Tag Archives: graduation

one month to go.

13 May

I’m feeling good today, which has been really nice. I’ve been in a rut for the last week, feeling depressed about life while also feeling excruciatingly lonely, so I’m happy that today has been a good one.

I think there’s a whole combination of reasons for my positive outlook on today. For starters, I got to write some articles for BP this afternoon. It’s been a while since I’ve been asked to write for them, and there is no greater feeling on this planet than getting paid for your words. Then this morning I went for a run and listened to I Am America, which was just an amazing way to kick start the day. I also found out Nick is coming to town this weekend, which just fills my heart with glee. To top it all off, the weather is just beautiful (and not sweltering hot like the last couple days), and good weather always puts me in a good mood.

I realized today that I’ve begun to slowly come to terms with The End. The end of school; the end of my time in Ashland. It’s a rather bittersweet feeling. I’ve wanted out of this town for a while (since my junior year, really), but now that the end is in sight I’m sad to leave it all behind. I’ve been reflecting on my definition of “home” recently and have come to realize that, in almost two months, I’m not going to have a home for an entire year. That both scares and invigorates me. Ashland’s been my home for so long; so much so that Portland doesn’t quite feel like home to me anymore.

Anyway, I’ve got about a month left before I leave Ashland. In that time I’d like to revisit my favorite restaurants/bars/coffee shops, say goodbye to all my friends, walk all of Lithia Park one last time, hang out at Emigrant Lake, perform in the Rogue Valley Poetry Slam for my third (and final) time, and perhaps see My Fair Lady or King Lear at OSF.

It’s funny. When I close my eyes I can see my dorm room back when I was a wee freshman; Amanda sitting on her bed in the corner sketching while I watch CSI over at my desk across the room. Things were so different back then. I was so different back then. I was still a kid. I didn’t know anything about the world. And now… well, okay, I still don’t know much about the world, but I know so much more now than when I was a frosh. A part of me feels like I’m just a giant kid wrapped up inside an adult’s body, and I think I’m always going to feel that way, but I can also recognize how mature I’ve become. Nowadays I love cleaning, budgeting my paychecks, grocery shopping, cooking/baking, running/exercising, drinking, writing poetry, and having a job. I literally despised all of those things I just listed when I was eighteen.

The gap between an eighteen year old and a twenty-two (going on twenty-three) year old doesn’t seem like much, but holy hell, it really is a lot. You just deal with so much in that time frame. You try new things. You learn new things. You learn who you are and how you perceive the world around you. That’s one reason why I’d argue the importance of going to college; not so much for the degree and all the student loans you’re guaranteed to wrack up, but because of the people you meet and the interactions you partake in and the experiences you garner. Would I have turned out differently if my neighbor back in the dorms hadn’t slowly transformed into a transwoman before my eyes? If I didn’t gain friends who outwardly enjoy sex, weed, and alcohol? If I hadn’t dealt with friends coming out, friends expressing suicidal thoughts, and friends who went through pregnancy scares and abortions? Would I be the same sheltered girl that I was when I was eighteen, so wide eyed and naive to the ways of the world?

Probably.

This wasn’t meant to be a rant. This was supposed to be a quick update on how I’ve been having a good day, but then I got… nostalgic? I guess I’m just grateful. Despite wishing I had chosen a different college many times throughout my education, if I had to go back I wouldn’t have chosen differently. I’m sure I would’ve had a great time at other schools as well – and probably gotten more for my money – but I wouldn’t trade in the friendships, experiences, and memories I made at SOU for anything in the world.

One more month to go.

Let’s try to make the most out of it.

September, 2008

 

May, 2013

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amazing twenty-four hours.

17 Apr

These last two weeks haven’t exactly gone according to plan.

I went into this term expecting the best. I’m only really taking three classes, which is the lightest coarse load I’ve taken in my entire college career. With an easy term ahead of me and New Zealand not too off down the road, I started this term with the highest of hopes. Spring terms, in the past, have tended to be quite sucky for me, so I was hoping I could break that streak on my fifth and final time.

Then, two days into this spring term, I started feeling bad. Shortness of breath, tingling, pangs of pain, chest pain, feeling lightheaded, etc. When I realized one night my left arm was completely numb I broke down crying because I thought I was having a stroke. Three days later I was in the hospital, prepared for the worst, and the doctor diagnosed me with anxiety. While there are far worse things I could’ve been diagnosed with, I was pretty bummed. So much for my easy term.

The last week and a half has been a trial, though I like to think I’m winning thus far. I realize I haven’t addressed most of these issues with friends as of late, except for the vague Facebook status on occasion (“Feeling great today!” or “I hate this”), but rest assured, things have slowly been getting better. I was, for a while, feeling kind of depressed over the whole thing, but that time has seemed to pass. Right now I feel, for the most part, back to my old self. I’m still having trouble sleeping at night, but even that’s gotten better. I’ve also gone and seen a counselor, and we talked about how my body might’ve had a lot of misplaced stress since I’m not taking as heavy of a coarse load as it’s used to (or, as Nick so graciously put it, I’m anxious about not being anxious (isn’t that just plain dumb?)). There’s also the chance that I might’ve had a pinched nerve that coincided with all of this, and I went to get a massage last week and, man, that has done wonders for me already.

But enough about why this term’s been crummy so far. Let me tell you about the last twenty-four hours.

Last night I went and competed in my second ever poetry slam. The first one I competed in was last month, and I walked away with second place, $30, and a gift certificate to Northwest Pizza. After round one last night I was sure I wasn’t going to place in the top three. I flubbed my first poem a bit and, if I had gotten any lower, wouldn’t have made it into round two. However, my next two poems were really well receive and, by the end of the night, I placed first. I was floored. I waked away with $105 in my pocket, a $25 gift certificate for pizza, and a $20 to Bloomsbury Books. I wanted to cry. I’m not used to winning anything really, so the fact that my poetry was so well received… gah, it’s just astounding to me. It’s amazing to know that people like my words.

Skip to this morning. I got to sleep in, then laze about watching TV for a while. After that, I took off downtown, and was thrilled to find out my financial aid had, indeed, gone through. Looks like someone can afford rent at the end of this month after all!

Not to mention that the weather today is so nice. Today’s one of the first where I’ve actually been able to don a dress. It’s been a good long while since I’ve felt good about myself appearance-wise, but today was one of those days. Plus, as I was walking through downtown, I realized that I wasn’t having to focus on my breathing like I have been all these last two weeks. I guess I really am getting better, and that’s wonderful beyond words.

Next, I hit up the Graduation Fair at my college. As I was making my way to the Fair, my New Zealand playlist (yes, I made a New Zealand playlist, shut up) shuffled to the song “I’m Waiting For My Real Life to Begin”, which was just utterly perfect and summed up how I’ve been feeling about graduating. I got my graduation announcements, my two tassels, and my stole. Then I headed off to the art building, and I was ecstatic to find that the art lab was open and I wrapped up this week’s photography project in under twenty minutes.

Finally, I headed to go meet with my Capstone adviser for Creative Writing (ie. Craig). I was really hesitant about going, and to bribe myself I bought the most delicious panini that I’ve ever tasted (because there is no greater incentive than food). I was hesitant because I hadn’t talked to Craig all of last term about my short story, so I had no idea how he felt about it. It’s a story I’ve been working on for over three years now, and it’s been so long that I’ve sort of lost perspective on it. I went into the meeting telling myself that he was probably going to have a lot of harsh critique, and if I ever wanted to be a professional writer I’d have to suck it up and take whatever he gave me. But the first thing he said to me when I took a seat in his office? “I love this story. I always have.” I was astounded. I wrote the story back in his Advanced Fiction Writing class when I was a sophomore, which was so long ago that I assumed he had forgotten all about it. He went on to give me some notes, mainly that I should cut down on some of my longer sections (since the shorter ones, he noted, pack a much greater punch) and then he had some nit picky things about grammar/spelling/word choice, which is fantastic. But he told me that my story is good overall, and that I’m great at opening sentences and transitioning between sections. It was just really nice to hear, especially when I hadn’t been expecting it.

Then I got home and found the clothes I had ordered came in the mail today. I’ve been pretty good about not throwing money around since I started saving for New Zealand (after this next paycheck I’ll officially be half way to my goal amount), but I figured I could spend a little on myself. I’ve been noticing I’ve been wearing a lot of dark colors recently, which there’s nothing wrong with, but I’ve been nostalgic for some brighter clothes. So I bought a couple of bright tops to liven up my wardrobe.

So, yeah, basically today has been the bee’s knees. I realize this quickly divulged into a diary-ish entry about “I did this” and “I did that”, but I don’t care. It was a damn good day. The best day I’ve had in a long time. I couldn’t ask for anything better.

school’s last first.

2 Apr

Well this is it, folks.

My last first day of school starts in twelve minutes.

It’s an odd feeling, knowing I’ll never return. Knowing graduation is right around the corner. Knowing there’s no denying the fact that I am an adult any longer. What’s more, it’s kind of scary. School is what I’ve come to know over years. Three month learning increments. Spring breaks. Christmas breaks. Summer breaks. Midterms. Finals. Late night cramming. Last minute project work. Doodling during lectures. Commuting to classes. Teachers rambling. All of it gone only two and a half months down the road from this very moment.

I’m not a spontaneous person, so school’s always been perfect for me. I like routine, and school is nothing if not routine. Routine is comfortable; routine is cozy. Routine is safe. It’s frightening that in seventy-four days the routine I’ve come to know will be gone forever. Yes, I have New Zealand to look forward to, and a whole future of doing whatever the hell I want. No more stupid classes that mean diddly-squat for my future. No more trying to memorize pointless facts and figures just to pass a test so my GPA will remain at its pristine 3.5 level. No more having to deal with the stupidity of certain people of my generation in classes. Yet still, it’s hard not to feel scared when you’re approaching the end of something that’s been your life for almost twenty years. I started attending preschool when I was three. I’m twenty-three now. Just thinking about my lifetime accumulating an education and how that’s soon ending makes my stomach churn. I feel as if I’ve learned all there is I need to know at this point, but it’s still frightening; the prospect of letting go.

Oh yes, there might be grad school in the future, but I’ve been a bit skeptical lately that I’ll be attending grad school. I guess it depends a few years down the line, where my writing has taken me and what it is exactly I’ll be doing with my life. Only time will tell on that front.

The point of all this is, despite the senior-itis that is bound to hit in, oh, probably the next day or two, and the joy I take in complaining about how I don’t want to be in Ashland and how I can’t wait to be in a different country, I’m going to try to enjoy these last couple months. I’m going to spend time with my friends that I know I wont see much of once I leave. I’m going to visit all my favorite restaurants and shops as often as I can. I’m going to try (though I doubt I’ll succeed) to not take my education for granted and actually appreciate my classes instead of bitching about them. I’m going to try to enjoy every moment, god willing.

The rest of my life starts in seventy-four days.

I am excited.

I am aghast.

I am terrified.

Let’s begin.

TPhoto_00031

no more.

17 Feb

I’m ready to take a four month naps.
Wake me when my senioritis is gone
and I’m being handed my diploma.

boozin’ it up.

7 Feb

This is a picture I took of myself last night; on a Wednesday night when I should’ve been studying for a test and I was by myself, no less. So, I guess this school year is slowly turning me into an alcoholic. A grumpy, ‘don’t-want-this-shit’, ‘why-the-fuck-is-it-not-graduation-time?’ alcoholic.

Fuck you too, school.

((Also, will someone please explain to me why the entry I did on Matlida: The Musical over the summer has suddenly drawn in almost 2000+ views for the last month? Why is it suddenly so fracking popular?))

anxiety taking hold.

6 Jan

Feeling particularly anxious today for some reason, and I’m not really sure why. Well, I mean, I have a couple of ideas.

  • School. My winter term of college starts tomorrow, though I’m not sure that’s what’s causing this sudden anxiety. To be honest, I’ve barely even thought about school and have to keep reminding myself not to forget I have classes to go to tomorrow. There is a possibility that, somewhere deep inside my subconscious, I’m freaking out about how I only have two more terms left to go before I’m a graduate. I’m guessing I’ll be ranting a whole lot more about this topic come the last term of school this March. I don’t know though, right now I’m mainly in the mindset of wanting to be graduated.
  • Art show. I have an art show opening in precisely three weeks and I haven’t done any work on it. Granted, all the pictures are already taken, but I’ve yet to do any work on how I want to arrange/reformat them. This is mainly because I plan on using the computers on campus to format how I’d like to print them, seeing as they all have excellent photoshop and my laptop doesn’t. Plus I plan on printing them through the school, so it can just be charged to my student account.
  • New Zealand. Remember how a few days ago I ranted a bit about my day dream of moving to New Zealand for a year? Yeah. Well. That’s most likely happening now. It’s still really early in the process and things could always change, but I have talked it out with my dad and, well, it’s most likely happening. Kathleen’s coming to New Zealand with me for the first couple months to travel, but then she’s going to head home to the states and I’m going to stay in New Zealand. Maybe try to find an apartment, get a job, write, and continue traveling. While I’m mostly excited (oh who am I kidding, I’M SO FUCKING EXCITED) about this opportunity, I’m anxious about having enough funds by the time we leave and also either finding a job over there or an online writing job. Money’s always been far too stressful for me. Then there’s the fact that I’ve never been in a place by myself before, and once Kathleen leaves, well, it’ll be a first time thing for me. Plus it means having to spend Thanksgiving and Christmas over there, which doesn’t make me anxious so much as it makes me sad. But I still want to do it, nonetheless.
  • Money. Going off of the New Zealand bullet point, I’m worried about surviving on such a tight budget for the next six months. I’m determined to stick to the budget plan I’ve laid out, in order to save enough money for my travels, but it pretty much means only using money to pay for food/rent until I graduate. I’m not saying I can’t go out sometimes with friends, but I am really going to have to watch my spending. Again, money’s always been this big ball of stress for me, so this will probably continue to make me anxious for my last two terms of school.
  • My love life. It’s officially been over a years since I was last kissed and 1.5 years since my last relationship. I know it’s stupid, but I’m kind of riding the “guess-I’m-going-to-be-alone-forever” train and don’t know how to get off of it.
  • Tumblr. I’ve gained, eh, quite a bit of Tumblr popularity recently. This is a good thing. A great thing. It fills my heart with joy. But suddenly people are looking to me for my opinions about things and telling me how much they respect me and they’re drawing fanart about the Hobbit head canons I’ve created, and, I don’t know, it’s stressing me out. I’m not trying to complain, I realize I’m lucky to have this happen, but I’m just not used to this much attention. Ugh. It’s dumb, I know. I’m sure I’ll get used to it.

So, I don’t know, it’s probably all of those things. Or maybe it’s because I had two cups of coffee in the same three hours. Ugh. Who knows.

Going out on a run to get rid of these nerves.

A wanderlust confession.

2 Jan

For the past several weeks I’ve come to the conclusion that, when I graduate college, I want to travel to New Zealand. This is nothing new. I’ve written Facebook statuses and Tumblr entries about this multiple times, even reaching out to a few people to join me in my travels. In the end, I’ve decided that, if/when I go, I’m going to go by myself. I’m in the process of saving up money for my travels right now, and I have a considerable amount stowed away already. My dad would get me the plane ticket there as a graduation gift.

As of late, however, I’ve been consumed with this daydream of packing up and moving to New Zealand for a year. I’ve already got one freelance writing job that pays me on occasion, and I find myself hoping that they’ll start paying me full time again. If this were the case, I’d be making enough money to easily live off of for an entire year. So I could go to New Zealand, write, and travel all around the country. I could rent a cheap apartment to live in, and then on weekends travel around and see the countryside. It’s a small country, after all. Maybe meet a nice Kiwi boy and have a fling at some point. Go skiing, go hiking, meet people, interact with the culture, eat plenty of good food, and learn how to live. It’d be wonderful and beautiful and I would be free.

God, that’s all I want right now. I want out of this town. I want out of this school. I want to write. I want to live. I want to be free.