Freshman year of LIFE

My DC condo/apartment hunt has finally ended! After an extensive, stressful, complicated, and tedious four-day search, my roommate and I found a place in Virginia.

What does that mean for right now? Well, I go back to California for a week to pack up all my stuff and say goodbye to family members. It feels a bit like I’m briefly going home before my trip back to college, only I’m not returning to Arizona this time.

In her bestselling novel “Commencement,” J. Courtney Sullivan describes the first postgraduate year as the “freshman year of life.” I’m hoping the next 12 months won’t mirror my freshman college experience, which was fun but not nearly as fulfilling as the following three years, when I started writing again.

Though the media has described DC as both “over-sanitized” and “dangerous,” I feel like it’s the perfect place for me, at least for now. Everyone seems really into their careers as well as the big events of the nation and world. After all, it’s the center of everything.

I cannot get enough of Georgetown, which is beautiful, clean, charming, and, sadly, impossible to travel to! There’s no metro station that goes to Georgetown, so you have to take the circulator and/or taxi to get to Georgetown. Of course there’s the Georgetown Connection Bus, but that’s only for students, or so I’ve heard.

Regardless, it’s is worth the transportation nuisance. One day, I hope to live there. By then, I am holding out for a metro stop, or at least a more reliable circulator system (the buses seem to come and go as they please rather than every ten minutes, as promised).

My roommate and I began our search in Maryland, which we arbitrarily decided that we liked better than Virginia.

Then we visited Maryland. Maybe I’m biased because I grew up visiting my Virginia cousins every year, but I preferred Virginia to Maryland. There may or may not be a difference between the two places. All I know is that it felt right in Virginia.

Our first stop was in Silver Spring, where we got cat called by multiple men. I laughed at most of these situations, especially when an old man with a scratchy voice sang, “Beautiful laaaadddddddddddyyyyyyyy!” Even so, my roommate and I weren’t too happy with the places we saw, so we chose to look at Forest Glen, which was just a metro stop away.

As soon as we got onto the metro headed to Forest Glen, we were told that there was a glitch somewhere at the Friendship Heights station, therefore, the Forest Glen route was momentarily canceled. It was already 4:45, and we were both exhausted.

“This is God’s way of saying, ‘don’t move to Forest Glen,'” I told my roommate, and she laughed.

The following day, we toured another Maryland condo, a community in Virginia, and a reasonably priced complex in Northwest DC.

We fell in love with what we saw in Virginia, although the Maryland condo was the most aesthetically pleasing of everything we’d seen. Still, I didn’t feel comfortable with the way the MD landlord wanted to handle things. He was unable to show us the unit, the apartment was a long way from the nearest metro, and I just had a bad feeling in my stomach about the informality of it all.

The complex in NW was nice and certainly conveniently located, but there were no 2 bedroom apartments available for move-in. I wasn’t super disappointed.

My roommate and I cannot wait to live in the DC area, although it hasn’t fully sunk in yet. I still feel as if I’m going back to University of Arizona, only not exactly…

Thankfully, I have somewhat of a network in DC, and I’m sure I’ll make new friends quickly. I’ve been told that it becomes harder to meet people after undergraduate studies ends, but I’ll find my way around this supposed impediment. Whenever I go somewhere new, I enjoy having a clean slate, so I look forward to developing friendships and learning things.

By the way, I went back on Facebook today. Don’t hate me! It’s definitely not a valuable use of my time, but I don’t want to completely shut myself off from the virtual world. In this day and age, it’s an easy way to drift apart from people you care about. I’ve been emailing, calling, and texting quite a few friends regardless, but I don’t think I can run away from Facebook any longer.

In truth, I deactivated Facebook because I was somber about having graduated from college. I assumed it would be too painful for me to log on to Facebook and see UofA related status updates, photo albums, or wall comments. More than anything, Facebook is also brutal in what it reveals about your friends. Sometimes, you will see things you simply don’t want to see. You’ll overanalyze a status update, wonder about a tagged photo, or notice that you weren’t invited to a social event that half of your friends attended.
Does that make any sense to you? Some of you know where I’m coming from, but the rest may be frustrated that I’m beating around the bush, so here’s a classic example of what I’m trying to prove:

A friend recently got dumped. Said friend removed her ex-boyfriend from her friends list. But, because they have numerous mutual friends, she still sees his wall posts and pictures on other people’s pages. Where’s the escape for her?

She could delete Facebook, as I did, but one can only deny reality for so long.

You can’t eliminate social networking from your life to avoid the inevitable. Whether or not I’m on Facebook or Twitter, the University of Arizona classes will resume in August, without me as an enrolled student. As Gerard Butler repeatedly reminds Katherine Heigl’s uptight character in “The Ugly Truth,” the truth “really is ugly.” Either deal with it or embrace the ‘ignorance is bliss’ mentality.

I won’t use Facebook more than twice a day, but I won’t continue hiding out just so I “won’t know about” the upcoming school year.

Plus, I’m excited to try something else! I have a lot ahead of me, I just have to keep swimming, smiling, and working.

I’ll also admit that Facebook is the best way for me to advertise this blog. Much of my readership spawned as a result of my Facebook status updates, which had links to my blog posts.

I still think that Facebook isn’t a good use of my time, but I can use it to comfort my friends and faraway acquaintances/family members. Most of all, I must not blame Facebook for the fact that I can’t be a student anymore.

That’s the end of my Facebook tirade.

At present, I’m searching for journalism/writing opportunities in the DC area. If you know of anything, please send me an email. I can’t wait to write for a publication again, and I will make this possible.

There are mant wonderful qualities of the DC area. My favorite aspect by far is the level of diversity. DC is a metropolis, so the people come from everywhere. The countless languages that I hear spoken on the streets are music to my ears, as I love languages.

Yesterday alone, I met a French speaking man and two Italian women on the bus. The ladies began speaking Italian to me, even though I hadn’t said a word to them.

As I waited for the circulator last night, I ran into the same French-speaking man, and we talked in French for ten minutes. It’s great to practice over here in the states.

I appreciate the plethora of culture in DC, and I hope to spend as much time in the city as possible.

Sure, I miss California candor and enthusiasm, things I can’t seem to find anywhere outside the golden state, but DC has everything else I need. I can bring my personality with me wherever I go.


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