would just feel overwhelmed about the fact that I got behind and didn’t want to do anything…clearly it was a bad cycle to get into. On top of falling behind with my own personal projects, I was also starting to fall behind at work! Today I finally just sat down, turned on the Pandora (something that’s been missing the past few weeks) and got to work. I banged out today’s to do list in just a few hours!!

For those of you in student affairs, you all know that August is a busy time so I can’t promise three entries a week, but I will do my best to schedule time to work on it! I do enjoy writing…even about the difficult and stressful stuff!

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The Dating Scene

Ever since I was sixteen, I’ve dated college guys. Yes, in my one moment of teenage rebellion, I dated a college guy when I was in high school. My mom thought he was a college freshman which was kind of the truth…but instead of being an eighteen year old, wonderful, upstanding college freshman like my best friend, he was actually twenty one and had started college late. Oops.

While I probably spent loads of time complaining about how complicated things were, there were plenty of things that made dating a fellow student super easy. You live on the same campus (maybe even the same floor) and you’re both on the same work hard, play hard, sleep is for the weak college student schedule.I remember diner dates at three in the morning, sleeping in until noon, and being able to walk to each other’s places in under five minutes.

Granted sometimes your boo might see you like this…but that’s okay.

For some reason, I thought that dating after college would be easier. I don’t really know why. I thought there wouldn’t be homework and tests to get in the way. I thought there would be real dates. And I definitely thought roommates would not be a problem. I was wrong.

First, there’s the issue of how to meet people. In college, there were always theme parties. Sure, they had different themes, but they could all be summed up with “Something and Scantily Clad Women”. It was perfectly acceptable to meet someone at this type of function. Not sure if they’d be in it for the long haul, but hey, it’s college. Right? Anywho. I’m not saying that these sort of events don’t exist after graduation (I’ve been to a few ugly sweater parties!) but they’re harder to find because you know, you live in a new city and don’t have friends to invite you to these sort of things. Seriously, getting out there and meeting ANYBODY is hard, let alone someone you’d like to date.

Between work and all the time I spend putting off things like doing laundry and grocery shopping, I don’t have time to get out there and meet people.

If you’re lucky enough to find somebody to date, there are a bunch of other issues to get in your way. People might not have homework and tests anymore, but they may have projects to do for work or business trips to go on. Oh wait, they still might have homework and tests – I know plenty of people choosing to go to graduate school part time while they work full time.

Speaking of work, work schedules are another thing to contend with! Depending on the type of work your significant other does, he/she might not be available the same times that you are. You might only be left with a small window of time between when you get out of work and he or she needs to get ready to go to sleep. Also, we’re old now. Five drinks gives us hangovers. After working 40+ hours in a week, WE’RE TIRED.

Why can’t eating take out in bed while watching Breaking Amish be considered a date?

Climbing the career ladder can also be a roadblock on your way to true love. At least when we were students, we kind of knew when people were going to leave – graduation. On one hand, dating after college is nice because there isn’t this set time that your person is DEFINITELY going to leave. On the other hand, your person could leave at any time! If one of you gets a job offer 500 miles away, you have to think about each other’s career plans before accepting (if you’re in a serious relationship – I do NOT think dropping everything and moving across the country for someone you just met is ever a good idea).

Oh, and remember how I thought there wouldn’t be roommates? Oh, there are still roommates. More and more people are moving home to save money AND THAT’S FINE. But, that might mean following rules that you haven’t had to follow since you were eighteen. Also, it means meeting the family a lot sooner than expected. This can be both good and bad. And awkward.

Moving back into one’s childhood home can also lead to a situation like this.

Working in student affairs, I have a few other tricks up my sleeve that makes my dating life oh-so-complicated. First off, people barely understand what I do for a living. Second, between being on call and student events, my work schedule is CRAZY. Yes, I can go out when I’m on call, but I might have to leave in the middle of our fun plans! No, I can’t go to that restaurant it’s too far away. Yes, we better take two cars in case I do have to leave. Also, my living situation. I don’t have roommates, but I do have an entire building full of residents and RAs that just loooovvvee to gossip. It’s like living in a middle school sometimes, I swear.

And one more thing…even though all twentysomethings are the same AGE, people can definitely be in different places in their lives! Some are looking to settle down NOW, others don’t see that happening until they are older, have more money, or have their career established. Before you get serious, you need to make sure that you are both on the same page!

I never expected grown up dating to be this complicated. It almost makes me wish I was back in high school, when dating involved going to the prom and holding hands in the hallway. Almost.

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I Think It’s My Blog’s Birthday

Well…at some point during July of 2012 I decided to start writing this thing. And I kept up with it a whole year. Sure, there were some weeks where I’d go missing (cough this past one) but I swear I always had good reasons…like my job.

Ironically, this past week I had a lot of views even though I didn’t post anything. Weird. But hey now, I’m not going to complain about readers! Yay readers!

So where have I been this past week? Just preparing for all the NEW things coming to PDFM U…new employees (right here, in my office!), new students (orientation weekends are almost here…), and new office supplies (mmm…my favorite). I’ve just been so busy getting everything set up that there wasn’t any time for me to write posts and think of ideas. I even got to the point where my mom or one of my friends would call me after I got home from work and I just didn’t feel like talking. I just need some me time at the end of the day!

The good news is I get a break between last week’s craziness and next week’s cluster I MEAN orientation so I plan on taking a long weekend and relaxing in my apartment. I’d LOVE to be outside but it’s been insanely hot and I might actually roast up like a piece of meat if I tried to lay out.

This is pretty accurate.

I need to get back into the blogging routine, but happy first birthday, blog!

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A Lilly P. Update

One of my more popular posts has been about this year’s Lilly Pulitzer Warehouse Sale. Apparently there’s a lot of Lilly P. fans out there that I didn’t know about, including some of my friends! It seems that I have become the Lilly P./preppy expert in my group of friends and everybody constantly has questions, mostly about how I can afford these things!

Special Purchases

Lilly dresses are a big splurge for me…I either get them as gifts or purchase one for a special occasion. However, I RARELY pay full price for something. The brick-and-mortar stores do have items marked down, so definitely check them out! Also, if you do live close to a store or happen to find one in your travels, definitely pop in and try some things on, that way if you do go to purchase something online, you know what size(s) you are.

Warehouse Sale

I’ve already done a whole post on How to Warehouse, but I’ll just put a few things here. Typically, the warehouse sale happens at the beginning of June and the beginning of December BUT this year, shortly before the June sale, the company announced that it would be the ONLY warehouse sale of the year. Huge disappointment for many people out there. If you missed this year’s warehouse sale, mark your calendars for June 5 – 7 2014 for the next one!

Online Sale

I’m not a huge fan of following companies on Facebook…I just don’t need to be bombarded with updates about your products or weekly announcements about your “fabulous” deals. That being said, I make an exception for Lilly Pulitzer. The company uses their Facebook and blog to show off new prints and products and advertise upcoming events including major sales! Every so often they have this HUGE online sale with warehouse sale prices. Unfortunately, it’s not just something you can stumble upon…things tend to go fast! Since I tend to be in between sizes, I use these sales to buy shirts and accessories. I know I said at the most recent warehouse sale that I tend to stick to dresses, but I have a few printed Lilly shirts that I wear with a solid cardigan and dark pants.


Some brilliant woman on Facebook came up with the idea to start Re-Lilly, a group that you can buy and sell gently used Lilly Pulitzer clothing. Many times the items haven’t been used at all! One thing to warn you…it CAN overwhelm your news feed if the group owner is posting a lot of items at once. Also, you will be buying directly from the seller. I haven’t purchased anything yet, but one of my friends did try to buy a bag. I think it had already been snatched up by the time she emailed the owner.


If there is a particular item you are looking for, check Ebay. This can really be said about any designer/brand. While I haven’t bought anything Lilly off of Ebay, I went through a phase five years ago where I bought designer handbags off of Ebay. My bank account does NOT miss that phase!

It doesn’t HAVE to be Lilly…

You don’t need to wear Lilly Pulitzer clothes to get the Lilly-vibe down. You can head to Target and pick up the basics…classic shorts and skirts, bright colored-ts and cardigans, scarves, flats. (Side note: I bought THE most comfortable flats there the other day…) I wind up pairing my Lilly items with non-Lilly items all the time.

What’s your favorite way to get designer items without spending all your money? Leave your suggestions in the comments! Happy Shopping!

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So You’re In Grad School: July

I wish I had had the genius idea for this series when I first started this blog. When you’re so used thinking on an academic calendar time frame, it’s really hard to think about something in a January – December way. If I were to start it all over, I would have picked July so I could start with “So You’re GOING To Grad School…”. For those of you that have been reading these posts all along, this is where they start over. Last month, I wrote about the end of a student’s first year and what comes next after graduation. This month, I’ve got something for those of you that are packing up your things and getting ready to move.

If you did graduate earlier this year, I don’t have much to say in this specific post BUT this whole blog chronicles my start in student affairs. I’m not that far ahead of you and I’m sure some of the things I write about will resonate with you. If you have any questions, feel free to send them my way. Starting your first “real” job isn’t that easy and that’s okay.

And now…onto the main part of this post…

For those of you just starting your journey…

You might be moving next week. You might be moving next month. You’re probably really excited and that’s great. I’m not here to try to bring you down, I’m just here to give you some pointers. Unlike your first day of freshman year, you won’t show up the same day as all of your classmates. Your “starting date” most likely depends on what grad assistant position you have. ResLifers will be some of the first to arrive on campus to help with RA training and move in. If you’re doing academic advising, your supervisor might only have you arrive a day or two early. If you don’t know what day you need to be there, now is the time to find out!

There are a lot of differences between grad school and undergrad, even if you chose to stay at the same school! Your office might have limitations in place on how you can interact with students, so you might not be able to go to the same old parties you used to attend. Speaking of friends, the older you get, the harder it is to make friends and that starts with grad school. Think about it. During freshman year, you most likely lived on a floor full of students in a big building full of students. Everybody was new and there were a lot of you. You all had to endure the dining hall together. Now, there are less of you and you might not all even live in the same town. And you’re all super busy. Making (and keeping!) friends gets much harder as you get older.

Academically speaking, there are plenty of differences between undergrad and grad school. Remember in undergrad, the syllabus would tell you to read a chapter or two before coming to class? And nobody did? Well…you’re not going to get away with that anymore. You’ll have PLENTY of reading to do and you’ll be expected to at least kind of know what it was about by the time you get to class. HOWEVER, we had less “homework” (at least it my program). We just had to read and do papers and projects. We didn’t have things that needed to be turned in on a weekly basis.

And for those of you that signed up for one more year…

You’re probably off doing your intern thing. We’ve already chatted about evaluating your internships and trying to get those most out of it…not much else I can tell you there. We also talked about prepping for the upcoming year. Wherever you are, make sure you are still studying every so often! And! If you have some downtime, read up on current events in Higher Ed, like on The Chronicle of Higher Education or Inside Higher Ed‘s websites. You don’t want this to be like elementary school when you returned back from summer vacation completely forgetting how to do long division…or was that just me?

Any other grad school graduates have tips for those currently in grad school? Leave them in the comments!

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