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. 

Advertisements

The First Time I Said…

I’ve been emotional, and reminiscent, and very much on the fence when it comes to my looming college graduation. Several times A hundred times I’ve mentioned how these last five years have been the greatest of my entire life, and that remains true. That will never NOT be true.

College Graduation

With that being said, a sentence I never expected slipped out of my brain and off the tip of my tongue yesterday. The sentiment I never truly felt until now snuck it’s way in there and I stumbled over the words, but out it came:

“I’m actually excited for graduating college.”

WHO KNEW?!? I didn’t. I half expected to be reminiscent and emotional for the rest of my life.

I’m actually looking forward to the end of academic career (for now- no one ever really rules out grad school). Why? What compelled me to believe that I’m actually ready for that whole real world thing?? Well, I’m bored. I’m annoyed with writing papers that require three different types of citations because it’s whatever the professor preferences. I’m bored of notecards, even if the content in interesting. I have my systems of note taking and studying and procrastinating, and nothing is going to change in the last six weeks of school after 17 years of education. I might actually be READY to take on the real world, not just dream about it (whether those dreams were ambitious, romanticized viewpoints or nightmares). I’m seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, and I’m starting to feel proud of earning two undergraduate degrees. I can quite literally make a list of the papers and tests I have left! Graduation might be looming, but I’m shying away from it anymore.

I’m excited to get a big girl job. I’m excited to have hobbies (and expand on current ones- like this blog, and cooking!). I’m excited to not have to plan my year around semesters and I’m excited for everything I don’t know yet. I can physically feel my anxiety lessening as the reality sinks in that we actually made it- we’re graduating and getting on with our lives.

And I’m not going to lie, this post was inspired by a strange weekend. My Easter weekend involved a game night with friends, work, studying, and a long walk Easter Sunday to take advantage of the beautiful day. Meanwhile, my three best friends: 1. Got nominated to teach abroad, 2. Got a major scholarship offer to grad school, and 3. Got engaged. Their successes made me unbelievable happy, and proud, and gave me hope that even though these five years have been amazing there is still so much to look forward to. There is still so much to do and so much to see and so many goals to set still.

I said it last night and I’ll say it again: I’m actually looking forward to graduating. I am as ready as I’m going to be for whatever comes next, and I am allowing myself to feel excitement over that.

What was the best, scariest, most unexpected thing that happened to you post grad?

The Unanticipated Comeback

This is the blog post I never thought I would write and the story I never thought I would tell. I’ve kept this blog pretty up-to-date in terms of how my season has been going- all the highs and the lows. Never in a million years did I expect to have to write an update like this.

Friday morning at practice, walking around the pool deck (from the hot tub to the 1 meters specifically), I slipped and rolled my foot. Everyone’s done it, rolled a little and flinched and kept walking. I didn’t even fall. But crap did that sting. And it kept stinging. And when I tried to do an hurdle, I couldn’t put weight on it. I tried to walk it off, before admitting defeat and terror walking into to see our athletic trainer. He looked at the marble sized bump that popped up on the side of my foot and told me to get dressed I was getting x-rays.

12 days before the Big Ten Championships, I had broken my foot. Right at the top of the fifth metatarsal.

I spent the rest of the day (after getting back from the sports med clinic) at the pool- icing, with my foot up, limping around cheering on our team at the last dual meet of the season which would have been the last dual meet of my college career. The rest of my weekend has been spent either in the athletic training room or on my couch- icing every two hours and doing research.

My coach and I talked briefly Friday when I came back from the x-rays, and we don’t know what is going to happen. The injury is day-by-day at this point. The number one things I can do right now is stay positive, ridiculously positive, and hope for the best. He told me to let it out- the pain, the frustration, and the anger, but not to despair. Now is not the time to despair. Have your hissy fit, hate the world, cry it out. But come in tomorrow, the athlete and the Lauren I know, and never ever ever give up. 

48 hours after breaking my foot I signed up for Big Tens, my full list, on all three boards. The goal this year was not only to make Big Ten Finals (which I talked about here), but to give it all I got. My coach thought I chance at winning. And now, despite all the positivity in the world, I will not get that chance. While I do plan on diving, I will not be 100% when I step on the board and that sucks. I might have to do a whole list standing. I might not be able to point my foot, or take off, or jump. After coming 9th back to back to back, I spent two years training for this meet. I red shirted for this meet. I was ready, dailed in, and feeling so good.

I will not get the chance to give this meet everything I have. That is a fact. The bone will not heal in less than two weeks. With that being said, that does not mean I am not going to try. My college career is not over. Even after Big Ten’s, NCAA Zones are three weeks later and I will still be giving it my all to qualify for the NCAA National Championships. I didn’t train for five years to be defined by this. This is not how things were supposed to end. And holy shit I am bound and determined that this is not the end of my season. I am not done.

I am disappointed, and furious, and not letting those two emotions take over has been the struggle of a lifetime. Despite the doctors and the X-rays and colors of my foot. I am not done.

In an effort to compile all the research I’ve done, I’ll be posting pretty regularly this week. Happy thoughts and positive vibes are much appreciated, as well as any tips and tricks for healing. Choose positivity today, and appreciate all the walking around you do!

BIANNUAL NOTICE

My twice yearly blog blurb stating I’M SORRY I KEEP MEANING TO BLOG BUT THEN OUR BIG FALL MEET HAPPENED AND NOW IT’S FINALS AND PAPERS AND I HAVE THREE FINALS IN TWO DAYS AND A PAPER TO STILL WRITE SO I’M SORRY I’LL BE BACK NEXT WEEK OKAY!

If I had more time I’d find a nice gif or photo illustrating my emotions over finals, but it’s back to the study grind for me so you’ll just have to base my mood off of the use of all capital letters. And you’re not even getting a selfie because I just wrote a paper in my pajamas. Okay byeeee happy studying!!

That One Time I Wanted to Go to Law School and Other Changes

I’ve had a lot of plans over the years. Like, too many to count. I’ve got all kinds of life plans, and academic plans, career goals, and milestones that I want to reach but who knows what will actually happen. If I have learned anything from 4+ years of college, is that everything that I thought would happen most likely did not, and all for very good reasons. That’s the funny thing about a change in plans- rarely was it for the worst.

I’ve had various apartments and classes and majors and dreams, and they’ve all morphed into the life I live now and how I want my future to look like. And something I’ve learned over the past six months alone is that that is COMPLETELY okay. Life is allowed to be fluid and ever changing and I’m not done growing and my plans will probably change; whether I anticipate the change or not.

There was a time in my life that I wanted to be a writer. I became a blogger instead (and who know could still become a writer). Then I wanted to be a high school English teacher because I loved that class so much.

I entered college knowing that I did not want to go into education- too much patience that I frankly just don’t have. I became a freshman with a pre-Journalism major, anticipating to enter one of the best journalism schools in the country at Iowa.

Yeah that didn’t happen. I didn’t even apply for it.

After taking one single sport studies class the fall of my freshman year, I was hooked. I never loved reporting, there was nothing creative about it (unless you wanted to be a really bad reporter). I didn’t want to just cover the sports news- I wanted to create it. So I switched to my first double major, journalism and sport studies.

Low and behold one year later when Iowa starts my Recreation and Sports Management program, and I march right into my advisors office to switch to it without it even being declared an official major yet. I had fallen in love. I had found my place. I got to take facility management and design classes, I’m currently in a liability class, I got to study management and promotions and business practices and it was all focused around sport. The best part? Picking Sport and Diversity as my focus area, and being able to take classes in sociology, communication, sports psychology, and ethics.

While trucking along having found my place program I was encouraged by a professor to pursue law school, or at least to consider it. And consider it I did- for a few weeks all I could research was law schools and the LSAT and how to get in, and when it came time to choose a second major (in order to fill up my five years) I went with Ethics and Public Policy as I got to explore even more sociology, ethics, economics, policy analysis, and political science.

Yeah, I’m not looking at law school anymore.

BUT I still love my two choices of degrees- wanting to pursue amateur sports administration fit perfectly with studying sport management and public policy. And I’m pursuing what is just the right fit for me- just enough reading and writing to keep me going, just enough quantitative data to keep me on my toes, and plenty of passionate people in my programs.

I would say this is the plot twist, or the news flash, but lets be real. Is it a surprise to ANYONE that I don’t know what I’m doing after college? I could very well pursue a Masters, or a MBA, or a JD, put will I want to? Will I need to? When do I have to decide…?

The future is weird. It’s like some big dark cloud that I’m hurtling towards, and I keep thinking I’m prepared for it, but I have no idea what’s past that cloud. I do not know where I will end up or what I will pursue besides just what industry I want to pursue and generally where I want to be geographically.

Like how can the girl who changed her major a dozen times be ready for whatever happens next? This has to be the part of the story where I blindly trust the work and experiences I have put in and jump- and hope that something happens to nab me on the way down.

This late night rant has been brought to you by helping my best friend apply for grad school. What have you guys done when approaching a big gray cloud labelled with “Your Life”?

Preparing for the Spring 2014 Semester

  • Bought all my books. Cried a little
  • Read a little of the interviews with serial killers book
  • Didn’t sleep for two days
  • Separated all of my notes from last semester into two piles- “save for future reference” and “burn”
  • Tried to sell my books from last semester. Cried again
  • Attempted to track down every black pen that still works in my apartment. Located four. Threw out three dozen..
  • Read my syllabus’s and wrote down all the exams till spring break
  • Cringed when I saw my microeconomics exam directly after spring break
  • Bought cold packs so I can pack lunches (like a child) (no shame)
  • Wrote down all the meals I need to pack during the week (9 packed versus 6 at home if anyone cares)
  • Renewed blogging as procrastination instead of going to Walmart for new notebooks