at first i’m all like:
then if he interrupts me:
if he tries to touch me:
if he implies he is wealthy:
if he starts talking about his ex girlfriend:
when he buys me a drink then starts asking about my friend:
when he brings up (for the 5th time) that he’s a vegan:
if he calls me “babygirl”:
if he says I remind him of his mom:
if he makes me laugh:
Today I graduated college. I am not sure how I can feel so positive and sad about something all at the same time. During commencement, one of the speakers talked about how the school intended for our education to be transformative. I don’t think I have ever appreciated my experience more than I did as I thought back to who I was on those first couple days of school.
I grew up in about as all-American a town in Indiana as you can find, like white picket fences everywhere. For twelve years I attended conservative Lutheran schools. My family was upper middle class, religious, and Republican. I was who they wanted me to be. I came to college to be a dentist, because that was a good stable career that my parents approved of. All I really wanted to do was meet the man of my dreams and be a stay at home mom while he provided for us. Now here I am four years later, and boy how things have changed. I ended up switching my major to history, joining an interfaith club and becoming good friends with people who were neither white nor Christian, and found a job helping democrats get elected. I don’t want to get married until my late 20s and I’ll probably have kids, but I am not quitting my job for them. I learned how to think for myself these last four years thanks to my professors, but I learned the equally important lesson of how to have fun outside of the classroom from my friends. My friends introduced me to bars and alcohol. (I swear they are a positive influence!) I came into college thinking getting drunk was the stupidest thing ever. Where was the fun in a fuzzy head? But out of curiosity I tried it. I mean you have to give something a try if you are really going to judge it right? I ended up having the most memorable night of my freshman year. Then my second time, that summer, I had my first kiss while buzzed and it was just the sweetest, simplest night. Then came Halloween, the first time I got drunk, and the first time I had a real adventure and met friends I would have never otherwise encountered. A couple of months later it was how I bonded with a girl, who for a while would be one of my best friends. It was how I met M, one of the best roommates a girl could hope for. That summer studying abroad I had unforgettable night in Munich with some Swiss Germans and shot taste testing. There was also making bad decisions in English, dancing in Wrigley, owning the stage at the Hangge-Uppe, karaoke at Mother’s, meeting S and L over margaritas, Irish car bombs, dance dares, 4 A.M. McDonald’s picnics, and countless heart to hearts. Of course there were bad nights with lots of puking and guys I wished I hadn’t kissed, but I wouldn’t take a minute of it back.
School taught me about diversity, strong women, independence, balancing my checkbook, and bird sex. But alcohol taught me about having fun, letting your guard down, being comfortable in your own skin, and defining limits. The speaker was right, these last for years have provided me with an education, both inside and outside the classroom, that was transformative. I am now ready, with my friends at my side, to set this no-longer-so-scary-looking world on fire.
- 2 years ago
I’m back at the scene of my first mistake at my university. It was a dark night, I was young, and I wanted to rebel for rebellions sake. But now, four years later, a trip across the world and so much more common sense, I can look at the spot on the beach and smile. While it wasn’t my most shining moment, it defined my time here. It made me who I am today. And I guess if I saw him again, I would say thank you. I’d say thank you because this woman, standing here, with her memories, convictions, and strength is here because of what happened. I met my best friends through my desperate attempt to flee those memories. I experienced things and cultures I never would have if I had said no to a walk on the beach. I have come out the other side of this long tunnel of college more at ease with myself, more competent, at peace for my mistakes and proud of my achievements. Once I walk off this beach, accept my diploma, lock the doors of my apartment and drive into the sunset. I will do it with a smile on my face. Both for my future mistakes and the mistakes I have finally come to terms with. Here’s to the next chapter of mistakes. —M
- 2 years ago
A trip of a lifetime, a study abroad semester in Italy. A friend of mine, before I left, gave me a Moleskine notebook, a Rome City Book. Equipped with a subtle map and plenty of pages to write memories of my time abroad.
But it became so much more than that. It became my, as well as my best friends, chronicle of our time in Rome. Everything from places we ate, sites we saw, and most importantly, the things we did and said. Things that we found witty and amusing, and often times hilarious while living our lives in Rome. And of course, all the crazy shit we did as well. (Hey, we were studying abroad!)
Now we are back, ready to start a summer in Chicago. We are equipped with a new book now. The Rome book stored safely away to be brought out only to reminisce. These books, our black books, will document our time as 20-somethings.
So, here we will archive our black book escapades, and feel free to add your own. This will be about remembering those nights that are always a little fuzzy in the morning with the friends who will always have your back, hold your hair when you’re puking in the bushes, and remind you that you yelled, “We’re bad ass mother fuckers!” loudly in a bar on a Wednesday night at 11:00pm.
If nothing else, the black book will have it documented in drunk girl writing.
- 2 years ago