Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The FINAL final countdown.

Petition granted*, application for graduation accepted: degree checkout being processed.

As of December 11, 2009 I am officially done with my bachelor's degree. It's been a great three years, a bit rough at times, but ultimately successful, rewarding, and empowering.

As I've been busy with school and other things, I have not yet been able to actively seek/apply to jobs. Tomorrow intend to (work up the nerve to) ask professors tomorrow if I can use them as references. I'm pretty sure they'll enthusiastically acquiesce, but it terrifies me to burden others. It must be done, however, so that I can start applying to these jobs. Ideally I'd get a job which would start the second week of January. This would give me plenty of time to relocate and settle into my new surroundings (and hopefully relax for a few days) before I start working.

My lease for my current apartment is up at the end of December*, giving me plenty of time post-finals week to pack up my things and move out. Since most of the housing options I've looked at are furnished bedrooms, I will really only have to move my close and a few personal items, which will probably make it the least stressful move in my lifetime. I am not sure if I will be nervous about all of this. Right now it's a bit too far off, so I can't gauge my feelings. But once it's more imminent, I'm not sure if I'll be nervous. I'll be celebrating my graduation (and REA's!!!!!!), enjoying the holidays, saying goodbye to everyone, and being generally felicitous and busy, so I won't have much time to think about it. I am really prepared (psychologically!) for the transition, and really excited about the prospect of living in Southern California. Whatever nerves I may suffer from I imagine will be more from what I think I should be feeling, and not from any actual fears or anxieties. I'm a complex creature, ladies and gentlemen.

*In order to graduate, students must file an application for graduation at the beginning of the term prior to their graduation date. This means that I needed to have applied during the second week of July in order to graduate in December. Since I didn't think I'd be able to finish in December, I didn't file the application, and was required to file a petition to have my application accepted for this quarter. The petition was immediately granted, and my application was processed the day after.

**I spoke to the leasing manager's assistant yesterday about extending my lease. They don't do anything other than 12-month leases here, but her boss wasn't in the office, so she went ahead and extended my lease three months. She had everything ready and had me sign the amended form so that he wouldn't be able to veto her! Ha! While I was waiting, Dan the Maintenance guy came in and we shared a tete-a-tete. He congratulated me on graduation, and said we'd share some beers when I'm through (of course I said he could drink mine for me!). I absolutely LOVE Ellensburg, my school, and my apartment complex. I will be very sad to leave, because (even taking into account my misfortune in April) living here and attending this school has been the most empowering experience of my life.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Change: Now in color!

So, details.

My initial decision to not apply to grad schools was made impulsively after receiving an incredibly offensive and disheartening email from a potential grad adviser at one of the programs I've been looking into. After a few moments of reflection, however, I realized that the professor was right, and that I needed to rethink my approach. Upon further reflection, I realized I am simply NOT willing to do the work. I've been dying to take a break for some time now, and this is the sign that I need to take one. I can take my time preparing for grad school, and not rush into it.

I was anxious about sharing my decision with my parents, but all turned out well. Mum, as always, supports whatever decisions I make. My dad, whose opinion I was most anxious about, was actually relieved when I told him that I'd decided to take a break. I didn't realize that anyone else understood how difficult school has been for me. Dad and I are both compulsive learners - as he described it, our "brains are on fire" when we're in class and studying. But taking the max course load for three solid years has finally caught up to me. When my dad told me he thought it was a good idea to get a job (despite the horribleness and the awfulness of the job market), when he literally sighed and relaxed when I explained my change of plans, I felt like I had absolutely made the right decision.

I've been pretty overwhelmed both with life in general, and this decision in specific. There were almost as many things to do to get out of college as there were to get into a new program. But I made a list of tasks to accomplish, and spent today taking care of most of them. I've been withdrawn from my econ minor and amended my major. This means that in order to graduate in December, all I need to do is file a late graduation application (which will hopefully NOT be rejected!). Once I get back to Ellensburg I need to extend my lease two and a half months, and begin moving out of my apartment (I'd rather have everything done before finals week so that I'm not worrying about it), but other than that I'm in a very good position right now.

I looked at hundreds of jobs today and found about two dozen strong prospects. I also looked at housing in the areas I was planning to apply for jobs, and found some promising options. I'm looking for people renting out rooms. The rooms I looked at were furnished, rent included utilities, and internet and TV were already set up. There were also no (or minimum) security deposits. Renting a room will:
A) Cut my housing expenses down by at-least half. From what I've looked at, rental costs for most apartments (unfurnished, without utilities, internet, tv, etc) is more than three times the rent on a room.
B) Moving into a furnished room means the only moving costs I will have will be gas, one night in a hotel (unless I have a friend with me, in which case I'll camp!), and some food.
C) I'll have someone there to answer all of my questions about my new home, and will feel a lot safer living in/around a big city if I have someone at home when I get there.
D) I imagine potential housemates won't mind splitting grocery costs on heavily used items (milk, butter, bread) and will probably not mind letting me cook communal meals (which means I'll get to make - and share - many of my favorite dishes, which I currently don't cook because I live alone and would waste 90% of it if I made them).

With the money I'll save on rent I'll be able to pay down my bills MUCH faster. After a few years I'd be able to easily afford a decent-sized apartment (or even a condo) with room for guests. And of course, I'd be able to travel!

The most exciting part of my decision to work instead of attend school is that I'll have ACTUAL free time. As a student I get a spring break, a few weeks off for Christmas, and about two months off for summer. However, I ALWAYS have the pressure of pending assignments, tests, and various deadlines, even when I don't have class. With a job I would be working at least 40 hours a week. But when I get off in the evenings, it's my time. When I have weekends, I have a complete two-day break to get tasks done, to laze about, to travel. I will ALWAYS know what my schedule is, and can make definite plans. I can take time off when it's convenient for me. I can schedule said vacations when my other friends and family have vacations, and we can choreograph them accordingly. I will have legitimate free time. Oh, Glory!!

I won't be rich. It will be a real struggle to get a job, and the amount of work I will have to find one makes me panic. But, even when it's most challenging, life has a way of working out. The next few months are going to take a lot of talking-myself-into-it and calming-myself-down moments. But I can do it. I'll stay calm. ;)

Saturday, September 19, 2009

News.

First off, some genius in Spokane (two hours north of Wallensburg) decided to take a schizophrenic murderer on a field trip to the fair. Said murderer escaped, and is currently at large.

Second, take my post from a few weeks ago and cancel it. I'm not applying to grad schools, I'm petitioning to graduate in December, I've updated my Monster.com resume and profile, and I'm currently looking for work and living arrangements in (preferably) the Los Angeles area. I'm very, very happy about this decision!!

Third, I'm dealing with a personal trauma which I may or may not discuss on this blog at some point in the future. If I flip out on you or seem to be a bit unstable, that's the reason. Don't be alarmed, emoting is healthy, and I'm following the proper procedure to deal with this issue.

Fourth, I''m currently at my dad's in Mt. Angel, Oregon. His house is perfect. Out of a story book. I kid thee not. Descriptive and photographic evidence to follow at a later date.

Fifth, to the few people who read my blog: I love you all!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Monday, September 14, 2009

Scary Go Round

Last week my life changed forever.

Approximately five years ago I discovered the world of webcomics. It was limited to three:
Questionable Content, Something Positive, and Scary Go Round.

Questionable Content's quality has wavered through the years, though I recently got back into it. Something Positive, though fantastic, was a bit dialog-intensive for me to keep up with on a regular basis. If I went on vacation and missed a few days it would take me over an hour to catch up. If I, say, didn't have internet for a month....

But Scary Go Round.........

The artwork, the dialog, the incredible story arcs, this is the greatest webcomic - some of the greatest fiction - ever created. Scary Go Round improved my quality of life 300%: From finding true love, to experiencing true heartbreak; Starting college, dropping out of college, starting college again; Divorces, marriages, births, deaths, first times and last times... Scary Go Round was there for me through all of it. No matter how sad I was, this comic made me laugh. No matter how happy I was, I always wanted to take the time to read it.

Last week, Scary Go Round concluded. Although it has ended, it is always with us....in spirit. (And in archives).

Mr. John Allison, my hat's off to you.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

fut-bol

I've taken up football (European). With Alora and Max. My right quad is stiff.

Also, I suuuuuck at football (American).