Coming Attractions: SUMMER

The weird thing about working in education is that I still view the year starting at the end of August and ending at the end of May, just like I did when I was a student. Unfortunately, I’m no longer a student and I don’t get that nice summer vacation that my students do. Some professors and administrators (and other people who have no idea what we do in my office) think that we either don’t work during the summer or that the summer is incredibly slow. That couldn’t be farther from the truth! The summer is actually one of our busiest times of year – with fewer students on campus, there’s finally some time to do all the things we couldn’t finish during the school year. The first thing on that list for me is cleaning my office – I don’t even want to talk about what it looks like right now.

But enough about work…what am I doing with my summer?? Check it out below! (Okay, fine, some of these things will involve work…sorry.)

May

Classes just ended, so I’m listing all the fun stuff starting with this coming weekend…which is when I am going to see The Killers in concert again!! After that, I get to attend the annual Junior League dinner and chaperone a trip to Atlantic City. I get to bring a bus buddy, so my friend Kristy will be coming to AC with me. At the end of the month, I’ll be moving into my new apartment.

I saw The Killers last summer in concert. So excited to see them again!!

June

June kicks off with the Lilly Pulitzer Warehouse sale. I went last year with both my little and another sorority sister, Jackie. Jackie is coming back down again this year and I’m crossing my fingers that my favorite Lilly Pulitzer dress will be there and in my size.  I don’t think I have any other social plans for June, but I will be working on housing assignments for the incoming students which should take up quite a chunk of time.

This is what happens when sorority girls go to a Lilly Pulitzer sale AND outlet shopping in the same weekend.

July

July starts with a nice long weekend thanks to how the 4th of July holiday falls. I was on duty the last two 4th of July weekends, so I’m going to make sure I don’t have to take duty that weekend this year! I’m not sure what I’m going to do during 4th of July, but I’ve been discussing some ideas with my friends. Later that month is my family reunion in Upstate New York.

Lilly loves getting to go out on the boat.

August

Unfortunately I don’t get to do too much in August…we have RA training. We are changing up RA training so I’m actually looking forward to it. My birthday is in August, so I’ll have to celebrate it before training and after classes start.

Reno celebrating my birthday last year with some random Berks County hipsters.

…just noticed that I didn’t include cleaning my office on here…whoops. I’m hoping to cross a bunch of things off my list and hopefully add some new ones!

It’s Complicated: Moving

I started writing this when I first found out I was moving a month and a half ago…I should probably stop writing about packing and start ACTUALLY packing.

When I first found out I was moving, I was excited for two reasons. One, a new apartment sounded awesome! Two, it meant I was going to be able to cross a LOT of things off my list. I decided to see how many things could be crossed off by this move and came up with FIFTEEN!! Considering my list just passed the 150 mark, that’s a pretty big chunk! While I still plan on writing posts for each thing as I accomplish them, here’s a sneak peak of what I hope to do in the coming weeks!

Before the big move…

17. Get rid of all the shoes I never wear. I try to keep all of my shoes in one of three places in my current apartment: in the shoe organizer hanging in my closet, in an old wicker basket in my closet, and on a shelf in my closet. There are a lot of shoes there and I’m pretty sure I wear MAYBE 1/3 of them on a regular basis. While my new apartment is larger, it has less closet space, so I need to get rid of things I’m not using!

41. Make my t-shirt pile smaller. See above. T-shirts are currently one whole shelf in my closet. I do have “make a t-shirt quilt” on my list as well so maybe I can kill two birds with one stone!

87. Properly recycle my old laptop. My college laptop finally kicked the bucket a few months after I moved into my current apartment. It’s been sitting in a closet ever since. I don’t want to just throw it out so I’m going to have to find out where I can bring it.

92. Sell the stuff I say I’m going to sell. I’ve got a Coach bag, some old J. Crew and Lilly Pulitzer stuff, plus some old stuff for the dog that I’m not using anymore. The school has a “Community” email that people use to advertise items for sale, so I’m going to try that first!

After the big move…

22. Organize my giant bookshelf. In order to move the shelf, I’m going to have to unload it first. As I’m putting things back on it, I can try to make it look nice and organized. (And it will finally serve it’s purpose of room divider!)

36. Buy a couch. My current couch came with the apartment and it’s a bit broken. There’s no point in moving it to the new apartment, so I’m on the hunt for a new couch!

37. Buy the rest of my bedroom furniture. This is the one that I’m not 100% sure if it’s happening yet. I guess I’ll see how things work out in the new apartment!

56. Fix/finish the gallery wall in my living room. For some reason, there’s one picture frame that always falls off the wall. In my new apartment, I think I’ll be able to hang things with nails.

57. Decorate my bedroom. No point in starting this before I move!

58. Hang my flag. Same as #57! Plus, it will be easier to do with nails.

59. Plant something and have it grow. I’ll have a little patio at my new apartment, so I want to try a small container garden this summer.

95. Live somewhere with in-unit laundry. It’s been a long and bumpy road to get to the point of all of the ADs moving into new apartments, but one of the things that happened during that time is some of the campus administrators did a tour of our current apartments. One of the things they noticed is that not only were the apartments very different in terms of size and condition, but they also had different amenities. While our new apartments will all be different sizes again, they will all have washers and dryers!

96. Live somewhere with a dishwasher. I’m 99% sure that the apartment I’m going to move into has a dishwasher.

134. Organize my closets. This goes along with organizing my shelf. I have to empty my current (and somewhat organized) closets in order to move the contents to the new apartment. As I put things away, I’m hoping to make them a little more organized. That, and I don’t have too much of a choice since I’ll have less room for storage.

135. Organize the entry way. Right now, my entry way is a narrow, dark hallway with a small shelf and a bunch of closets. The stuff I use most often SHOULD be on the shelf, but it’s currently home to…I’m not even sure what. In my new apartment, there really isn’t a dedicated entry – the door opens right into my living room. But there are certain things that need to live by the door like Lilly’s leash and my umbrella. I’ll have to create some sort of entry nook in the new place.

 

While I’m really excited to move, I’m not the biggest fan of the actual moving process. I really wish I could just go to sleep tonight and wake up and be all settled in my new apartment. If you have any moving tips, please feel free to share them!

117. Visit My Sisters in Boston

When I first graduated, most of my friends still lived in the Rochester area. Now that it’s been a few years, my friends have scattered themselves all over the country. A few of my sorority sisters, including my best friend Ariel, are currently living in Boston. I love the city of Boston and I hadn’t seen Ariel in nearly two years, so I was really excited when Jackie, Ariel, and I started planning this trip in December!

Ariel and I five years ago.

Ariel and I five years ago.

The Good?

Fajitas and ‘Ritas! Fajitas and ‘Ritas is a Tex-Mex restaurant in Boston that specializes in fajitas and margaritas. Ariel, Jackie, and I met my friend Sam there and had a very filling lunch that started in typical us-fashion by spilling half a pitcher of margarita all over our table. Next time I go to Boston, I’m definitely parking my butt there for a few hours.

This is why we can't have nice things.

This is why we can’t have nice things.

Going Out I don’t really go out much in Reading. I like staying home and hanging out with my best friend aka my free-loader roommate aka my dog. Ariel and Jackie are on the same page as me, but we planned one staying in night and one going out night. We had so much fun on our going out night AND Ariel had an Uber coupon so we basically got home for free. I really liked the place we went (I unfortunately cannot remember the name), mostly because I was with my friends, it wasn’t too crowded, and they were playing good music.

Freezing our butts off at the bus stop!

Freezing our butts off at the bus stop!

Sunday Brunch On Sunday morning, we found ourselves sitting in the living room debating between going to a diner or driving a little further to this farm with a restaurant on it. We chose the farm-restaurant. The restaurant itself was tiny and there was a long wait, but it was SO worth it! I was going to get my usual (eggs benedict) but then saw that they had lobster eggs benedict. When in Rome Boston!

Breakfast of champions.

Breakfast of champions.

Reunited and it feels so goooodJust being in the same place at the same time was enough for me! I’ve noticed that whenever I’m on adventures with my sorority sisters, we manage to turn wherever we’re staying into a mini-version of our sorority house. Ariel’s apartment was no different. With our arrival, there was suddenly an abundance of monogrammed shirts, purple everything, Disney princess cups, Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, and clothes everywhere. Some of my favorite moments of the trip were just sitting around talking.

IMG_3813

The Not-So-Good?

Craft Show Ariel purchased tickets to this major craft show for us to go to over the weekend. It was actually a lot smaller than we expected it to be and everything that was there was SUPER expensive – furniture, glass sculptures, other stuff we could never dream of affording or creating ourselves. Probably the only reason we somewhat enjoyed it was that we went straight there from Fajitas and ‘Ritas.

We didn’t see our other sisters. Plans fell through with the two other sisters we were supposed to see that weekend. I actually haven’t seen Laurel and Kadley since I graduated, so that was kind of crummy. It didn’t help that our “plans” consisted of “let’s text each other later” which is literally my least favorite way to make plans. Luckily our sorority’s big twenty year celebration is next year, so I’m sure I’ll be seeing them (and everybody else) next spring.

Sebbie’s “special treat”. Ariel has a GIANT dog named Sebastian. He is unaware that he is giant and will try to sit in your lap. He is especially a fan of looking you in the eye, meaning he puts his paws on your shoulders and gives you a good stare down. The first night we were there, Ariel, Jackie, and I went to the store to get some things to make dinner. Jackie and I both are dog owners, so we took the normal precautions – zip everything or put it where the dog can’t get it. Apparently Sebbie knows how to use a zipper and we came home to find tampons EVERYWHERE. Hope those tasted good, Seb!

I can't imagine that they tasted very good.

I can’t imagine that they tasted very good.

 

All in all, it was a fantastic weekend and MUCH too short! Jackie is coming down for the Lilly Pulitzer warehouse sale in June and I think both Ariel and Jackie are going to come down once I’m in my new apartment. Here’s hoping my sisters and friends continue moving cool places so I can do some more traveling!

Just Another Manic Monday…

I’m back from Joplin, but unfortunately I’m sick AND it’s a very busy week at work, so I’m not sure when I’m going to be write my Joplin post. For now, I’ll just leave you with my newest Joplin video!

In other exciting news, I found out that I’m going to be moving at the end of May! The building that my apartment is in is going to be renovated over the summer, so I needed to go somewhere. At first there was talk of just moving me for the summer, but the idea of having to move twice (during check out and RA training) made me incredibly anxious. There was a period of time that I knew I was moving but just didn’t know where I was going at that was pretty nerve wracking too. Right before I left for my trip, I found out where my new apartment was going to be and now that there’s only eight weeks to go, it’s time to start packing!

Going through my list, I noticed that a lot of items had to do with where I live. It looks like a lot of things are going to be crossed off during the moving process…I REALLY want to get rid of stuff before I move. Another exciting thing about this move – my new apartment will have a dishwasher AND a washer and dryer. Now that I’m back in Pennsylvania, I kind of just want to skip ahead to the point where I actually move!

Junior League

I leave for my big Joplin trip tomorrow, so I figure I’ll just keep going with this week’s theme of volunteering!

Before I joined the Junior League, I had several different “pictures” of it in my mind. The first image that came to mind was a bunch of rich old ladies that wanted to do something good with all of their time and money. Next, I imagined a bunch of bored, rich, housewives…that view may have had something to do with “The Help“. So when somebody recommended that I join Junior League as a way to make friends, I was completely baffled! I didn’t think that I was old enough to join Junior League. But I decided to give it a try – at the very least, I thought I could maybe get some babysitting jobs out of it.

At my first meeting, I quickly learned that Junior League was NOTHING like I imagined. Yes, there were some rather well-off older women and some stay-at-home moms, but there were also working moms and single moms and unmarried professional women and recent college grads. Even though everybody had joined Junior League for different reasons, everybody supported our Junior League’s mission of helping kids in the Reading school district.

Similar to a sorority, my first year in Junior League I was considered a new member. We were welcome at the general meetings but also had our own new member meetings and planned a new member project. The ultimate goal of your new member year is to become familiar with ALL aspects of Junior League so that you can easily serve on a committee your next year.

I’m currently in my first active year and I am on the New Member Committee, so I am still attending all of the new member meetings and teaching the new members about Junior League. Each year you get “placed” with a different committee and while we don’t find out our placements until May, I’ve had a few people ask if I would be interested in a certain position, so I have a feeling where I’ll be heading next year!

Unfortunately with my work schedule, I haven’t been able to GO to every volunteer opportunity, but I try to help out behind the scenes. Last month I was able to spend most of my Saturday volunteering at Junior League’s Young Women’s Summit. Each year, the Junior League invites teenage girls from the Reading school district to come together for a weekend to learn leadership skills and discuss how they can improve their community. It was really fun to go an interact with the girls, but my favorite part was chatting with a former attendee that is now going to college and doing all sorts of awesome things. She came back to speak to the girls about her experiences prior to and during the summit. It was really emotional but at the end of her presentation, all of the current attendees told her how brave she was and that they looked up to her and admired her because she had worked hard, despite everything else going on in her life.

Joining Junior League has not only allowed me to meet people, but it has been an awesome way to get to know Reading and the surrounding areas. I’m excited to see what comes next!

Volunteering

This was originally going to be part of my “Manic Monday” post, but as I started writing, I realized it was easily turning into it’s own post! Volunteering is something that helps me get involved in my new communities as I move, so I’m more than happy to write an entire post on it!

The first time I can remember volunteering was when I was maybe nine or ten. I was with my Girl Scout troop and we were helping to pack boxes at the local food bank. I knew the boxes were going to “poor people” but I didn’t think they were in my own town. One of the girls from the troop wound up sneaking a peak at the list of families getting these packages and all of the sudden she blurted out, “C—, why is your family on this list?!” We were all so stunned! I remember being appalled by the one girl’s behavior – she was going out of her way to look at a confidential list, which was bad enough, but then to call a “friend” out in front of everybody?? I couldn’t believe it. I was also shocked that a family from our town, let alone a family I knew, needed help. It made me realize that you can’t always “see” when somebody is in need of help.

Through Girl Scouts and various other programs, I frequently volunteered in my community until I graduated high school. My favorite opportunity from Connecticut was to help out at a summer school/day camp for students with special needs. These students ranged anywhere from having really hard to control ADHD all the way to having severe mental disabilities. Several students didn’t speak at all. When I went to college, it was harder to find ways to volunteer. I was living in a brand new community, so I didn’t know WHERE to look for these opportunities. My contributions at that time were limited to helping out with food drives.

My sorority highly values both service and philanthropy. By this point, service was an old hat, but philanthropy was something completely new to me. I was a broke college kid – I had never donated my (non-existent) money to any cause and I had never run any sort of fundraiser. My pledge class and I collected cans to raise money for a local animal shelter and my senior year, I was Mr. RIT chair! I was still able to help out my hometown as well – one of my pledge sisters was from my hometown and shortly before Christmas one year, we held an event at the house to make Christmas cards which we then distributed to nursing home residents at my grandma’s nursing home.

Mr. RIT 2009

When I started at the University of Delaware, I quickly found ways to volunteer. I hosted a “Day of Service” project my first year which gave me one of my favorite UD memories – we ran out of bread for the “PB&J Jam”, so I ran out to buy more. When I returned, it was POURING so I asked some RAs to meet me at the door. The RAs and residents participating in the program actually made a line stretching from my car into the building and passed everything down fireman brigade style. I WISH I had a picture of it. Back then, “Day of Service” was only complex-wide, but it soon became a campus event and now various alumni groups hold their own service events the same day that UD is hosting Day of Service. This year I met up with some alum from Reading to volunteer at an animal shelter.

My favorite organization that I got involved with at UD was the Andrew McDonough B+ (Be Positive) Foundation. I had heard Andrew’s story years and years prior when I was still going to RIT. My then-boyfriend was from Wilmington and had siblings that had attended school with Andrew. The B+ Foundation’s goal is to raise money for children’s cancer research and to assist families with expenses they are unable to cover. I got to personally meet Joe McDonough twice during my time at UD – the first time he came to speak to my staff as we were racing money for UDance and the second time I invited him to come to speak at Widener University during my internship. My favorite part about working with B+ is that they emphasize that every little bit helps. At Widener, Joe McDonough told the story of how just $400 was able to get a little girl a portable oxygen container so she could fly home and spend her final days at her own house with her family members and dog.  I really hope I get to work with B+ again.

Since moving to Reading, I’ve continued to volunteer in my community and in other parts of the country. I joined Junior League a few months after moving here and have been able to help with several organizations that serve the children of Reading. I’m planning on doing a separate post on Junior League later this week! I was also asked by my students to be a trip advisor for Alternative Spring Break. I said yes without even knowing where I was going to be going or what I was going to be doing. I wound up going to Joplin, Missouri to help with two organizations and in just a few days, I’ll be heading back!! I’m super excited and Joplin is DEFINITELY getting its own post! 

If you have any favorite volunteer stories, be sure to leave them in the comments!

102. Print out pictures that I’ve taken and display them.

I might be dating myself here, but some of my favorite days in middle school were the days after a field trip. Why the day after? Because everybody would have taken their rolls of film to get developed and a good portion of the day would be spent passing around those little envelopes filled with pictures. I remember spending HOURS organizing my photo album so my favorite pictures were all in there.

Unfortunately with the invention of Facebook, my favorite one hour photo place took a major hit. Instead of passing around a pile of pictures, now you could click through them while not paying attention during an Art History lecture. Now there are even MORE ways to share pictures. I swear, I have like eight different accounts just to see people’s pictures.

And then came Shutterfly. For those of you not familiar with Shutterfly, it’s a company that lets you upload and print pictures and photo gifts like mugs and calendars and cell phone cases. I’ve used them to print photos for YEARS, but I’ve also made photo books and Christmas cards. My two favorite things about the company is the frequency that they send me coupons and the ability to print to Target. I’ve gotten some AWESOME coupons since I’ve signed up as a Shutterfly member. I printed a photo book for last year’s Joplin trip and shortly after Christmas, they sent me a coupon for 101 free prints…hence this entry.

So with that coupon, I was able to print some pictures from the past few years. The next step was figuring out how to display them. I have quite a few pictures in frames in my living room, but with all the effort I spent hanging them, they’re not coming down until I move out. I wanted something cute, but also easy so I could change the pictures frequently…maybe that will encourage me to print more!

I wound up creating a display above my bed, as my bedroom didn’t have very much decoration. I’ve got some colored twine taped up with hair bows clipped at the end to disguise the tape. The pictures are clipped to the twine with clothes pins. Very Pinterest!

My newest picture display!!

My newest picture display!!

In other decorating news, I did attempt to fix the gallery wall in my living room, and the frame that holds my concert tickets promptly fell down. Again. I also thing I can do more with my bedroom. With as much as I’ve moved around, I always feel like once I have “finished” decorating, it’s time to packet it all up and move again!

Looking at the List #5

49. Apply to another job.

People keep asking why I have this on my list. This isn’t a goal I have for right this very minute, but at some point before I’m thirty, I would like to (and am pretty sure that I will) apply for a different job. My current job is entry level – most only stay for two or three years. I’m halfway through that already! Co-workers have already started to ask if I’m looking again and I’m not at this moment. It’s weird to think that I might not be here for a third year and that I’m  planning events that someone else will run. Another weird thing – this is the first job in my life that doesn’t have a set “end” date. This is also something a lot of my friends will be going through around the same time, so I’m glad I won’t go through it alone!

52. Visit a neighborhood in NYC that I have not visited before.

Even though I grew up going into Manhattan regularly, it’s a big place and there are plenty of areas I’ve never visited! When I was younger, I’d go wherever my parents wanted to go. As I got older, I sort of created a “routine” for going into the city – head up 5th Ave to Central Park then wander around the Upper East Side. I don’t have any plans to go Manhattan anytime soon, but next time I do, I’ll be sure to ask for suggestions!

53. Buy my dad Yankees tickets for his birthday.

My dad’s really into sports. Football and baseball are his favorites, but he willingly came to hockey games with me all through high school. My dad and I do not see eye-to-eye on football teams (Go Patriots!) but we DO share a favorite baseball team. My dad’s birthday is also just days before baseball season starts. There have been a few years that I’ve looked into getting him tickets for the home opener, but I can’t afford that. Sorry, PJ. However there are a bunch of other games each season that I’m sure he’d be happy to receive tickets for…I also want to see the new stadium…yes that’s how long it’s been since I’ve been to a game.

55. Watch the entire series of “Friends”.

One of my neighbors was really obsessed with the TV show “Friends” when we were in middle school. I watched a few episodes here and there so I had something to contribute to the conversation. She was also obsessed with Backstreet Boys but that was not a path I was willing to travel. I’m sure that I would appreciate the show much more now as a twenty-something. Is it on Netflix? I don’t think it’s on Netflix…that means I have three and a half years to find the DVDs and watch it.

Looking at the List #4

31. Get the balance of my student loans under their original amount.

Like most twenty-somethings out there, I had to take out student loans in order to fund my four five seven years of higher education. I pay a lot towards them each much so I can pay them off as soon as possible, but I swear it seems like I haven’t made a dent. I currently owe more than I took out in the first place thanks to interest. It’s hard because at this point, my payment isn’t much more than the loans accrue in interest each month. Every month I look to see if my loans have gotten below that magic number and I plan on celebrating once this happens…maybe a $12 bottle of wine instead of a $6 bottle!!

37. Buy the rest of my bedroom furniture.

Many entry-level student affairs positions require that you live on campus. Mine is one of them. Most schools provide furniture for your apartment. Mine is only sort of one of them…when I moved in, the only furniture was the same type of furniture that you find in a dorm room – desk, dresser, and a twin XL. My boss told me that I could have this furniture removed and bring in my own, which I promptly did. I spent a wonderful day at Ikea picking out everything I wanted for my apartment, but only left with a few things. Currently, I have the bed and the vanity from my bedroom set. I still have the school-provided dresser in my apartment and probably will until I leave (which will hopefully be sometime before I’m 30!). I can’t wait to have the matching dresser and nightstand!

I already have the vanity on the left…can’t wait to have a matching set!

42. Be a bridesmaid. (October 2014!)

While I’ve had plenty of friends get married, I’ve never been a bridesmaid. The closest I’ve come is being a flower girl when I was seven (no I don’t have pictures). Next year, I will get the chance to be a bridesmaid! Ashley, my friend that I met the first day of kindergarten, asked me to be in her wedding! I’m super excited for her and super excited for the wedding!! We’ve already picked out our dresses and shoes – now comes the fun part…planning the shower and bachelorette party. The other bridesmaids are Ashley’s sisters and some of our other friends, so there won’t be any crazy Bridesmaids-style drama.

Trying on bridesmaids dresses for next year!

Trying on bridesmaids dresses for next year!

44. Visit a farmer’s market.

When I lived in Rochester, I was lucky enough to have the Public Market a short drive away. On Saturday mornings, I could head out and pick up food for the week for a fraction of what it would cost me in the grocery store. There would be farmers selling fresh fruits and veggies, Mennonite families selling baked goods, and plenty of stands on the side where you could get crepes or empanadas so you didn’t hungry-shop. Apparently there’s something similar in Reading, but I have yet to check it out. Maybe this weekend…

Looking at the List #1

So why do I want to do the things I want to do? I would love to say that each and every task on this list is deeply meaningful to me, but I’d be lying. Some of these are things that I just want to experience. For those that do have meaning (and a meaning I feel like sharing) I’ll post a little bit about it so y’all can get to know me better!

3. Host a brunch.

I’m weirdly obsessed with brunch. Who need to day drink in some grubby backyard when it’s socially acceptable to hit up a cute cafe with your girlfriends and enjoy unlimited mimosas? I recently went to an amazing brunch with my home friends and while it’s nice to not have to worry about cooking or clean up, I do prefer the more relaxed environment of someone’s home. I don’t have the space for it (yet) but someday I would love to host a brunch for my friends complete with cute decorations, yummy food, and plenty of champagne!

Brunch at the Frog Pond

Me at the Frog Pond in 2011

4. Go on a vacation with friends.

Probably the only perk of being an only child was that I got to take a friend or two on vacation with me when I was growing up. Those trips are some of my best memories…we cause quite a bit of mayhem all up and down the eastern seaboard. I was also lucky enough to go on several overnight trips during high school (being a “band geek” had its benefits). My senior year, we got to go to Disney World for an entire week.

Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to go on a trip like this since high school. Any trip I’ve had with friends since then has involved sleeping on someone’s couch. We haven’t had the money to take off work, buy plane tickets, or stay in hotels. Now that most of us have full time jobs with paid time off, it’s possible to plan a trip like this!

Annndddd the good news is I am! At the end of the month I’m going to Disney World with my big and my little! I can’t wait to cross something off my 300 list AND update everybody about the fun things we did!

5. Come up with 300 things I want to (and think I can) do!

This is pretty obvious…can’t have 300 before 30 without the 300. As of October first, I had made it just about to 100. I’ve been asking friends for suggestions and looking at other people’s lists to get ideas. I also am looking forward to getting suggestions from any random strangers that happen across this blog.

6. Move off campus.

When I was touring colleges in high school, the dorm tours were my FAVORITE. I enjoyed seeing how everybody decorated and arranged their rooms. I couldn’t wait to buy all sorts of cute matching shit from Target. In fact, I still enjoy seeing how my students decorate their rooms…but I’m not eighteen anymore…I want to live somewhere with a porch and a yard!

Living in an on-campus (and in-residence) apartment is one of the “benefits” of my job. It’s got its ups and downs (hence the quotation marks). The rent is cheap, the commute is great, and facilities was even able to wrestle up a spare dresser so I buy and put together another piece of Ikea furniture. So what are some of the negatives? Fire alarms at 2 am. Students around CONSTANTLY. The fact that my not being homeless COMPLETELY depends on my having THIS job. And at the end of the day, no matter how much I try to improve my apartment, it still feels very much like a dorm.

One of my ResLife friends recently moved to Indiana with her husband and kids and one of the things that I was most excited about for her was that she was moving from an on campus apartment to a cute little house! I know that I won’t be moving off campus any time soon, but I really hope I’m not celebrating my thirtieth birthday in an on campus apartment.

8. Go back to Quebec City.

I have two memories EVER of watching the Olympics. The more recent one was maybe the most recent Summer Olympics. I was in a bar and I happened to look up to see the results of some rowing competition, only to see the name of a kid from my hometown on TV. The other memory was from the Summer Olympics in 2004. My parents and I were in Quebec City and they left me alone in our hotel to go do something that I was most likely too young to take part in Being a moody teenager, I was completely okay with being left alone with just the TV…except that every channel was in French. So…I watched the Olympics in French.

Quebec City was BEAUTIFUL. North America isn’t exactly known for its historic settlements, but parts of Quebec City are OLD. When I visited, I was old enough to run around the city on my own, but too young to do any of the “fun” things and too poor to do any of the fun things. I’ve heard they have some unique activities in the winter, but since all of my friends and family hate the cold, it looks like this will have to be a warm weather trip.

My parents made a reservation here for one night as a birthday present to me!