Graduating Without Tears

I graduated from college a few weeks ago. Yay!

I’m glad to be done with college. I cherished my undergrad years, I really did, but I felt ready to graduate. People would ask me, “How do you feel about graduating? I’m so sad!”

“I’m ready to leave.” I was. I was starting to feel a bit old for it. I was feeling the way I felt when I graduated high school – done. If I stayed any longer, I would not have gleaned anything further from it.

Surprisingly, both to myself and to others, I get very uncharacteristically cold when it comes to graduation. Bear in mind that I am the kind of person who cries at most movies, including Peter Pan 2: Return to Neverland (poor Tink!) and I even felt my eyes watering during You, Me, and Dupree. That film is a comedy. A comedy starring Owen Wilson, for goodness sake. I was a blubbering mess when I moved to Maryland, and I have many photos of my unattractive crying face to attest to how sad I was on the last day of summer camp 5 years in a row.

So why haven’t I cried at all about high school or college graduation? Why don’t I feel sad about it? I know I miss college already, even though I think I’ll be working at my school next year for a bit. I miss it but I am not sad.

I am so cold. And I am never cold.

I do have a confession to make, though.
I relish being this frigid around graduation because graduation reminds me of how lonely I feel on those multiple weekends I spend alone. Everyone seeks out their closest friends for one last hurrah and I am left with this sad lesson:
When you know everybody, but only know them casually, you are close to nobody.

I get sad when people tease me about knowing everyone, because I know that I’m no one’s first pick to go out and do things. It’s nice to recognize a lot of people, but it’s a gift and a curse. Everyone’s an acquaintance and no one is your best friend.

I guess the moral of the story is this:
I become numb to graduation in order to avoid feeling too lonely, because I realize I’ve spent the past 4 years making acquaintances rather than friends.

Happier graduation post will come soon, and I’ll complete my letter challenge, honest! But there are some more pressing issues to address first. 🙂

Lemony Snicket Would Approve

I’m leading an Alternative Break trip this spring (shameless plug asking for donations in return for silly challenges like speed-eating ramen, challenge of your choosing!) and I had two mandatory meetings related to that today. The first was by the organization at 4:00, and the second was my own meeting at 6:30. Both were so we could bang out the final logistics before leaving next weekend.

Since I normally don’t even get back on campus until 6:30, I left work early to take the earliest train back, which would bring me to campus at about 5:00. I checked my saved PDF of the schedule, checked the schedule again on the website, and arrived at the train station at 3:35 PM, ten minutes early for the train. No one was there, but 10 minutes is pretty early, I guess, and I’ve seen the train roll in late.

But by 3:50, I’m suspicious that something has gone terribly wrong. The marquee keeps telling me that the 5:20 train, my usual train, is on time. But what about my train? Isn’t it late?

I go inside the little station to find a phone number to call.

It is there that I see an updated schedule. Not even SUPER recent, but from January.

The first train to leave now leaves at 3:30 PM. I was not ten minutes early but five minutes late.


This was pretty upsetting, especially because I really thought I had taken every precaution to not miss the train. I trudged back to work and then left at my usual time to catch my usual train.

Despite my best efforts, I fell asleep on the train. Just like I always do, but half the time I don’t mean to! I had a late night last night and my morning commute is always very early, so I was sleepy and I knew I’d probably fall asleep. I set an alarm for 6:00 PM, which is a few minutes before we arrive at my usual stop.

My alarm rings, I see that we’re 2 stops ahead of mine, and I wait patiently. I see a stop, and I get ready for the next one.

Somehow… the next stop turns out to be the one AFTER my stop.

What in tarnation?!

I either blacked out when we reached my stop OR I blacked out for the stop before mine and mistook my stop for that one.

Either way, I was stuck going to DC and taking the metro back to school, adding an additional hour to my commute back to school.

Remember, I’m already late missing the first train. If I hadn’t missed my stop, I would’ve been just in time to make it for my second meeting. This is the meeting that I AM RUNNING and IN CHARGE OF.

I dash out the train and to the metro station. I know I don’t have my SmarTrip card on me, so I get in line to buy a farecard.

Among about a million billion tourists. During rush hour. Goodness gracious.

I finally get to the machine. “SMARTRIP ONLY”. WHY?! I get into another line, even longer. At the front of this line is a group of Chinese people who seem very confused and, more importantly to me at the time, very slow. I offered them help in Mandarin and helped them get on their merry way out of the line.

Of course, as soon as I get on the metro, I realize that actually… I do have my SmarTrip with me. At some point in my life, I decided not to be a complete moron and put it in my wallet. Genius.

I make it to school without a hitch after that point. It’s 7:15 and I’m running to my meeting. I get there just in time to see the last person leaving and my co-organizers cleaning up.

After all that, I completely missed both of my meetings.

Needless to say, I am not a happy camper. Even catching up The Big Bang Theory isn’t helping things much.

(Shameless plug: It might cheer me up if you helped donate to my cause! I’m curious to see how many people would donate just $1. Don’t be freaked out by them asking for your address and stuff; they just like sending thank you letters to you afterwards.

I definitely WILL do something when I reach $200, so leave a challenge suggestion when you donate!)