The beginning of January means many things: A new year. New beginnings. Resolutions to make, keep, and break. Longer lines for the elliptical at the gym. That disorienting few weeks (or months, for some) it will take for you to finally remember to write “2011” on your rent checks or at the top of your Bio lecture notes.
For those college seniors beginning their final semester of life as an undergraduate*, this means beginning or continuing to tackle that cliched question, “what will I do with my life?! Will I have somewhere decent to live, or will I be stuck in an apartment thirty flights up without an elevator with a roommate who seems to be allergic to any sort of sanitizing agents, even gentle Dove soap to keep his or her person clean or Lysol wipes to clean up kitchen messes?! Will I make enough money to survive (i.e., keep shopping at Whole Foods and going to my weekly bikram yoga classes?!”
Well, at least that’s where my thoughts go. I tend to work myself up into such a state that these questions seem insurmountable. I am destined to forever be an uptight ex-yogi, sweaty from my trek up and down those thirty flights of stairs, and smelling all the worse due to my proximity to my roommate who looks like he’s on a 24-hour audition for the role of Pig-Pen of the Peanuts gang. But I digress.
My solution to coping with this time of year? Besides getting myself back into my at-school routine, I’m focusing on seeing the future as a transition to becoming a “real person.”
For example, “real people” know how to cook. So, in the spirit of real person-dom, my boyfriend and I took it upon ourselves to cook dinner one night. After a long, indecisive visit to the grocery store, which involved me often wondering aloud (I’m sure to the amusement of the other adult shoppers), “But what does one do with chicken?”, once we decided upon the main ingredient of our dinner experiment, we set about making chicken fajitas.** (I am now convinced that the hardest part of cooking is actually deciding what the heck to make!) Their deliciousness so encouraged me that the next day I extended my cooking streak to making pasta. (Yes, this girl had never boiled water to make pasta. I can hear you laughing. Be nice!)
The next night, I’m sure I went back to the college kid diet of a three minute microwave meal. (Once I inadvertently bought one that took six whole minutes to cook in the microwave. I was incredibly annoyed. And probably gave up after waiting the first four.) But to stay on track, I bought myself a pretty cookbook on sale at Anthropologie. When I proudly showed it off to my roommates, I told them they had better make sure not to get sauce or flour on it because it is just so pretty and will look nice in my room because it matches my comforter. (Hey, I’m not claiming to be Mario Batali here!)
Whether I end up living with a Pig-Pen wannabe or not, there will be many firsts like this. A first apartment. A first interview. The first time in my life I won’t have a definite plan.
Scary? Maybe. (YES!!) But exciting? For sure.
* Those who may not be amongst some of those lucky b-school kids who already know where their office, or cubicle, will be at a huge accounting firm – depending on the day, my thoughts oscillate in between extreme jealousy and the reality that I, for one, am not cut out for a job involving numbers. Or stocks. Or interest rates… I despised the four econ classes I had to take as a Georgetown SFS student!
**And I give us points for not pulling a Ross: