Tag Archives: twentysomething

Anxiety

When I was MUCH younger, I hated doing homework. It wasn’t that I was a bad student or anything. The pressure of doing well in school just overwhelmed me. I was a stressed out nine year old. I would be too busy worrying about doing my homework to actually DO my homework. On top of that, my mom would see that I wasn’t doing my homework and yell at me to do my homework. This clearly did not help the situation. There were many nights that I would be up until ten or eleven (remember, fourth grade) doing my homework.

Everybody just thought I was a procrastinator. And to be fair, I am. But this was different. When I procrastinate, I will do everything else that can be done before I do what actually needs to be done. Laundry, dishes, cleaning…I’m a productive procrastinator! Instead, this seemed to be the opposite. I wasn’t getting anything done.

By the time I was in high school, regular homework didn’t overwhelm me so much, but major projects did. Life was also starting to overwhelm me – relationship issues, responsibilities, decisions. I would routinely have others make major decisions for me either by asking people’s opinions or by waiting so long that the decision would have been made for me. I had major freak outs when it came to making decisions about college. I remember being so overwhelmed about choosing a meal plan that I cried for a week straight. OVER A MEAL PLAN.

If you’re sensing that this issue didn’t get better in college, you are correct. Remember how I would be too overwhelmed to do homework? That happened. Except, since I didn’t have my mom to force me to go to school, I could just skip class. Sure, plenty of people skip class in college. Except instead of being hungover or playing video games or whatever normal college students do, skipping class made me even MORE stressed out. I would just stay in bed and cry. I couldn’t do anything else. I would be unable to do anything for a day or two and then I’d snap out of it and go back to normal. I didn’t think it was a big deal.

And then one day everything seemed to happen at once. I was having relationship issues. I had two major projects due. I didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up. I didn’t think I was good enough to be interested in anything when I grew up. I couldn’t leave my apartment. I didn’t do any chores around the apartment because I knew I could have used that time to do homework. Except I was too stressed to do homework. After the third day of not leaving the apartment and not going to classes, I realized that I didn’t know how to bounce back from this. I was going to be behind in my classes. I was going to get in trouble for missing work. The only way out I could see was to drop out of college. But I couldn’t do that, that would mean going back home to my parents and they would be so disappointed. I felt trapped. So I stayed trapped in my apartment.

My friends were worried about me. They reported me. I became one of those Student Alerts you hear about. I was forced to go to my college’s counseling center. Suddenly I was one of those disheveled girls with dirty hair walking in that everybody sees but pretends not to. I would like to say that after a trip or two the counseling center, everything was fine and dandy and I was going to my classes and doing my homework and doing regular life tasks, but that’s not what happened. Clearly my anxiety was a lifelong problem – it couldn’t be fixed in a day or two. Those first few times, I didn’t even want to go. I could have been using that time to do all that homework. But if I stayed home I wasn’t going to. (And if I stayed home, I was going to be dismissed from the college, so yeah, that kind of got me out of the apartment.)

Counseling wasn’t an easy road. I had regularly scheduled sessions and every so often when I started getting overwhelmed, I’d try to cancel, saying that I was too busy, but my counselor knew that’s when I was at my worst, and the next thing I knew, a professor or Residence Life person was marching me back into the center. Counselors don’t just give you answers and tell you how to live life without being an anxious person. And it’s not like the movies where I got to lie on the couch and tell her all about my life without interruption. I would tell her things and she would question me. She’d ask why I thought these things and why I wasn’t doing my work. She’d make me answer instead of saying “I don’t know”. She got me back on track for the rest of college.

I would love to say that I live an anxiety-free life now, but that’s not the truth. Every so often I feel that overwhelming feeling creeping up on me and I have to find a way to combat it. Most of the time, I win. I’ve had two days in the past year that I couldn’t leave the apartment or do anything because of life. But I was able to bounce right back. I’m also able to recognize when things are getting to be too much for me and set boundaries or say no. And most importantly, I’m able to ask myself the same hard questions my counselor used to ask me. And I’m able to answer them truthfully. It also helps that I read all these blogs written by other twenty-somethings and can see that I’m not the only person my age who has NO CLUE what they are doing.

This was a really hard entry for me to write. Really, there are only two people in my life that know how bad things got. And now here I am posting it on the internet for the whole world to see. But if this can help even just one other person feel “normal”, then it’s worth it.

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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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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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You Are The Weakest Link. Goodbye.

Alright kids, gather round. Today we’re going to talk about the ultimate burn in this day and age: being de-friended on some sort of social media. I originally wrote this back in 2009 when I swear I was the only person in my friend group with Twitter and things like Instagram didn’t exist yet. So let’s focus on Facebook because being de-friended on Facebook sucks every bit as much today as it did in 2009. I’m not really sure what the pre-Facebook equivalent would be. Being picked last for the kickball team? Someone not returning your calls? Being completely ignored, kind of like the episode of South Park where Cartman thought he was dead? Anywho. Let’s get on with this.

To de-friend someone on Facebook is basically saying “I never want to see you again. I want nothing to do with you. You are dead to me. I am cutting you out of my life completely.” Once your former lover/roommate/best friend de-friends you, your updates will no longer show up in their news feed. They won’t be forced to endure status updates, pictures posted, or Farmville notifications.¬†But Author, what if somebody is just cleaning out their list or really doesn’t give a crap about your engagement photo shoot? Nowadays, there are ways to hide that stuff! I have plenty of people on my Facebook that post a little too frequently about their kids’ potty training that I selected to hide their updates. Also, you can hide updates from games and other things. The best part is that the other person doesn’t know you selected to hide their updates whereas if you de-friend someone and then they go to look you up for some reason, they are suddenly VERY aware of this de-friending.

Personally, I have only felt compelled to de-friend people on two occasions in my life. The first was a completely normal occurrence. Remember when Facebook was for college kids only? (Man, I’m really dating myself here.) And the best moment of your summer before freshman year was getting your college email address so you could get Facebook (or as it was known back in the day THE Facebook)? And how many random people you friended that were members of “FALL INCOMING CLASS 200X WOOOO!!” Yeah…well…after I finally arrived on campus and realized that I wasn’t actually going to be friends with all these people who I had told about my down alternative comforter and flamingo string lights, I did a little cleaning. Understandable? Yes. If you don’t know the person in real life, you can delete them. During Spring Semester, I became friends with a kid that was in one of my new classes and he actually CALLED ME OUT ON IT. He was like “Well we were Facebook friends and then you de-friended me.” Ummm…today is the first day I met you?!? But sure enough, when I checked my OLD messages, I had found out that months and months before this, we had gone back and forth about how his building was closer to the dining hall than mine. Real friendship right there. Sigh.

The other time I de-friended someone was later in my college career. I was having a bit of a stalker issue and it got to the point where I didn’t want him in my life anymore. I was doing a great job at avoiding him in person, but he would always make snarky remarks via Facebook AND he had started friending my friends to talk to them about me. I was young and at the time didn’t realize how serious the whole situation was so I simply de-friended him, thinking that MAYBE he’d take the hint. He didn’t. Instead, he re-friended me and included a little message. I don’t remember it word-for-word anymore but I’m pretty sure thought it was awfully rude of me to remove him from my friends list. I’m sorry. I didn’t like when you Facebook messaged me twenty times in one day. At this point, I had to take it one step further and block him. I had never blocked anybody on Facebook. At this point in time, my blocking knowledge was limited to AIM. I’m assuming it worked because I never heard from him (at least on Facebook) again. Also, I can’t search for him. So it does go both ways. That’s alright. I can live without his creepy/emo status updates.

So readers, what brings you to the point of having to de-friend a person? Did your break up leave you in your pajamas for a week with only your good friends Ben and Jerry for company? Did your best friend steal “yo man”? Sick of looking at somebody’s ugly mug? Or…more grown up problems…are you sick of hearing about somebody’s upcoming wedding EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.? These ridiculous situations always make for great stories, so put yours in the comments and get ready for tomorrow’s post!

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First World Problem: I HATE Getting a New Phone

Let me tell you a story about a dear friend, my closest confidant – my iPhone. I met my iPhone on a beautiful late summer day two years ago. My iPhone has been there with me through thick and thin. It has never revealed its secrets, even about my frequent Google searches of “One Tree Hill Nathan Scott”. My iPhone has survived countless drops from varying heights and has been stepped on by my dog pretty much every time I’ve visited home. My iPhone and I have spent plenty of lovely afternoons Instagramming pictures in the park. However, all good things must end.

Lately, my iPhone has been that flaky friend that’s having a text convo with you and then suddenly stops responding for three hours, right as you ask some basic yes or no question. Really, iPhone, it takes you three hours to tell me that in fact you ARE available to go to the mall tomorrow? Bitch was probably texting all her other iPhone friends just to make sure nothing better was going on.

Okay, so maybe not really. But my phone has been freezing and shutting off and not letting me know that I have texts from my REAL friends that actually CARE about me. And the battery is TERRIBLE – the only way this phone could die faster is if somebody pointed a wand at it and said “Avada Kedavra!” I get it, it’s old. There’s been TWO new versions of iPhones since I bought this one. There’s been countless app updates and system updates. All these new apps are designed with the newer, faster, iPhone 5 in mind. No wonder my phone is running slow!

Recently, Charlotte from My Crazy, New York, Post Grad Life posted about phone shopping…like me, she has an ancient iPhone and needs to replace it. While she is debating between the iPhone and the Samsung Galaxy, I know that I will be replacing my current iPhone with a new iPhone. Most people are excited at the thought of buying a new phone. It has gotten a lot easier…I remember in high school having to write down all of my contacts so I could later put them in one by one. Ugh! The stone ages! Most people like hearing about all the cool shit their new phone could do. They can’t wait to buy a new case and customize the ringtone and blah blah blah. Not me!

In high school and college, I had some friends who seemingly went through phones as frequently as they changed their underwear. I was ALWAYS being invited to Facebook groups because someone lost their phone or got it stolen or dropped it in the toilet. Not me. I had the same dinosaur of a phone all through high school and actually TRIED to lose it one summer and FAILED. (And then when my parents finally did buy me a new phone, I lost it three days later at the grocery store. Go figure. Luckily, I found it and was able to hold onto that beastly thing until the iPhone made its grand debut.) I may be one of like five college students in the history of the United States to do this, but I did not once lose, break, or get my phone stolen during college. I’m sure there’s some special sticker on my diploma to indicate this.

And then I graduated college. The year after I graduated college, I managed to break one phone and get THREE stolen. Now, it’s not like I was careless and left my phone on a table in the food court at the mall and then wandered away. No. One time it was stolen from my own home. Another time it was by a so-called “friend” of a friend. Each time, I had to buy a new phone. Cell phones seriously are a necessity in this day and age. So after that particular year, you could imagine why I HATE buying phones. I’ve included some more reasons (that are more applicable to the general population, not just those with shitty friends) below.

They’re Expensive

Cell phones are NOT cheap, which sucks because, like I said before, I can’t live WITHOUT my cell phone. Yes, I can live without an iPhone and after the first one got stolen, I did live without an iPhone. I had a series of those crappy pay-as-you-go phones for awhile. Those are also not as cheap as you think they would be, especially when your entire family plan is out of upgrades because you’ve had to replace your phone three times in five months. I know I should be setting aside money for my new phone, but I have other bills to pay.

It’s Not Quick and Easy

I like buying milk – I run into the store, find the carton of milk I want, pay for it, and leave. Done. I don’t really like buying bras. You have to try those on. That takes time. And buying a phone? You have to talk to some salesman to tries to make you spend more money than you want to spend (seriously, nobody uses those cases that clip onto your pants anymore) and then you have to wait for the phone to “activate” and all sorts of other stuff.

You Need MORE New Stuff

Depending on what phone you had and what phone you are buying, you might need to get all new accessories – cases, headphones, charger…suddenly your phone just got a lot more expensive!

And Then You Have to Set It Up

This. This right here. This is my least favorite part. I get home and I need to change my ringtone and set my alarms and put in my wifi password. I know they have the ability to transfer my contact, why don’t they have the ability to transfer my settings??

I know getting a phone is a really awesome thing and there are plenty of people who don’t have the money to get a new phone just because their old one is dying, but it honestly causes me so much anxiety!! I don’t know when I’m getting my new phone yet (I’m honestly holding out as long as possible) but when the time comes, I’m pretty sure I will need people to come with me and hold my hand.

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The Return of Rachel

The best possible thing ever happened this week. My best friend, Rachel (name changed, obvi), moved to the city I live in to start grad school. Anybody would be excited to have their best friend join them, but knowing our past makes it all the more special.

Rachel and I met when we were five years old. We went to the same day camp and we had the same lunch box. Match made in heaven, right? Our moms set up a play date for us and got to talking and realized that we went to the same elementary school. Awesome! After that, we were pretty inseparable. We coordinated our Halloween costumes, we decorated each other’s rooms, and as we got older we spent WAY too much time at each other’s lockers.

We haven’t lived in the same town (let alone the same state) since we were seventeen. We went to different colleges and then worked in different cities. I went to grad school, she went to Europe. Now she’s back and I AM SO EXCITED!! I’ve already got plans to help her build some Ikea furniture. I know that doesn’t sound like fun, but I’ve never lived close enough to help her with anything like that before!

Like…this excited.

Of course every so often I have to come down from cloud nine and remember that we are both VERY busy people so it won’t be just like high school…I have my job and she has grad school. With RA training right around the corner, we’ve already had issues finding time we both had free to get together. I already have friends and obligations on my side of the city and I’m sure she will wind up with those things on her side of the city as well!

I always get slightly jealous of my friends that live in the same city as each other. I know it was my choice to take a job in a city where I knew nobody and I’ve done okay making friends, but that doesn’t stop me from being excited about Rachel’s return!!

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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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So You’re In Grad School: August

Here we are. The start of a new school year. This is when I should have started my SYIGS series, you know, so it started with the school year. Oh well. If you’re new to this, SYIGS provides some tips as well as gives information on what to expect in a Student Affairs-esque grad school program. Everything I write is based on MY experience at Grad School State…your program might be somewhat different, but it shouldn’t be TOO drastic.

If you’re a first year student…

You’re probably getting ready to leave for grad school if you haven’t already. I’ve said it time and time again – grad school is VERY different from undergrad. It’s an adjustment and it will take you some time to get used to it. That’s okay. Oh, and you’ll probably also learn a theory that will later explain your behavior during this time period.

My first few weeks at GSS were jam packed with training for my assistantship…why yes, I was in ResLife! Not only did I have training for my position, but I also sat through all of RA training so I could know the campus and the procedures better. It was a big help, especially since GSS and Undergrad U were VERY different institutions.

GSS held a graduate school orientation. The ResLife office made sure to have it on their schedule so us newbies wouldn’t be missing anything important. It wasn’t like the fun-filled orientation that I went through as a student and that I saw GSS freshmen going through. No campus tours, no entertainment, no ice breakers. I was so confused! I went to a resource fair, but instead of showcasing the different departments on campus, I was provided with bank and insurance options. At one point I was told I needed to pick up my student ID, but I didn’t know where to do that! It was at this moment that I realized graduate student services is an area that will probably be on the upswing in the next few years…

Another eye opener was that there were a lot of people in my program OLDER than me. Many of the students had graduated from college and worked “real” jobs before realizing they hated being mindless corporate robots whatever they were doing and making the decision to start a new career. So at the end of the day while I wanted to go to the bar and get to know my new classmates, they had homes and husbands to get home to. Who does that?

I guess all of my previous “points” have been stories about my experiences, my major tip for this month is DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK QUESTIONS. I can promise you that there will be somebody in your program or working at your assistantship who thinks they “know everything” and will roll their eyes at your question, but do not let that deter you! Training and orientation are the times to ask questions!

If this is your second year…

You might be a little bored right now. I’m sure there are training things that you are being forced to go to that you feel you don’t need to go to because obviously you learned it all before. Obviously. Yes, you might be bored, but please don’t let this attitude show! It might stop one of the new students from asking a question (see above).

I definitely recommend getting to know the new grad students in your program. Did you have a second year take you under their wing last year? Be that person for someone else! It is great to form a friendship like this now so you can help someone with this whole grad school process.

I had someone take me under their wing and then I took someone under my wing. I am in touch with both of these people. My “older” friend helped me as I was navigating the job search process. I just helped my “younger’ friend with hers and I also talked her through some tough decisions that she had to make during grad school.

No matter what year you are…

August is a crazy month for Student Affairs…students are returning, orientation is happening, training is happening, and of course there is a HUGE programming push during the first few weeks of school. Good luck to all of you out there!!

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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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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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