Skip to main content

The Blank Slate

I graduated from the College of William and Mary on May 17th, 2009. It rained that day. It rained during freshman move-in in 05 too. If you were to ask me what I remember most about that day, it would be hard to answer that question. It was a blur of rain, droopy mortarboards, speeches, last chance pictures with friends, diplomas, ceremonies, proud parents and accomplishment.

I've been in school for the past 17 years of my life. From Kindergarten up until graduating from college it has been nothing but papers, exams, life lessons, deadlines, classes, and textbooks. What did these 17 years of education prepare me for? Life. Apparently. Kindergarten prepared me for grade school, grade school prepared me for middle school, middle school prepared me for high school, high school prepared me for college, college prepared me for the real world. You have no idea how much I was I was saying college prepared me for graduate school... 19.7% of college graduates in the class of 2009 have jobs right out of college today. 19.7% in America. I'm in that huge percentage of unemployed and scared graduates. While you are in college, your professors prepare you to change the world. Your graduation cards congratulate you telling you that the world is your oyster. Go out and do big things! You can be anything you want to be in life you just have to dream big and work hard.

Right. Today, I feel like I have this big blank slate. Its a whiteboard...full of possibilities. I can do anything I want with this whiteboard. However, there are some limitations. I can only write with a partially dried out purple Sharpe between the hours of 3pm and 6pm during spring. Oh yeah, and I can only write in Sanskrit. That is the limitations the recession is placing upon today's young and eager graduates. The only work available is government work where you have to be really smart and in some fields, super fit to get the job. Also, you can not be shady, ever, not in your silly high school past or recent college experiences.

So my blank slate has limitations. I suppose my life does as well. I can't afford graduate school. I didn't apply early enough. I could have become a police officer, however I wouldn't have past the fitness requirements because I was born with loose ligaments in the shoulders and they dislocate at a whim. Newspapers are bailing out left and right and no one wants to hire a young inexperienced bright eyed journalist baby. They want adults on their playground. I can't do anything with business because that is not in my realm of education...also...I'm horrible at math. Hello Sanskrit.

I'm putting all my eggs into one basket. The hope and dream that I'll be able to do volunteer service for a year in Philadelphia. This is not the cop out it may seem to be. I won't get super religious in this post but I will admit it in type: I'm called to service for a year. Whatever that means to you. Its fine...I'm the only person who really needs to know what it means. Basically I'm trying to find any possible job I can on the Eastern Shore of Chicken Factories Virginia. This job will allow me to put a small dent in my massive credit card debt from being a Pell Grant student with $500 a semester in textbooks. I might even have to sell my car to help pay bills. My car has been giving me a lot of trouble lately anyway. This volunteer position would allow me to have free room and board, free health insurance (with a small co-pay), $4,700 some odd dollars after a year of service to pay off student loans, loan deferment for a year, spiritual growth and social work/practical sociological experience in Philadelphia, PA and surrounding areas. Oh yeah and a $100 stipend which due to toiletries/etc can't be used to pay massive credit card debt.

It is an incredible opportunity which will give me time to figure out if I want to pursue sociology in a professional school environment, out in the world, or shimmy back to my original passion-journalism. Law enforcement can rest on the back burner as well. It would be a year of experimentation. Ideally I'd like to do some international volunteering as well but I might just be eligible for one year domestic service and then I need to find a real job. The downside is when I emerge from this life changing experience I will be completely and utterly broke and potentially car-less. Which means I'll be living with my parents and hoping McDonald's is hiring while I search for fellowships or newspapers jobs.

The future is incredibly complicated. I'm scared about it. Scared more than excited.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

You are Destined for Greatness

I pondered the idea of writing "You are Destined for Greatness" and taping it to my bathroom mirror. It sounds like an incredibly cheesy idea straight out of a self-help book, but I thought it was worth trying. Upon further relfection of this idea, I realized it would fail. Not because I would laugh at that statement daily, but rather, I take 100 degree showers. So the ink would run and the paper would crinkle. Plus, I need the whole mirror to examine myself in the morning anyway.

What is greatness? Is it the attribute of world leaders and life changers, or is it a quality in which we can all possess? Is greatness a thing we strive for? Does the prospect of greatness motivate us?

I think it may motivate me. In high school, countless people told me "Mary Anna, you are going places." "Mary Anna, you're going to do big things." "Mary Anna, you're going to be somebody big someday." I'm trying to capture some of that high school MAness …

7 Days Down...23 to Go #Whole30

I survived my first week of #Whole30 with only 3 minor cheats (all accidental). The first, I mentioned in a previous post was the Starbucks coconut milk that is not compliant. Didn't know, wasn't that much milk, everything is fine. The second cheat occurred when I went out to eat with my friend David. I got steak and eggs for dinner, a compliant meal with a side of sauteed mushrooms. The mushrooms are typically compliant except when they are sauteed in garlic and butter. Butter is a no no. So to my horror, my delicious mushrooms were drenched in butter. I literally blotted each mushroom on a napkin before eating it. 

The third and final cheat was a oversight cheat. I ordered a Cobb salad for lunch yesterday with my friend. I can eat all the things in the Cobb, granted I should have asked about where the bacon came from/how it was prepared and read the menu better. I said no to dressing which was fine but I failed to notice the delicious salad comes with crumbles of cheese! Not …

Holy Shit, August.

This month seems nothing short of incredibly. I mean, seriously. It may have been the best month of my life and that is no exaggeration. Let's recap:

August 6
On August 6th my best friend David and I went to see Phillip Phillips and Goo Goo Dolls in concert at Festival Pier. We got there early but a line had formed all the way to Dave and Busters. I thought for sure we'd be stuck in the back of the concert crowd but upon entering the venue I learned that only two full rows had formed (it was GA). I snagged us a spot in row 3/4 a little to the right of the stage. It was perfect. We're going to make it a point to go see them every year. Such a fun concert! 

August 12
I bought tickets months ago but didn't have any friends available for this magical weekend. It was a party bus day trip to Atlantic City. Within the first 20 minutes of the bus ride I had made some friends. I knew the hostess but that was it. Unfortunately after some imbibing I found I was way more interested in…