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

In Case Of

In one of my high school classes that was supposed to prepare me for the “real world,” I was given the documentation for creating a living will. For anyone with a different education than my own, a living will is basically a document that declares a person’s wishes regarding life prolonging medical treatment. It was a rather macabre idea and always stuck with me. I was reminded of the idea again during a particularly moving episode of a TV show I’m watching that I’m too embarrassed to name (Grey’s Anatomy). My main problem with a living will is that it doesn’t cover enough situations. There are many scenarios I’m more concerned about than needing prolonged medical treatment. I’d like to make my own living will so that everyone knows what I want in any given situation. I call it the In Case Of Will. 

In Case of Secrets

If you are a spy and you can’t tell me because it would endanger my life, I would want you to keep the secret. I would also want cool gifts from all of the places you go. You’re a spy, you can figure it out.

On a different hand, if you have magical abilities and don’t tell me I will never forgive you. Ever.  Continue reading

Contusions

When is the last time you had a well earned bruise? As a child I was constantly scraping my knee, getting grass stains on my clothes, and otherwise completely ignoring my own mortality. There seems this cultural belief that teenagers feel immortal. I’d disagree. Children feel immortal. They give everything one hundred percent. Crying, laughing, running, jumping, there’s no holding back.

The first time I remember losing my ability to commit to an action without fear ended with the gritty taste of sand in my mouth. Most of the memory is hazy like it was a dream and I’ve already been awake for too long afterwards. I do know it was a red swing held up with actual chains because the problem started when the twisting chains pinched my finger. I was gripping the chains in preparation to jump and immediately froze when it pinched me. Continue reading

Plants and Symbolism

Image

Me and my new plant. She’s a Potpourri Sky Lavender plant and I’m calling her Celia. Also she smells yummy.

Sometimes I like to pretend I’m grown up. Not today. Today I slept til 1 p.m. and spent the afternoon reading in the sun. Last Saturday though, I started to face my crippling fear of being relied upon by another living creature. Sometimes the fear masquerades as a fear of commitment, but I’m not afraid to commit to others. I just don’t want them to commit to me. The hopes of another person are too heavy. I know that pressure produces diamonds from coal, but not everything is coal. Pressure often just crushes and in the end there’s just this flatness where I wanted a diamond.

Then I remembered that I don’t like diamonds that much anyways so I decided to risk it. Puppies and human beings are a bit too serious to experiment with in order to judge my own dependability so I bought a plant. Her name is Celia and she’s a Potpourri Sky Lavender plant that I purchased from the Farmer’s Market. My getting up early enough on a Saturday to attend the Farmer’s Market already implies a pretty big level of commitment.

Plants are quite a responsibility. It’s an implied agreement to provide sustenance and sunshine. I have to water Celia and open the blinds every morning. Talk about needy. Though I do enjoy that she smells nice and doesn’t run away when I sing out loud. Both admirable qualities in a dorm-mate. Currently she’s survived a week of my care and seems content. Maybe I’m more grown-up than I think. I shall continue with this experiment and try other grown-up endeavors (such as the use of the word shall). My next feat will be making potatoes in the oven and not my microwave. Wish me luck.

Best Wishes,

Caitlin

(Celia also sends you wishes of wellness because she is quite a nice plant and thus feels inclined towards such behavior)

Lessons from my first half-marathon

Yesterday I was one of 31,129 people to finish the 500 Festival Mini-Marathon in Indianapolis, Indiana. It’s the largest mini-marathon in the country and was a truly amazing experience. By truly amazing I mean inspiring, sweaty, exhausting, and insane. My main goals were to finish and to run the whole time. Happily I met both of these goals and finished in 2:29:29 which was 15,768 place overall. I’ll take it. Here’s a few life lessons I gleamed throughout this mini-marathon process.

1. Two is better than one

I ran the mini-marathon with my friend Hannah. There is now way I would’ve survived this on my own. Goals are a lot easier with the support of friends. We were able to hold each other accountable for our training and give each other pep talks during the race. I wouldn’t have even signed up for the race if it wasn’t for Hannah and I’m really glad I did. A lot of people only turn to friends when in need and that’s a huge mistake. Friends should push each other to their full potential. That way you have someone to whine to the entire time. One of the most inspiring aspects of the mini-marathon was all of the people running together for good causes. Too often in life are we bringing others down, but at the mini-marathon the course was full of people cheering for human accomplishment. It’s a pretty awesome feeling.

2. You’re never too anything to accomplish your goals

I saw people from all different walks of life running this mini-marathon. Old and young, fat and skinny, pale and tan, male and female, human and extra-terrestrial. So I made up that last one. But really. Stop making lame excuses for not achieving goals. I’m a lazy person with netflix, if I can run a mini-marathon, so can you.

3. If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em 

This lesson is courtesy of the thong. Yes, the undergarment. Wedgies while running are the worst. Super awful. I’ll try to avoid going HBO levels of graphic, suffice to say it’s gross. I’ve tried many a pair of underwear (why is it a pair when it’s only one?) to avoid wedgies to no avail. So I gave in to the wedgie and wore a thong. Sorry for the over share, but I’m trying to make the world a better place for women who run and wear underwear. Thongs are the comfy wedgie. Like back massages are sometimes the comfy way of hitting people. Yes, someone is pounding on my back, but it doesn’t fell all that bad. Okay, that might not make a lot of sense. The point is if you can’t change something, make it as bearable as possible. The alternate moral of the story is that thongs aren’t just for seduction. Hello, multi-tasking.

4. Pregaming

Generally pregaming means preparing for a party by partying before the party. That is definitely not what I mean in this instance. Do NOT party before running. You will pay in sweat and tears. What I mean is training. Pregaming just sounds a lot more fun. Pregame life by preparing for events. I’m not sure when it became cool to accomplish tasks with the minimum amount of effort. Goals take effort. All goals. Effort and dedication aren’t a bad thing. If I hadn’t trained for that mini-marathon there is no way I would’ve made it. If only I hade realized this lesson before finals week, my professors probably would’ve appreciated it.

5. I’m sexy and I know it

Music saves lives. Bands and entertainment was present along the whole race route, but I needed my playlist. Specifically engineered for half-marathon motivation, this playlist was a huge motivational help. LMFAO telling me I’m sexy, makes me feel sexy, and makes me want to run. I don’t care if that’s wrong. If loving music is wrong I don’t want to be right. Every once in awhile I need some motivation. I’m pretty sure other people get in similar situations. That’s fine. The world is full of information and other people’s thoughts. I’m sure at least one of those people can inspire you. Find it and use it to your advantage.

6. I can run a half-marathon

This seems rather obvious, but I didn’t believe it until I crossed that finish lining. Sometimes you just have to go for it. Even if I hadn’t finished the half-marathon, I’m still in significantly better shape than before. Sounds like winning to me. Hopefully it’ll inspire me to try new things. If not, at least I prepared for the zombie apocalypse when it comes to cardio.

Go make a goal. Do it. Then brag about it on the internet 🙂

Best Wishes,

Caitlin

P.S. here are my results, it’s kind of fun to see ->my OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon – OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon results

victory

Hannah and I after the mini-marathon. If this picture was scratch and sniff, it would smell like victory and really sweaty people.

Life competency

           I’m freaking out. Why? Because I just ended that sentence with a preposition and started this one with the word because. Is that allowed? The angry green squiggly line in Word says no. I hate that line. If it possessed sentience I’d call it fat and insult its mother. Why do I even care? I care because my college has a writing competency exam that I’m required to pass. I’m a mix of terrified and annoyed. When did it become necessary to gain competence at anything? Life brims with incompetent idiots. I’m sure plenty of them obtained college degrees.

            I’d like to propose alternative competency tests. Since college began I’ve reached competency in a variety of ways. I’m competent at: microwaving stuff with instructions on it, running, living with a roommate, procrastinating, doing laundry, awkwardly patting shoulders, staying up irrationally late, texting, painting my nails, walking alone in the dark, not losing keys, finding TV episodes on the internet, playing Super Smash Bros., playing beer pong (sort of), power walking to class, and an assortment of other tasks.

            Where’s my credit for all of those skills? I’m feeling a tad underappreciated. Additionally, a lot of other competency tests should probably exist. Such as a parenting competency exam or a kindness competency exam. It could serve as a carfax but for people. Sort of like skill sets on video games. I’d be a level three cook, level six driver, and a level 99 speed reader. Maybe I want to be a Sim?  Mostly I just want motivational music and some sort of visible acknowledgment when I accomplish mundane tasks. The amount of epic in my life would greatly benefit. Right now my competency level in procrastinating would grow and an upbeat musical number would highlight my accomplishment. Since that’s not happening, I should probably return to my studies.

            Best of Luck,

Caitlin