Tag Archives: reading

September Goal Updates

So clearly my goal for October should be that I PUBLISH OCTOBER’S POST IN OCTOBER. Anywho…on with the show!

Be More Organized

Something happened during September that made me puff up like a proud bird. One of PDFMU’s Super Important People saw my planner and all my notes and highlighting and was like “OMG you MUST teach me your system!!”. So I got to sit down and tell this Super Important Person all about how I make my to do lists and how I stay organized. Pretty neat, huh?

I also re-did the binders in my office. When I started working, I created all these awesome binders to help me keep track of my staff members and duty logs and all that other fun stuff. Well, part way through the year, I stopped using them. They weren’t working for me. During a rare minute of free time (meaning a meeting that a student didn’t show up for) I completely cleaned them out and put new tabs in them based on the things I keep track of. Much better.

Read More

Shortly after last month’s post, I marched down to the library with my Kindle and found out how I could read library books on it. Which means I’ve been reading more. I’ve tried to make it a routine to read before going to bed, but in honor of One Tree Hill’s 10th anniversary, I decided to re-watch the entire series, which unfortunately has been happening before bed. But really, I need to get my act together and watch TV while I’m cleaning and doing dishes and read while I’m in bed.

Schedule More Me Time

If you missed out on my return from the abyss, I’ll fill you in on the state of my me time: it doesn’t exist. I am doing work stuff outside of work hours and that’s not okay. I’m not the only one doing it, my whole office is and we’re all about to burn out. So what am I going to do differently for October? Well, I already have some time off scheduled for a big vacation. I even added a day on each end of the vacation itself for packing and unpacking. I’m also going to calm it down with the emails. If I don’t get around to it before I leave my office for the day, I’m not going to go home and do it that night. This is student affairs, urgent things come up all the time – even at night – so I’m sure a delayed email here or there won’t be the end of the world.

Keep In Touch

In September, I had the luxury of returning to my hometown TWICE. The second time, I left my laptop in my office so I COULDN’T do work from home. Granted, the second time I was also home less than twenty four hours. I got to catch up with a few of my home friends on both trips, which was nice.

Since Rachel lives closer, I’ve been chatting on the phone more with her. I might be visiting her on Sunday! Not sure yet though…I have gone back to her apartment one other time as well for a visit in which we celebrated the return of pumpkin EVERYTHING to the supermarkets.

Be A Grown Up

What are some grown up things I did in September? I bought a bridesmaid dress. I renewed my insurance. I willingly went to sleep and woke up early.

Actually, one thing that’s been making me feel more grown up is that I’ve missed ALL of Undergrad U’s events so far this semester. Like, I was never the type to return for EVERYLITTLETHING but I’ve missed some major ones for my sorority. Yes, this has happened before, but I’ve always felt terrible about it…not so much missing the event, but not being able to see my friends that were still students. Now, I look at sorority pictures and I’m like, “Wow, I know NOBODY.” Instead, I’ve been making plans to see sorority sisters at other events and other locations.

I know last month I was hoping for a more productive month…this month I’m hoping for a much calmer month!

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Where Are They Now?

One book that I have been meaning to read is Job One. Job One follows a group of SA Grads AFTER graduation. Kind of like this blog does…except. It only follows me. While this book is nearly ten years old, I thought it would be a good time to reflect on where my classmates now are in their careers.

A lot of my classmates are in the same boat as me – they found jobs somewhere around graduation, started, and they are still there. I keep seeing a ton of Facebook statuses about everybody hitting their one year mark. For those individuals not in ResLife, I see a LOT of apartment searching right now. Why? People quickly signed leases since they NEEDED to move and now that they know they are staying longer, they are looking for a nicer place or they are moving in with friends they’ve made.

Two classmates went back to school. Well, one just kept on trucking and started doctoral classes WEEKS after we graduated. The other wound up getting a job at a school with a doctoral program and enrolled after she finished her first year. While another degree isn’t on my agenda anytime soon, I am very proud of these two for continuing.

I have a few classmates that did not hit their one year mark for a variety of reasons. All but one finished out the academic year at their institutions but have recently started at their new jobs. Their reasons for moving included wanting to be closer to significant others and family. One got a job at Grad School State – although in a different department than where she worked while we attended school. And the one who didn’t make it through a school year? He had some MAJOR life changes. Shortly before Thanksgiving, his wife was offered a job on the other side of the country. They could not turn down this offer, she makes a LOT more than he does. His wife moved out before Christmas and he followed in January. He was going to start looking for jobs but then they found out that she’s expecting! He’s decided that he’s going to be a stay at home dad once the little one arrives this fall, so finding a job for just a few months didn’t make sense.

There were some people that didn’t get job offers last summer. One just kept doing temp jobs at Grad School State before getting offered a job at a school a few hours away. Another moved to a pretty remote area of the country with her fiance where there really aren’t a lot of job opportunities. A third wound up with a job offer sometime last fall – but not in Student Affairs. He took it and he enjoys what he’s doing and he definitely applies the things he learned in our program, just to a different set of people.

I really want to get my hands on this book. I’m interested to see how my classmates compare to the students in the book!

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June Goal Updates

This month has been the complete opposite of May! One day it was June first and the next the month was half over! Come on, summer, hang around a bit longer…

Be More Organized

Lately, I’ve been letting things slide. I’m in the middle of working on a ton of crafts for the upcoming Birthday Season and there are paints and brushes and half-finished things everywhere. Also, there’s a growing pile of dirty laundry in my bathroom. It should be in the hamper. But at the end of the day, I’m just so tired that I want to crawl into bed and do nothing more. I need to take ten minutes before bedtime and just use that time to straighten up a bit.

Also, I need to clean out my closet again. I went a little overboard during my shopping trip earlier this month and it’s getting to the point where it’s hard to move things around in there. In my current apartment, I’m blessed with closest space and I’ve come to the realization that I’m screwed when I move somewhere else. My first year at Grad School State, I had this huge apartment all to myself but I only brought what could fit in my car. I wound up spending the year buying things to fill the space…only to move to a much smaller apartment the following year. I think I’m doing that but with clothes.

I have a real fear of being a hoarder later in life because I have such a hard time parting with things. Like, seriously, I’m just one traumatic event from winding up on TLC. In my mind, the more I force myself to clean and part ways with junk, the easier it will become.

Read More

I know that when it rains, people say that it’s the perfect time to cuddle up with a good book. It doesn’t work that way for me. When it rains, I want to cuddle up with Netflix. And it rained A LOT this month. It didn’t help that season four of Arrested Development was released Memorial Day weekend…I had a lot of TV watching to do!

The thing is, I’d much rather read outside! If I’m inside, I could be playing video games, watching TLC, or maybe even cleaning my apartment. Outside, there’s only so many times I can refresh Instagram. I bought a Nook a few years ago for the sole purpose of reading outside, but unfortunately it broke. I do have an iPad with a Nook app, but with the glossy screen it is kind of difficult to read outside.

The books that I have been reading (unfortunately haven’t finished any yet) have been a lot of the novels I loved when I was in middle school. Basically, I raided my own book collection at my parents’ house. Also, The Baby Sitters Club TV show is now on Netflix. I never saw the show as a kid, but I was OBSESSED with the books. I’ll save that for my next rainy day!

Schedule More Me Time

At some point I realized that I had a lot of time off stored up. I guess it’s because I haven’t taken a major vacation – just a few days here and there. PDFM U has a “if you don’t use it, you lose it” policy about vacation time, so I decided to take some time off when my friends came to visit for the Lilly sale.

I also want to take some time off before RA training starts. Once the RAs arrive, we go all day every day until after move in. It’s rough. My friends from Undergrad U have been trying to plan a trip (see below) and some of my friends that I’ve made here have talked about doing a long weekend at the beach.

Keep In Touch

Just like I don’t like reading indoors, I don’t like talking on the phone indoors. My mom used to yell at me growing up for pacing around the house while talking on the phone. Apparently my walking drove her crazy. Why couldn’t I sit still and talk on the phone? It was a good day for both of us when my dad brought home a cordless phone that I could use in the backyard. Anywho! On the days it hasn’t been raining, I’ve been heading outside to chat with my friends while walking around the block. I figure it kills two birds with one stone – exercise and communication.

As I mentioned earlier, my friends are attempting to plan a vacation for next month. Normally, the girls do the bulk of the planning and the guys just show up, but for some reason this year the guys decided to take control. That’s cool…except the weekend we blocked off is two weeks away and we don’t even have a location. Oof. I’m sure they’ll pull it off…and I’m really excited for it. Even if it means we’re just hanging in somebody’s basement for the weekend.

I recently went to visit one of my friends from Grad School State who accepted a new position and will be heading out west this weekend. We arranged to have brunch at a little place in between the cities we currently live in and then did some shopping. I’m sad to see her go, but super excited for the next chapter in her life!

Be a Grown Up

I wrote a whole post earlier this month on the idea of feeling like a grown up and how I usually associated it with negative things. Just the other day I remembered another time I felt like a grown up. My second year at Undergrad U, my friends and I held a cook out. People brought different dishes and we had appetizers and stuff on the grill and desserts. It felt like all the cook outs I had been to with my family growing up. There was definitely drinking at this cookout, but I don’t remember anybody getting wasted or playing any drinking games. It was a classy affair.

Earlier this month I went to another cook out. There were drinking games at this one, which was fine by me. I’m starting to realize you just have to re-frame what’s “fun” as a grown up. I look forward to putting events with friends on the calendar, even if they aren’t “parties”.

And in the more boring aspect of grown up life, I’m still paying off those student loans. I’m constantly looking for “better” ways to pay them back. Author, wouldn’t that just be paying more?  Well, yes, but that’s not what I meant. I’m paying much more than my minimum payment and it’s about as much as I can pay per month without resorting to eating ramen noodles for every meal. BUT I am researching things about consolidation and which loans I should try to pay back first. I know absolutely nothing about student loans. I just signed away! Maybe high schools should offer a “College Prep” class that teaches you about financial aid and loans and all that jazz.

I’m also still afraid of the dentist. Next month I tell myself, next month.

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2013 Goal Updates – April

Be More Organized

I think I need to use my calendar more. I know I’m already a calendar/planner FREAK, but this past month I managed to fall behind on some projects. Not cool. However, I did have this random day where I went on a cleaning spree and completely re-organized one closet AND found items to donate. I’m actually really eager for students to leave so I have time to really tackle my office.

Read More

I think the only reading I have done this month is my inbox which always seems to be bursting at the seams with new messages. Seriously. If I have fifteen free minutes at work, I go through and sort my emails only for five more to come rolling in. The end of the year is approaching FAST and my students are getting antsy. “There’s a vacant space in my room for next year, are you going to assign someone to it?” (Yes.) “Can I leave my things in my apartment for the summer?” (No.) “Is it too late to apply to be an RA for next year?” (Dies.) I’d like to say I plan on doing more reading next month…but the new season of Arrested Development is getting posted on Netflix at the end of the month…so honestly, I might spend a good chunk of time re-watching seasons one, two, and three. Oops. I’m not even sorry.

Schedule More Me Time

About that…While I definitely set aside some time for non-work-related things, they were also things that NEEDED to get done. I want to do things like spoil myself with a pedicure or a massage but those things cost MONEY and I really haven’t had that much lately. Maybe I’ll do those things after the students move out to reward myself for surviving year one.

Keep In Touch

This month I did manage to travel and see some friends! I took one trip to Grad School State and another trip home. When I was home, I had dinner with my (recently engaged!) best friend. After dinner, we chatted about her wedding…she’s done so much planning! She has a date, a venue, colors, a dress…she just needs bridesmaids…and that’s where I come in! Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I have my first bridesmaid gig. Now let’s just hope I don’t become that chick from “27 Dresses” any time soon…

Be a Grown Up

The most grown up thing I did this month was pay my taxes. A whopping $45. Woooo. I also paid one doctor’s bill and I need to pay another. Actually! I’m planning a big vacation, but I think I’m going to do a separate post about that. It seems kind of grown up. Other than those things (notice they all require money), I’ve felt like a frustrated toddler this month. Ugh.

Hopefully my life will get back on track next month. Just as I get this school year routine down, it’s back to summer. Sigh.

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2013 Goal Updates – March

The downfall of me planning most of my posts ahead of time is that I start writing my “Goal Updates” post mid-month but really can’t do much since I can’t tell you all about things that haven’t yet. Then I forget about it until…oh…the day I intended on posting it. Sigh.

Be More Organized

Well, nothing says “We like you and want to keep you” quite like giving you a ton more responsibility, right? After spring break, I returned to this HUGE stack of mail in my inbox with all these new tasks that are assigned to me. I spent a week staring at the papers before deciding that I needed to come up with a system for them first. So far, so good.

I did a major spring cleaning of my bathroom. I know earlier this year I completely reorganized it, but for this cleaning I actually scrubbed the tub, sink, and toilet, I mopped the floor, shook out the rug…it’s all nice and shiny in there now!

I may very soon have a major change in my living arrangements (and that’s all I’ll say about it for now!) but because of that I am planning some rearranging. Unfortunately I think that might require taking some furniture apart because I’m pretty sure it won’t fit through my door.

Read More

I went on a trip earlier this month and downloaded a TON of samples on my Nook. I get a little mad when a sample has only 17 pages…with most of them being acknowledgements, chapter listings, etc. I did actually buy one of the books – “Sorority Sisters” by Claudia Welch. I enjoyed reading it and I think it’s something any female reader with a close group of friends can understand…not just those in a sorority. The one thing that stinks is books are EXPENSIVE. I think I’m either going to have to go back to Goodwill to look for books or try and find a library.

Schedule More Me Time

You know you’re getting to a point where your work life and your personal life are so entwined that you’re inviting your friends to college events for a night out. I have found other things to keep me busy in my new city, but work has been so busy with late night events that I haven’t really had much me time…good thing I enjoy work! I also seem to finally have a group of friends. Some have “normal” 9 to 5 jobs, others have crazy retail hours, and then there’s me. Ha!

Keep in Touch

This month has been soooo busy! I’ve traveled twice this month and I have one more trip coming up this weekend. Even though I didn’t travel to see my friends, I wound up being in touch with them more than a normal month because they’d comment on my Facebook pictures and we’d wind up chatting all night about where I was and what I was doing. I also did get to see my Big which was wonderful. She hasn’t visited me in my new city yet so hopefully we will find time for that in the next few months. It’s difficult because I don’t plan my weekends until I know what weekends I’m on call.

Be a Grown Up

I rented a car for the second time in my life. That seems like a grown up thing to do. I also found all the documents in order to do my taxes, but I still haven’t done them. Of course, that’s all negated by the fact I was pouty about not day drinking on St. Paddy’s. Oops.


In April, I plan on finishing a book that I haven’t read in forever and finishing a major non-work related project. Woo!

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Girls in White Dresses

When I was younger, I thought grown ups had their shit together. I thought that I too would have my shit together as a grown up. I planned my future out as if life was like a math equation. If we do x and y, z is the result. If I go to college, I’ll get a good job and a nice apartment. If I meet a nice guy, I’ll get married and have kids. Except it doesn’t work like that. Life is not my eighth grade algebra class.

At first, I thought that I was the only one who felt like their life was in a thousand pieces. All my friends seemed to be doing the growing up thing right…getting married, having babies, and moving into gorgeous apartments with great jobs. Lately I’vee been chatting with some of my friends and there are more people out there like me. We’re poor and confused and possibly borderline alcoholics.

Since one of my goals this year involved reading more, I have been looking for books to read – but not the classics. I’ve been looking for books that were written recently. Why? Ten years ago, people could not comprehend the anxiety caused by the 800 forms of social media we use today to communicate. “He didn’t answer my text but he liked my Facebook status…WHAT DOES IT MEAN?”

Even this is outdated.

One of my favorite books I have found is “Girls in White Dresses” by Jennifer Close. The book follows a group of interconnected women in the ten years after graduating college. The book reads more like a collection of short stories rather than a traditional, linear novel. Some people on the internet complained about this. I thought it fit better…it’s honestly how my life feels sometimes. I also enjoyed that there were so many types of people represented…those that have “real” jobs, those that don’t, those that are engaged, those that are even married and having kids. From afar, a good portion of these characters seem to have their shit together and then they admit that they don’t.

Maybe that’s what being a grown up is all about. Looking like you have your shit together when you really don’t.

If you’re anywhere between the ages of 25 – 35, this book will speak to you. So many of the short stories seemed so familiar…baby showers, bridal showers. I actually laughed out loud at the description of the first wedding that a group of friends has. It was as if someone had attended a wedding I went to a few months back and then wrote about it.

I have recommended this book to so many of my friends and I honestly plan on buying copies of it for any females that I know are graduating college. Pick this one up, whether it’s from a book store, from the library, or online! (And seriously, I’m not paid to write this stuff!)

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