things i learned in college

Among all of the other things that come with graduating college and moving to a brand new city far away – a diploma, the real world (already??), having to cook my own dinner every night of the week, a paycheck (yes!), rent/other “real world” expenses that require most of that paycheck – there is one thing that comes in spades. And it’s this lovely thing called retrospection.

Retrospection is a sometimes useful, sometimes dangerous, and extremely time-consuming activity. But it’s also very enlightening. They say hindsight is 20/20, and in looking back on the last several years, I’ve figured out a lot about myself and about life. Here are the highlights of those discoveries in bulleted form.

Things I Learned in College
  • Who my real friends are.
  • How lucky I am to have those people in my life.
  • How much I actually love ridiculous 80’s music.
  • Not everyone lives by the saying “if you’re early, you’re on time; if you’re on time, you’re late” like I do.
  • Finding time to read for leisure is critical.
  • “I don’t have time for xyz” is another way of saying “I don’t feel like making time for xyz so I’m going to pretend I have way more going on than I do and will instead spend 3 hours surfing the Internet.”
  • Coffee is arguably the greatest beverage ever created.
  • Coffee is expensive and I cannot/should not spend my entire stipend on it.
  • Following sports is not only fun, it gives you something to small talk about other than the weather (which is important when you don’t keep up with current events).
  • As an adult, people assume you do keep up with current events.
  • You save a lot of money by taking a bagged lunch to school/work.
  • Downtime is actually important.
  • Dressing up gets old quick when you have to wear business clothes to work every day. And no one actually cares if you get coffee / run errands wearing a faded college sweatshirt.
  • Actually, some people think you look prettier that way.
  • I’ve turned into a huge cynic.
  • I need to stop being such a cynic. The few people that make me want to completely give up on mankind are, in fact, a very small percentage of the population. It’s a big world.
  • It’s a small world. And it’s connected.
  • When in doubt, go with your gut.
  • Your best friends aren’t necessarily the people you talk to 24/7 or eat lunch with every day. They might even be asleep when you call them at 2 am. But they’re the ones that call you back the next day and listen to you for hours, even if they’re tired of the subject or don’t agree with how you handled it. They distract you and make you laugh. They bring you coffee and king-sized Reese’s cups when they meet up with you to talk about your relationship troubles because they know chocolate fixes everything for awhile. They’re there for you when it really counts.
  • Sometimes you’ll be surprised by who will do that for you.
  • Sale-shopping is the way to live.
  • To-do lists and calendars are the key to successful time management.
  • If it’s been several months or years and that guy still hasn’t made up his mind, he probably won’t do it soon. So it won’t hurt to go out with that other guy who actually knows he wants you.
  • In fact, it would be a good idea to do so.
  • Mom was right about thank you notes. They never go unnoticed nor unappreciated.
  • Life goes on.
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the first boxes

I made a Home Depot run for moving boxes over spring break, and yesterday I put together the first few. It seems early to start packing but I don’t want to spend my last week home frantically boxing things up, so I decided to start with what I know I won’t need between now and move-in day (e.g. winter clothes and the extra coffee maker I’m scoffing from my parents’ house). Also, my countdown to commencement (62 days, anyone?) constantly reminds me that all of this happening much quicker than I’ve totally realized.

Anyway, yesterday was “kitchen stuff” day. Somehow there was enough to fill three boxes. I was kind of amazed.


a messy kitchen while we sorted out what I had to take


first box packed!

Now all I have to do is figure out where to keep the boxes for the next 11 weeks.