10 Things I Was Able to Do Because I Got Dismissed from Law School

Not gonna lie, I’m still a little sour about being dismissed from law school. I had wanted to be a lawyer since I was a kid, and let’s be real, I had been in school since I was three so I didn’t know what else to do with myself. But I made myself sit down last night, and think of things that I was able to do since I got dismissed.

1. Go to all of my brother’s events his senior year of high school. 

My brother is painfully smart and talented. To the point where he did jazz band, got his Eagle rank for Boy Scouts, made Phi Beta Kappa, the works. And everything he did had its own little ceremony, which I would have missed if I was still in Baltimore. I don’t get much time to spend with my brother, so it was nice going. I even made it to his high school graduation. Which was kinda weird, I have to admit.

2. Move to Texas and see all my friends.

I moved to Texas to start grad school, and as a result was a drivable distance from most of my friends from OU. I was able to drive up to see them, and they came down to see me, and most importantly, they’re coming down for OU/tx weekend. For the last few years in undergrad and while I was in Baltimore, I was growing apart from my high school friends, because not only was I always hundreds of miles away, but our interests were diverging, and no one was really making an effort to meet up anymore. And that’s okay. People grow up. But for a while, I felt like I had no friends. But now my friends are close, or they get on Skype/Google Hangouts often enough, even though they decided to go to grad school in Germany (*cough*Anna*cough).

3. Meet the cutest toddler ever.

In January I started a nanny job, watching the sweetest little girl. She’s such a happy little person, and I’m so glad she’s a part of my life. With her, I get to go to the playground and library and aquarium and take a break from being an adult and play for a little bit. And now she has the most adorable baby brother, and is so excited to be a big sister.

4. Spend time with my family.

While I was doing my undergrad, I was in Oklahoma, and my family was in Ohio, and I didn’t go home much, because going home for a weekend meant spending most of the time in airports, and was super expensive. But I was able to spend a lot of extra time with both my parents, and while at times it felt like I was a kid again, it was nice being around them.

5. Be happy.

This is important. I was miserable the entire time I was in Baltimore. I felt lost, behind, and unwanted. Not just in the law building, but in the city as a whole. I had zero friends, didn’t get along too great with my roommates, and cried basically all the time. Getting out of that environment was fantastic for me.

6. Started grad school.

When I started my current program, I actually felt like I belonged. I felt smart again, which was great, and the professors and other students are all so supportive of everyone. If someone gets published, the department head sends out an email and while it’s annoying at the time, it’s really sweet how the professors will hit “reply all” and send heartfelt congratulations. And they genuinely care about helping everyone, and take time to sit down and talk to students. When I was transitioning from the non-degree program into the full master’s program, one of my professors was the Associate Dean of grad students, about to move to a position in the Provost’s office, and had just accepted a vice presidency in ACJS, but she took time out to pull me into her office and tell me to quit panicking, write me a rec letter that got me accepted before I even submitted the application, and gave me a hug. If I had asked my torts professor to give me a hug, she’d have rolled her eyes and laughed while plotting to cold call me seventeen times the next class.

7. Cook more.

In Baltimore I was eating either straight up spinach or gluten free spaghetti almost every night. Not only because of the workload, but because I just didn’t want to spend time in the kitchen. Part of this was avoiding my roommates, but also because I just didn’t care. I was miserable, so I honestly could not give a shit about what I put into my body. Now I’m able to plan out healthy meals, and actually cook fun things. Yesterday for dinner I made roasted vegetables, and they turned out amazingly.

8. Create this blog.

The very first post on this blog is about how I got kicked out of law school. This was started as an outlet, as a way for me to vent because I had no one to vent too. That’s changed, and this project has evolved over the past year and a half. Which I’m proud of.

9. Research things I’m actually interested in.

In Baltimore my life revolved around law, and that was pretty boring. That should’ve been my first clue that law school wasn’t for me. I just wasn’t interested in anything. But now I get to spend time reading about narcoterrorism and drug trafficking and it counts as doing work. So the emails full of links to bbc.com with titles involving terrorist is totally legit graduate research, Desiree.

10. Drive on the highway without panicking.

For whatever reason, I used to be awful at driving on the highway. I would avoid it at all costs, and white knuckle it the entire way. I once pulled over on the side of the highway passing through Indianapolis during rush hour to make my dad drive because I just could not handle it. But now I’m totally fine. I take the turnpike to school every week and basically going anywhere in Texas requires you to go on the highway for at least ten miles because nothing is within a reasonable distance around here. So I got used to it, and now I only shriek a little bit when a semi truck gets too close to my lane.

Ultimately, I think I’m a better person now than I would have been if I had been allowed to stay in law school. I’m happier, and that’s what counts.

Advertisements

Go Through Desiree’s Stuff

As you might know (if you’ve been paying attention), I’ve started this series where I ask people (you guys included) to dump out their bags and send me a picture of the contents. I think it’s interesting to see what everyone considers an important thing that they need. 

This post is courtesy of my sweet friend Desiree, who may well be my best friend in the world. We met within the first week of being at OU. Not only did we live on the same [International] floor in the doors, but we also ended up sitting next to each other for five long semesters of Arabic class. Desiree is probably the first person I text when something happens in my life, and when she offers to scramble a jet or make someone disappear for me, I’m pretty sure she’s only half joking. We spend equal amounts of time discussing wedding dresses (she’s getting married later this year!) as we do deciding which terrorist group would win in a fight. She’s also the only person I talk about boys with. 

She very sweetly emptied her purse onto her desk for me, and this is the result of that venture:

IMG_4528 (1)

Here’s the goods:
Mascara
Lipstick
Keys
Wallet
Speeding ticket (Desiree! I’m shocked. You? Speeding? Never.)
Book about terrorism in Yemen- GO AQAP
Almonds
Teas
Tooth brush/paste
2 notebooks
Planner
Nike Fit chip
Aviators

God I have a ton of junk

Desiree has a grown up job way out in California, and I miss her very much. I don’t know what exactly she does, so I’m just gonna say she’s a secret agent or something cool like that. Super spy. Thank you, Desiree! 

If you want to submit your own picture/description, empty your bag and email me at thisisnotaquickstory@gmail.com. I can be found on Instagram, Twitter, or Tumblr if you really miss me.

Things No One Tells You About College.

My younger brother is starting college this fall, an he and his friends have been asking for a list of things they should have in their dorms aside from the obvious, and of course I can’t help but attempt imparting knowledge at his face. THINGS TO TAKE TO A DORM THAT NOBODY MENTIONS

Small vacuum cleaner: Either a stick vac or a little hand held. You WILL drop things, and eventually you’ll have crumbs everywhere. You’ll make more than a few friends if you’re the only one on the hall with a vacuum cleaner.

Swiffer (if you have a tiled floor): In the winter, you’ll somehow manage to track mud, dirt, and salt in. And if you spill something sticky on your floor (you will), this is loads easier than wiping things down with water and tissues.

Lysol spray/wipes: Someone in your hall will get sick, and that will start a chain reaction of EVERYONE IN THE HALL GETTING THE PLAGUE. There is no avoiding it. But when your roommate gets sick, or the guy two doors down starts sniffling, whip out the germ killer and try to contain the epidemic. You will be hailed as a hero. Also good for if you leave for the weekend and your roommate doesn’t. You never know what’s going on all over you shit when you’re gone.

Lockbox: This is especially important if you don’t take your computer to class and everywhere you go. It’s not hard to break into a dorm room. People steal shit. Put your shit in a lockbox and hide the lockbox (or else that will get stolen too).

Pyrex containers: You know the Tupperware-esque containers made of glass instead of plastic? Get a few of those. They can be microwaved, and then you can store your leftovers in one go. And they’re easy to clean.

Dish soap: Get a small bottle to wash out the Pyrex containers, plus the bowls/mugs/cups you’ve got.

Small fan: If you can’t control the room temperature of have a rude roommate who won’t compromise and insists on having the room feel like the Sahara desert. Also good for drowning out noises from that one person in the hall who comes home at 2am and insists on chatting on their phone on the top of their lungs all the way down the hall.

Brita pitcher/extra filter: Dorm water is disgusting. Filter it before you use it to cook, make coffee, or drink. May also help to have a reusable water bottle because buying bottled water on campus is a ripoff and college towns don’t always have the best water. Also, some dorms have free filtered water machines in the lobby (mine did. It was awesome) and you can fill up before class.

THINGS ABOUT FIRST YEAR THAT YOU SHOULD KNOW

-For things like cans of pop, ramen, and other snack that you and your friends all tend to eat, make friends with someone who has a wholesale club membership, and go buy them in bulk and split the cost. But take advantage of your meal plan. Find out if you weekly allowance rolls over (mine didn’t and I never used it all) or if it has to be used up in the week. If that’s the case, find out where on campus you can use your meal plan, sometimes you can buy a few boxes of juice or other food for one meal exchange.

Set a bedtime for yourself. The first few months in the dorms is really weird and it feels like you’re supposed to stay up late and either study all the time or party all the time. Don’t be afraid to be the first person to go to bed. You’ll thank yourself in the morning.

Set homework time. Come back from class and relax, and then sit down and work, or go straight to the library or another quiet place to get things done. Since you live and study at the same place, unless you’ve been to boarding school, it’s gonna be hard to make yourself follow any sort of schedule.

Do laundry once a week. Doesn’t matter how much stuff you have to do. Pick a day and time, and treat it like any other commitment. It gives you some regularity, and dorms are small, so if it starts to pile up it’s gonna overwhelm the room fast.

Make friends with your roommate, but don’t push it. If they don’t want to be friends, keep it civil. Just keep up some sort of relationship so that you can somewhat depend on them. In case you get locked out, or run out of something important, or desperately need a ride somewhere. Also set some ground rules, like no overnight guests (trust me, make this a rule at the very beginning. Aside from the potential awkwardness, a lot of times it just isn’t allowed and you can get penalized if the RA finds out.) or no loud music/audio after 10pm.

-Get to know your RA. They’re not just an enforcer. They’re a student too, and can offer some pretty helpful advice about the building, and the school. My freshman year RA is still a good friend of mine, and was super helpful when we had an issue with someone on our hall.

Get to know a few people in your hall, especially if they’re outside your major. My best friends now all lived on my hall freshman year. I lived off campus with one of those girls each year of college, and the others joined us for my last year. The people you live with will know you better than anyone else. And if they’re outside your major, the temptation to constantly talk about school is gone, and you have other things to talk about. This is the main reason I don’t like Honors Dorms or major specific dorms. That leads people down a rabbit hole of self-doubt and worry because they’re all taking the same classes and are in some form of competition with each other.

-Don’t call home at first. You’ll be homesick, that’s a given. But give yourself a few days before you call or Skype. You’ll be able to handle it better. And don’t go home every single weekend your freshman year. That’s when everyone is making friends and going out and bonding, and you really don’t want to miss out. If you absolutely have to be home, go either once a month or every other. My freshman year I didn’t go home at all, because I was across the country. If you’re feeling homesick, text a sibling. Your parents’ first impulse will be to coddle and baby you and offer to come get you, your sibling will remind you that you that you can handle this shit, so get over yourself.

Keep in touch with your high school friends. You’ll find that soon you’re only really in touch with one or two. And they’re the ones making an effort to talk to you.  A lot of high school friendships end spring semester of your first year in college. Be prepared for that, and don’t be too upset. You don’t need them anymore, and the friends you’re making now, some of them are going to be your friends for the rest of your life. When I was going to a really rough time the year after I finished college, it was my freshman dorm mates getting me through it, not my high school best friend, who had stopped talking to me.

Join a club that has nothing to do with your academic major. It brings you close to people who are interested in the same thing as you, but who you may not have met otherwise.

Don’t be afraid to eat dinner alone. Sure, there are always groups of people going to the dining hall in swarms, chattering about banal bullshit like frat parties and chapter meetings, but don’t be afraid to be there alone. There’s no shame in having different eating schedules with your friends. Bring a book, sit with someone new (this is only okay in the first two weeks of the semester, otherwise it’s a little weird), do your thing.

Register your bike with campus police. It will likely get stolen. A friend of mine got his bike stolen seven times in one semester. Registering it with campus police may not get it back, but it will help if you have it insured or if it’s found and someone is claiming it’s theirs (happened to my friend).

Make friends with older students. They’ll subliminally help you get your study habit straightened out, can offer advice on professors, and can just generally be there for you. Since I got into a lot of upper level classes freshman year thanks to my AP credits, I made friends with a lot of older students and I wouldn’t trade them for the world.

Get to know your professors. If you’re planning on needing recommendation letters for jobs, grad school, or internships, find a few professors within your major department that you like, and take every class they offer. Get to know them, raise your hand in class, keep it professional and courteous, go to office hours, and when you ask for a rec in three years, they’ll jump your request up to the top of the pile.

Have fun. It’s school, you have to study, yes, but remember that how you feel now will affect how you feel about your career path. If you’re miserable doing it now, you won’t want to do it for a living when you have to. Take care of yourself. If that means changing your major or picking up a minor, carefully consider it and then go for it. It sounds cliché, but you really need to find what you’re passionate about.

It’s always good to have a contingency plan.

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this (I probably have) but I studied Criminology in college, with minors in Psychology and International Security. One of my best friends, Desiree, is an International Security major. As a result, our conversations are a little abnormal. Somehow, we’ve managed to come up with a contingency plan in case one of us gets kidnapped by terrorists. See, we’re just assuming that one of us is going to do something that gets us kidnapped by terrorists.

And what is this brilliant plan? Oh, it’s simple. If one of us gets kidnapped by terrorists, the other has to overthrow the entire terrorist organization to rescue the one that got kidnapped. Easy enough, right?

We haven’t quite figured out how one small 22-year-old girl is going to overthrow a terrorist organization. We’ve always assumed that we’d pull together a ragtag group of friends who somehow fit into television archetypes (the tech guy who hangs out behind a computer, the panicky language expert who keeps saying he should have just stayed home, the grumpy gunslinger with a shady backstory) and just come up with a plan as we go.

Here’s to hoping neither of us is actually kidnapped. But let’s be real, it would totally be her. Which sucks because then I have to take down a bunch of terrorists. And my combat boots broke last week.

The Marvelous Adventures of Team Indecisive: Battle of the Duckies.

For Christmas of 2012, my then-stepmother’s mom gave me a very large rubber duck. When I say “very large,” I don’t mean average. This motherfucker would not be chilling in the bathtub with Ernie and Rubber Ducky. He would eat RD and make Ernie watch. I looked it up on Amazon (god save me that’s where all my money goes), and they would classify it as a “jumbo” duckie. It’s a big duck.

Here he is next to a normal-sized fancy tea cup.
Here he is next to a normal-sized fancy tea cup.

So I took this duckie back to Oklahoma after break, with a plan formulating in my head. Kat was the only one who knew about the duckie so far, because she had texted me just as I was opening the duckie so I sent that picture as a reply. She and I were the first ones back after the break, and as such had the apartment to ourselves to wreak havoc. We unpacked our shit and tried to figure out what to do with the duckie.

Kelly was due back the next day and Anna the day after that, so since neither one of us is very patient, we decided Kelly should be the one to stumble upon the duckie. But where? Her bedroom was locked, and there weren’t many hiding places in the apartment. And then we knew: the bath tub. It was practically fate.The day she was due home, I filled the bath tub partially, set the duckie afloat, and drew the shower curtain. Then proceeded to giggle and text Kelly incessantly about when she would be home. A few flight delays and a pair of ripped jeans later (long, really funny story), she was dragging her suitcase up the stairs. She went into the bathroom a few times without noticing the floating duckie, but I guess she would have no reason to at that point.

Finally, when Kat and I were hanging out in the living room later that evening, Kelly came out and announced she was going to shower. Kat and I nodded as we tried containing our giggles, and waited with baited breath for Kelly’s reaction. Which wasn’t as spectacular as I would have hoped, but it was something. We heard her pulling back the curtain, and then uttering a simple, “What in the world?”

And that started a war.

For the rest of the semester, we found more and more creative ways of hiding the duck around the apartment to surprise each other. From setting it right in the middle of the entryway when we knew someone was bringing over a guest to hiding it in the freezer (so Anna could find it when she got ice water in the middle of the night), that duck was everywhere. Anna even slipped it into my backpack, and I didn’t notice all week (in my defense, it was the pocket I never used). My favorite place to hide it was in the corner of Kelly’s bed, so when she woke up the duck would be staring her in the face.

In February, Anna was leaving for her study abroad in Germany, so she went out an found a tiny yellow duckie to take with her, and would send us pictures of the duck having fun in Germany. Closer to spring break, Kat and I were out running errands, and we found small (normal-sized) duckies to take on our vacation. I named mine Peep Peep, and she named hers Ryan Gosling.

This is Peep Peep day drinking while on vacation at Disney World.
This is Peep Peep day drinking while on vacation at Disney World.

When I was going to Magic Kingdom, the security guy who was checking bags was wondering why a 21-year-old college kid was bringing a rubber duckie into the park. Because the duckie wanted a pictur with Donald Duck, that’s why!

After spring break, when we realized that we didn’t take as many duckie pictures as we thought we would and that our hopes of running a super popular blog of our duckies was not going to work out, we focused on hiding the big duck.

Here he is in front of the TARDIS. Which I should probably tell you about.
Here he is in front of the TARDIS. Which I should probably tell you about.

As I posted that particular picture, I felt the urge to tell you why there is a seven-foot-tall paper TARDIS on the wall. It’s a fun story, but can be summarized in one word: Anna.

More that later.

When I graduated, I took the duck home with me, and for the majority of this past fall semester, the girls were duckless. However, Kat’s sister Victoria had moved in with them, and for Kelly and Anna’s birthdays (they’re one day apart), Vic and I orchestrated an elaborate plan (not really. It was super easy.), and I ordered a jumbo duckie off Amazon and had it shipped to Vic. She hid it, and on the midnight between their birthdays, they found it (I think it might have been during the day on one of their birthdays, but the midnight thing sounds so much more magical.). So the duckie thing continues, and now poor Vic has been sucked into the abyss that is duck-hiding.

The Marvelous Adventures of Team Indecisive, Episode 2: That Time We Drove All Over Norman to Find Hot Chocolate

At some point between October of my last year at OU, when Anna and Kelly turned 21 and December of that year, when I turned 21, Anna had the brilliant idea of watching the movie Elf, while drinking hot chocolate spike with Bailey’s. So we were off. We had to buy groceries that day anyway, so the four of us (me, Anna, Kat, and Kelly) clambered into my car and went to Target. Because we were all a little scared of the local Walmart. Now, this is the part where I tell you Anna actually had her brilliant idea of drinking spiked hot chocolate as we were pulling back into the parking lot of our apartment.That is a key piece of information. We got excited, and trooped back into the apartment only to discover that we had neither hot chocolate nor Bailey’s. Oops.

We didn’t want to go all the way back to Target, because let’s be real, we’re lazy college kids. So we drove to the 7-11 that had a liquor store next to it, and Anna and Kelly, both being 21, went into the liquor store to procure Bailey’s, while Kat and I went to the 7-11 to grab a box of hot chocolate mix. We came back out to the car, Anna and Kelly triumphant with the little bottle of Bailey’s, while Kat and I were genuinely confused over why this gas station did not carry hot chocolate mix.

Our next plan of action was to go to the little grocery store in the lobby of one of the dorms. We skittered in there, laughing our asses off over something, and then abruptly stopped because they had no hot chocolate either. What the hell. It was practically December. Who doesn’t carry hot chocolate?

Determined to get hot chocolate, we drove to the Braum’s nearby, which had a grocery store in it, and a gas station/convenience store next door. Again, Kat and I went one direction (Braum’s), while Anna and Kelly went the other (gas station). Neither one had hot chocolate.

At this point, we decided we should just go back to Target and buy hot chocolate. Kelly mentioned that Walmart was closer. Anna mentioned it was getting dark and the crazies were coming out. So we went back to Target. It took us longer than we’re proud to admit to find both parking and the right aisle, but we emerged victorious, with our hot chocolate. We went back to the apartment and put in the movie, and generously spiked out hot chocolate. It was much later than we had planned, and that’s the story of hour four mature adults spent an hour and a half driving around Norman, Oklahoma, looking for hot chocolate.