We are the SAME.

For those of you not familiar with the admission field, it is  currently that time of year where most admission counselors/college reps are what we like to call “on the road”.  On the road in high schools doing classroom presentations, visiting different career centers/ guidance offices, and making our way through the never ending circuit of night time college fairs, all to meet with students.

It is among this time of year when I am always reminded how much I LOVE this age group, because I get to see them in mass quantities several times a week.  They inspire me with their lofty goals, they make me laugh with their silly demeanor and they make me feel like I am somehow making a small but powerful imprint on their lives.

Do I get tired of students asking the same questions over and over again? Sure.  Do I sometimes want to roll my eyes at the way some of them dress or act?  Of course.  Do I want to sigh a little bit when a student says they want to be a doctor but they”are not very good with science or blood”.  Yes.  But I don’t.

Why? Because I was there.  I was confused.  The world was really big and the options were overwhelming when I was 17.  I was just trying to figure out my way, just like they are.  And sometimes that comes with not knowing what to say to a college rep or asking a totally off the wall question just to impress your friends and be funny. I didn’t know what questions to ask either.  Sure, I cared about college and my future but I also cared a lot about my friends, that was my world at the time.  I totally thought I looked cute with my over-sized sweatpants and ratty hair. I hardly looked  people in the eye when I spoke to them… and not because I was trying to be disrespectful.  But because I was so incredibly insecure about the big zit breakout that was my face and mouth full of metal I had.  So, no these kids don’t offend me in the slightest. We ARE the same, they will look back and laugh at themselves too.  You see we have this terrible habit of saying things like “kids these days are just different, I don’t get it” or “I wasn’t like that”.  I call bull.

 jill juniorUGH.

“Every generation has always rebelled against the generation it has followed. ”

-Unknown

My last post I talked about not losing our young selves who were wide eyed dreamers, ready to take on the world.  It is easy to become jaded.  To become tired.  It is easy to stomp on the younger generation because YOU know the “reality” and they don’t, right?  WRONG.

I cannot tell you how many times I will have some colleagues from other schools whom I am next to at fair say things like:

“OMG did you see those pants?  Could they be any tighter?? “

“That girl just asked me if we had a Drama program, doesn’t she know it’s called THEATRE, so annoying.”

“Like that kid is ever going to get through Medical school with the way he just talked to me, good luck!”

“Did she REALLY just ask me that??”

Oh and this one is my favorite…

“I wish kids would get off their phone and talk to me like real people”  (as the admission counselor/college rep is staring at his or her phone and texting the entire fair)

Do we have to laugh and have some humor out of some of the questions and comments that come our way?  Yes of course!  If we didn’t make it fun, we would go insane!  But there IS a line.  There is a good natured laugh and then there are people who I see get truly OFFENDED by what a 16-18 year old says to them.  This is what I want to say to those people…

If you don’t find high school students intriguing and hilarious to be around and the only thing you can do is bash them and make fun of them… YOU ARE IN THE WRONG JOB.  Do me a solid and stop giving us admission folk who love these kids and want to help them find their way, a bad name.

I get it.  YOU are NOT the same as these kids, they are just soooo different.  You NEVER asked “stupid” questions.  Never wore questionable clothing.  Never was confused about your career path. Never was intimidated by a college rep or adult.  Must have been nice to just pop out of the womb mature and established.  Please, tell us your secrets.

Highschool

These kids need our honesty, our information, our guidance and our COMPASSION.  Not our attitude.

 Almost there admission friends, keep trucking along!

How did I get here?

Do you ever catch yourself in a moment and wonder…“How did I get here?”.  How did I get to be this age? How did I get to this place?  It is almost as if the years happen in the blink of an eye without us even noticing.

I have had A LOT of those moments this past year, especially at work.  In my head I am still the same 22 year old new Freshman Admission Counselor who was SO excited to start a new career, SO terrified of the unknown, SO eager to learn and dreaming about the day where I was the one answering questions to the newbies in our office, going to all the director meetings and making important decisions.   Someday, I thought.  But at the time that day seemed SO far off.

AUMy first staff picture at AU

It did not occur to me until a month or so ago when I was sitting in yet another one of THOSE meetings talking about data strategies, how our numbers are looking, new incentives, how to motivate our staff, and it hit me.  Holy CRAP I am HERE.  How did I get here?

I still feel like the same 22 year old who is just making it up as I go and doing my best.  Yea, I guess people do ask me more questions now.  Yea, I guess I do have some power to make changes and decisions.  Yea, I guess I do know more than I did 6 years ago, when did that happen? It is not like I got to this point where there were balloons and confetti and people saying- “TADA!! You have ARRIVED to adulthood!”,  “You have arrived to your destination!”  It’s a gradual change, that often goes unnoticed.  I slowly became more involved at AU, I slowly became more knowledgeable, I slowly was one of the most experienced in the office and I slowly became farther and farther from the age of 22.  Yet, I still do not feel that I am at my “destination”, not sure I ever will.

Just this past weekend was North Central College’s homecoming.  After spending time re-uniting with my old teammates and friends, I spend a little more time roaming around campus.  So much has changed since I left there, it is kind of sad that the place that was once so dear to me,  is a place I rarely ever visit anymore.   I am the type of person that when there is a new chapter in my life, I like to throw myself fully forward and not look back…which is a weakness and a strength.

trolleyinside

Even though  I cried those sad tears at my college graduation and mourned with my teammates about never playing on that field again that taught us so much and brought us so many memories,  I was excited to move forward to a new chapter.  I think at first, I was too sad to go back, but then once my new life began, I got caught up in it.  I had new memories to make at AU, new people to impress, new goals to set.  But the weakness in not looking back…is I totally and completely forget how far I have come.

Trolley

This beautiful building below is where I interviewed as a freshman for my first campus job as a Tour Guide at NCC.  It was one of many jobs I held in college all four years, this one was my “fun” one.  You know, one of those jobs that you know is not really going to get you any good experience for your career field-but you love it anyway?  That is how I felt about being a tour guide, how ironic.    Little did I know that this “fun” on campus job, would ignite my love for helping students and lead into the career that I am in now.  So much for that Exercise Science major 🙂

oldmain

It was in this building below that Shain and I first met.  A relationship I was so unsure about as an 18 year old, ended up being the best thing that ever happened to me.

Carnegie

As life passes us by, I think sometimes we forget about our starry eyed younger selves that had enough ambition and dreams to fuel an entire lifetime.  We get so caught up in our day to day that we don’t even REALIZE that we have achieved half our goals.  We get jaded.  We get tired.  And we don’t appreciate what is happening around us.  Slow down, look around.  How did you get here?  There is something special about taking a trip down memory lane, it gives you so many realizations.  Sometimes it even makes you realize that the dreams you wanted so badly back then..are not what you want anymore.  That’s okay.

It doesn’t matter if you are in your 20’s or in your 80’s, I think we all ask that same question.  How did I get here?  When did this life happen?

Do yourself a favor and take a moment to reflect.  Look back 5, 10, 15, 2o years.  How far have you come?  Make a point to bring back that wide eyed dreamer that we all used to be.  It makes the present moment we are in that much more valuable and sometimes even gives us clarity on what direction to take next.

Stay blessed in the mess 🙂

 

Boston Qualifer, Boston Hopeful.

I am going to be honest.  I didn’t want to write about this.  I didn’t want to post about it.  But for the last month I have gotten similar questions quite often “When does Boston training start?  Did you book your flight?  Are you so excited?”.  I felt an explanation was necessary and of course it always helps my mind when I write things out.  I don’t want pity, my life is filled with an abundant of blessings.  But I am human and of course I am upset about the turn of events with this race.

My Boston qualifying victory was a short lived one.  I felt on top of the world for a day or so, even though in the back of my mind I knew there would be a chance I still would not make the registration cut due to all the new interest in the Boston Marathon.  I felt like I finally proved to myself I was good enough.  But when I got the official news that I did not meet the registration cut-off, the feelings of “nope, you still aren’t good enough” started to roll in.

When talking to a friend right after the race about how I wish I could have run faster, she said “ I mean really woman, I swear you won’t be happy until you run SO fast that you actually have a negative time and end the race before you started!!”.  That made me laugh, funny because it is kind of true.  I guess we are never good enough for ourselves right?  Being human is hard.

 

trail

But then I came across two opportunities for charity spots.  One was through the Liver Foundation and the other was for Martin Richards, who was the young boy killed in the the terrible bombing.  My first instinct was that I would love to run for the Martin Richard’s foundation and support his family, but the fundraising minimum is $7,500.  The Liver Foundation is $5,000.   Both of these numbers scared me.  I have fundraised many a time in my life, but I will be honest I am not good at it, I do not like asking people for money.

Do I run for the cause that is less money but doesn’t pull on my heartstrings?  Or do I run for a cause that I feel a little more compassion for but has a much larger fundraising goal that I am uncomfortable with?  As I was thinking of which one to choose- a big part of me felt like I was cheating.  You ever have one of those uneasy feelings about a decision?  A gut feeling?  That is what I had about running for a charity, I cannot explain it but I know better than to go against a gut feeling.

I  could not see myself asking people for money for a charity that I do not feel connected to JUST so that I can run my dream marathon.  To me,  that seems incredibly selfish.  When I go to Boston I want to be there because I earned it.  Because I have a time that is worthy.

let go

What is so bizarre to me is that all three marathons I have run to try and qualify made no sense, I did all the right things.  Fine -the first time I was terrified and truly did not think I could pull it off.  But for the last two, my mind was pretty good and confident.   For ALL of them I was on pace in my training for at least a 3:28ish marathon if not faster.  My long runs were well below pace, my track workouts were  below pace- but all three race days my pace was different and my body did not feel strong.  Could be the nerves, could be the mind, could be nutrition… could be a lot of things.  But as I am reflecting on all of this, there have been lots of indicators that perhaps 2015 was not meant to be for me.  So I am not going to fight it anymore.

While my time is technically still good for 2016 (pending the same registration issue does not come up again)  Shain and I were also hoping to start trying for a family by that point.  And while yes, running the Boston Marathon has been a dream of mine…it is not a big enough dream to put my bigger dream of having a family on hold.  But, as you know God laughs when you make plans.  So, I am sure both will happen in the time they are supposed to.   I just have to trust there is a greater plan and there always is.

Stay blessed in the mess 🙂

October fun.

I was about to start writing this post with “Wow, these last few weeks have been crazy!” until I realized that in the two years I have been blogging I think I have started a post with that line at least 25 times.  I swear, even when I give things up and try to say no to more…life is still so crazy.  I feel like I cannot get a breath in!  Sad part is I had the last 8 weeks off of grad school classes, so that is one more thing that will be added on in two weeks.  But only two more courses to go, whoopeeee!

There has been so many big life events these last few weeks that have my emotions all in a tizzy.  First was the big move of two of our very good friends, Mike and Chelsey.  Although, it is a good thing for them to be heading back home to Minnesota to be closer to family and their roots, it was a heart breaker.   When I moved to Oswego 5 years ago to live with Shain, I was very uneasy about this new town I was about to live in as I didn’t know much about it.   Low and behold this outgoing little blonde who just started working at AU told me that she and her husband lived in Oswego, just a few blocks away from us, and that is was lovely.  Turns out she was right.  Insta- friends!

chels

We started on going runs together, then we did races together, we took lots of coffee walks with our pups, biked to work together and eventually we grew our little circle of friendship to some other co-workers who also lived in the area.  Mike and Chelsey were the sole reason I started to fall in love with Oswego.  There is truly something to be said about having friends/neighbors who are within seconds away and always up for an adventure, even a simple one.  As if I did not love them enough, they had an adorable baby boy a year ago who I have had the privilege of getting to know.  I love these three and super sad I won’t be seeing them on a weekly basis anymore.  But that just means Shain and I will get to explore the beautiful state of Minnesota now 😉

mjc

My brother and his family moved back to Illinois after being in Maryland for a very long time, which means we get to see them and my niece so much more, it is AWESOME.  We just celebrated her second birthday a few weeks ago in conjunction with another family party we always have before my grandparents go back to Florida for the winter.  She is just getting so big so fast and I am so thankful I get to see her more and more as she develops into this awesome little person.  I mean look at her.

BRYNN

Lastly, my BEST FRIEND got married this past weekend.  And it could not have been a more perfectly awesome day.  My heart was SO full on Sunday, so much happiness and so many great moments.  Not only was she one of the easiest brides ever (actually all my friends have been easy brides, cuz I don’t tend to associate with the bridezilla type- sorry) but the day of she was so calm, collected and just happy.  She rocked it.

This girl has been my rock for 14 years and she has found her self one outstanding man to spend her life with.  The drinks were flowing, the dance floor pulsed all night and you could NOT get a bad picture of these two.  They looked just stunning.  I am so excited to see how all the pictures turn out!

bandm

I am not going to lie, my MOH speech which I was so nervous about ( I seriously felt like I was going to puke) went great.  I got laughs, I got tears and nobody booed me or stole the mic from my hands, phew.    Again, all in all freaking awesome weekend.

Of course, September and October are also crazy busy months in the world of Admission so the pace at the office is nonstop.  I am lucky if I can answer an email in 24 hours let alone even get to my email.   Shain is gone pretty often during these months as well, which is a total bummer.  Not sure when this crazy life will ever slow down, I keep trying as I might to hit the brakes, I really do.  For now, I suppose I should just enjoy the ride.

 Stay blessed in the mess 🙂