I know I’ve joked about this in the past and even blogged about being the 24 year old at a sorority date party. But now that I’m in grad school, living with undergraduates, working in Res Life, Greek Life, and Admissions, and even eating my meals on campus with the students, I feel like I’m back in school, but with a ton of perks. I can go to a bar with my friends if I have a shitty day and want to throw a few back. I can go out for dinner and drinks with my superiors and end the night singing “Bye Bye Bye” on karaoke with my boss’s boss’s boss at a lesbian bar named the Lipstick Lounge.
Is the experience the same – no, of course not. And there are obvious drawbacks, too. Being 24 in a residence hall full of freshmen makes them that much more eager to look cool, that much more eager to drink with me, that much more eager to find a mistake. I have a leadership role and there’s more responsibility on me to set an example for these residents and for the undergraduates in general. I’ve been through school, I’ve made the mistakes, and I’ve learned from them. They are excited about the possibilities of college, and I have my diploma sitting in my room. So it’s a bit of a disconnect, it’s an odd gap between our mentalities. However, the rejuvenation of just being here is so infectious. It’s like I’m getting to start my life over, redo college with all of the glory and fun of my undergrad years still intact.
I’m new to the area and I’ve made extensive headway into establishing myself as part of the campus. While I am a grad student, I have a relationship with the undergrads because of my work here on campus and I love that. This program and this experience to me is a jump start, a way to wipe the slate clean. I get to focus my abilities, hone my strengths, develop my skill set, and get started on the career path that will make me happy. No more bullshitting around DC, getting wasted, fucking around, and feeling bitter about my prospects. I’ve stepped into an after school special and it’s not at all a bad thing.
So here’s the living the dream. To homework, class, meetings over lunch at the dining hall, watching 90210 over chips and dip, sleeping in, house parties, bar crawls, laughing at the library, and just enjoying the experience of education. Judge me if you wish, but you know you’re jealous.