When I daydream about where I want to go in life, it starts with my writing. My first dream is that I want to publish a book. I want to publish a book and see my name in print and walk into Barnes and Nobel and see my book on the shelf. I want to feel pride and relief that I actually did it. I want my book to make it to the New York Times best-selling list and I want to save the little blurb about it. I want to go on Ellen or maybe The Talk and I want the studio audience to go home with a copy. I want my book to turn into a movie and I want to help write it and I want to spend the summer in Hollywood working on its set. Then I want to publish another book, then I want to write another one and publish that too. I want to finish the forty-plus books that are in my writing queue. I want to write at least one book that takes place in every state. I want to inspire fan fiction.
And then people say, “That’s nice, but what’s your backup plan?” Or “That’s really cool, what are you doing until then?” And I tell them, I’m working towards that; I’m writing every day. I’m editing every day. I’m working on my books every day.
The choice that I made for my post-grad life draws a lot of questions. I’ve been convinced by the adults in my life that it would be better if I went to graduate school, if I went and got my masters, my Ph.D., focused on publishing a book after I got a permanent job with a good pay and my own apartment. I’ve been told that it’s just “two more years; two more years is nothing.”
But two more years of school is something. Two more years is time that I can’t focus on new work, it’s time I can’t edit, it’s time I can’t send out query letters or work with my editor. Every time someone tries to convince me that it would be in my best interest to go get my masters, go get a P.A. degree, I wonder why my dream isn’t enough.
Of course, my dream is enough for me, but for everyone else, it’s a hobby and a side job. It’s something I should be doing in between coursework while pursuing something more reasonable.
Once upon a time, my dream was to have a Ph.D. in psychology. I was going to move to Boston and be a clinical psychologist and work on the psych ward at Mass Gen. If that were still my dream, I’d probably have fewer people trying to steer me onto a different career path.
No one questions those who dream of being doctors and lawyers and psychologists. They aren’t asked what to do in the mean time or what their backup plan is. But they’re still dreamers. I wonder how the world would be different if we supported those who don’t choose practicality. If we didn’t relegate them down to hobbies and side jobs. The world needs doctors and lawyers and psychologists. But the world also needs storytellers and creators and dreamers.
Being young and a dreamer can be difficult, but I wouldn’t want to be anything else.
I’m still kind of in shock that graduation is at the end of this week. I’m kind of surprised to what with all the times I said I was going to drop out the last four years. But it’s actually happening in just a couple of days. The last four years have been filled with equal amounts of manic laughter and stress-induced tears. I’ve both called this place home and wished I was back home. Despite my complex relationship with college, I hold all the memories I made and all the people I’ve bet so dear. Yeah, I might have cried over a twenty-page research proposal but I also laughed so hard the next day. I stressed out over three test and five quizzes and a paper all due in the same week but I spent the weekend dancing around frat houses with friends. Every single one of those memories, good and bad, I’m thankful for. Continue reading “Pomp and Circumstance and Stuff Like That”
So I’m a just about a month away from graduation. If we’re being specific (and I have been) it’s 37 days away. That’s five weeks away. That’s thirteen days of classes away.
I won’t lie, as excited as I’ve been for graduation this entire year, I’m a little nervous. School is all I’ve known my entire life. And I know there’s so much more life to live outside of school but there’s something about the routine of it that’s comforting. Tomorrow, I’ll wake up and know exactly what I’m doing. My alarm will go off around 7:30. I’ll get dressed, go to campus, probably get Starbucks, sit outside my classroom, do some work, go to class. Then I’ll go home, eat a late lunch, and get ready for the weekend. In about a month, life won’t be that predictable anymore. And now, making graduation plans, it seems very, very real.
And now, making graduation plans, it seems very, very real. Yesterday, my friends and I made an appointment to have our graduation pictures done. Next week, I’m buying my cap and gown. I’ve picked out my cap design and we’re planning and wine and cap decorating night. There’s plans for senior week: passdowns, a dinner, a sunrise hike. We’re making plans to do things for the last time: dinner at our favorite restaurants, Greek Sing, vineyard and lavender farm trips. In 37 days I’ll be moving away from the place I’ve called home—despite my mixed feelings about it—for the past four years.
But 37 days also starts a freedom I’ve been looking forward to. For four years, I’ve lamented that I didn’t have time to do the things that I wanted because I did school work instead. As of right now, these are my post-graduation plans:
- This blog. I’ll be focusing a lot more time on my blog. With no school work or classes to attend to, I can really work on growing it and taking it into the direction I wanted but haven’t had the time to put into it.
- My Instagram. I have been focusing more energy into my Instagram that accompanies this account but I think that’s because it’s quicker and on the go. It fit into my hectic college lifestyle a lot better. So maybe not necessarily more time but more focused time. I’m hoping that the freedom of no school will also give me more time to travel and not miss out on things that I’ve missed in the past.
- Writing. Arguably, the most important thing I’ve focusing on. I’ve given up a lot of my writing time to school work and I am so excited to have days devoted to working on my next book. I have about forty ideas in various stages of completion and I cannot wait to start working on them.
- Your Novel Year. While this focuses on writing, it’s like school. There’s assignments and readings and study questions every week. And since the program is mainly online, sometimes, it gets lost in the shuffle of my more immediate in-person classes. Without school, I’ll have more time to focus on that work and the book I’m working on through that program. I’m also excited because when this eight-week block ends for YNY, mentorships begin. We get to work with a published author on the book we’re writing and I’m looking forward to having one-on-one time to go over my work.
- Editing and Publishing. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m working with an editor to get my first book ready for publishing. I’m sending off my manuscript for her to review, and when I finish school, I’ll meet with her discuss it. I haven’t had a ton of one-on-one time for my writing in my college career so I can’t wait for it post-graduation.
The road to graduation has been long and filled with laughs, tears, stress and good times. And now I’m on the final stretch, the sprint towards the finish line. I’m excited and nervous and scared I’ll trip at the ceremony. But I’m really looking forward to what’s coming after.
Last night, I experienced one of my “last” memories of college: spring formal. My sorority calls it Black Diamond Ball and it was in a renovated barn with a Great Gatsby theme. Formal has always been one of my favorite events and has given me of my best memories of college. And this year was no different.
For this formal, my roommates and I decided to have people over to hang out before formal. Our friends came to our apartment, we laughed, had some drinks, took pictures and watched a little March Madness. Then we made our way to the venue. It was about a thirty-minute bus ride, on which we laughed some more, talked, and watched Man on Fire on the hanging bus screens.
The first thing we all did upon arrival, was run to the food. One of the biggest parts of formal is getting to the mozzarella sticks and chips and dip as soon as possible. I guess it’s kind of a tradition. From then on, the rest of the night was dedicated to taking pictures, hopping in the photo booth, and dancing. When it was time to leave, we didn’t want the night to end. So my friends and I went out for late night pizza, came back to the apartment and watched a movie.
This formal, like all the others, gave me an amazing memory. With just 40 days left until graduation (Oh my gosh!), I’m hoarding all the memories I can. And if the last 4 years have been any indication, the next 40 days are going to be amazing.
For a detailed look at what I wore to formal, check out this post.
I’m officially on spring break, my last of my school career. With the week coming up, I have some fun things planned. That’s beside trying to get ahead in work and resting up from the first two months of this semester.
This spring break, it’ll be my grandpa’s 75th birthday! We’re planning a surprise (shhh!) birthday dinner for him. It’ll be my mom, my grandma, my uncle and aunt, and my cousins. I’m so excited for us to get dressed up and go out to dinner together; going out with my whole family is a blast. Putting us all together always results in laughs and jokes and stories from gatherings past. I’ve really missed all of them while I was away.
I’ll also be starting a new book. I’m in a program called Your Novel Year, which is run through Arizona State University. Our first session just finished up last week (I’m planning on writing about my thoughts and experiences so stay tuned). In the next session, which begins soon, we’re focusing on writing and workshopping. I’m excited to get back to writing on a regular schedule, shooting for 250 words a day.
Towards the end of the week, I’m hoping to go to New York City for a few days for a short vacation and to visit a friend of my mom’s. I’ve been scouting restaurants and bakeries I want to try for weeks now, including a place that has giant mozzarella sticks and another that has artisan milkshakes. I’m a sucker for photogenic food.
My last, and biggest, plan for spring break is the most exciting. This week, I’ll be meeting with an editor to discuss my book. She had read some of my work back in August and really liked the little she had read. One of her comments was that she couldn’t believe that I was only twenty-years-old. I’m really excited to meet with her and get some more in-depth feedback on my work and a plan for publishing. Hopefully, this will be a stepping stone and lead to some post-graduation plans.
This may be my last spring break, but it’s already shaping up to be a good one. I hope everyone else that’s also on spring break, or will be soon, has a happy and safe one!
It’s hard to believe that I’m in the home stretch of my college experience. While I’m excited for this new post-grad part of my life, it’s hard to believe that I’ll be leaving this school in just a few short months. I’ve made some amazing friend and even more amazing memories. This night will definitely be one of those memories.
This night was not about being upset because college is almost over. It wasn’t even about being excited it was almost over. This night was about celebrating the last four years, our friendships, our memories, and everything we have left to do.
This night was full of laughs and trying to get the balloons to cooperate for pictures. We walked downtown in a gaggle of laughs. We went to a bar, danced, and took one too many Snapchats. We ended the night with at one of our favorite dives, eating burgers, french fries, and nachos.
I’m excited for 100 more days of memories and the every single one that will occur after that. I have a feeling these next 100 days will be the best days yet.