There are certain joys that come with growing up – moving out of the parents house, sleep overs with your significant other, and of course the possibility of landing a job outside of retail. Little did we realize, when we were young and dreaming of being older, was how much comes with being a grown-up. No one ever told us there was a chance our dreams wouldn’t come true and no one ever warned us things just might not work out as planned.
I was in elementary school, I can remember in third grade for the first time deciding I was going to grow-up and become a writer. By fifth grade,when my spelling failed to improve, I gathered friends, who excitedly agreed to be my editors when they grew-up. There I was, sitting in the loft in my elementary school library with my friends, planning our future.
As I headed into middle school I focused my writing career more specifically in on journalism. While some friends had dropped off the editors list, new friends had found their way on. Come seventh grade I was the co-editor and co-founder of Godwin Middle School’s newspaper. Sure that year we only published a whole two or three issues of the paper, but it was more then the school had in years.
By sophomore year of High School I had ditched the music stand and set my saxophone off to the side to enroll in Journalism classes and quickly became an active member of The Watchdog, holding multiple editor positions over the years. I graduated with honors, a member of the Society of Professional Journalist JR and other journalistic awards.
After graduation I packed up my bags and moved down to Richmond where I was a freshmen at Virginia Commonwealth University enrolled in the mass comm program. My classes were beyond fabulous, I wrote articles for class, became an active and regular contributor to the VCU Magazine. At the end of my Freshmen year I was elected Managing Editor of the school Magazine and was an active part of its restructure. Sophomore year started busy with magazine meetings and more advanced communication classes, but my heart laid elsewhere.
The grown-up consequences began to sink in, the rent for the apartment was due every month, free time was saved for sleeping when it occurred and most days consisted of a 4:30 am wake-up call to drive to work about 20 minutes up 95, followed by a rush back to park the car and run to class, a break long enough to run home and eat/shower/study/relax, followed up by another class at 7:30 pm finishing off the day at 10:30 pm to turn around and do it all again.
I was always burnt out and returning home on the weekends to visit the friends I was sure were for a life time – reality check, it takes a very special person to be a good friend for a while, lesson learned – and the boy who still holds the key to my heart.
Mid-sophomore year I decided to pack my bags, put my room up for rent and put my future in the hands of George Mason’s enrollment department. Long story short, I got accepted, moved home and continued studying communication at Mason.
In May 2011 – a whole year ago, its insane – I graduated from Mason and quickly realized, while my path had stayed the same through my years of education all those career plans just weren’t realistic. It was a harsh reality, the worst part by far was serving (if your ever in the Northern VA area head by Tim’s Rivershore, its the hidden secret charm in the area and a bunch of fun) and being asked by those friends from elementary school, why I was serving when I had a college degree.
In March I officially landed my job in the corporate HR sector (remember when that happened?!), I had officially made my transition into the grown-up world, I was working Monday through Friday, set hours, weekends off, a salary and benefits.
Lets bring on the grown-up consequences…. (to be continued)