How To Answer “What Are You Doing After Graduation?”

My college graduation day is quickly looming closer. Apparently at some point I started accumulating enough credits to end up with a degree and that seems to signal it’s time to leave. Now I need a plan. A life plan. At least that seems to be expected. I’m sure I’m not the only person who announces impending graduation and than constantly is queried about future plans. I’m tired of awkwardly trying to succinctly summarize my possible options/pretending I actually know what I’m doing. In case anyone can relate, here are my top ten answers to inspire awe and jealousy in family and friends/end the interrogation.

Answers To What Are You Doing After College

Going to Hogwarts!

Okay I'm getting tired of the "keep calm" posters, but I love anything Harry Potter unconditionally.

Okay I’m getting tired of the “keep calm” posters, but I love anything Harry Potter unconditionally.

Tell people you are going to Hogwarts. Really sell it by sending yourself an acceptance letter. Try this website. Don’t worry about not being eleven. They can make a letter look like it was lost in transit (Owl transit of course).

Becoming a Vampire Slayer

Someone needs to kill Edward Cullen.

Someone needs to kill Edward Cullen.

I’m going to be honest, I double dip this answer. I also use it to explain what I’m going to do with my criminal justice degree. If this seems too ambitious the answer may be modified to watching all of the episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer on repeat.

 Becoming A Professional Nail Polish Namer

Want to know the toenail polish I’m wearing is called? Houston we have a purple. If you understand both terrible puns and alliteration, you can handle this job. I found a whole blog dedicated to bad nail polish names. Taking on the career might be doing the world a service.

Reading All of the Books

Reading is my happy place.

Reading is my happy place.

This is a totally plausible plan. All it requires is a library. It would take a long time to read a whole library worth of books.

Netflixing

netflixing

Netflix has over 50,000 movies and shows. Someone needs to rate them all. If might as well be you. You could even claim non-profit status. This is an important world service.

Marrying Rich

Gilmore Girls always knows the best way to handle life.

In the interest of progression I would like to point out this is a valid option for both boys and girls.

Taking over the World

Watch out for those shiny things.

Watch out for those shiny things.

The bonus of this answer is that most sane people don’t harass anyone who declares a desire for world domination. Don’t worry, this doesn’t require being evil. Feel free to be a benevolent world ruler.

Getting Pregnant and Collecting Child Support

Unlike many of my other plans that are inspired by the books and television, this plan is musically inspired. I enjoy listening to rap music when physically punishing my body with jogging. One of my favorite artists for exercise purposes is Kanye. Kanye West’s song “Gold Digger” triggered this plan. In case you haven’t heard it. Here’s the most inspiring segment.

18 years, 18 years
She got one of your kids, got you for 18 years
I know somebody paying child support for one of his kids
His baby mamma’s car and crib is bigger than his
You will see him on TV any given Sunday
Win the Superbowl and drive off in a Hyundai
She was supposed to buy your shorty TYCO with your money
She went to the doctor got lypo with your money
She walking around looking like Michael with your money
Should’ve got that insured got GEICO for your money, money, money
If you ain’t no punk holla we want prenup
WE WANT PRENUP! Yeah

Doing Something Vaguely Awesome

I have this posted on my bedroom wall.

I have this posted on my bedroom wall.

There is magic in being vague. As long as the answer is delivered with confidence it woks. If someone asks what doing epic shit means, just repeat epic shit. You could be saving the world or you could be recovering from eating Taco Bell. Nobody will know because of the magic of being vague.

If anyone begins to question your plans simply turn the table. It doesn’t matter how old someone is, nobody knows what they’re doing. If I’m wrong and you do know what you’re doing, let me know how you worked that out.

Best Wishes,

Caitlin

How To Not Write

Some tasks it’s easy to not do. I easily not murder people because I don’t feel any inclination to do so (usually). Writing is a different beast. I love writing. At least sort of. I’ve heard quotes along the lines of hating writing, but loving having written. The moment a story is finished isn’t my favorite part of writing. My favorite time is when I have an idea I love and I’m just about to start my project. There is so much potential in that moment. The story exists vividly in my head. I’ve written pieces I love, but never felt I fully transferred that vision in my head to paper.

This tends to cause me to stretch out that moment before the actual writing takes place, but I feel too guilty if I completely avoid the writing. I went to Catholic school as a child and developed quite a tendency for good old fashioned motivational guilt. I’ve learned to assuage this guilt and still avoid accomplishing writing. Here are my favorite ways to work on writing without writing.

Top Five Guilt Free Ways to Not Write

1. Research Your Story

This is the best way to go because it’s actually necessary. It can also easily end up leading to a journey into strange corners of the internet. For a fantasy piece I was writing I needed to research how far a person can travel on horseback in a day in order to come up with reasonable distances my character could travel. The question wasn’t as easy to answer as I hoped. I usually start my research with the laziest method possible and enter my question into google. I spent too much time on a trail started by a Yahoo! Answers. I learned about different amazing horse races that happen all over the world and ended up watching Hidalgo instead of accomplishing much writing, but I did eventually find the info I needed.

2. Research Writing

This is my go to way to avoid writing. I love reading about writing. I know I’ve done this quite a few times because I save most of my research on writing to Pinterest. Feel free to check out my writing board to prompt your own guilt free writing procrastination. Two of my favorites are the pin about Stephen King quotes on writing and Neil Gaiman’s writing rules. I love both authors. I also love Pinterest. You never know when you’ll come across information you might want later and Pinterest is a great place to save it.

3. Read Good Writing

As if I really need an excuse to read more books. I truly believe reading can improve your writing. There are different ways to interpret what constitutes “good” writing. What I believe is good writing doesn’t matter. Read what inspires you. Read to remember the magical power letters have when arranged in a pleasing manner.

4. Read Bad Writing

Bad writing helps me in two ways. First, it’s a good reminder of what not to do. Maybe the writing is bad because it’s sexist or lacking any sensible grammer. Notice what you don’t like and decide not to do it. The second way it helps me is by giving me a bit of an ego boost. Writing takes guts. If someone else can put bad work out their, I can share what I write. Heck, sometimes not so great writing even sells. I’m thinking Twilight here. What is the worst that can happen. You write something bad and people don’t like it. Who cares? You just disliked someone else’s writing and everyone is leaving the situation unscathed. Maybe you even learned a lesson or two.

5. Seek Inspiration

This is the easiest way. Do exactly what you would do on a normal day. Convince yourself that living life is the best way to gain inspiration for your writing. Those three hours of watching reality television in your pajamas could inspire the next great American (or whateverican) novel.

6… A bonus sixth option is writing a blog post about how you aren’t writing. At least there will be an end product.

What to you do when you don’t want to write but probably should be writing? I could always use more ideas.

Best Wishes,

Caitlin

My nerd application

Recently I’ve needed to defend my self-identifying with the term nerd. Here’s some of my qualifications: I’ve got 101 pins on my Nerd board on Pinterest. I’m currently re-watching Avatar the Last Airbender. I took a Latin class. For fun. During the summer. I read the book before I see the movie. In the interest of full disclosure I usually do so more than once. I was incredibly saddened not to receive my Hogwarts letter and equally disappointed that Giles didn’t come to my high school and inform me I was a slayer. I believe in midnight releases and obscure references. I think it’s more fun to spell gray with an e. I’m a sapiosexual. I know the word sapiosexual. I keep books in my dresser. I own Harry Potter in four different languages. I’m really tired as I write this because I stayed up til 3 a.m. last night to finish a book. I am a nerd. I’ve never really been in the nerd closet but consider this my formal coming out. Feel free to throw me a party.

I’ve been told that I’m not a nerd because I have friends, or some of the “nerdy” indulgences I like are too mainstream, or I’m a confident girl who doesn’t wear glasses. Fuck that reasoning. Who wants that nerd criteria? According to dictionary.com a nerd is a stupid, irritating, ineffectual, or unattractive person or an intelligent but single-minded person obsessed with anonsocial hobby or pursuit: a computer nerd. Those two definitions contradict each other! Nerd isn’t an intelligence level, it’s a passion. I love how John Green (author and v-logger) describes the concept of a nerd.

To me, this is what nerd means.

That’s the definition of nerd I follow. People who like stuff. The number of other people who also like that stuff remains irrelevant. Nerds possess this rep as emotionless, intellectual, and boring. That’s wrong. It’s lengthy discussion about the air bending gene in Avatar or losing faith in humanity because there’s no second season of Firefly. It’s feelings. It’s fascination. It’s staying up late caught up in a show, movie, or book. It’s using topic specific jargon that fellow nerds of the same subject understand. It’s finding that feeling children have Christmas night and apply it to other aspects of life. Nerds realize the gifts present in life and appreciate them unabashedly.

I want equal rights for nerds. I demand them. It’s time for the dictionary and the public perception to catch up with the times. Rise up and embrace nerdiness in all forms. Go forth and enthuse over the miracle of human consciousness. Upon reflection, we humans have created some pretty amazing things. Appreciate it.

Love stuff already,

Caitlin

Sometimes I’m too cool. Or not.

So I’ll admit there are a few things I’m too cool for (ending a sentence with a preposition isn’t one of them). The best example I can think of right now is Crocs.* However, everyone is too cool for Crocs. I don’t care if they are the most comfortable shoes in existence. Don’t wear them. Just don’t do it. Something I’m not too cool for is making plans.

When did it become cool to not make plans? In my life, this phenomenon started in high school.  This didn’t mean people didn’t have plans, because having plans was a necessary part of being cool. But making them. Not acceptable.

I hate having plans without making plans. That means constantly being ready. What a pain.  It also means waiting or not being ready on time. Not a fan of either.  Here’s what usually happens when I wait for someone. I start reading a book. Said book gets super interesting. Then whomever I was waiting on arrives. At this point, I don’t necessarily want to hang out with them anymore. I’m resentful at the interruption to my reading. What can I say; I pick out pretty good books.

I’m not a doctor. I refuse to be on call. When some stupid boy says “Hey gurl, let’s hang out tonight.” What does that mean? I think tonight starts after dinner. Other people start tonight at 11 p.m. or later. That’s pretty much a prearranged booty call. If you’re going to booty call me, pick up the dang phone. If you just want to hang out and it’s not starting until 11 p.m. I’d probably rather be asleep.

Maybe I’m just not very cool. I do watch nerdy TV shows and read a lot of books. I even go to class and stay awake most of the time. But as an uncool person, I’m over not making plans. I like set times of doing something. This seems strange because I have a general fear of commitment. However, making plans at a specific time is way less of a commitment than vague plans. Vague plans often get put off and become this permanent quasi commitment that leaves you stuck pretending you still want to hang out with someone who you probably weren’t super interested in hanging out with in the first place.

Save yourself a lot of worry and if you’re not willing to commit to a time to hang out with someone just don’t hang out with them. If that’s too difficult, fine. But please, please, don’t wear Crocs. This Public Broadcasting Message brought to you by Caitlin.

Best of Luck!

 

*Sorry mom.