Tag Archives: entry level

Disappearing Act

This semester has been hard. Between the added responsibilities at work and the seemingly infinite amount of start-of-school events, I’ve barely had any time for myself. It seems that I spend all day at work taking care of the sort of things that “just come up” meaning that when I get to leave work and go home, I have to spend my own time doing other things for work – responding to emails, planning ahead, etc. My laundry bag hasn’t been touched in weeks, my kitchen smells kind of funky, and my closet is empty because none of my clothes are on their hangers.

I actually had a lot of posts planned and (mostly) written. I’m not too sure what happened for the second half of September…I know I had a TBT post that I NEEDED to write and I just didn’t get around to it…so I guess I just stopped logging into WordPress? Real logical there, Author. The ironic part is that I wrote a whole post about some anxiety issues I’ve been struggling with…only to see that I never posted it!! (Which might be a good thing because then y’all might have thought I went off the deep end!)

So here’s my game plan: it’s October (yay) which means I am FINALLY eligible for a new phone. I’m going to go buy it tonight which means a good portion of my evening will be spent backing up the old one and setting up the new one. Which means I’ll have time to blog? Hopefully?? And as I mentioned earlier, I have some posts already written (and some wonderful post ideas) so I should be able to get this bad boy back on a normal schedule!

Sorry for the radio silence and I’m hoping to streamline my life a bit more in the coming days!

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Running

It seems like everybody is running these days. I’m not sure if it’s because we’re all reaching our mid-twenties and our years of eating terrible foods has finally caught up with us or if it’s because everybody spends too much time on social media and thus knows everything about everybody now. I’ve never been one to follow any trends, so I have not jumped on this running bandwagon.

Actually, I can remember one time that I ran on my own free will (i.e. not gym class and not being chased by a criminal/rabid dog). One of my friends from high school suggested on going for a run after school. I conveniently “forgot” my running attire the day of, but this girl knew me too well and had packed an extra set, sneakers and all. We got changed in the locker room and planned a route that went through the neighborhood next to our school. I don’t think either one of us thought this through before doing it…it was right when school let out…aka when everybody is DRIVING near the school. Her and I were moving at a snail’s pace and everybody was driving by honking. I think that experienced ruined running for me forever.

People used to just be content running their 5Ks and if they were a little more into it, marathons and triathlons. Now it seems that all sorts of crazy races are popping up!! I’m totally a fan of the color run and have even said that I would do one…if they weren’t always during the HOTTEST time of year. I do NOT want to run when it’s 90 degrees and humid. Can somebody please schedule one for like November or March??

While the Color Run sounds fun, there are plenty of races that make me wonder what sort of sane individual would actually agree to doing this…for FUN! And then I see all my friends sign up for it…what? For example, Tough Mudder. Not only are you running through mud, but I’m pretty sure this is the one with like barbed wire and electric fences and stuff. I REALLY want to know who was sitting around and came up with this idea and thought that people would buy into it. I also don’t understand CrossFit but I think that’s because my idea of “fun” is sitting outside with a drink in my hand.

There are also a lot of apps available to not only track how much you run or bike or whatever but also broadcast that to everybody who is your Facebook friend or Twitter follower. I am always incredibly tempted to make snarky comments on these posts. “Susie ran X miles this week!” “That’s real cute Susie, I walked probably X miles to my local dive bar and back!” I have a feeling these won’t be appreciated.

I guess things could be worse…instead of a trend that makes people healthier, more of my friends could have taken up competitive eating…or just eating in general.

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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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Unpaid Internships: Post Grad Edition

Lately there’s been a lot in the news about the legality of unpaid internships. Many of the articles (and their comments) focus on college students that are required to do internships as part of their degree requirements. I was required to do an internship as part of my degree and my academic department had very strict rules as to what would count. They couldn’t be “coffee and copies” internships. Our supervisor had to be willing to sit down and have one-on-one meetings with us. While my classmates and I weren’t paid, several of us were compensated with meals during working hours or small stipends to cover traveling expenses.

A lot of colleges want their students to do internships. It gives them “real world” work experience. Companies like it because they essentially get to work with someone for a bit of time and train them now and if they like the person, they can hire them in a year or two when they graduate. Some companies are a little greedy and see it as free labor. Maybe more academic programs need to have restrictions for internships like mine did just to protect the students.

But that’s not what I’m hear to talk about today. You know what the good thing about doing an internship while you are in college is? YOU ARE IN COLLEGE. You don’t have to pay back your loans yet, you’re probably still under your parents’ insurance plans, and if you play your cards right and get an internship in the same city that your school is in, you might still get to take advantage of the cushy college lifestyle – dorm rooms and dining halls. Unfortunately, too many industries are now expecting that recent graduates take unpaid (or barely paid) internship positions.

I have a friend, let’s call her Elizabeth, that majored in Art History. Real smart girl, really knew her stuff. I had to take just the basic art history course and wanted to bash my head against my desk throughout each three hour lecture. Not Elizabeth. She was fascinated. While we were in school, she did an internship at a local, but well-known, museum. She had phenomenal grades and I’m sure if Undergrad U published a class rank, she would have been the top of the class. At the end of senior year, Elizabeth started applying for museum jobs. Now, she was well aware that entry level museum jobs were not the most well-paying, but she liked what she was doing, so she didn’t worry about it (sound familiar, student affairs folk?!). Time after time, Elizabeth was turned down. From her internship at the local museum, she had some connections and found out through the grapevine that she was a great candidate and well-liked, but just didn’t have enough experience. She asked her former supervisor and several professors how she could get enough experience to qualify for an ENTRY-LEVEL position and they all told her that she would probably have to do an internship or two AFTER graduation.

Plenty of students in the more creative fields probably hear the same thing every year. I know plenty of people who have gone out there and done it – worked for free for a year or so and then landed some awesome job. How did they support themselves? They didn’t. Their parents gave them money for rent and they worked some small part time job to get some cash for other expenses. Or maybe they were close enough to a large city with a booming industry that they just lived with their parents or other relatives! The point is, it’s hard to be an unpaid intern after graduation if you don’t have the support of others – and I’m not talking emotional support. I’m talking about money. Who’s going to pay your rent or your phone bill? What about when student loan bills start rolling in six months after graduation? The world doesn’t get put on hold because you need to do an internship before you can get a job.

Unfortunately Elizabeth did not have that sort of support. Her parents passed away during her freshman year of college. Elizabeth needed money for rent and other bills. She needed a job that provided benefits – something that a part time job wouldn’t do. She took a full time office assistant position which made finding an internship really hard – many required her to work more hours than she was able to with her full time job. Elizabeth stuck it out for quite a bit, living in the expensive New York City area, hoping to get an internship at one of the many museums in the area, but never got one. She eventually returned to our college town, as the cost of living is MUCH more manageable there.

I’m sure there are tons of people out there reading this post…okay reading articles SIMILAR to this post that are wondering why Elizabeth and many other students would choose to major in something that isn’t guaranteed to lead to a lucrative career path. Clearly Elizabeth knew that she wasn’t going to have financial support after graduation, why go for something that would require an internship? My question is (and this goes beyond the creative industries) when did entry level positions become…well…non-entry level positions? Elizabeth played her cards right – she got good grades, she did an internship in college to gain experience – but at the end of the day it wasn’t enough experience. All of the museums were looking for people that had work experience after graduation. How can these new graduates get work experience when nobody will hire them because they don’t have work experience? It’s something I see happening to a lot of my friends.

More and more lawsuits are being brought against larger companies due to their use of unpaid interns. The Labor Department has guidelines for what can be “intern” work and what needs to be paid work, but I don’t think too many companies are paying attention to those – until now. I am hoping that since these stories are getting pretty widespread coverage, the culture around unpaid internships will change, making it easier for new graduates to get started in their careers.

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Changing Policy

No matter where you work, there will be something that you disagree with. While not everything can be changed, as an employee there are some changes that you can push for! As a live-in professional, you might have to follow more rules that a person that doesn’t live on a college campus. Maybe you want to be able to paint your apartment or have someone live with you. Are there things you disagree with at your work place? Have you thought about changing the policy?

It’s hard to make changes right away. Certain things are completely okay to ask about, for example, having a partner or child live with you. If you have been hired as a live-in professional, you do need to know if these important people (that you probably are living with at the moment) can come with you to your new place. You will either be told yes or no. You might be the first person to ever ask that question and they might change or create a policy right then! Other things you might need to wait on. It’s hard to make big changes when you’re the new kid and don’t fully understand how your new work place works.

A good place to start is by asking questions. Why is the currently policy in place? One of the schools I interviewed at had a ban on pets in professional staff apartments. Why? Well, back when pets were allowed, one staff member had a LOT of cats and when she moved out, the entire apartment needed to be GUTTED because of the cat urine smell. Unfortunately, like a lot of policies our students must follow, one bad egg ruined it for the rest of us. When was the policy last updated? The current policy in place might be outdated! What your colleagues think of the policies in place? You might want your cat or dog to be able to live with you, but your other co-workers don’t have pets so while they’re not exactly pushing for a change, they might be supportive of you.

At your workplace, how do you go about changing the policy? Depending on the policy, it might be something you need to do with HR or it might be something that just stays in your department. What do other updated policies look like? Are you able to write it or would a legal team have to?

One of the most important things when changing a policy is having support from co-workers and supervisors. Depending on the policy itself or the school you work at, changing a policy can be a big deal. You might not be able to do it alone. If you are a newer employee, it is much easier to get things done if you have the support of those who have been around longer and have more connections at your institution.

While it’s not the easiest thing in the world, you can change a policy, even as an entry level employee. The important thing is to ask and to understand that it can take some time. Have you changed or implemented a policy at your campus? What’s a policy that you would like to change or implement?

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Home Sweet Home

In the middle of finals week, I realized that for the first time in nearly ten years, I was going to be living in the same apartment for more than one year. I hadn’t really thought about it, but once things got real busy with move out, I noticed something was off. Oh, that’s right, I wasn’t incredibly stressed about my own move.

I absolutely hate everything about moving. I hate packing. I always think I have less crap than I do. I hate cleaning. Once everything is all packed away, you see all the dust left behind. And when you arrive in your new place, you have to clean. I hate dealing with the fridge. There’s always that debate about throwing things out and buying them at your new place or putting all your ketchup/salad dressings/condiments in a cooler and bringing them along. I hate dealing with the first shopping trip at the new place. There’s always so much to buy. Ugh.

The worst is that for the most part I always knew that I was going to be in my various apartments for a year (or less) so I would tell myself not to decorate, not to bring too much, not to make it homey. And of course I never listened to myself. In fact, this might have been the slowest I’ve ever unpacked an apartment…I still have yet to hang anything on the walls in two rooms!

As much as I hate moving, I feel like the yearly moves prevented me from winding up on Hoarders. When you’re moving at least once a year, you can’t take piles and piles of junk with you. While I feel like I’ve done a decent job at keeping my apartment clean, once I realized I wasn’t moving, I started to get anxious about it. Months and months ago (seriously, during the winter) I cleaned out my closet and made a pile to donate to Goodwill. That pile is still sitting in my bedroom. Oops.

So what crazy thing did I decide to do next? Oh, you know, just rearrange the whole apartment. By myself. I realized I was in trouble after I had emptied my desk and shelves and then realized everything was too heavy to move by myself. While my original intent was to make my apartment not look like a Hoarders episode, I accidentally did just that and now need to wait until someone can assist me in moving this heavy furniture.

Besides all the furniture moving, I have a few other ideas for decorating my apartment. Since I’m going to be here for awhile and all. I have a few pictures up, but my walls still feel pretty bare. I would LOVE to do something big to go behind my bed. Another thing I want to do is get a rug for my bedroom. While I don’t exactly have the funds to do any of these things at the moment, maybe I’ll get myself more settled in and decorate!

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How SHOULD I Feel?

There are certain things that I’ve always associated with being grown up. Some I’ve gotten to experience, like going to a bar for drinks and living in an apartment. There are other things I haven’t experiences, like applying for a mortgage. But for some reason, when I’m out and about and doing all the fun “grown up” things, I never feel like a “grown up”.

I had a not-so-pleasant experience this past weekend (that I will elaborate more on down below) that made me actually say “I feel like a grown up.” This is only the second time in my life that has happened, aside from times I’ve said it because I’ve been forced to wear a suit. I can remember the first time I felt like a grown up. It was almost seven years ago to the day. I even wrote about it in my old journal (in the days before I publicly broadcasted my thoughts and feelings). After I got home, I knew I was going to write about this experience and I knew I wanted to find that old journal entry. Something about the two days had seemed so similar, even though they were opposite events – a baby shower and a funeral. This isn’t the first time I’ve gone back and read an old journal entry. But I was absolutely astounded at how seventeen-year-old-me seemed to be able to verbalize things in a way I don’t think I can anymore.

Is this what it’s like to be an adult? To suddenly look around and realize how detached you are from everyone and everything? To be sitting at the grown up table talking about grown up things?

I wrote that nearly seven years ago, but it perfectly describes how I felt this past weekend. One of my friends from high school passed away last week. I hadn’t been in touch with him recently. The last time I remembered hearing from him was my birthday. He wished me a happy birthday. That was it. I didn’t take the time to ask what he was doing or what he had been up to. And even if I had, who’s to say he would have responded? But that’s not the point. There are plenty of people in my group of friends that I haven’t really kept in touch with. In fact, a large chunk of us went to Undergrad U and I was even roommates with one, but I haven’t even been in touch with those people since UU. There are a few I’m still close with, so over the weekend we carpooled to the funeral home together to do something we all probably thought we wouldn’t be doing until we were well past fifty.

Just a side note on funeral homes – they are terrible places. All of them look like they were decorated by grandmothers. I know they’re supposed to look like a home and be comforting…but they’re not. They just contribute to the awkward feeling, like you’re the guest at a house you’ve never been in before. Stop it, funeral home directors. Get rid of the flower-y wall paper and the embroidered pillows. 

Everybody that I used to sit with at lunch and during football games and in finished basements was there. Nobody looked drastically different. Sure, there were some different hair styles or weight changes here and there, but there were no jaw-dropping transformations. If we were anywhere else, I swear I would have thought I had gone back in time. Everybody was dressed up, dressed even nicer than the sort of clothes we used to wear on “dress up” days in high school. People were introducing each other to their husbands and wives. They were making small talk about their new homes, their new jobs, their babies on the way. Everybody was the same but the things we were talking about were completely different. They were grown up. I didn’t know these people anymore. I even heard things I had never heard before from the friends I was still in touch with. I guess I never really asked my friend’s what exactly their jobs entailed. We all sounded so grown up.

It’s rather depressing that I associate feeling “grown up” only with negative things. Paying bills? Grown up. Attending a friend’s funeral? Grown up. I think it’s something society does as a whole. With the exception of small children that don’t yet understand the concept of responsibility, nobody wants to grow up. We make growing up sound so terrible. A friend recently complained of this, not because he had funerals to attend or bills to pay, but because he was finally finished with college classes. Other friends and family kept telling him how terrible it was out there in the “real world” and he was sick of hearing it. He was looking forward to becoming a contributing member of society.

Why don’t we believe that adults can have any fun? I’m going on a vacation with all my friends…it’s to Disney, but it’s something I would have never been able to do as a teenager! (Well, at least not unchaperoned…) Yeah, there are some shitty things about being a grown up, but there are plenty of shitty things about being a kid or a teenager and, yes, even a college student.

I’m hoping that the next time I feel like a grown up, it’s for some happy event, like…oh I don’t know. Sipping martinis at some fancy rooftop party.

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Things I Don’t Like

Last month, I forgot had absolutely no time to come up with creative posts relating to my job in student affairs, so instead I decided to tell you all about the things I was obsessed with at that very moment. A quick little update on those – “The Carrie Diaries” is on it’s summer hiatus (unless it was secretly cancelled like “Flash Forward” was two years ago), I haven’t gone on any Tumblr blogs in awhile (maybe I should since I’ve been in a perpetually bad mood), I’ve been too poor to eat shrimp from the fancy grocery stores and too scared to visit Walmart this month, that means I’ve also been too poor for a Spirit Jersey (I just found out how much those things cost WHAT?!), and I have a week to finish the current three seasons of Arrested Development before the glorious day that Season 4 arrives is upon us.

Back to the point. The other day, my friend was texting me ridiculous things all day. And I don’t mean ridiculous as in pictures of dogs wearing wigs, but she was asking me all sorts of questions. Maybe she was bored at work? Who knows?

This is what I send friends on a regular basis to cheer them up.

Anywho. So one of the questions read “what are things you don’t like?” Or so I thought. But instead of re-reading it, I started typing this epic list of things I don’t like on my iPad. When I went to trim it down and type it in a text message, I realized she asked me to name things I like. Because that makes sense. So I put my list aside and quickly typed up a list of things I like. HOWEVER since I saved that list, I thought another random post would be a great way to honor everything I can’t stand in life. Here we go, in no particular order.

Slow Drivers

There is nothing that pisses me off than people who CAN’T DRIVE. I swear, I don’t know how they got their licenses, but there are some people that can’t grasp basic concepts like using a blinker or getting out of the passing lane if you’re doing five under and there are a bunch of cars behind you. You don’t know me, you don’t know my life. Yeah, yeah, I just want to get to Target and back before the Grey’s Anatomy finale, BUT WHAT IF I WAS TRYING TO GET MY SICK DOG TO THE EMERGENCY VET? Move.

The Way Glitter Gets Everywhere

Yesterday at dinner, I kept seeing something shiny on my face out of the corner of my eye. When I finally went to the bathroom, I saw that there was glitter ALL OVER MY FACE. I know that can happen when one has an interaction with glitter, but the thing is, I did not see any glitter at all yesterday. No glittery make up, no glitter on anything in my purse…where did it come from?!

My iPhone’s Battery

All it does is die. Seriously. I charge it all day at work and by 8 or 9 pm I’m getting the 20% warning. One time I took a day trip to Manhattan. I made sure to charge the phone fully before leaving and used it minimally on the way there. Once I got there, I texted a few friends, maybe took a few pictures, and then put it back in my pocket. After lunch, it was under 30%, so I took thirty minutes and sat on the floor in the lobby of some random building in Manhattan to charge my phone. I do not live a very glamorous life.

Spiders

I know this is a dislike many individuals have. I routinely find creative ways to kill them while keeping myself as far from them as possible. In the past, these have included throwing a shoe at the wall and spraying them with Windex. However, the other day I faced a terrible dilemma. There was a spider crawling ON MY COMPUTER SCREEN. I can’t just throw a shoe at my computer or spray it with Windex. So, I went for the next logical solution – the vacuum. I used the vacuum tube to get rid of the intruder. Except. My vacuum thinks it’s fancy so it has a clear canister instead of a bag so you can see all the dirt and hair you just sucked off your floor. And it turns out that this spider did not die during his trip through the vacuum and was instead happily crawling around all the dirt and hair. There was no way I was emptying that into my trashcan, so I took the whole thing outside to the dumpster and said goodbye to Mr. Spider there. (I also tried calling three different people to see if they’d empty the canister for me – no luck.)

The Spell Checker On This Thing

Right now it’s telling me that I spelled “spiders” and “battery” wrong even though they are not underlined in this paragraph. It also keeps telling me that “texting” and “texted” aren’t real words, but let me assure you, THEY ARE.

When USA Is Showing Something That Is NOT SVU

I’m not sure exactly what “type” of shows the USA channel shows, but 90% of the time I turn it on, they are in the midst of a Law and Order SVU marathon. These marathons usually have some sort of theme that sounds like it could be the title of a Jerry Springer/Maury Povich episode. I don’t even pay attention to the themes, I just sit back and watch six hours of my life disappear. But, during times of absolute SVU need (having the flu, going to the gym and getting the treadmill closest to the TV), I turn on ol’ faithful and find some other crap show on. SVU has taught me that exercising outside is bad for me – I will either find a dead body or I will become one. Hence why I like to watch it while running INDOORS.

When Pandora Goes On Some Weird Tangent

I have my go-to stations on Pandora that ALWAYS play good music. Except for moments like right now where they play eight songs in a row that sound like they could have been composed by my eleven-year-old-self playing with the keyboards in my music tech class. “WOOO ALL THE NOISES!!!”

 

That, my friends, is all for now. I assure you the list was originally much longer, but I also wasn’t putting paragraphs of back story with each item. I will save the rest for some other time.

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Moving Home

As a young adult, the idea of visiting home sounds wonderful. Family, friends, HBO that I’m not paying for, FREE MEALS…seriously. It’s like a vacation minus the hotel and airfare. When I was in college, I LOVED going home for weekends…maybe a little too much at first. Even now I try to make it home for big events and I still try to see as many people as possible in a short three day weekend.

However…the idea of MOVING HOME?? That had me running and screaming in the other direction. I had spent most of my life and most of college thinking that I’d finish college and move into my own apartment or at the very least an apartment with friends.

This seems like an accurate representation of what I thought my twenties would be like from the ages of…oh….ten to twenty-one.

Except…just like the “Friends” theme song…no one told me how life was going to be this way. Once I graduated college, I had a part time job lined up, but it wasn’t enough to cover rent my security deposit and I was completely SOL.

It actually started a few weeks before I graduated. My mom called. WAIT. No, no, no. This story starts MUCH further back than that.

Part of the reason I didn’t want to move home after graduation was that my family was VERY strict. I distinctly remember my first only summer home during college. The summer actually started off easier than it ended. During dinner, I told my mom I was going to hang out with one of my friends after she got out of work. “Be home by eleven,” was her response. “But mom…she doesn’t get out of work until 10:30.” “Well, I guess you two won’t be seeing each other tonight then!” “Mom, I’m supposed to pick her up from work. She had someone drop her off because those were our plans.” My mom finally agreed that I could go get her (you know because we’re nice people and all) but that I couldn’t hang out afterwards. It was too late. This seemed absolutely archaic to me after nearly an entire year of not having to follow any rules. At school, we wouldn’t even LEAVE for some parties until after eleven. By the end of summer, my 11:00 pm curfew included the computer. I might have gotten in more trouble for calling my house Guantanamo Bay at one point…oops. By the time August rolled around, I was looking for any excuse to move back to school early. After that summer, I didn’t go home for anything longer that a four day break until graduation.

So…back to where I was. It was a few weeks before graduation. My mom called. “When are you moving home?” I laughed. Out loud. While on the phone. “Mom, I’m not moving home, I have a job here. I have an apartment I can stay at. By the way, can I have $1200?” It’s really hard to convince a parent that you are a grown up in the same sentence that you’re asking for money. And that is the story of how I wound up moving home. I was not happy about it. I was dreading the rules and the boredom. Back then there weren’t blogs or advice articles on how to handle this because my graduating class was the start of the wave of students moving home due the recession. My solution was to spend as much time as I could AWAY from home which didn’t exactly please my rule-loving mother. But, as you probably know from reading other posts here, I eventually found my way to grad school, moved out, and got a big girl job.

What can you do if you’re moving home?

Whether you are moving home for the summer or heading back after graduating, there are a few things you can do to make your life (and your parents’ lives) easier.

Have a nice, sit-down discussion about rules. What is a reasonable time that you should be home? Who might be allowed or NOT allowed to spend the night in your room? Do you need to call home with your plans? Certain families are much more relaxed than others. Also, your life situation might be MUCH different than when you last lived at home. Asking a parent if a significant other can stay over in your room while you’re in high school is laughable in most homes. (Granted, it’s still laughable in mine, but that’s another story) In college, your boyfriend or girlfriend might have spent the night with you loads of times. Your parents might tell you that he or she can’t stay in your room. Yes, it sucks, but you know what? I’m not even going to fight that one any more because I know they aren’t budging. I did eventually break my mom down on the curfew…after I graduated I had to come home “when the bars close”. Good thing I live on the border…2 am closing time on one side, 4 am on the other. Sorry not sorry.

Know what’s expected of you. Do you have to help with any chores around the house or baby sit for your younger siblings? Do your parents need help with the rent or paying any bills? Even if your parents tell you that they don’t want your money or your help, offer from time to time! Make dinner for the family one night or help out with raking the leaves. I bought my parents something they had wanted for awhile but didn’t really have the extra money for. Another time, I surprised them by paying their bill at a restaurant.

Find something to do. I had lost touch with my home friends so while I was home, I really had nothing to do. I wound up joining a gym and eventually creating a new friend group consisting of old and new friends. If you’ve been gone for awhile, it’s really like moving to a new city.

Lastly, come up with some sort of timeline. If you’re just moving home for the summer, that’s pretty simple. You’re going back to school. If you’re moving home with no end date in sight…that’s a different story. Once you have a job, set a goal for yourself! You will save $X per month so you can get your own place in Y months. Tell your parents this goal so they can help in any way they can, whether it’s looking for apartments, finding furniture, or even helping you move!

What advice do you have for those moving home?

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A Letter to My Teachers

Dear Teachers,

This is a letter to all of you to apologize for any rumor, lie, or mean thing that I ever said about you. I didn’t know it when I was seven twelve seventeen twenty that these things got back to you. I thought these were things said among friends and classmates in our own little world that was very much separate from yours. I didn’t realize that these things would hurt you. That you might actually care about what your students think about you.

See, I didn’t think you cared about us at all. I thought that you were just doing your job which, well, I guess you were. But caring about us is why you have your job. I mean, let’s be serious. Compensation for teaching includes a meager paycheck, a few too many colds and viruses, and at least one of those weird tri-flavor popcorn tins each year. You became a teacher because you wanted to help us grow and be better people and be educated.

So since I thought you didn’t care about us, I didn’t think that these things would hurt you. That you might go home and cry at night because of the things we said about you. I know how that feels now and it sucks and I try to tell myself, “It’s just students, why should I care?” But the truth is I DO care. I want to be liked. What person doesn’t?

I also want to apologize for anytime that I heard another student say a rumor, lie, or mean thing about you and I did nothing to stop the conversation or stand up for you. Standing up to your peers can be terrifying, but if I knew how much that would mean, maybe I would have done it at least once. To hear that a student didn’t stand up for you sucks, especially if it’s a student that you thought might actually do that for you.

I want my students to like me but I know that I can’t please everybody. I also know that I have to do my job and most of the time my students want me to do the opposite. But at the same time, I want to work with them. I want them to understand why my job is the way it is. I want them to get it. And I don’t want them to say rumors, lies, or mean things about me because it hurts. Unfortunately, I know some day a lot of them will know this pain as many are education majors.

I’m hoping that none of you teachers remember me. Or if you do, it’s for something awesome I did. I know in high school we’re so caught up with the drama of who said what about who that seems completely life ruining at the time…except ten years later, you can’t remember it. So maybe in ten years, I won’t remember these days.

Sincerely,

The Author (and many other students you have had that now work in education)

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