If it's been said once, it's been said a million times. "Women are confusing." (The way I see it, maybe it should read more like "Guys are dopes and should use their brains; therefore making women less confusing".) Regardless, sometimes I think men need are a few training wheels to get them headed in the right direction. So strap on your helmet and here we go...the secrets of womanhood - revealed.
The Two Most Important Words
Words are funny things. Words, whether we realize it or not, define us. The way we talk, the words we say, and the way we say those words ultimately outline who are are as people.
I can't say I have an incredibly extensive vocabulary (I didn't do great on that part of the SATs), but I can say I know a lot of words. After my 23 years on this planet, I've found the two most important words. Ready?
Why? These are such little words, but they hold an enormous meaning. Generally, these two words are followed by a few after it.
"I am happy." "I am confident." "I am exciting." "I am going to get a job."
Pretty powerful, right?
Now, change those to something like these:
"I am alright." "I am bored." "I am tired." "I am confused." "I am never going to get this."
"I am" are two tiny words...only a total of three letters. These three letters yield either greatness or self-pity and destruction. We, as human beings, are taught that it's "wrong" to gloat about ourselves. No one wants to hear someone else saying "I am great...smart...funny...the best." It makes other people want to throw up. Don't do that. Instead, say these things to YOURSELF. I think that once we start saying these two words followed by a fantastic, positive word right after it, the results are tremendous.
"Real Life" vs. "College Life"
I've been forcefully removed from my college world for just about four months now. I went from living with friends in a typical college town to living with my grandparents while I student teach. I went from our house being confused for Grand Central Station to "partying" with the adult (strangers) neighbors for Super Bowl Sunday. Needless to say, life is different than it was four months ago.
Before I continue, I feel compelled to remind everyone how much I LOVE living with my grandparents and student teaching. If I could live here forever, I probably would. (Sorry Mom, but grandma likes to do my laundry.) I also feel compelled to say that I'm not fully in "real life" yet. I don't really pay bills and my grandma even cooks me dinner. (I know, you're probably jealous)
So, instead of doing my homework or writing lesson plans or applying for jobs or doing anything remotely more productive than this, I'm going to write about life now compared to then. For those in the same shoes, I hope you can agree. For those still in college, take notes.
1. Bedtime Exists
In college, bedtime is practically nonexistent. Even if you were forsaken with the dreaded 8am class, you could probably just take a nap in the afternoon. Now, I find myself showering at 9pm and basically in bed at 9:55pm. Anything after about 10:56 is considered a wildly late night for me.
2. "I Want To Untag Myself"
With college in our rear view, we find ourselves frantically looking for a job (if we have not already found one). Something funny about jobs is that they don't really want to hire someone who "acts a fool" all over Facebook. That picture of the guy with Sharpee marks all over him taken last fall isn't so funny anymore. Instead, Mr. Sharpee is cursing himself for drinking too much of something because now he's living in Mommy's basement while his brother's friends refer to him as "the weird guy downstairs". Careful what you post, Facebookers, Tweeters, and Instagrammers.
3. Nights Out
In college, nights "out" were frequent. No adult really need to know how frequent because it would probably make them sad. Now, nights out are quite different. I'm lucky if I make it after midnight without craving my bed.
College is literally the only time in a person's life where they are constantly surrounded my others the same age. We live with friends. We spend hours upon hours upon hours with them on weekends. We walk to class with them. We take them to ShopRite with us (why?). College kids are everywhere. Now, I spend almost nine hours a day surrounded by 10 and 11-year-olds. Can't say I don't love it. Can say it's different!
Some of my new friends have become Juan Pablo, the judges on American Idol, and the self-made millionaires on Shark Tank. Maybe I'm not psyched about Mexican Monday anymore, but I sure did look forward to seeing which hopeful bachelorette got sent home. Perhaps I'm not planning my outfit for an ABC party, but I'm pretty excited to see what entrepreneur makes the deal with Mark Cuban. Again, can't say I don't love it.
If there's one thing I miss from living in the college town, it's weekends. Everyone was right there. It's much harder when your friends are spread throughout the state of New Jersey. (I can't imagine what people do when they don't go to a state university.) Also, I find myself waking up hours earlier than I ever thought I could on weekends. I'm productive. Sometimes, I relax. Hm.
Casual Friday is super exciting (no sarcasm intended). In college, going around town in a ripped hoodie and yoga pants was acceptable. Now, it's slacks, a top, and flats.
You're superhuman if you didn't gain any weight in college. The caf is a disaster, but you can't help but spend 5 hours there on a Sunday afternoon. Now, I bring a "lunch box" to school with me, packed with chicken, a yogurt, and an apple. No more "I'll just grab this ice cream on the way out of the caf just because...it's...here."
I think I filled up my gas tank about one a month in college. We walk everywhere. But, holy moly, gas is expensive. Commuting 45 minutes back and forth to my school yields frequent stops at the gas station. Woohoo. (Thank you, Mom and Dad for helping with this!)
If anything, being out of college and being introduced to the "real world", I learned one thing. I learned how ready I am for "real life" to totally start. As a "adult" (or whatever I am), I have goals, both long term and short term. I want to be a teacher. Eventually, I want to be an administrator or an Athletic Director. I want to inspire people. As members of the "real world", I think we start living life thinking about what's best for ourselves and exactly how to get what we want. We assign work for ourselves to accomplish those goals and words hard for what we want.
And there you have it. "Real Life" and "College Life" are galaxies apart. All it takes to be successful in the transition are a few good pairs of shoes, a few good people, and a few good goals.
No, Juan Pablo, Eeees NOT Okayyy.
Last night was the culmination of what has "hooked" millions of Americans for the last few months. We watched (some yelled) as Juan Pablo made his final decision between the two lovely ladies on The Bachelor.
Men vs. Women: Being a "Boss"
Every girl loves Cosmopolitan, whether they like to admit it or not. The cover sometimes makes me blush if I leave it around where there are people who are not my 20-something-year-old female friends. Regardless, it can be a good read.
Yesterday, I read an article that got me thinking. This time, it was more than just "10 Ways to Look Great on a Budget" or the one about the "new move to try tonight" (?). No, none of that this time. The article was titled "Why Are We So Hard On Women Bosses?" It talks about how women significantly differ from men in the workplace, especially when involving a leadership role. Women can't just ask for something to be done; they need to say it politely. But! - not too politely, because then they're a pushover. If it's not done politely, though, they're immediately labeled a b****. Tricky, isn't it? How does a woman find the perfect balance? But for a guy, he can practically do what he wants, and people will be okay with it.
The article went on to talk about how this difference, this trickiness, between men and women originates when we're practically kindergarteners. When little boys play, they're in groups of 5 or 6. It's okay for little boys to brag about making the last shot. It's acceptable for them to say "pass ME the ball!" Me, me, me, me, me. They can gloat and run around getting high fives from their buddies until their hands turn red. Girls, on the other hand, cannot. Girls are typically in smaller groups, and if a little girl were to brag about perfectly brushing her doll's hair, the other little girls would think she was prissy and she would lose friends. Cosmo says, most simply, that boys can brag and girls can't. Other boys will still be his friend if he's a little self-indulged, but this doesn't go for girls. See how it fits in the workplace? Guys can be firm, demanding, etc, and it's okay.
I thought about this for a long time and the more I thought about it, the more it sort of bothered me. It's 2014. You would think that, even though we say that men and women are "equal", that this would apply across the spectrum. It's really not fair that women have to find the perfect balance of sugar-coating and "headstrong-ness", for lack of a better term, to be considered a good boss. I'm frustrated.
I'm frustrated, but I get it. I can even see it in classrooms. Kids respond differently to males than females. Why? When a man stands in front of them, I notice a small mix of respect and fear. When a woman is there, there's more fooling off. I don't get it.
I'm not writing this to offer a solution, and I don't mean for this to sound like a rant. I'm simply stating it. It's just bizarre to me that in this day and age that it's still present. I'd say it's time we stop acting a certain way around someone based off their gender. If a boss, man or woman, worked hard enough to deserve the position he or she is in, that person deserves respect. And there you have it - just respect people. The end.