Wednesday, May 5, 2010


I have three days left of classes, one major presentation, and three finals left of my undergraduate career. Forever. And while I am so ready to get through this next week, it's starting to feel a little strange. I'm glad that I have immediate plans after graduation, returning to the island of San Cristobal to teach English until January. Many of my classmates don't have any plans, and are really starting to get scared. I can relate, because even though I know what I'll be doing next, and it is already somewhat familiar, it feels uncertain due to the process of transition.

For the past three years I have lived in Fort Collins and been a college student, for the past five I have lived in Colorado. I felt young like a student and lived as cheaply as possible like a student and worked part time during the semester. Now, in about six weeks I'll turn 27 years old. (Gasp!) I know this isn't old, but it kind of sounds too old to be true. I haven't really felt like I've been aging (changing and growing, yes, but not getting older), in the last several years, but all of a sudden, I'm so close to 30! It makes me ponder where I'll be and how much I have accomplished in three more years when I hit that milestone...

Being a poor college student is a normal and expected stereotype. It's also entertaining: people feed you because they assume you live off of pizza and Ramen noodles. Sometimes your boss takes you out to eat. Friends who aren't in college treat you for coffee. But I'm no longer a poor college student. Now I'm just poor.

My goals are still changing, and along with them, my needs. I am currently in the best relationship of my life, and I'm realizing that through all my independence, I want to compromise some things to keep this wonderful companion. I feel a stronger need to stay in touch with friends and family. It seems as if everyone is getting married, having kids, moving across the country, leaving the country, etc. Also, I'm leaving a home that I've created five years ago, unsure of when I will ever return, if only for a visit.

I feel like volunteering right after school is the best situation for me. A chance to go somewhere and do something that I love, while getting used to being out of school and making time to do lots of things I've missed out on while being a student. Reading what I find enjoyable, for instance. I used to be such a bookworm and I miss that! I would be reading two or three, sometimes more, books at a time. Being able to pick up and go somewhere spontaneously is another big one, and this move back to the Galapagos definitely happened suddenly. Just being enveloped in day-to-day life, instead of being preached at about theory for several hours a day. Taking what I've learned and decide what to keep and what to dismiss, according to my reality. Going out there and seeing what I can contribute to the world around me. I can picture myself traveling to teach English as a Foreign Language, while volunteering in conservation projects and travel writing for the next few years. Who knows what will develop from that? I still have a goal to apply to Peace Corps before I'm 30. But right now, this is the dream that I am making a reality.