College lite

Before I moved here, I came to visit in October for two weeks. One night while I was watching TV on the couch, I had a moment of panic. Did I really want to move here full time? Would I be lonely and isolated during the offseason? Would I miss my friends and family so much that I would spend too much time being homesick? The moment passed as quickly as it came, and I brushed it off as an unrelated, side effect of worrying about my impending wisdom tooth surgery

And as I biked to dinner a few nights ago to meet friends, I realized that in the few months I’ve been living here, that I have never once felt isolated or lonely. Don’t get me wrong, I miss my family, friends, and cats a ton, but I haven’t felt that homesick or panic again.

 

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Solo adventure outside of Cape May.

 

When you don’t go away to college and live at home, you miss out on an experience that is “supposedly” life-changing, according to some people. And sure, not having parents to supervise your every move and hover over you at all times might be nice, but I never had a problem with that.

But now I feel like I’m doing “college lite” without the actual schooling. I’m working full time as a front desk clerk at a motel and spending my off time reading, writing, binging on Netflix/TV and going to the beach. I have friends here, albeit not exactly in my age range (which is a fact, not an insult, because it doesn’t make a difference).

Is this where I saw myself after graduation? Yes, definitely. I was prepared from my summers here, what it would be like to be alone in a big house. And I like it and it has worked for me. Of course, just as I get used to it, I am moving out in the next few weeks – into a house with two really nice roommates. A must do, in order to stay through the rental season of summer and continue to live and work here.

 

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Backyard of the new place.

 

I’ve never claimed to be a typical millennial. I have often done things an unorthodox way.  And I’m about to make an even bigger change in my life than moving to New Jersey, bigger than starting a healthier lifestyle and bigger than leaving pretty much the life I’m used to living behind. I’m moving into a house with roommates, on 1.5 acres of land that is also home to two chickens, two goats, and a dog.

So needless to say, I have quite an interesting summer ahead of me and there will be a lot to write about.

I’m excited!

 

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Mom and her new goat friend aka my new roommate.

 

New blog, who dis?

So the title of this post might be a little cringeworthy, but it is a play on millennial saying, “new phone, who dis?”

I know some of my readers will be friends and family, who I appreciate following along.  But for those who are new followers, I wanted to let you know a little more about me, why I chose to be a writer and what this blog’s overarching theme and goal will be currently.

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Name tag arrived.

I graduated cum laude with a B.S. in communications & concentration in journalism from George Mason University. I have always been drawn to reading and writing, and always hoped to be a published author. I credit my middle school newspaper teacher (shout out to you, Jess), for getting me interested in becoming a journalist.

I knew from the moment that I saw my name as a byline, I was a goner. I was certain I wanted to head into the future of a journalist. Despite rumors of it being a dying industry, I persisted and took as many journalism courses and attended as many journalism conferences as I could.

Choosing the right path in college to get into the industry was important. I wanted to go to a big journalism school, but because of my anxiety prohibiting school attendance, I didn’t quite have the grades to be accepted. I ended up making a deal with GMU to go to our local community college for a semester, earn good grades, and then transfer over to GMU for my degree. Which is exactly what I did, and it was the perfect choice in the end. Which I can honestly say now since I’m done with school.

I’ve been writing for various publications (see about me) and blogging since 2009. My cat lifestyle blog is Sandpiper Cat Blog, which just celebrated its six anniversary.

Writing is my passion and despite that, it is what some call “a competitive field” (aka, lotsa luck finding writing, should’ve picked a more lucrative career), I believe that I have the drive and passion for making it work out in the long run.

I’ve always been about taking the unorthodox road in life. Starting in a job that isn’t exactly in your field is not unusual for a new college graduate. I wanted to work in the town that I love and live by the beach, so it was a small trade off for not starting out writing full time. Plus, being a freelance writer gives me more opportunities for different kinds of writing. And uh, figure out my “backup plan,” which so many people have asked me about…and by my backup plan, I mean what writing niche I plan to find.

This blog will be a place where I can share my millennial perspective, in my own words and learn to make my own way.

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Beach life is best.

 

Senior year starts here

*This post was previously published for the blog, “Rachel Shubin.” It is now Cape May Rachel*

Today was technically  my first day as a senior at George Mason University. I’m eight credits behind the standard senior, but that’s okay because I have finally come into my own here at GMU.

The cold weather today reminded me of my first spring semester at GMU, only a few degrees warmer that day. I woke up this morning, after having a slight nightmare that I was taking another math class. Thankfully, I finished that requirement at community college, so I don’t have to relive my math days.

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Spring 2013, first day of classes at GMU.

I was tired when I woke up, because I haven’t shifted back to my early morning classes, but I woke without a sense of dread of heading to my first class. It’s not my “first day of the last semester” because I do still have those pesky eight credits left — but it is the “first day of the last full semester!”

My only class today is a communication class called news writing and reporting. The building that class is in, always has the heat on blast! GMU is always a sauna in the winter. It’s a 24 person class, with a few familiar faces. I’ve been in the comm department long enough to start having people I know in my classes.

The professor did her shtick, and then it was time for the stereotypical and cliche “class introductions.” It’s not that I don’t like hearing about my classmates, or bragging about myself for that matter; it just feels so middle/high school-esque.

I always try to think about what I’m going to say, which sometimes changes depending on what other people say. This introduction of mine was pretty standard: senior, three years interning at Cape May Magazine, hope to work there when I graduate and write about local events.

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Came home to find out I made Dean’s List for Fall 2015 semester!

I’m finally ready to move on from the college portion of my life. It’s been quite a ride and I’ve learned a lot about myself and also discovered a new found appreciation for being a “jstudent” or journalism student. I might not go to a journalism college, heck I’m not even majoring in journalism (seriously GMU needs a journalism program), but I’m still a jstudent in all senses of the word.

I’m ready to brace this semester and work hard, because it’s one semester closer to graduating and starting a brand new life that I have been waiting for, for so long.

I normally just blog on sandpipercat.com, my primary platform, but this is going to be my more professional blog of sorts.