Category Archives: School

The Post-Grad Life

Hi.

Even as I’ve finished school, the common thread of “the Tobi Thompson school life” still persists. I’m reflecting a lot more than usual lately just because today I watched a lot of my friends attend graduation on their Snapchat stories. But in reality, I reflect on this every. damn. day.

It’s been nearly 5 months since I’ve graduated and I have yet to land a “real” job. So of course, the woes of an entitled millennial start here, right? I’ll admit, I haven’t been applying every day, or hell, every week. And I haven’t heard back from jobs I expected to hear back from. Granted, my expectations really only got so high out of hope, but I feel qualified enough to land an interview. Yet, the places I’ve applied request not to be contacted again.

I even turned down a job because I knew it wasn’t the right fit. I’m scrambling for anything, but at the same time, if you just know, you know. I can’t exactly describe it, other than I would not have been able to fill the job correctly. Nearly everyone harrowed me about it: “It’s a start though and you can’t be picky with your first job,” or “This will lead to other jobs” or “Think about what it will say on your resume.” I had, of course, considered all of those things. After all, that’s why I even bothered applying and going to the interview in the first place. But when I was asked to do something that was not in my area of expertise, nor could be taught this either, I just couldn’t follow through. So I politely declined, and let me tell you that I still do not regret it.

Instead, I’ve gotten promoted at my “non-real” job. The job at the hotel that I’ve had for three years now. So I continue to work in customer service, patiently being every guest’s personal bitch. And it’s not all that bad, but there’s a lot of things that are changing in my life, and I just wish a new job position would line up with everything else that’s changing as well. I feel stuck here, while everything else is up in the air. Let me explain.

I still live at my mom’s because affording living anywhere else in New Jersey alone seems to be…how do I say this? Impossible. And all of my friends in this state are forced to do the same. My mom has been trying to leave Belmar for the last 10 years. Well guess who finally sold her condo? My mom did this without lining up another place to live in (and I don’t blame her). So as of July 1, we have no idea where we’ll be living.

My friends are all landing jobs or graduating or doing great things or have steady schedules. And yet I feel so behind for once. My schedule is all over the place, which has always been fine in the past, but again, I’m ready for that next stage in my life. I’m ready for a 9-5. I’m ready for an adventure.

I have a boyfriend. An actual boyfriend for once. And that in itself is so new to me. I can say that I feel stable when I’m with him, which is comforting, of course. But I also don’t want it to hold me back from moving to New York City or landing a real job. So in that respect, I’m terrified of what’s to eventually come.

I feel busy every day and I don’t seem to have a ton of time to dedicate to applying to places (right now I’m actually at work). And I don’t even know what I’m doing every day. I feel like I’m in a black hole right now and I know it will pass.

Sometimes I remind myself that I only just graduated and that something will come my way and it won’t be so bad. This was, after all, the sage wisdom I had given to my friends (and felt justified in giving since I took that year and a half off from school. This feeling is similar, but I can say that it is not the same) after they graduated. But sometimes I’m like, It’s already five months and it’s gone by so fast. Next thing you’ll know, you’re 25 and everything’s the same.

And while some people relish in continuity and repeated sameness, I just don’t feel happy feeling stuck or no room to grow. It’s probably part of the reason why I travel so much.

And even though I just went to Atlanta last month, and going to Puerto Rico for a wedding in June, I’m already getting an itch to get out of here.

So that post-grad life has a lot and nothing for me all in the same package. Where to next? And when? The eternal post-grad questions.

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Pros & Cons of Community College

I’ve thought about writing this post for years now. Ever since I started community college, I knew I wanted to weigh the pros and cons of community college versus four year institutions. I thought by graduation, I’d have answer as to which way is “the” way to go. But it turns out all I can say is that as my college life is officially over (I received my degree yesterday) that all these experiences make up my weird college life that brought the inconsistent blog ramblings of a late-teen/early-twenties girl just trying to find stability and tranquil in a difficult time.

So after my senior year of high school ended, I believed I was going to a four year institution, Suffolk University. This expectation stemmed from the fact that all of my sisters went to whatever schools they wanted to, on top of the support from my mother, speechlessly expressing that I could do anything I wanted to if I put my mind to it. But as the complication of family life, money problems, and school insecurities from my mother all boiled from one pot, I volunteered to go to community college. Instantly my mom was relieved and I could tell how much this meant to her. I felt that I was forced to, and that suddenly my entire life’s expectations crumbled into that one, pathetic moment of changing plans in front of everyone on social media. But it didn’t seem all that bad because a lot of my close friends were also going to the same community college.

I had higher expectations for myself in terms of an education and an experience, but the truth is that I got an experience that students at higher institutions could never experience. Nearly all the students I interacted with at Brookdale Community College had full time jobs–or close to it. And while students in other schools had jobs, it never compared to the work-workload (rather than school-workload) that these CC students worked. Most of the students who attended Brookdale had to work for their education per semester, compared to others who immediately got loans and often got financial help from parents. But when you live at home, your parents expect you to be the adult you need to be post-college. So here were all of these students working as hard as they would post-college, but while in college. And while the coursework was honestly easier than my coursework at Syracuse, it gave most of my friends a better work ethic and more drive. It helped me to deal with budgeting, scheduling (though I’m a very good planner to begin with), and balancing life. All while living from home. Which is never easy, despite the possibility of free rent.

But the coursework didn’t prepare me for how difficult Syracuse would be.

Especially since because all of my general education core requirement courses were all knocked out within my first two years at Brookdale, that meant that I only had room to take all of my majors and harder classes all at once for the remaining two years at Syracuse.

So I do feel that although my first two years were “easy” in terms of school work, I do feel strongly when I say that my two years at Syracuse were much harder than most of the other juniors and seniors I was classmates with. Trying to cram all of my requirements into four semesters proved to be difficult, but again, I’m good with planning.

So the question is, is community college worth it?

I absolutely loved every semester at Syracuse, no matter how hard it got. I loved the people I met. The activities and clubs that my school offered. I loved what I learned in most of my classes. I felt like I could have even practiced more and gotten better internships and opportunities had I attended Syracuse all four years. I would have made more friends and been closer with them had I had that my freshman year.

All of those things that I got from SU and wish I had more time with doesn’t negate my money saved and lessons learned from community college, though. Additionally, obtaining my Associates from Brookdale actually helped my transfer process into Syracuse. ALL of my credits were accepted from Brookdale at Syracuse and the Associates degree actually waived me of other SU requirements such as more science classes (my weakest subject). So not only did I get away with getting a Syracuse degree with only two years to show for it, but I also got away with only taking one lab science course and two math courses, and I spent less money getting all that.

So while I brag, I’m also pensive and slightly melancholic over those who got to attend schools such as Syracuse for all four years. The bonds I could have made with others would be stronger and over a longer period of time. The internships I could have had would show more of my worth and experience (and thus making me more hireable). The knowledge I would have gained from a variety of choice electives would have given me more liberty to explore. But I didn’t have any wiggle room aside from required skill classes since all of my general ed courses/electives were filled from Brookdale.

But I don’t resent the fact that I went to Brookdale. My whole college career was a journey–including the year and a half that I spent not in college. I gained that work ethic. I practiced “true” adulthood*. I am where I am because of where I was and I saved money in the meantime doing so.

So, again, the question was is community college worth it?

My answer comes down to a matter of privilege. If you have the opportunity and the expenditures for a four year institution, by all means, go. Get the “real” college experience. Make those friends, join those clubs, get those internships, create those bonds, cry those coursework-related stress tears.

But if you’re not so fortunate, community college is honestly a fine option. The counselors won’t work out your schedule for you. Know how to finish in 2 years. Get that good GPA to move forward. Know how to get out and explore on your own. Don’t get stuck. After that, you’re set. It’s a stepping stone. It’s independence. It’s still college. It’s still an accomplishment. And it’s still worth it since it gets you somewhere else next. Also–join. those. clubs.

I may not have a job 2 months after graduation, but I still made it because it was hard and I learned how to do (and pay) for it all on my own**. It’s still something I’m proud of even if I never get a job…..But please hire me.

 

*This morning I went out for breakfast and stacked coffee creamers into a pyramid because apparently I’m still 4 years old.

**with help.

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Holidays

It still surprises me when people don’t know which holidays occur when. I’m more infuriated when someone over the age of 9 is looking at a calendar and asks me, “When is Thanksgiving?” than when college graduates misuse your/you’re and their/there/they’re. That really boils my blood, too. I’ve seen charts, tables, guides, and all kinds of easy references to help those people remember, but I’ve come to the conclusion that:

1. They’re hopeless.

OR

2. They just don’t want to learn, so they never do.

So, grammar differences aside, this is Tobi’s Guide to Holidays. The name still needs working on.

January

1 New Year’s Day. Shouldn’t be too hard. The first day of the Gregorian calendar.

15 Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birthday. His actual birthday. The federal celebration of his birthday occurs on the third Monday of January, which obviously changes year to year. This is the closest to his birthday, while still giving us that fabulous 3 day weekend.

February

2 Groundhog’s Day. It’s interesting that most people know this one.

14 Valentine’s Day. Guys- just remember this date for your girls. Girls- just remember it. Everyone else- stop trying to end Valentine’s Day because you’re lonely or because it’s a “Hallmark holiday.” It’s a reason to eat chocolate, wear pink, and celebrate. Never ruin a chance to celebrate.

12ish President’s Day. President’s day, like MLK Jr Day, falls on the 3rd Monday of the month, celebrating both Abe Lincoln’s (Feb 12) and George Washington’s (Feb 11th/22th) birthday*. Don’t forget the date placement of this holiday because sometimes schools take off 1 to 2 days for this one, while other schools take off the entire week.

25 My birthday. Tobi Thompson. Duh.

Mardi Gras/Ash Wednesday. The first thing to remember is that Mardi Gras is always on a Tuesday. The second thing is that it does not have to be in February. The third, Mardi Gras is also known as Fat Tuesday. The fourth, Ash Wednesday ALWAYS directly follows Mardi Gras. This one is tricky to figure out, but Mardi Gras is exactly 40 days before Sunday Easter (see Easter).

March

If you live in or near Belmar, NJ, then the first Sunday of March is a holiday, because it marks the day of the infamous St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Which is a shitty parade that SO MANY people go to and get drunk. After this day, you’ve done your St. Patty’s celebrating, and by the time St. Patrick’s day actually does come around, you’re ready for the next holiday. This day also is realized as the day you’re ready for winter to be over.

17 St. Patrick’s Day. Pretend you’re Irish. Ironically wear green.

April

Easter 40 days after Mardi Gras. Easter can also take place in March. It is the first Sunday after the full moon, following the March Equinox. Good Friday is that Friday before Easter.

Just Google or stare at a calendar to determine when Passover is. If you really need to know, you already know it.

15 Tax Day. I’d say this one is pretty important for adults to remember.

22 Earth Day. It’s a good day to remember life and oxygen and trees. Plus it’s usually sunny. So it’s usually a happy day.

P.S. I just learned that Arbor Day is different for every state. Last Friday in April for New Jersey.

May

5 Cinco de Mayo. Five of May. This is NOT Mexico’s Independence Day. This is about the state of Puebla. And about American’s celebrating Mexican heritage and pride. This day gets stereotyped real fuckin’ fast. Also known as Cinco de Drink-o. Drink-o de Mayo. Sinko de Mayo.

12ish Mother’s Day. Second Sunday in May.

Memorial Day is the last Monday in May. Also known as the day that teachers and students give up because they’re ready for Summer.

June

14 Flag Day. I met a person who’s favorite holiday is Flag Day and it’s not even the same day as their birthday. I met ONE person.

16ish Father’s Day. Third Sunday in June.

July

4 Independence Day. If you’re not wearing any red, white, or blue, you’re doing it wrong. If you’re not eating BBQ food, you’re doing it wrong.

August

I know a lot of birthdays that are in August. It’s still summer. That’s holiday enough.

September

First Monday in September is Labor Day. The end of summer.

Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. See Passover.

October

12 Columbus Day. His actual date of arrival to the Americas. The holiday? Second Monday of October.

31 Halloween. If you’re confused, then you must be new.

November

The Tuesday after the first Monday in November is Election Day (So if Nov 1 is a Tuesday, it is not Election Day). Go vote. If you are over the age of 18, an American citizen, and don’t vote, then I don’t want to hear your opinion on politics. Since we don’t vote for a new President every year, the actual elections vary by state per year.

11 Veterans Day. Not to be confused with Memorial Day, although the two are similar. Memorial- we remember those who died in the service of their country. Veterans- we honor and thank those who served in the military. Intended to thank and acknowledge the living veterans. But we can remember those who have passed too.

Thanksgiving is the Last. Thursday. In. November. Please don’t make me repeat myself. Ever.

December

25 Christmas. Your meaning of Christmas can vary however you like, as long as it’s something positive, reflective, and thoughtful, and selfless.

31 New Year’s Eve

 

Obviously there are a lot more holidays out there that I didn’t discuss, but these are the basics that are largely celebrated in America. I apologize for not including directions to solstices, daylight savings, Jewish holidays, International holidays (like Women’s Day, for example, March 8), the real Mexican Independence Day (Sept 16), and other Independence days as well.

It doesn’t hurt to know these:

Inauguration Day- January 20

Superbowl- First Sunday in February

Canada Day- July 1

Bastille Day- July 14

United Nations Day- October 24

All Saints Day- November 1

World AIDS Day- December 1

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Nonsense Ramblings of an Aloof Student

Also known as, “thoughts.”

 

The art of words have been storming through my brain lately. Tousling through that thick, naive skull of mine, I’ve just been wanting to dazzle in the light of day, perhaps on a blanket somewhere. Anywhere.

For those of you who know the unfortunate quirks of mine such as constantly closing doors and never thinking twice as to which pair of shoes I’m going to wear (75% of the time I wear black high topped Chuck Taylor All Stars), you know that I despise sunlight. Anything that deals with heat, Louisiana included, tends to bother my capacity to think. The only thing I typically can believe in the middle of the day in the summer is nothing else but my hatred for the sun. Oddly enough, I enjoy being pale. Therefore I can only claim to almost firmly believe I am a vampire.

But this nonsense has no matter in your predisposed minds. I merely am stating that students always feel inclined to leave. College students that leave home, most generally, I’ve noticed, do not want to go back home. Those big schools carry loads of people and massive works of art: the ability to hone teenagers.

Is this why community college, although rather fine*, seems to not be “doing it” for me? I’ve got nothing else to take in, except the ambition to attend Syracuse University. While I love the connection between each of my classes (the fact that you learn one thing in one class and you’re able to relate it to another lesson in a different class amazes me. Purely the best part in education), the people is what is bringing me down.

These students all seem one-dimensional. Let’s do the same things we’ve always done because we live here and this is what we do. This mundane act of ‘being comfortable’ is certainly creating an awkward silence between you and the rest of your life.

I hate to preach, but these rambling allegations appear to be, in a leisurely form, a Carpe Diem essay. While I walk to be the biggest contradiction of a garlic loving vampire, get off your ass and walk in the light. You’re most likely 20 years old, and let me inform you of your secret: you are invincible.

 

*Although I once heard a joke that people are not “fine” and things in your life aren’t going “fine.” Things in your life go well or bad (or is it badly?), but people do not feel “fine.” I only remember getting shouted at because “HAIR IS FINE.” I still currently stand by my word until one decides to have a go with me.

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It’s O.K., I’ll Just Fail Community College

Is that an option?

While to most higher educated students, spring break seems like the perfect getaway, spring break to me only seems to get in my way. Ditching the community college realm for a solid week is just like ditching all responsibilities altogether. Because classes here at ‘the Dale’ seem to take up little hours out of an entire week, locals joke that school is spring break. My current status of cramming in an essay and tedious math homework seems to differ from this statement.

If there were an organized chart on the similarities and differences between spring break and school, it’d look [better but] something like this:

 

Similarities:
-After getting out of class, everyone goes back home. So unless us cheap and poor students suddenly found a large sum of money for vacation, we’re all going back to the same place we would be regardless of classes.

-Some professors are nice and give no homework. No homework means no thought. So shouldn’t this be in the differences? I wish I put some more thought into this.

-Actual school work

Differences:

-Actual school work

-No school work

-No physical act of going to school…except for that one day where I had to go to school for some newspaper articles.

 

But boy did my spring break really take a lot out of me. It’s hard to pick my favorite part. Let’s see there was Free Movie Tuesday…oh wait, I do that every week. (Project X is the best film for college students. And college students only). And there was laundry. Sleep. Wow, the similarities are suddenly uncanny.

It’s possible that a Venn diagram or hand-written constructed list on a piece of torn lined paper would be a more explainable source, but after so long (you know, fifteen seconds), this is what was easiest. Look Ma, I think I got the hang of this college thing!

So while I should be doing English or Math right now, I’m currently typing away, fiddling between answers of if Spring Break was really a good relief or not. By my indecision and procrastination, I want to vote for no. But hey, maybe when my work returns and is covered in a single, large, dripping bloody “F”, I’ll let you decide.

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An Observation (one among many)

Teenagers.

The funny thing I discovered about teenagers the other day, being that I still am one, is that we feel almost invincible. Now I know most common teenagers are reading this and thinking, “I wish! I can’t help but feel like THIS is constantly pressuring my life.” Then they will continue on the daily troubles their life gives.

Invincible doesn’t necessarily mean ‘away of all problems.’ It just means in this case, kids feel like everything is at their fingertips and they can almost do anything if they put their minds to it. I don’t know how I made this realization, because before or after, I must have also realized that adults do not always have that line of thinking anymore.

Adults are the ones that always say, “Teenagers are the worst. They think they know everything.” Which is the first lie and forgotten concept of teenage-hood. There are, however, often times when teens think they know what they want or how to get it–and sometimes they’re right. It may be a stranger path than of one that an adult would take, but it still could work. And even then, if it doesn’t work, then something learned comes out of it.

Teens and adults are so quick to think that we’re not children anymore. We don’t have minds of sponges, nor a wide knack of creativity of options and opportunities anymore, but we still have the residue of our childhood. Teenagers have it especially, when they do something wild or exciting. There’s still a lot to learn, and the only problem with adults, is “they think they know everything.”

MY COLLEGE LIFE:

With the flight in pressure of after-community-college, I find myself excited to move on. I’m ready to discover what lies behind all of these extra doors that could be open to me. I haven’t yet completely come to a decision of what I ” realistically” want to do–besides pursue in writing–but I do feel like I can do anything I want if I put my mind to it.

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What’s the Deal Anyway?

My [community] college classes have been something far from stressful. I listen to “real” college students’ stories on how difficult time management is for them…and it is even in community college–especially in community college–only in the sense of not procrastinating.

With friends and family close by all the time, it’s hard not to get wrapped up in dreams and daily TV watching. It’s not that I have “so much to do” like many others. It’s just that I have “so much to do” with such little time due to the glorious skill of procrastination. But hey, at least I’m giving it the ol’ community college try, eh?

Wrong. This blog, although making me feel successful, is keeping me far from succeeding in my computers class. Why feel so successful with a shitty rough draft and a small fan base? Well this blog is to you, earnest readers.

I should be working on any of my three papers that are due this week, but I’m stuck sitting in this Starbucks. I thought I would be able to focus, but the cliched hipster atmosphere makes me feel like I should be continuing my novel, Cameron and Mitzi. Sadly, they are on hiatus because I cannot think farther into their story than how far I’ve already come with them. I need serious direction from a good friend and critic. That’s right, Katie, I’m talking to you. We better see each other soon.

This blog is for all of you procrastinators. It’s to those who take time to read (and hopefully critique) my daily blabberings of community college nonsensical procrastination. It’s to those who struggle. It’s to those who care. It’s to those who dream big but carry heads with little hope. To the ones who relate to me.

This blog really has no point. Nor theme. Nor insightful advice. This blog is a thanks, a distractions, a release and most importantly, a kick in the butt. Because once it’s over, I’ll have nothing else to say except whatever I type in hopes of obtaining an A for my computer class. Which is pointless alone, because as my sister’s boyfriend pointed out (who works with webpages for a living), you take driver’s ed, but you don’t learn how a car works. Cars and computers have become so universal and so common, that it doesn’t even matter anymore.

MY COLLEGE LIFE:

What’s the deal with any of this?

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