Oh! The places you’ll go!

So I’m graduating college in three days.

Actually, can you excuse me for a second? My brain keeps doing this stupid thing. If you’re up for a little peek inside my head right now, join me in the following parentheses. If not, skip ahead like nothing happened.

(AAAAAAAA! THE FUTURE! IT’S HERE! I’M IN TROUBLE! AAAAAAAAA! Ok. I think that was all I needed. Let’s do this.)

I have to finish a two-month internship over the summer, so I’m technically not DONE done, but it feels pretty graduation-y since I’ve finished my last undergrad class and I won’t be back next fall. My classmates and I have spent the last eight months worrying about this moment, with varying degrees of intensity. Last semester, we all joked about how we weren’t sure what we’d do after graduation but stepping into oncoming traffic was looking better and better ha ha. This semester, it’s not unusual to catch yourself thinking half-seriously about how quickly you can get to the nearest busy intersection.

At some point, though, it became too much work to worry about the future. I figure as long as I feel self-actualized and I don’t end up starving to death or sleeping on the streets under a copy of one of those “funny” newsletters bad breakfast diners keep on the tables, I’ll be alright. (I apologize if you write for one of those newsletters, but if you have to sleep under a paper, you probably don’t have time to giggle over why glue doesn’t stick to the inside of the bottle or why doctors call their businesses “practices”. I imagine you spend more time worrying about things like how to find food and avoid the pigeon-iest benches.) The point is, I’m not feeling anxious anymore. In fact, I’m kind of looking forward to graduation. I’m even experiencing something like… happiness.


All of the sudden, however, everyone around me is kind of sad. I’m leaving behind a lot of nouns, and I love each and every one of those people, places, and things. I could write a really long list about the things I’ll miss about college, but I see it getting maudlin quickly, so instead I’m going to take an optimistic route and write about all the things I hate. That’s definitely how glass-half-full people work, right?

Things I Will Not Miss About College

1) Dating film majors, or people who want to be film majors, or people who aren’t film majors but who say things like “Man, I really should have been a film major”

I do not know why I attract/am attracted to these people. I only know that when they say “film” instead of “movie”, I roll my eyes, and this means they’re stuck in an endless eye-rolling loop during every conversation.

2) Scantrons

I won’t miss buying them, bubbling them in, or freaking out because the last six answers were all in the “C” column and there’s no way that can be right.

3) Trying to go to school AND do well at work AND have a personal life

I’m ok at school. I’m pretty good at work. I’m really, really bad at having or maintaining a personal life. There’s a chance I always will be, but I’m fervently hoping I’m spreading myself too thin and things will improve when I don’t have to take 30,000 pictures every week for my photojournalism class.

4) Photojournalism class.

See above re: 30,000 pictures per week. (It’s only kind of an exaggeration.)

Photo 12,835: I don’t even know anymore.

5) Dorm room decor

There are a lot of parts of my room I like, including my pirate flag and my Darth Vader voice changer, but there are also things I put on my walls because I felt obligated to fill white space. There’s a strand of Christmas lights around my ceiling that have been broken since October, and a badly-Photoshopped poster featuring Ke$ha in her underwear behind my door. I don’t even like Ke$ha. I don’t know how college graduates decorate their rooms, but I have to assume their Christmas lights work and they like the pop stars on their posters.

6) Keeping fish as pets

I’ve pet-sat many a fish in the last four years, and I’ve hated them all. They have attitude problems, they’re super boring, and they die faster than a cheap Valentine’s day bouquet. Sometimes they play mind games with you, like holding still, upside down,  for funsies. As far as I’m concerned, if you can’t pet it, it’s not a pet. Why would you even want to hang out with something that indifferent to your existence? Some dogs, cats, and even birds (which descended from dinosaurs!) will call 911 if you’re injured. Fish, which do not have dinosaur ancestors, will leave you to die without a second glance.

Have you ever seen a fish try to dial a phone? It’s ridiculous.

7) Acoustic guitar guys

I hate you, acoustic guitar guys. I hate you so much. I hate it when you bring your guitar to parties. I hate it when you sit outside the building I live in and play Coldplay songs to attract girls. I hate it when playing Coldplay songs to attract girls actually works, because it reinforces your behavior. I’m all for artistic expression, and there are a few professional acoustic guitar guys at whom even I would throw my underwear (Looking at you, Tom Petty. Don’t judge.), but we have to compromise. If you’ll find somewhere else to practice being a chick magnet, I’ll stop telling girls you have communicable diseases. See? We all win!

It’s been real, college, and it’s been fun. Parts have even been real fun. So much of you was nice, in fact, I’m a little bit worried I’m going to tear up at the end, and we all know how that ends. I’ll have to develop an anti-tear mantra. On Saturday morning, I’m going to be the girl in the cap and gown muttering, “Scantrons, fish, acoustic guitars…” while I smile and shake the school president’s hand. Nothing weird about that.


  1. ashleypatterson21

    I remember the 6 months after I finished college were the most depressing, I missed my friends of all things, most of us got separated by different countries.. And the fact that I was unemployed for 6 months after college :P while rest of my friends had all gotten themselves a job.. your gonna miss your college days soooo bad, my sincere condolences :(

  2. armchairauthor

    During college I developed two dating rules: No Poli Sci majors (they lie constantly) and no Computer Engineers (no concept of human emotion). Computer Science majors were a-ok, though! Congratulations on graduating, enjoy the bizarre ritual.

  3. Danielle

    I definitely don’t miss scantrons, either. I completely agree about freaking out about having too many of the same letter in a row!

    I graduated 4 years ago this month and let me tell you, I cannot believe how quickly the time has gone by. Towards the end of my senior year, I was ready to graduate, have a real job where I made decent money, and all that. But I’ll be honest with you, there have been more than a few times over the past 4 years where I wished I was back in school, things were simpler then. But I love my life and what I’m doing and so I’m happy. College was a great time for me and I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. But (and don’t tell anyone I said this) sometimes I enjoy being a grown-up!

  4. gojulesgo

    Congratulations!! I think it is incredibly optimistic to forego the ‘noun’ list for the ‘things you won’t miss’ list. Your film major guy is my acoustic guitar guy. I can’t help it. (Oh and you’re so right. It’s a MOVIE. C’mon.)

    P.S. – I really want to try that Darth Vader voice changer. Let me know if you’re ever in the NYC area. LOL

  5. Dana

    Oh, Scantrons! I had blissfully forgotten about their existence, and now that bitter taste is back in my mouth. Thank you for that timely reminder– I must have needed a good kick in the ass today. ;)

    Congratulations on graduating! You could always do what I did in the face of future panic and re-enroll for a Masters degree. Or not. (Actually, that was a poor way to deal with panic. Masters programs only breed more panic and stress.)

  6. cristycarringtonlewis

    Congratulations. This is a life-altering event. You no longer have to live with anyone and force yourself to get along with them because they might smother you in your sleep if you piss them off. That said, if you can’t find a job, you might have to move back home – and while you may have your own room – you’ll also have a parental unit commenting on how late you came in the night before and the smell of smoke on the clothes you wore to that cool new pub that just opened. Worse, should you do the walk of shame and stroll in with smeared mascara the next morning, the parental unit might really freak you out and ask if you used a condom or what your intentions are for this relationship. In light of all of this, I suggest you consider Grad School. Prolong reality for as long as possible. When you’ve ended up with a terminal degree, give me a call and walk you through all the steps necessary to defer paying back your school loans for as long as possible. Erm, I totally made that last part up. That’s not something I would do…or have done. Truly.

  7. Deanna

    I don’t think any of us can win when it comes to boys and university. I dated a guy who was neither a film major nor talented with guitar in hand. I overlooked these strikes against him due to his overall devotion to me, which quickly turned into stalker-like devotion when we broke up. Creepy. If you’ve escaped this little situation, I’d say THAT is something to celebrate, your degree notwithstanding. Onward ho!

  8. Jordan Campbell

    Congrats on your degree!
    One day… You’ll look back at this and think; Why didn’t I like the acoustic guitar guy? The electric guitar guys are nearly all wankers with amps and overinflated egos.

    I don’t like fish either, unless it’s for dinner.

  9. Chris Biscuits

    Wonderful stuff; I’m with you on the acoustic guitar guys; wandering around, continuously tuning up, every one of their songs about how no-one gets how artistic and sensitive they are. It’s amazing how just how many inter-changable misunderstood individuals there are… Sorry, rant over.

    I respectfully disagree about the film/movie thing, but only on cultural grounds – as a Brit, it sounds so garish to hear someone say ‘movie’. Ugh.

    Excellent post, though!

  10. Minh-Anh

    I’m in college… (Eh, kinda. I’ve spent the past year on a college campus, but I’m entering as a freshman this fall.)

    I have not yet met a film major. (There are too many medical-people / Computer Science people. Not that that’s a bad thing. But still.)

    I kind of don’t have a personal life :P I sit in front of my computer and Facebook / WordPress / email all day. does that count?

    Oh, and I also love Coldplay. (LOVE. Like, know-all-of-their-single-and-even-other-ones-by-heart love.) But not people who use Coldplay songs to become chick magnets.

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