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THE THIRTY-SOMETHING STUDENT

Starting university as a fresh faced 18-year-old set free from the town of Mum and Dad was some of the best years of my life. Making lifelong friends, partying way too hard and using my student loan to pay for Topshop clothes and tickets to gigs for bands I hadn’t heard of. That was just one experience of university life, however within the dominant cohort of 18 and 19 year olds, there were some wiser souls, the ones who were navigating the trials of university later in life. I graduated 10 years ago with a degree I have relied heavily upon to keep myself employed to continue buying festival tickets (not so much the Topshop stuff; 30-something me just cannot pull them off). Working in social services is something I continue to be passionate about, but I had another goal in mind: to study l...

NEVER IN A MILLION YEARS

I have always been someone who has planned ridiculously far ahead. And despite my ludicrous planning tendencies, my future never really seems to go the way I plan for it to go.   Sophomore year of high school I was already researching universities I thought I would want to go to. All of them were in Minnesota or New York and I was convinced I knew where I was going to end up.   The summer before my junior year of high school, I was convinced I would play volleyball through my high school career and maybe even continue through college.   Junior year of high school, I knew I wanted to study abroad at some point during my college career. Not only did I know I wanted to study abroad—I also knew I wanted to study abroad in Barcelona, Spain.  During the summer before my senior year of high schoo...

IDENTITY

I’ve always been good in school. I take pride in working too hard and feeling exhausted at the end of the day. I don’t like being tired, and I wish I had more time to do the things I loved. I always get good grades in school, and even in college receiving a B seems like a failure. My parents are divorced. Maybe I never forgave myself for that even though I was two-years-old and had nothing to do with it. I sing because music is uncomplicated and real, and because people tell me I have a nice voice. My voice is my strongest connection to my mother. I buy too many clothes and take too good of care with my shoes. I think shoes are my favorite things to buy because they always look good on me no matter how I feel about my body. My feet are cute enough, for feet; probably because I never stuck ...

WHAT IS TEFLON

I’m returning to school at the age of 56, the same year my father retired and moved to a golfing community. You would think that all of the little insecurities that troubled you and held you back in your twenties would be gone. I’m here to tell you, not so much. There are always new and improved anxieties to keep you occupied. When I was trying to pay for my first class of Graduate school this summer my account was put on hold until I had proof of immunizations. Specifically measles, mumps and rubella. I called the on campus health clinic in a panic. “I don’t have any proof,” I explained. “I’m old. My last vaccine was at the age of ten!” This did not deter the maniacally fastidious academic bureaucrat. I could go to a lab for $300.00, she informed me, and have blood drawn to test for titer...

THE ART OF BECOMING

As September rolls around, it is hard to avoid the feeling of newness—a new month, a new season, a new school year for some. The days get shorter and the trees begin to brown. It is a time to turn a new leaf (literally and figuratively). But, I have recently found it somewhat challenging trying to accommodate for this state of newness, and I would like to believe that others struggle with it too.   I am a college student transferring to a new school this fall, away from my friends, family and boyfriend. I graduated with an associate’s degree in English from my community college, but it was hardly easy. I come to my new school with three years of fumbling around, waiting tables, interning in a big city and developing and coping with a mood disorder—all of which have become how I define myse...

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