Post College: One Year Out and Still Learning

Being able to obtain an education is one of the greatest gifts the world can offer and I’m grateful for all that I learned in my four years of college–both inside and outside the classroom. That said, I firmly believe that it is possible to learn just as much outside an academic setting, if not more. Going out into the world is a different type of learning than what is offered inside a university setting–rather than developing my critical thinking skills and pushing the boundaries of my mind as I did in college, I’ve learned a lot from personal experiences in the last year. Here I present some little nuggets of wisdom that I took away from my first year out of college. It’s only the beginning and I’m positive there is much more to come from my ventures in learning out in the quote-on-quote “real world.” So, without further ado:

  • Loneliness is sometimes self-inflictedYou and only you have the power to build relationships with the people around you. No one else will do that for you. If you’re nice to people and show an interest in them, they’ll probably like you. For most of my life, I’ve struggled with building meaningful relationships with people and had no idea what to do–turns out it’s way easier than I ever thought and I just over analyze the hell out of everything.
  • An unknown future is only terrifying if you allow it to be terrifying. Too many people are afraid to follow their dreams because they’re afraid of the unknown, but life is too short not to embrace the opportunities you want to embrace. In fact, if it scares you, you’re probably doing something right.

Continue reading “Post College: One Year Out and Still Learning”

The View from Home

It’s an incredibly good feeling, knowing that you did the right thing for yourself regardless of how hard it was or how difficult it was to get there.

As I watched the plane I was on for the first length of my journey back to the States take off from Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok a handful of days ago, I was overcome with a burst of emotion and I started to cry. They were brief tears. They didn’t last long. But they were tears none-the-less.

It’s really hard to explain my feelings toward Thailand. How, at  times, while I was living there, I hated it. How unhappy I was while I was living there. How I couldn’t wait to leave when I was preparing for my two week trip to Europe in mid-March.

While in Europe, the friend I was visiting with gave me some really good advice. At that point, I was still feeling a lot of animosity towards Thailand for the hardships I experienced while living there; I was more than happy to be spending time on European soil. I was telling her how much Continue reading “The View from Home”

#WeekendCoffeeShare–Back to College (for a Day), Friends Time, and Thailand is Getting Closer!

If we were having coffee, I’d start off out by telling you that this week has been awesome. Truly awesome. I’m down to a week and a half before I leave the country for an indefinite amount of time and I want to make the most of the time I have left here…and I feel like I’ve definitely been doing that this week.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you about how I visited my college town earlier this week for the first time since I left as a new graduate in May. I’d tell you about how wonderful it was to be back and how I practically started crying when I drove up to campus and greeted my friends on the campus mall. There were tears and they were of the best kind. I was so happy to be back. I didn’t realize how much I’d missed campus until I was all the sudden there again. It was so wonderful to spend time with some of my dearest friends and I loved getting to see a bunch of people whom I hadn’t seen in ages. I also ran into my former history adviser and one of my favorite professors on campus, which was wonderful (hm…I’m using the word wonderful a lot in this paragraph. But this visit was so wonderful that my usual attention to variations in word choice while writing is failing me…and I don’t even know how else to describe it). I’m so unbelievably glad I got to go back before I leave for Thailand. This place means so much to me and, given my current sense of wanderlust, adventure, and a general need not be living in Minnesota for at least the time being, it’s quite possible that I wont be back again for…well, years.  Seeing so many people that I know I wont get to see for ages and ages now that I’m Continue reading “#WeekendCoffeeShare–Back to College (for a Day), Friends Time, and Thailand is Getting Closer!”

Reflections from the Other Side…Or, Going Back to College as an Alum

This morning I woke up on my college campus for the first time in almost four months.

My college campus alma mater.

I woke up in the on campus apartment that the friend I was staying with lives in, rose from the couch that had been my bed for the night, and promptly went to look out the window.

It was a beautiful day. Gorgeous. The campus mall was brimming with green grass and the sky was blue. As I looked out at this scene, I found myself in awe of the beauty of this place that I had called home for four years. I looked out that window and I thought what a privilege it was to have this view. For four years of my life, I had had this view. Not from that same exact spot staring out that same exact window, of course. But I saw it every day. Early in the morning, I walked to classes on those sidewalks carved so effortlessly into the architecture of the mall. I trudged back from the library at 1 am closing time on those same sidewalks–exhausted, tired, craving sleep. I sat out on that green, green grass–or, in the spring time, grass still dead from six, seven months under snow–working on homework, spending time with friends (that one time drinking vodka disguised in a water bottle, progressively getting drunker as the sun beat down on us). I lived and breathed in that space. My whole being was a part of it.

It was my home for four years. And what a privilege to have called it home.

— — — —

Some places are just magical, you know? My alma mater will always be one of those places for me. This place shaped me. Many of my most critical moments of learning and growth happened not just on this campus, but because of this campus.

When I woke up today on that couch in my friend’s apartment…when I got up to look out that window…I was so very aware of that.

I was so very aware of how so very privileged I was to have had that view; to have occupied that space; and to be have been incredibly influenced by it. To still be incredibly influenced by it…even now, as an alum.

And I knew without a doubt that wherever I go in this world–Thailand, and then who knows where–this small liberal arts school on the prairie, this place that I can now call my alma mater…it will always be with me.

It’s the magic of it all.

It’s a part of me now.

IMG_20150908_083949671_HDR

 

Vulnerability

I’m feeling vulnerable right now.

For a lot of reasons, really. I don’t think I can properly explain it all entirely.

I’m feeling vulnerable and I’m going to tell you about it because I hate pretending I’m okay when I’m not and I think, in general, humans are too apt to cover up less-than-cheerful feelings. I think, in general, humans are too afraid to really feel.

Well, I’m feeling a lot right now and I’m not sure I can articulate all of those feels because their
pretty damn complex, but I’m going to make an effort because I’m a writer and this is how I do.


I’m feeling vulnerable because I spent the last hour of work today wiping counters that didn’t need to be wiped and washing dishes that didn’t need to be washed. I didn’t get a single order Continue reading “Vulnerability”

USPS Delivers…! (Volume II)

With the caps and gowns, the traditional Pomp and Circumstance, and the general excitement of turning another page in life, commencement is a day for celebration. The lengthiness of the ceremony aside, there is so much energy in the air–the energy of academic accomplishment and awaiting new opportunities.

Yet, for all intents and purposes, commencement is not graduation. A commencement ceremony is not a graduation ceremony. For all intents and purposes, commencement is a symbolic measure of accomplishment that is based off of years and years of tradition.

Grades must be submitted. All scholastic requirements must be officially met. That is, before students are officially considered graduates.

Worst case scenario, a student could walk across the stage at commencement only to end up failing that very last class they needed to Continue reading “USPS Delivers…! (Volume II)”

Paulie and Britts at the Beach

I had a bit of a surprise day off on Monday.

Okay, it was more like I failed to read my schedule correctly and thought I worked Monday when really, all along, there was nothing on it about working Monday in the first place.

I discovered this on Sunday night and my first thought was disappointment…

Only because I had just gotten these super comfortable new shoes specifically for work and I was disappointed that I had to wait until Tuesday to wear them. Yeah, you could say it doesn’t take much to excite me.

Well, newsflash, the comfiest shoes in the world don’t keep the feetsies Continue reading “Paulie and Britts at the Beach”