One Year Post-Grad

It’s been 365 days since I graduated from college. What do I have to show for it?

I have a piece of paper that says I have a Bachelor’s Degree.

I have student loans to pay for every month.

I don’t have a fancy job to brag about. But I do like my job.

I have a mind that is jam-packed with four years of knowledge about everything from Chemistry to the recurring motifs in the work of Hemingway (that’s what a Liberal Arts school will do to you).

I have an awareness of the world around me. I know about the desperate need for life-giving water wells across Africa, about the devastating monstrosity that is human trafficking, and about our responsibility for taking care of this earth that we live in. You can’t live the same way after you learn about these things.

I have character that has been shaped by four years of life experience in a diverse and vibrant community. I can’t turn a blind eye to injustice anymore. I stand up for the right of  all people to live their lives in freedom and peace, regardless of gender. I show compassion to people who are hurting. I care deeply, I live strongly, and I keep my spirit calm.

I have unforgettable memories from spending four years with close friends. Late nights in the dorms, library dates, and meaningful coffee shop conversations. Faces, adventures, smiles, and kind eyes– memories that will never leave.

So everyone asks this question: Was college worth it?

To be honest, I have struggled with this question. I’ve been living in the adult world for a year now, paying bills and going to work 40+ hours a week and fighting the monotony. Has my college education made an impact on how I navigate this world? Was all of the money, homework, and headache worth it? Do the benefits outweigh the cost?

The answer is yes. 

My college experience has enabled me to live in the real world while not falling victim to it. It has enabled me to thrive, to set myself apart from the machine of the working world. There is more to life than going to work, making money, and paying our bills. There is always something to learn, to try to see differently, or to explore. Life is vast and grand, if you let it be. Yes, college is expensive. And no, I don’t currently have a job in my field of study. But at the end of the day, my college education shaped me into a better person than I would have been without it. It’s worth it. And I’m thankful for it.

The Strangeness of Not Being in School

Fall has been my favorite season for as long as I can remember. Summer can never end soon enough, and I love watching it slowly bow to Autumn. I love falling red and orange leaves, crisp air, scarves, oversized sweaters, cozying up with hot chocolate or chai, and the feeling that comes when a new season is here; Something about it makes my soul stir with the contentedness of a fluffy cat napping in front of a fireplace.
As I’ve been waiting for Summer to end over the last few weeks, a weird, unsettled feeling has been creeping its way into my heart. I tried to shake it, but it keeps hanging around. A few days ago I suddenly got the urge to rearrange my closet, and then that turned into a weekend-long project of rearranging and reorganizing my entire bedroom. The unsettled feeling had gone away while I was working and progressing. When I finished, I sat in my favorite chair and basked in the outcome of a weekend’s worth of work. But as I looked over at my newly organized desk, that unsettled feeling rushed back in and it dawned on me:
Fall is coming and I’m not going back to school.
I’ve graduated. I’m done with school for now.
I knew this time would come, I guess I just wasn’t ready for it.

Read More »

One month post-grad

It’s been just about a month since I walked across the graduation stage in a heat stroke-inducing gym and earned my Bachelor’s Degree from Roberts Wesleyan College.

rockin that Hefty trash bag look ;)
Rocking that Hefty trash bag look 😉

I’ve been in a reflective mood and wondering about what I should be accomplishing now that I have a college degree.

Read More »

Medievalism and the Gothic Novel

The Gothic novel is the product of eighteenth century interest in “the potentialities of the Middle Ages for picturesque horror” (Hume 202). The Middle Ages have also been called the Dark Ages, Muddy Ages, or Barbarous Ages. The period called the Middle Ages bridges the classical world and the Renaissance. Early historians viewed this period as one of decay and chaos, and they mourned the loss of the classical civilization of the Greeks and Romans. This dark view of the Middle Ages allowed for the people of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries to use their imagination and conjure dark tales of what life could have been like in Medieval Europe. Thus, the Gothic aesthetic and the Gothic novel were born.

Strawberryhill
Photo courtesy of wikimedia commons

Read More »

Charlemagne: The Synthesis of Roman, German, and Christian Culture

My first major assignment for my first college history class. Yikes!

Imagine a world where a once great empire falls at the hands of barbarians, wars and chaos rage as civilized culture is being lost, and a single church tries to hold fast and shine a light in the storm that has overtaken the land. This world was the world of Europe’s ancestors. Roman, German, and Christian culture each fought to assert its dominance and avoid dying out or being overshadowed. One German tribe, the Franks, would come to preserve its own identity while also reviving Rome, and Christianity was the glue that held the two identities together. Charlemagne, who ruled from 768 to 814, was one of the greatest and most influential kings to come from the Franks. Through his life, Charlemagne embodied the synthesis of German, Roman, and Christian culture that would help shape the future of Europe.

Charlemagne crowned Roman Emperor by Pope Leo III

Read More »