College? Yeah, I did that.

Well, I finally did it.  I am a college graduate.

It feels a little anticlimactic since I’m not walking in a graduation ceremony and I don’t have a diploma yet.  And I won’t get a diploma for, I don’t know, 6 months or something like that.  And I don’t have a job.  Or any offers.  So basically I’m kind of the worst student ever.  Or a typical college grad these days.  I think I’ll go with that one. It sounds better.

I wonder when it will set in that I’m done with school.  When the semester starts again and I don’t go back?  When I have an accounting job?  When my diploma comes in the mail?  When I have to start paying back those student loans?

Either way, whether I believe it right now or not, I never have to step foot in a classroom again if I don’t want to.  And, I can finally say that I feel good about that.  Because I went back after seven years and finished my degree after person after person told me it wouldn’t happen.  It did.

It just took a little longer than I thought.

last first day

Today was my last first day of school.

Even as I type those words I can’t believe it.  It’s taken me a long time to get here.

Thirteen years.  Thirteen.  Years.

Granted, I didn’t go to school that whole time, but from my first day of college in August of 1998 until my last day in December of 2011, it will be over thirteen years of overpriced books, late nights of studying, and all-nighters before the big test.  Most people in school that long are doctors.  I will be an accountant.  Not even a CPA.  Just a regular old, run-of-the-mill accountant.  A 31-year old college graduate looking for her first job.  And you know what?  I’m so flippin’ excited I can barely hold it together.

Bring it on, Fall 2011 semester.  I’m not looking forward to those term papers and group projects, but when they’re done I won’t look back.

When I grow up

We’ve been asked the same thing since we were little kids.

“What do you want to be when you grow up?”

When we’re young, it’s the easiest question to answer.  I wanted to work at Dairy Queen (all that ice cream! and the hot fudge. ohh the hot fudge!).  My friend wanted to be a crayon maker.  My sister wanted to be an elephant.

When you get into middle school, the answers are a little bit loftier.

“I want to be a doctor.”

“I want to be a lawyer.”

“I want to be an astronaut.”

In high school, the answers are just as lofty, but more specific.

“I want to be a geneticist.”

“I want to be a nuclear engineer.”

“I want to be a professor.”

For me, though the answer has changed, one thing has remained the same.

I want to change the world.

I know I probably wasn’t going to change the world by working at Dairy Queen, but at one point in my life I really did want to become a geneticist.  I was going to help couples dealing with infertility, and cure cancer while I was at it.  Part of me would love to start school over and go down that path instead.  The older, wiser part of me realizes that would mean at least another eight years in school (and many, many more years of student loan debt), and I’m not willing to put off living my life for that long.

I want to live my life now.

The life I’m currently living involves long hours working in a job I love, but don’t want for the rest of my life; spending my evenings away from my friends, boyfriend, and family while in class; spending my weekends studying or working while my friends are out having fun or taking short trips.  And while I love this life, it’s not where I want to be.

I know where I want to be.  I don’t know how to get there.

I’m studying accounting and finance in school.  I don’t want to sit behind a desk all day.  I may have chosen the wrong educational path.  But I enjoy the work.  Numbers make sense.  If you add two and two, you will always get four.  I like that I can count on that when so much in life is so unpredictable.  I want to work for a company I love.  A company that makes the world a better place.  I would love if I could work for this company without leaving the comfort of my home.  I want a job I can do from home.  I want flexibility.  I want to go into the office when needed.  I want to meet with clients.  I also want to know that if I have a sick child someday, it isn’t the end of the world if I have to pick that child up from school.

I read somewhere once (I don’t remember where, I so wish I did) that more and more businesses are being run without a central office.  Businesses with hundreds of employees scattered all across the country, each one working from home.  Meetings are done via Skype or a similar service.  Information is stored in an online server and can be shared with anyone, anywhere.  This is the job I want.  I have no idea how to find a job like this.  The only evidence I have that they even exist is the article I read and discarded not long after.

With only one more semester left in school, I am facing a future about which I have never been more unsure.  I know what I want.  I’m afraid I’ll have to live without it for fear of the unknown.  Fear of trying and not succeeding.  Fear of being professionally unhappy because I followed the well-worn path.

If only I had a compass, I’d wander off course and make a path of my own.

 

While I didn’t start this post with the intention of asking this question, I figure it never hurts to ask, right?  If there is anyone, ANYONE, out there who knows someone who has a job similar to what I’m looking for, has heard of a job like this, knows how to search for a job like this, heck, knows of a job opening…please let me know.  I am all ears at the moment.  I might even throw some homemade butter toffee your way (not literally, I don’t want to hurt anyone).

Coffee, anyone?

My life the past week

This has been my life the past few days.  It’s all covered.  Well, except for the tissues I’ve been using to blow my nose.  I went and got myself a head cold the other day.  Sleeping with the humidifier is fun.

There are Christmas presents and the stuff to wrap them.  Cookie cutters to make pretty little designs to top my pecan pie with (thanks, Casey!), fruit I’ve been eating at work to try and stay healthy (yeah, right.  Thanks but no thanks, fruit), and school.  It’s always about school.  I have a final today.  That’s really why I’m up so stinkin’ early.

The good news is I finally registered for classes yesterday.  The bad news is my Advanced Taxation class was full.  I’m #3 on the waitlist.  I know those grad students don’t really want to take Advanced Tax.  Or the undergrads should realize how hard it’s going to be and drop out.  I want 3 classes this semester and 3 classes next.  These other people are harshing my mellow.

I better get back to studying.  Don’t want to fail this one.  It is my tax research class, after all…

Going to the Chapel

Sometimes studying can make a person go absolutely insane a little bit crazy.  Not that this has ever happened to me personally, but I have seen it happen before.  Long hours in the library have taught me a lot about my fellow man, aka students.

OK.  So I lied a little.  I have gone a little crazy from studying before and it does happen to me almost every time I spend more than an hour in front of an open book or staring at PowerPoint slides on my computer.

Don’t believe me?  I have proof.

Very insane

 

This is what happens when you leave me alone for more than an hour with my camera phone, plenty of props stuff laying around, and the Paint application on my laptop.

The only thing keeping me from jumping out of my chair and running around like a crazy woman is my Caramel Apple Cider from Starbucks.  The picture doesn’t lie.  It is yummy.  I have to thank my sister for introducing the two of us.  We can blame it on her when Carm (that’s my little nickname for him. Isn’t it cute?)  and I run off to Vegas and elope.

That has to be legal in Vegas, right?