Spring Break Broke Us

589e5d16ce8f74bdfc9b7736bea2d924Next week will throw us into tumultuous emotions. On top of March Madness, we’ll be coping with the week that we formerly knew as “spring breaaaaak.” The pro is of course: waking up each morning and not immediately wanting to die. But how are we supposed to promote inter-collegiate friendships if we’re not all on the same party beach together, developing similar interests, like ocean-flavored beer and other Midwestern people? We are left to bask in the 40-degree sunshine that we experience during our walk into and out of the office at the end of the day. Maybe we’re in denial. I mean, why go to a beach when we can simply admire tweets, instas, and FB posts about warm weather from the comfort of our car’s heated seats? And all that sand? Yuck.

But really, I think we’re all doing okay with our first year acknowledging spring break as a fond memory rather than an actual thing that’s happening. Though I’ve been flirting with the thought of just how well the Les Mis lyrics of “I Dreamed a Dream” resonate with my feelings about spring break, I’m not losing mental stability at all… maybe it’s good that now if we want to execute a mass beer bong event, we’ll need to organize it in the Outlook Calendar or “follow up” with it later on in the week. (Post-grads LOVE following up.) At least on the plus side, we won’t have to worry about spring break bods? All the tacos for us. There’s also a crazy amount of time and money we can save by not going tanning all the weeks before spring break. I mean, who misses being tan? No one. Putin, maybe. And who needs a multi-level bar in the ocean when you’ve got Buffalo Wild Wings?

Reminiscing about hot weather, fruity drinks, and blatant disregard for time will only hurt your soul. Surely there had to be some negatives to journeying south and will help stifle this year’s blow. We were burnt to a crisp. We spent way too much money. Everyone had that one person in your group no one could stand – the KU of spring break. They needed a bathroom break every hour on the drive down, were always lagging behind, or they threw up in a cab and made their friends pay for the damage…………………………………………………………………….

Spring break trips have left us believing it is a right to experience a week-long hiatus from real life; that James Franco wants more for us; that even though hangovers come and go, South Padre, PCB, and Mexico are forever.

The Trap that is Your ~*college*~ Facebook Album

Picture 4Amid the medals, measurements, and minutes that are counted during the Olympics, I got lost in a numerical sea of my own today. I’ve spent the last week in Wisconsin (a trip my mom referred to as “a little spring break”) before I start full-time employment next week. Though the site seeing in Appleton, WI is endless, I’ve found myself with quite a bit of down time while my boyfriend is off at work contributing to society or whatever. So I’ve been organizing taste tests and focus groups for myself and for Pinot Noir.

Somewhere between a Menage a Trois blended red and a 2 p.m. screening of Bruce Almighty, I found myself perusing the FB. Enough hits on the right arrow, and I was transported back to freshman year. The first question: who let me three-barrel my hair that often? The second: WHY ALL THE PHOTOS?! 2009, it seemed, was the year we greeted guys not with a “hey” “hi” or even a wave, but rather, “Can you take a picture of us pleeeeease?” It was the new hello and the flash was the perfect goodbye.

After a Friday night out, there were 198 photos, 27 friend requests, and a dozen new contacts saved in our flip phones. (#blessed that Twitter wasn’t a thing when we were college freshmen.) Were we just that excited to be meeting new people? Yes. Did we really feel the need to bond because we were the only two in the girls’ bathroom at that fraternity at that particular moment wearing the same Forever 21 top? Absolutely yes. Maybe we just didn’t want to miss a minute of our college experience, or maybe we were just looking forward to editing all the new photos on Picnik while we listened to “Party in the USA.”

However, a few things I picked up on while meandering through pixels of a life pre post-grad:

1. I would’ve spent an exorbitant amount of less time working on house party costumes.

2. I would’ve spent even less time worrying who my date was because, really, did it ever work out?

3. Captions do more harm than good.

4. Helser Hall really, really builds character.

5. We all really took “I throw my hands up in the air sometimes” to heart.

I’ll be the first to say that many a great friendship started via “oh em gee are you in a house?” and also that I’m glad to have all of these awkwardly posed pictures, sans skinny arm or sorority squat, showcasing now non-existent clothing trends and guys who we wasted too much time talking about. So in answer to our parents’ asking what good is social media — it gives us something to screenshot and still be able to laugh at with our friends, years later. Long live the college memories and the pictures that encapsulate what a horrible, hilarious mix our lives were. I became enveloped in a vat of memories that reminded me how easy it was to get wrapped up in Greek life. It reminded me how much I loved Ke$ha and how okay I was with wearing flare jeans and chunky headbands. It reminded how lucky I was to be immersed in a group of people that were just as excited and unprepared as I was.

Celebrity Shot: They Still Serve Beer in the Ivory Tower

Screen shot 2014-01-29 at 1.11.45 PMHappy new year to you all and welcome to the first Celebrity Shot of 2014! To start off the year, I  let someone else take the reigns on a topic that is unfamiliar territory to me. Personally I’d rather put forks in my eyes than go to grad school, but the consensus of my Masters-clad friends has been positive experiences. Colin Grace, current law school student and therefore prime Dementor meat, gives insight to what really goes on behind the Ivory Tower that is “further education.” (Read more about Colin here.)

I write this story snug in the cozy bosom of my parents’ house, putting in more mileage on my Netflix account than I care to admit. My first semester of law school is in the books; I’ve retired this semester’s textbooks and am watching my beer gut expand thanks to my parents’ fully stocked pantry. After four years of undergrad I have this routine down to a science (although nowadays I spend most of my breaks like some kenneled puppy waiting for my friends to get out of their real people jobs so we can play a game called drink the beer). For all you post-grads or soon to be real-worlders, I have some exciting news: the Ivory Tower won’t necessarily push you baby birdies out of the nest to fly out into society just because you got handed one measly diploma. You can stay as long as you like… for a price; however I’m in no position to weigh the pros and cons of your decision to stay in higher education. There are better writers with much more evidence and sources to cite, and that sounds like a monumental pain in the ass. What I can offer you, dear reader, are a few observations from my own experience.

From the first day your poor mother pried you off her pant leg outside the kindergarten classroom until you’re handed a college diploma, your academic career follows a pretty set path. The thing about grad school is that some of your potential classmates actually did the whole real world thing and came back, which suffers some consequences.

Older classmates will not share the same affinity for Busch Light and screaming the lyrics to “Take Me Home Tonight” at karaoke night on a Tuesday. This serves to help shatter the illusion of your own indefinitely extended college career. Later in the semester when the first few salvos of shit hit the fan, you’ll be grateful for the lack of bad influences and arm twisters. But in the beginning of the semester (when you still half heartedly believe your reading is optional) these people are a group of major disappointments. But hey, they’ll attend the first few parties and it’s probably a good thing to learn the ins and outs of adult conversation.

Grad school parties DO in fact have potential to be entertaining affairs. For the seasoned partiers of undergrad, a get-together in a bar organized on Facebook is pretty standard fare; however, many  potential classmates attended small liberal arts schools or come from other countries and have now found themselves in unfamiliar territory resulting in at least a few grad students who get far too drunk for their tolerance and pull a few moves we haven’t seen since our freshman year move-in weekend. Awkward icebreakers, truly terrible dance moves, and horrific displays of face sucking are enough to separate the wheat from the chaff in terms of the straight-through socializers you need to align yourself with.

If you’re like me and are more inclined to 80s music and questionable shot concoctions than coffee houses and discussions of neo-Marxist feministic social paradigms, I would urge you to find a core group of similarly minded folks because you will have them to rely on. These people will more or less be a scaled down version of your undergrad glory days. This is not the prettiest nor the most romantic outlook on grad school but hey, it sure as hell still beats a real job, right?

(Read more about Colin here.)

Explaining a Selfie to My Middle-age Co-worker

Picture 3I got caught mid-snap this morning. How foolish of me to think that my own cubicle could be a safe haven. We know how to click out of Facebook as fast as humanly possible; we know the perfect amount of time to put a Pop-Tart in the toaster; we know just how many times we can hit snooze before we absolutely have to wake up. Yet we somehow can’t bring our bodies to stop the selfie  – it’s a chemical unbalance, probably.

Luckily the awkwardness alleviated itself by a random act of God. My co-worker a.k.a. the witness a.k.a. the spy didn’t bring up any questions. The following is only what I can assume may have pursued if the situation went in the other direction:

“It’s like a greeting card. Of your face.”

“No I don’t think Hallmark feels threatened. I haven’t asked though.”

“It’s just a more interesting way to communicate your emotions.”

“All the kids are doing it.”

“What do you mean how am I going to explain selfies to my future kids?”

“Snapchat? It lets you send a photo for a selected amount of time before it deletes itself.”

“Yes it’s an ‘app.’” (air quotes included.)

“No it’s not illegal. Except in somewhere foreign. Like Vermont maybe.”

“You’re right, selfies probably do deserve their own documentary or at least a Lifetime movie warning teens about weird forms of cyber bullying.”

“No I’ve never been cyber bullied. No I’m not a teenager.”

“Seriously. I have a degree, like from college.”

“I don’t think cats take their own selfies. I think humans help them out.”

“You bring up an interesting point – I’m not sure if that still qualifies as a selfie.”

“I’m not sure why cats got so popular on the Internet.”

“Yes I made that face on purpose.”

“No you can’t be in the next one with me.”