Sinking In

I’ve officially been a college graduate for two weeks now, and the whirlwind that was May is coming to a close. After all the flights, catching up with family, and one quick walk across the stage, it’s starting to sink in. I completed my undergraduate degrees! It’s a cause for celebration. It’s an accomplishment, yes, and an accomplishment I’m proud of- I was never the best student but always hovered around average or slightly above average.

I get that this is a happy time in my life…but does anyone else feel a small loss of identity? I’ve been a student since I was 5 years old. I’ve been pursuing (modest) educational pursuits for as long as I can remember, and now I’m a real person and I’m not quite sure what that means. I had to put “occupation” on a form the day after graduation, and I was completely at a loss.

I’m not a different person than who I was before I walked the stage, but it almost feels like I am. I’m unsure of how to fill my time without homework or studying, which admittedly I would experience every summer, but this is a forever kinda summer in my mind, pending potential graduate schools! I feel like my life is way more up to me. How I want to spend my time, how to fill my hours with things that I find fulfilling or productive. I’m feeling like I need to find a new “thing” now that school is out, like finally taking the leap and signing up for a mud run/obstacle course race or attempting a yoga challenge. I could take a cooking class or try CrossFit or run a marathon (lol) (can you tell I like to work out and eat). I feel like I have to DO something or create something or be something more than what I’ve been. It’s like a post-accomplishment lull, shrugging my shoulders and looking around, asking everyone who walks by “what now?”

This is getting depressing- that was not my intention! It’s more like a positive mindset: what can I tackle next? What is my life going to look like a year from now or three years or ten years from now? As sad as graduating college was, isn’t the prospect of doing anything you really want to exciting?!

Maybe I’m the idealistic graduate who is about to get punched in the face by the “real world” or maybe I’m the pessimist who feels identity loss, or maybe I’m both: the graduate that recognizes that graduating and joining the working world doesn’t make the past five years any less “real” than the world I’m entering now.

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Senior Nationals Recap!

So about two three weeks ago I had the opportunity to finish out my season in Victoria, BC, at the Canadian Summer Senior National Championships! I was competing in both the 1m and 3m springboard events, having retired from Platform diving with the end of my collegiate career, but not ready to be done with the sport completely.

This meet was a new experience for me. My training cycle in the weeks leading up the meet, quite honestly, sucked. We weren’t having Saturday practices, I was working a lot (i.e. missing practice times) and we had quite a few cancelled practices for a variety of reasons! After Spring Break I had my final set of x-rays and while I had permission to jump and run, and wasn’t even diving with any more tape on my foot, I felt out of shape, and sluggish, and slow. I didn’t feel like I could jump high or spin fast or be prepared for a Senior National meet. I was borderline panicking- in a constant state of anxiety about this impending competition. Frankly, I didn’t want to embarrass myself.

And while we’re being honest here: I wasn’t wrong. I was NOT prepared for a Senior National meet, and things finally came to head about a week before I left. I sat down with my coach and we talked it through- every cold hard fact and every bit of pressure I had been beating myself up about. We ended up clarifying three goals to focus on in order to end my season on a positive note:

  1. Celebrate the fact that I am healthy- that I am no longer injured, that I can dive on two feet, and that I’m not in pain anymore.
  2. Celebrate my family being there, and the city of Victoria. Victoria is so pretty, and my mother and sister being able to come out for the weekend was so great for Mother’s Day.
  3. Enjoy the atmosphere. Take it all in. Say hi to your friends and enjoy the facility and have FUN during the competition.

My final practices in Iowa were MUCH more enjoyable and I jumped on over to Victoria (where I was 13 HOURS late- rants about my horrible flight karma in the works). After the disastrous travel day however, two days of competitions came and went and I ended up having a great time. Nerves got to me a little during the 3m event and I ended 18th, missing my marks a little more than I had hoped. Despite being somewhat “off” during the event I actually ENJOYED the competitive experience, which is always a bonus! The 1m event the next day was just as fun, where I finished 14th with only one miss compared to the day before.

This meet itself was a testament not to my preparedness or my ability as an athlete, but showed a shift in my outcome expectations. I’m a competitive person- I always want to do well regardless of the circumstances! What I’ve learned over the past year though, is sometimes the circumstances win. Sometimes all you can do is make the best of it, and I surprised even myself getting through the whole week with a smile on my face.

Now my summer plans include taking some much needed time off, getting into work and my internship, and getting to build up my fitness levels again! I can’t wait to be lifting weights and going for runs and finally getting to be SORE!

Weekend Whirlwind

Hot damn I haven’t blogged since May 3rd (my bad). This month is over halfway finished and it has been a whirlwind, both literally and emotionally. This month alone I:

  • Have 15 different flights for four different trips
  • Finished my season on TWO feet at Canadian Senior Nationals (recap to come)
  • Submitted my final paper and wrote my FINAL final exam
  • Graduated college with two degrees (recap to come)
  • Said goodbye/see you later to my two best friends (I probably won’t write about that)

After a disastrous travel day out to West Coast to compete, the rest of the month is passing by in chunks- four days in Victoria, two days in Calgary, five days in Iowa, four days in Calgary, and four days in Denver, before spending the last weekend in May preparing for my internship starting June 1! I’ve been a whole number of things these past few weeks, including proud of my season and my graduation, thankful beyond measure my family could be there for those moments, and heartbroken saying goodbye to my best friends. It’s been the strangest and strongest combination of good and bad emotions, all echoing change and times of transition.

I’ll be playing catch up over the next two weeks or so, not only to recap the travel and the milestones but to work my way through the emotions of being a recent college graduate! I am no longer a Senior, or a Super Senior, of my college. I am an University of Iowa Alum, which is a title I will always carry with pride.

Graduation

Wishing everyone a happy Spring and I can’t wait to update you all!

Confessions of My Last College Weekend

Outside of graduation weekend, this was my last weekend as a college student. Point blank, there’s just not that many nights of college left. I feel the pull of the real world and the pull of those wild and crazy college nights…and I just can’t make myself WANT to go out.

I’ve been there- I’ve pulled the all-nighters and the memories that will last a lifetime. The hilarious and insane stories, ones that I hope I will remember for years and years to come (Doubt me? Hah. Iowa has been a Top 3 party-school including No. 1 in the years I’ve lived here). But now? I just can’t do it. I’m not interested in the pre-gaming, the effort of getting ready and getting drunk and going downtown and trying to figure out how I’m getting home later. I’m not judging anyone who goes out either! Like I said, I’ve been gung-ho about it before, but now it just feels like a past-time I’ve grown out of.

And you know what? The FOMO (#FearOfMissingOut) is SO real. It’s like I want to WANT to go out (hope ya’ll followed that) but I’m just not interested. I know I’m missing out on some awesome times. Thirsty Thursday, F.A.C., any rowdy Saturday. I hear the stories and the people my friends run in to, feeling a small pang of regret I wasn’t there. So the next night I force myself to get together, take a a couple shots, and join my friends whatever bar the current spot may be, and spend the whole night yawning and making sure everyone’s having a good time.

I don’t feel like spending $5 a drink, and having to consume a boatload of extra calories just to feel a little tipsy. I’m grumpy if it’s cold out. I hate how I feel the next morning. I’m get annoyed when people fight. I’m not interested in getting hit on by strangers. It’s just not for me anymore.

Have I gotten some crap from my friends? Absolutely. And I know they mean well, they want me to go out and have a good time and join them- and I do too! But I know that they’re hoping I’ll just let go. Get drunk. Be that out-there, extroverted, who-cares-kind-of-attitude girl that I just can’t will myself to be anymore.

My last college weekend, I put on makeup and a maxi skirt and went out for sushi. I joined my friends at the pre-game, drank some water, and then drove them downtown which they really appreciated. And then I went home, mostly happy, with a small part wishing I wanted to join them for whatever they would get up to that night. 

My last college weekend was tame, and it didn’t involve hangovers or any over the top outfit I’ve worn in the past. Do I want to go out to celebrate birthdays, and alumni weekends, and the works? Yes. Do I ever feel the need anymore to go downtown just for the sake of getting drunk and going downtown…? No. I really don’t. I don’t know what shifted or what changed over the past couple years, but my interests in regards to college weekends has defiantly transitioned.

I’ve only said it about 100000 times, but college has been the time of my life (I know I know I’ll stop I’m sorry). And I choose to not go out with a bang. I feel like I’ve had my fun, I’ve had my time. I’m ready to just enjoy a glass of wine or two (or three) as opposed to the bottle. I like how productive I can be Saturday and Sunday mornings. I like saving money, feeling better, feeling less tired. The past few weekends we’ve gone out for Senior Night and banquets and formals I have DRAGGED my butt through the week. I like feeling upbeat on a Monday morning instead of exhausted. I like catching up on sleep and work and prepping for the week ahead (I used to be the type who didn’t get hangover’s- LOL and then you become a college senior and it’s like you got hit by a truck).

I’m more than okay with not being the life of the party. The fear of me missing “the best night EVER” is still very real, and that’s a risk I’m willing to take. I am more than satisfied with my morning cup of coffee, often in bed, scrolling through social media, as opposed to reaching for a bottle of ginger ale and Advil. “So, to summarize, are you confessing to be kind of ‘lame’ your last weekend of college?” Well, err, yeah. I guess. My b.

Again, this post is not to judge or condone partying or drinking. Heck I even said I would want to more! This is just my personal opinion on where I am at in my life right now.