So as I sat, curled up in the very back seat of an absolutely charming Greyhound Bus (…ew) with “Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy – THE REEEMIIXXXXX” ringing in my ears (why? Because I miss Jon Short, of course), I found myself wondering if my weekend retreat to Wesleyan was relevant blog content.
Let’s ignore the “duh” moment here and jump straight into the fact that a crucial part of the post-college life – at least for those who were as attached to their schools as I was – is getting over college life. So I’m going to try to stay serious here without getting sappy. But… I make no promises. I mean, come on, you’re talking to the girl who, just a few days ago, teared up at a Kay Jewelers commercial. Yeah. That happened.
This weekend had everything that Wesleyan weekends, at least for me, should have – trips to Thai Gardens and Mikado, a show at the ’92 Theater, New Group rehearsal, house parties and bad beer, 4 AM forays to the falafel cart, ridiculous antics at all hours – it feels so normal until you remember that it’s not, anymore.
Six months out, I still miss Wesleyan and the people there every day, and I know I’m not alone in that sentiment. It was home, and I think I speak for most of our recent grads when I say that being away from Wesleyan in particular makes the inherent stress of moving to a new city, job-hunting, and creating a life from scratch all that much harder.
I started this blog to talk about the process of learning how to live in the real world and learning how to be a grown-up. I’m realizing that a huge part of that process is simply learning how to not be in college anymore. Figuring out what parts of the experience to hang on to and what to let go of. For me, the hardest thing has been the fact that Wesleyan was and is home to so many people who I love an incredible amount, who love me just as much, and all of whom, until 6 months ago, were within a few short blocks away at any given time. I guess college spoils you in that way.
Of course, I have many wonderful friends in Boston, too – my roommate Caitlin and my Wes friends in the area know me inside and out (heh… we’re talking metaphorically, here) and have been an amazing support system – and there are many more awesome people that I’m getting to know better every day. But I think it’s kind of inevitable (and I’m pretty sure I speak for many, many other recent grads) that until you fully establish yourself somewhere, and until you get used to not being constantly surrounded by people who know you super well, it’s just simply going to feel a little lonely.
As for all of us establishing ourselves in the real world… well, it ain’t easy, but it’s happening. The death grip my mind had on the concept of “Wesleyan is home” is loosening ever so slightly. Once you get a job or two that you like, once you’ve begun to understand the concept of living on a salary rather than points or Middletown Cash, once you start figuring out how to meet people – finding a sports team, hanging out with coworkers, joining a… oh, I don’t know, an a cappella group or something… *cough*… things start to seem more manageable.
…But enough of this sad faced-ness! Tomorrow morning, my dear friends, is my first legit shift at Border Café… no one staring intently over my shoulder prodding me to ask the right questions or making sure I don’t give a vegetarian a cheeseburger instead of her black bean tostada (they don’t like that).
Will she remember to bring the chips and salsa? Will she spill a margarita on a poor defenseless guest?? Will she swiftly become the youngest manager in Border Café HISTORY??! Tune in next time.