A day in the life

Routines are important, which is something I learned in college. I did not have a good daily routine in high school because I never consistently went to school at the same time – which I 100% attribute to anxiety and insomnia.

College was an amazing learning experience for me, and not just from the classes. I learned how to manage a routine that took some flexibility. My first semester of college was at the local community college, and I was stuck with a 4:10-7:30 pm history class on Mondays, a bunch of random afternoon classes, and then Fridays I had a 9 am math class. I had Thursdays off, which were days I never used to do work.

Despite hating the three-hour classes, dragging myself out of bed to make a 9 am math class, I figured it out. It wasn’t always great, but it worked out.

Then my second semester of college, I transferred to George Mason, which was a whole new campus, new people, and new schedule. I learned that 10:30 am classes didn’t necessarily agree with me, which was something I figured out a little late in the semester (combined with a bad teacher…but that’s really another story). So I took afternoon and early evening classes and almost always had no classes on Fridays.

The last few semesters at GMU, I learned that if I really wanted to graduate “on time,” I probably had to take a few 10:30 am classes to get the rest of my requirements done. So I started taking a few 10:30 am communication classes and French at 11 am. Having my best friend in the classes helped encourage being on time (and going in general, to be honest).

By senior year, I had my shit together. I got on a better schedule, I was able to make it on time to classes and I worked harder than ever before. I graduated cum laude and on the dean’s list for the last few semesters.

Everyone always speculated how I would manage a 9 to 5 job. If anyone ever doubted me being able to function in the adult world most, it would’ve been one of the assistant principals at my high school. I proved him wrong by graduating high school, taking 10:30 am classes and graduating college. His “no, she can’t do it” attitude stuck with me in the back of my mind. Now I just had one more time to prove him wrong.

Flash forward to my first full-time job at the Victorian Motel. My schedule is 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. I like to prepare everything the night before, so in the morning I really don’t have to do much before I walk out the door. And I also like to stay in bed until the last minute possible.

7:30 am – The first of my many alarms start. I get out of bed anywhere between 7:50-8 am. Get dressed, make my lunch (I pack everything but a sandwich the night before) and be out the door by 8:23 am.

 

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Many alarms with sayings to remind me to hustle.

 

8:30 am – Arrive at the motel and begin working. My daily routine is signing in housekeepers, checking guests out and in, rebooking reservations and replying to emails as well as answering phone calls. I act as a concierge and I try to be as knowledgeable about Cape May as possible.

4:30 pm – I leave work and go home. What I do next depends on what other jobs I might be working that night. First thing I do at home is usually let my housemate’s dog, Nabs, out to do her thing. Sometimes I lie down and watch YouTube or TV. If I’m in the middle of an interesting book, I will read on the porch with Nabs. I catch up with my housemate Max. Sometimes I wander around the backyard, checking out what is growing in the greenhouse or in the gardens.

If I’m covering a meeting for the newspaper, I tend to eat dinner on the earlier side. Usually, my meetings are anywhere from 5-7 pm. Sometimes they are short, sometimes they are long. I never do any writing after the meeting – I like to let what I’ve just heard soak in overnight – so when I’m at work I can write my articles.

 

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Taking photos of the migrating monarch butterflies after work.

 

I often go to the beach after I relax at home. Nothing is better than going to the beach after a day’s work. One of the reasons I moved to Cape May is so I could go to the beach after work. Anytime I do that, I really feel like I moved here for the right reasons.

 

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Relaxing on the beach on a Fall day, where it was cool enough for a sweatshirt.

 

9:30-10 pm – I start thinking about going to bed. The goal is to be asleep by 11:30 pm. The last month I have had a hard time going to sleep before midnight, which means I don’t get enough sleep. For someone who used to typically not go to sleep until 2 am, it’s an improvement – but I know I can improve upon that even more.

I have been afforded such wonderful opportunities since I moved to Cape May. I got to live in my family’s beach house for a few months before finding my fantastic room with my housemates.  I have a great full-time job and I am freelancing weekly for the local newspaper, the Cape May Star and Wave.

But the thing I am most grateful for is that I get to live in the town that I have spent so much time in, for every year of my life. I love getting to tell people that I’m living the dream I’ve had for a while now and that I’m writing along the way!

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.