Outfit # 73: How do you like them apples?
Since graduating, writing assignments seem less daunting. I don’t dread working and I don’t feel this constant lingering pressure. I realized how hard I worked in school, but now I’m wondering why. I knew grades didn’t matter post-grad, but I needed HOPE scholarship to help cover cost and I needed to graduate with honors for my own satisfaction.
And I did it.
I made it Magnum Cum Laude. During school I lessened my work load by taking 12 hours per semester. The first year I took 12 so I could devote as much time as possible to math and science classes, subjects I’ve always struggled with. Then I kept it at 12 so I could work for the school newspaper without having a nervous breakdown. My last two semesters I upped my hours, 15 and 18, so I could graduate “on time.”
Every day I would devote my attention to classes and give 110% of my effort to every assignment. I didn’t worry about my grades because my professors knew the standards I held for myself. They knew I wouldn’t turn in shoddy work and even when I did waver, they still had faith in me.
After class, I would come home and work more. Then zombie out in front of the TV or computer wishing I had the energy to do the things I loved. I tried so hard to live like I wanted. I kept writing blog posts, sporadically, and taking pictures. I went for walks in the mornings before classes sometimes. I wanted to be healthy and happy and have fun. And I managed to almost do it. But GOSH DARN, it was not easy. I gave up a lot to get there. I gave up passion projects, consistent blog posts, time with my family, sleep, and healthy eating habits.
And now that I’m living in the real world, I realize I don’t have to. So why did I have to in college?
Every project I take on now, I do so because it’s something I believe in. I get to work on growing a community online and challenging my photography and writing. I want to make more stuff. And now I can. I wonder what the regimen of college really did for me. Because all I can see, looking back, is nervous energy and frantic typing. I can understand why college may not be for everyone.
What I really miss about school is being around people who want you to know stuff and know it well. I love learning. I don’t really enjoy sitting in a classroom, but I loved feeling smarter. I liked goofing on my professors and the challenge of trying to impress them with my ideas and writing. If I got a an A but my professor wasn’t impressed or didn’t give me verbal kudos, I didn’t feel like I had really done my best. Maybe that’s arrogant or egotistical, but I loved the challenge. It took me 5 years to build up that confidence. I won’t apologize for it now. Can I wow a person with a PhD? I can. But what does that matter now?
One time in class, a professor mentioned the movie Good Will Hunting and his rant on college, essentially saying everything you learned in college is available at your local public library. The dude is right, but even Will Hunting needed professors. He couldn’t do it alone. This is where I think I got the most out of my experience. I was able to develop a relationship with my professors that encouraged me to try harder. Going to a small college helped too. While I was trying to impress them, I was also trying to prove that their support and encouragement was making me better. I wanted to make them proud. That is where it was all worth it for me. It was all worth it.
Layers like an ogre in today’s outfit post. I picked up the striped Old Navy dress at a Goodwill in Atlanta. The heart-patterned button up is a DIY I did a few years ago. On top is a chunky grandpa sweater that my mom got me. Actually, she got two of the same sweater. One for me and one for my brother. The knit hat, my fave, is from TJ Maxx another gift from dearest mom. And the galloping horses necklace came from a downtown antiques booth store, appropriately called Southern Pickers. And as always those are my worn out, tore up Vans on my feet.