Because I’m 21 and Feel Like I’ve Learned A Lot

October 8, 2012 § Leave a comment

So there comes a time in everyone’s life when they turn 21. Trust me, it happens. And at this time we feel as though we know things about life. Or maybe it’s that we know and have experienced so little it tricks us into thinking we know things. I swear, you can find about 60 blogs titled “20 things I learned by time I was 20”. Google it. Either way, I’m 21, a senior in college and feel as though I have a few things I need to share with ya’ll. Maybe it’s perspective. Perspective for the high schoolers who think they know everything about life (it’s cool I knew nothing everything too at your age), for the early twentiers who feel like the only ones who are lost, for the post twentiers who think we don’t know anything (I promise, we have had some life experience worth listening to). And we’re off.

1. Nobody knows what they’re doing. This is so important to remember. Heading into the “real world” I feel as though everyone has their life together. They know what they want, where they want to go, who they want to be. Truth is, nobody knows anything. 74% of college graduates don’t choose a career related to their degree. Seventy four percent! I’m kidding, I made that statistic up. But really, a ton of people do that. So if you don’t know what you’re doing, join the club. We’re getting t-shirts.

2. It’s ok to be poor. It’s actually kind of fun. And by fun I mean it’s terrifying and liberating and worryful (not a word) and adventurous. Being poor, especially when you’re young, gives you a chance to learn the difference between want and need. One of the most important things to learn. It also teaches you how to save. Yes, it means you can’t go get that frozen yogurt with your friends. It means you may have to eat soup a few times a week. But let’s be serious, soup is amazing. Understanding and appreciating the hard work you put in to making that money you have is rewarding. Be proud of living paycheck to paycheck. It makes grocery shopping so much more creative!

3. Suck up to your superiors. This sounds shallow. But it’s life. You will never understand how important it is to be nice and professional to those who decide your future until you understand. Be friends with your professors. They know everyone and that will help you get a job. Be polite and professional to your boss. She will make your job easier to go to and will give you a killer recommendation when you need to leave. Be a schmoozer but that doesn’t mean you bring in cupcakes to your professor’s office hours. Be nice, be polite, be professional.

4. Don’t let others’ happiness make you feel less about yours. This is tricky. A lot of your friends will get really opportunities and it will seem like they didn’t even try, when you’ve sent your resume to 20 different people without any positive response. Just because something great happened to them, does not mean your opportunities and accomplishments are any less great. Congratulate them (without resentment and sarcasm) and keep your eyes ahead. Move forward and work even harder. Let it motivate you, not destroy you.

5. Take education seriously, and don’t take life too seriously. Best advise I have ever been given. You will never get another opportunity like high school or college ever again. You get 4 years to learn in an environment where the sole purpose is for you to learn. You have absolutely no other responsibilities but to understand and soak up as much knowledge as you can. Don’t take advantage of that. Take classes that interest you and challenge you. Quench your thirst for knowledge. (That was cheesy). On the other hand, don’t take life too seriously. The real world is important and inevitable. You need a job, you need responsibilities. But that doesn’t mean it needs to be boring. Do something you love, go places you’ve never been. Don’t consume yourself with work. Don’t let The Man get you down!

6. Don’t settle. This is applicable to every single aspect of your life. If there’s something you’re not happy about in your life change it. It’s pretty incredible that you have the power to do that. My dad always asks me “Are you happy with your life?” he then follows that up with “Because if you’re not I want to make sure it’s not permanent.” It’s ok not to be happy all the time. No one can be. But if that unhappiness continues for awhile, you need to fix it. Don’t settle for that boyfriend who only calls you when he feels like. Don’t settle for living near home when you wanted to live 8+ states away. Don’t settle for that job you dread going to when you wake up in the morning. Life is too short and important to settle for “it’s fine”.

And to wrap it up, a few short words from the kind of wise:
– Be afraid of your dreams
– Friendships/relationships are more important than anything else in your life
– Have hobbies
– Read a lot
– Journal
– Meet people anytime you go somewhere new
– Take naps
– Get dressed up when you have the chance
– Spend money on traveling
– Keep an open mind and listen more than you speak
– Daydream

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Since May…

August 13, 2011 § 1 Comment

I lost my job. Got a new job. Jumped out of an airplane. Got a flat tire. Changed my tire. Lived with my aunt and uncle. Kayaked. Practiced yoga. Took a bus to Brooklyn. Fell in love with Brooklyn. Saw Death Cab for Cutie. Was an extra in a movie. Grew my hair out. Dressed up every day. Put over 3,000 miles on my car. Compared myself to other people too much. Went to the beach. Got very burnt at the beach.  Got a new apartment. Built a closet. Made big decisions. Lost confidence in myself. Almost changed my major. Became a hipster. Followed blogs. Worked for very important people. Read more in one week than I did all summer. Regained confidence in myself. Went to the movies more often than usual. Blogged much less than I’d have liked to.

 

This summer has been life-changing to say the least…

Farms and Facebook

March 10, 2011 § Leave a comment

Hello, friends. Yesterday marked the first day of a season traditionally known as Lent. It is usually a time of sacrifice, where those who observe it give up something that they use or do on a daily basis. My family and I never observe Lent, but this year I thought I would try something out. No worries, I will not be giving up movies for the next six weeks – so you can rest easy. I was noticing, however, the ungodly amount of time that I spend on Facebook. I mean, I am on it all the time. Why? I don’t know! I am looking at the same things over and over, clicking through pages and pages of absolutely nothing. So, I’m making it a Sundays only activity. I could be doing something much more useful with my time – read a book/magazine, meet up with a friend, read my Bible, watch a movie (because, let’s be real, that’s very important), pray, call a good friend a catch up, study. I’m very excited to see how this goes – I’ll be honest, it’s much tougher than I originally thought. Nevertheless, I’ve been able to resist.

Meanwhile, back at the farm…(and by farm I mean my movie obsessed life) I have not suggested a comedy yet. Crazy, because I really like funny movies. Not so crazy, because there are so many types of humor and it’s often difficult to suggest funny movies to people. Let’s see how this one goes: Be Kind Rewind. First, this film is definitely funnier if you’re semi-familiar with most of the famous films (Ghost Busters, Carrie, Driving Miss Daisy, Boyz n the Hood, King Kong, Lion King, etc.) Jack Black and Mos Def make a hysterical pair in a very heartwarming comedy.

Jack Black is perfectly quirky and conjures laughter in the greatest ways. Their remakes of these famous movies are perfectly parodied. This movie will have you in tears – tears of laughter that turn into tears of joy from an ending that will melt your heart. Put it on the queue my fellow movie obsessed, you won’t be disappointed.

What do you want to do before you die?

February 20, 2011 § Leave a comment

I’d like to share with you something personal and very dear to my heart. After seeing the show “The Buried Life” premiere last year, I was overwhelmed with inspiration. Not long after seeing the first few episodes, I began constructing my own list. I am continuously adding to my list, for as I get older and change, the things that are important to me also change.

 

My moleskin – the documentation of crossing off the things I want to do before I die.

Inside – part of my list. each page is dedicated to a list item that I’ve crossed off, creatively displayed to embody the list item itself. Number 57: Smoke a cigar – I actually used the ash from the cigar to draw and write on the page.

I highly encourage you to start making a list. Think about the things you want to accomplish – dream as big and as small as you possibly you can. And once you have things written down – cross them off. Don’t just make an “I wish I could” list make an “I’m going to” list. Don’t become unmotivated because you don’t have the resources to accomplish it. Start now. Skydiving in June – I’ve been saving up since September. Drive cross country – my mom and I planning a post-grad trip as we speak. Think about what’s important to you, cross off list items with those that mean the most to you – it makes it that much more enjoyable.

Jackson Pollock makes me cry

January 12, 2011 § 1 Comment

So much truth in that statement. My mother and I watched a movie this afternoon (go figure) entitled Pollock chronicling the life of the famous artist Jackson Pollock. My mom’s an artist, so I’ve had the pleasure of growing up knowing all about the art world – who painted what, why certain artistic works were more controversial than others. My favorite painter is, without a doubt, Jackson Pollock. I recently went to New Haven and had the pleasure of seeing the Yale art gallery, which has an original Jackson Pollock piece. I turn the corner and see it hanging alone on the wall, completely free – no frame no glass just a canvas. Something about the colors and constructed chaos in his work just makes me cry. The texture and depth to his pieces are remarkable. If you ever have a chance to see an original piece of his I highly suggest you run to the nearest gallery to look at it. I tried to find a clip from Mona Lisa Smile which has a beautiful scene where Julia Roberts takes her art students to see one of Pollock’s original paintings. The music and overall feel of complete awe is really moving. However, I only found this picture. And if you could see this picture up close you would see that the paint is nearly an inch thick on the canvas – incredible. And addition to telling you that you need to see a Pollock piece in person, unconstrained by glass I’m also telling you that if you have any interest in art (or a woman’s place in education) then you should watch Mona Lisa Smile, it’s a stellar flick. Gotta put my movie plug in there somehow :)

Envelopes and Stamps. Remember those?

January 10, 2011 § Leave a comment

I’ve set three (fourish) new years resolutions that I can actually keep this time. And so far, I’ve done remarkably well. 1) Take more pictures 2) Send snail mail 3) Be more spontaneous 4ish) Work out more. The first three have been successfully met. The fourth has as well, but well all know how that goes.

I’ve posted on facebook that I want to send mail out this year and if anyone wants a letter they should send me their addresses. It’s been incredible the amount of addresses I’ve received. What’s just as incredible is the people who have asked for a letter. Side note: I’ve made a rule that whoever sends an address gets a letter, no skipping it just because I don’t want to write to them. There are people that I’ve only said hello to, people I haven’t spoken to in years, people I never thought would enter my life again. What their motivations are I’m not sure, but I can tell you it’s been interesting writing these letters.

I’m trying to make these as thoughtful and meaningful as I can. Not just a short little note full of small talk. It’s forced me to learn to be genuinely interested in the other person’s life. It’s difficult; your first instinct when writing to someone is to update them on your life. I don’t want these letters to be the annual Christmas card. Sure there’s a small paragraph, but this letter is more about the receiving end; let the person know what they mean to me, how they’ve influenced my life, encourage them. It’s not easy, but incredibly so it’s drifted into my everyday life. It’s amazing what you learn about people when you actually stop focusing on what you have to say.

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