How I Survived Graduating College/The Beginning of “Real Life”

Days 1-5: Sunday-Thursday

Pack up ALL belongings and have really emotional moments when remembering that the beer bottle you’re saving was consumed on one of the greatest/awesomest/spectacular-est (just go with it) nights of your life, or that you got that tapestry while studying abroad, or wow all these pictures captured some great times and great people that you may or may not see again.
And then pack more and ask why you own so much stuff…
And continue emotional about everything….
And maybe shed some tears….ok definitely shed some tears.
Then start determining all of the people you HAVE to say goodbye to before leaving, because seeing everyone just become so overwhelming. Then think about all the great times you had with those people.
maybeshed some more tears.
Actually say goodbye to those people.
Tears.
And finally, EAT ICE CREAM.
This is how it has to happen. There is absolutely no other way around it.

Day 6-9: Friday-Sunday

Realize your life needs to be spent doing things other than packing, crying, and eating ice cream and that you are about to go on some crazy adventures. Then decide to get the heck away from campus and go visit a nearby friend in Santa Cruz.
This turns out to be an excellent decision. Beach time, running along the beach time, barbecue time, and just enjoying the company of others turn out to be all you need when trying to one with the reality of graduation.
But actually, Santa Cruz is a wonderful place and the hippie in me really comes out when looking at all the little local shops, restaurants, and whole foods-like grocery stores, advertising fresh, organic, local, super healthy foods and whatnot. The runner friendly beach bike path and the fact that it was sunny rather than foggy made it fairly difficult to leave. And obviously the wonderful people I was staying with added to the awesome-factor, along with many great life conversations. In the end, Santa Cruz really seems to get me, and those 2 nights really didn’t seem like long enough.

Day 9 (part 2): Sunday

Take a journey by yourself. Get in the car and drive for multiple hours. Listen to some good music (Lord Huron and Hospitality did the trick, along with some jazz inspired by the Midnight in Paris soundtrack because its my favorite movie and who doesn’t love feeling like they’re in France eating a croissant when they’re actually driving down the California coast). Make pit stops. Eventually end up at home.
An 8 hour car drive down to SoCal really gives you some time to think. And driving by yourself gives you tons of freedom. This is excellent for a person who is frequently distracted by sites seen from the drive… Frequent thoughts: “Oo! A fruit stand!”, “hey, that place looks kind cool, I wonder what they have in there.”, “I need to turn off at this vista point because this vista is on point.”, and obviously many other musings about all of the different food places.
But for the first half of the trip I really only had one food place in mind. Splash Cafe of Pismo Beach has been one of my family’s favorite places for clam chowder and road trip food stops for years. It never disappoints, there’s always a line, and its always worth it. First I stopped at a little coffee shop for a pre line-waiting pick me up and then I established my place in the line that was already wrapped around the building. Even though I was by myself I hesitated for 0.00 seconds to order 3 entrees (leftovers for the family, right?).
Combined line waiting then food waiting preparation time was around and hour.
Yes, still worth the light-headed ness feeling I was getting from drinking coffee on a nearly empty stomach.
And with a happy stomach, the second half of the drive went by surprisingly fast even with the unavoidable traffic that defines SoCal. I made one last pit stop to see my grandma, spent some quality time with her and my uncle before saying goodbye for an indefinite amount of time.When I pulled up to my house I felt comforted but also a small amount of unease as I realized this would be the last time I’m staying here for a while. And the next time I’ll be around I will hopefully have a job and a clearer plan for the future.
To avoid switching into a depressing tangent I’ll just leave it saying I got a little sentimental, and then I snapped back and realized that thinking about that was not going to be useful in the next couple weeks.

Survived graduation? Check.
Ready for life? Eh…
On to adventure? You betcha.

PS I’m still desperately playing a game of catch-up with these posts. Time does not permit long and detailed stories, but I am already in Seattle and already have stories but have already lost time. I’m sure this means next to nothing considering readers are few, but I will pretend like everyone is waiting to be updated on the life of another college graduate.

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