this is me now

April 19, 2009

my first love on the East coast

Filed under: college,PennState,picturesss,things I Looove — by heatherdc @ 9:37 pm

A very successful road trip back to Happy Valley over the weekend left me with lots of pictures and an ever growing appreciation for that University in the middle of nowhere, PA.

Not to mention a new hair style, fewer dollas in the bank, and some new unnecessary fun purchases from the Bookstore. Yes, I got the magnet for my dad. And yes, I bought myself one too. I’m contemplating putting a sticky note on my dashboard “washing the car? TAKE OFF THE MAGNET”.  I think it would be effective. And that little Lion’s paw looks so cute, definitely worth it!

Walking around campus I was armed and ready with my camera and flat shoes. It’s absolutely gorgeous, as the trees are working towards Green again and flowers are in full bloom everywhere you look. This lovely campus is, by far, the very first reason I fell in love with the East coast……

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An afternoon of wandering around and snappin’ pics ended at the Tap Room above. Sit at a table near the open end (floor-to-ceiling window thats open during the “nicer” days), sip a few beers during the afternoon sunshine, people watch, and take it all in. Looooove.

I’ll save a “real” post about the weekend, in all its classiness and alumni-styyyyle, for another night – when I’m functioning off of more than 5 hours of sleep and road-trip-lag!

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March 16, 2009

Engaged and Single

Filed under: college,crazy things!,weddings! — by heatherdc @ 10:42 pm

I remember specific conversations that we’ve had about this. I remember being a freshman in college and thinking She’s crazyyyy! How could somebody already know thats the person you want to marry?! Just. Crazy.

Then, we went through four years of being roommates, and she didn’t seem so crazy. We took road-trips to visit him, he took road-trips to visit her. Them together? That’s just how it was, and how it should be. No questions about it!

We’ve looked at Bridal magazines ( nope, you certainly don’t need a ring to do that!), and talked about her wedding stuff, found dresses in said magazines that are So-Her (and fabulous), etc etc etc. We’ve complained together, vented together, and been like Ooooh BOYS together. Ah, the joys of girly things.

Saturday. I finally got that text that I’ve been waiting for: “I”M GETTING MARRIED!! Call you soon!”

And I was like: “YOU BETTER CALL VERYYYYY SOON!”

A few hours later I had the full story, and had asked a million questions, and had this huuuge smile on my face for her. Even after four years of knowing this day would be here soon enough, it still seems so weird that she’s engaged! That for the next many many months we will be talking/planning  wedding things. And loving it!

It also feels so weird for my Best Friend to be engaged after 5+ years of dating her guy, with me Single for the first time in 3+ years. We’re in two very different places, but we are both SO happy with life. That feels gooood.

September 17, 2008

Ever true to you, dear old White and Blue

Filed under: college,getting old,PennState — by heatherdc @ 11:18 pm

Three months ago I moved out. I walked across the stage and got the diploma. I left Penn State.

Today, it hit me.

For the next 3 weeks I’ll be working in “College dining” for the University I’m at now (grad program…). It’s completely different than the way Penn State ran things, which is confusing. But, if anything, presents a challenge to try and figure things out. The school hosted an Involvement fair today, completely showing our’s who’s the boss. Gah.

As opposed to table after table stuffed into the student union, they had everything outside. Very smart. It was huuuuge. And they had a climbing wall, a DJ, a burger/hot dog grill, and an information center with maps. Um, whoa.

I sat at our table all day, which turned out to be pretty pointless since I had zero answers to all questions. Luckily, I was accompanied by a staff member. Otherwise students would’ve been like, and we’re paying you money becaaaause? And I would’ve responded, Good point. Go get a burger. It’s on me. Here’s $5.00.

I love doing stuff like this, because you basically just people-watch for hours. Definitely witnessed some interesting things given the volume of students. Somehow I had forgotten that 1 out of every 4 girls decides on sweatpants for the day. Ew. And how much college kids obsess over free things, like pens and pencils and campus maps and candy. One girl basically demanded that we give her a handout with the calorie count for every single thing served on campus. And was baffled that this information is not exactly available….yet. But they’re workin on it. Shocking. One guy stood at our stable for almost half an hour, and his questions veered so far from dining-related that he was asking us why the bookstore ordered shirts on a yearly basis rather than by demand. Uhh, whaaaat?!

I saw a lady wearing a bright pink dress, with pink flats, a pink hat, aaaand a pink umbrella. No, it wasn’t raining.

There are places where this campus eerily resembles my alma mater. Grass everywhere, huge green trees, red brick buildings, 150+ years old. I got homesick, for Penn State. Honestly, a feeling of wanting so badly to walk through the HUB and out onto the lawn. Where, on days like this, tons of students are laying out on blankets and jackets, reading and laughing and doing Sudokus. And then walk to class, just to be done 50 minutes later and think “What will I do with this gorgeous Fall day?”……

Today, for the first time, it really hit me that I’m done. And I miss it. A Lot.

It’s just not the same being surrounded by Red & Black. Ironically I was in navy pants and a white shirt today. Apparently my subconscious was screaming “We Are!…..Penn State!!” I hear ya buddy.

We’re ever true to you, dear old White & Blue.

August 1, 2008

So, how Does it feel?

Filed under: college,learning — by heatherdc @ 10:43 am

I went out last night for a beer (yup, just one) with a few of my best friends. Boys I hadn’t seen since Christmas, who are only in town for one day before they leave for a family vacay. I had to finish the homework that’s been kickin my ass all week, be at work by eight this morning…but I joined them.

In the car, one of them asked me….

“So, how does it feel to be a college graduate?”

“Hmm….well, I have homework due by tomorrow night that I haven’t quite finished, I have to be at work by 8, and I’m on the way to get a drink with you guys….”

…..

“Ha. Guess your life hasn’t changed too much…yet.”

Oh, so true.

May 19, 2008

I guess I’m an… alumn?

Filed under: college,family,PennState,travel — by heatherdc @ 12:08 pm

This is weird.

I walked across the stage, and shook a lot of hands.

I picked up my diploma, and thought about all the classes I took to get it.

I came back to an apartment full of families, food, and people relaxing.

I went out to dinner one last time in Stage College.

I packed up my room, and looked back at an empty space.

I said my ‘good byes’, and even thinking about that now makes me want to cry.

I drove out of town, and realized I don’t know when I’ll be back.

At our ceremony they said “Welcome to the Penn State Alumni Association”. That doesn’t sound right yet, but I guess I’m an “alumn”. And now I’m part of one of “the most powerful networks of college graduates”. Thanks, Penn State.

Now I’m en route to Florida for a family vacation.  We love us some “Disneyworld”, and I am pretty exciiited. I hope it helps to block out this whole “graduation” thing, because reality hasn’t hit, and I don’t want it to. So instead, I’ll spend my week at the Happiest place on Earth, having a Magical time. 🙂

May 17, 2008

Senior Year: Part 1

Filed under: being Seniors,college,PennState,roommates — by heatherdc @ 10:44 am

I got a little taste of what this year would be like over the summer. I finally turned 21, and began introducing myself to the bar scene that is downtown. I couldn’t wait for my best buddies (aka roomies) to be back so we could hit the town together.

We started off strong, the football season was looking gooood after a victory over Notre Dame in the first ever FULL stadium White Out. It was beeeautiful. Em & I even bought ourselves a Jersey for the occasion.

Ohio State may have beat us, but the experience wasn’t lost.  The whole day was spent at the Hanson’s tailgate–eating, warming up, drinking, eating, and preparing ourselves for the game. It was the first and only Late night game I went to in Beaver Stadium, and it was quite the experience. This is my favorite picture of all of us.

For most of the 07′ Season we enjoyed some gorgeous game-day weather, tailgating, and some Wins here & there. It took us to the Alamo Bowl in December, which I got to enjoy with the fam in San Antonio.  The last game we attended in Beaver Stadium as Students was sad, we sat until the very end and savored the experience.  I can’t say I’ll miss standing up for four hours every game, but I will miss being a part of the BEST Student Section in the Country (yea, that’s right.).  “We ARE……PENN STATE!”

Football weekends were crazy as usual; we quickly learned you can’t move (or breathe) in most bars unless you get downtown earlyyyy and mark your spot. On the off weekends, we explored the different bars, found a lot we liked and a few that we didn’t.  I introduced Larisa to “Lulu’s”, and she was never the same. 😉 We spent every Saturday there, with DJ Killa Kaos and $1 drinks.

My parents came to visit, I said good-bye to friends who graduated early, and I narrowed my options down to the internships I wanted to apply to. Last fall seems like so long ago already. It went by way too fast, and before we knew it there was snow on the ground and we were studying away for Finals.  We had our “Second Annual Classy Christmas Party”, and after learning from a few mistakes on the first round, it was no doubt a success. We celebrated the fact that we survived, and still had one more semester to go…..

May 13, 2008

Suddenly Juniors & Growing up….

Filed under: college,PennState,roommates — by heatherdc @ 5:55 am

Spending the summer here after a semester ‘off’ put me back into school mode. I remember driving in and seeing that sign, “Penn State University 2 Miles“, and I couldn’t get the smile off my face. LB and Em both stopped by for a weekend visit, and I was getting so excited for us all to finally be together in one apartment. I was still a little nervous about how it would work out, because it had only been just the four of us a handful of times before moving in together.

Something happened that summer that changed everything. It brought us all together for one day-LB and Sally drove 6 hours to meet up with me, and we drove another 3 to meet up with Em-and while helping one of us go through one of the hardest things she may ever have to deal with, we became a family.

I walked up three flights of stairs with my two big ol’ suitcases to start the move-in process, and was met with a very excited LB and a living room that was already decked out in everything PSU, including blue & white curtains for the big ol’ window. It was mostly ‘football’ themed, as we couldn’t wait to get back in that Stadium and watch the first kick-off of the season.

enjoying our first game of the season, ready for the Rain of course

We all had our separate rooms, and we have decorated them so differently. Of course I had to be the one to move my furniture around, just to test things out. LB’s is nice and cozy, with big curtains and blankets covering the windows, and drapery over her bed. Sally’s always looks relaxing, with her big quilts, and pictures of flowers and postcards from Italy on the wall. Emily’s is all pastels of course, it feels like Spring, with a touch of class in her Marilyn Monroe pics that have been around since day 1. Plus her awesome mirror with the green frame, I love that mirror. I tried to branch away from all things purple, buying a new light green Duvet cover and very light yellow curtains.

Junior year was a weird time for us. We met a lot of new people, and realized our time here was already winding down. We hosted our first annual “Classy Christmas Party”, requiring people to dress up (and they did!), and we had a few family visitors stop by. We dressed up as Crayola Crayons for Halloween (oh, we looked Awesooome), and I began to seriously Love Football (first game-and from there on out-I stood for the whole time, big accomplishment!). We had to start thinking about what our life would be like after college, as it seemed like everybody was starting to prepare for that. It was stressful in that sense, as I really had no idea what I wanted to do. We were getting a little burned out from ‘school’, and also from seemingly be the only Juniors at this school that weren’t 21 yet. Obviously we weren’t, but oooh it felt like it sometimes.

Jack and I had started dating while I was in FL, so being only 8 hours apart actually felt close. Weird, I know. He drove up here, I drove up there. We had our weekends together, and they were so much fun. For as hard as that was, it was also good. I know that if he were any closer, or even here (crazy, I know), I wouldn’t have had as much time to devote to making memories with my roommates and best friends. My life here would have been very different, obviously in many good ways, but finding that balance is never-ending. We did fine on the phone and with sporadic weekend visits, because that’s just how it was. It’s how it started, and it’s how it progressed. The other roomies had “long term relationships” too, so we all did it, and we all had each other.

By the end of the year we had had ourselves some goooood times, some down times, some times when we were ready to be done with it all and felt like it was never going to be over (classes). We grew so close to each other, and become quite attached to this little apt of ours. Renewing our lease meant not having to move (yes!!!), and getting to be together for another year (yes yes!!). LB and Em finally turned the big 2-1 at the end of the year, so Sally and I only had to be jealous for a few weeks. 😉 Our time would come in the summer, and we had our whole senior year to look forward to.

All of us together

Visitors: Lauren (the little sis) & Jack (of course)!

May 12, 2008

Sophomore Stories: Tales from Crazytown

Filed under: college,PennState,roommates — by heatherdc @ 1:18 am

After spending the summer at home, it was hard to go back. I wasn’t sure if this was the right school for me, and I hated to be so far away again. The first night in our new dorm room, Em and I stayed up for hours talking and talking and talking. We had so much to catch up on, and we picked up right where we had left off. I felt at home again, and I remembered why I came back.

We decided to call our room “Crazytown”. Mostly because of a few “inside jokes”, and also because that’s exactly what it was. It would turn out that I’d only be there for one semester, but that was one awesome semester. A lot can happen in four months.

Early on I decided that I was going to do an internship that would mean I’d live in central Florida for Spring semester. On a random Monday night I ran into two girls putting up posters for this program, and I uncharacteristically stopped to chat it up with them. That “chat” changed the rest of my experience at Penn State.

They knew somebody (Larisa, aka LB) who would be driving to the auditions for the program and would probably give me a ride. I jumped at the opportunity, e-mailed her, and we decided to have a lunch date. We “hit it off”, and I hopped in a car with her and Sally for a road trip the next weekend. We got lost, almost missed the audition itself, sang loudly to Mariah Carey, danced danced danced, chowed down on McDonalds, and somehow made it back alive. I remember calling my mom that night and telling her that these girls were awesome!! I remember saying that “we just clicked”.

From there we would move on to going to football games together, dressing up for Halloween together, having lunch dates on Friday at McElwain because they had Spaghettios….and I reallyyy like Spaghettios.

Em & I invited them over for a night in “crazytown”, and let me tell you…it was a little crazy. We did a Christmas-music themed power hour ( I survived until about minute 34, ehhhhh), and snacked on a ridiculous amount of chips and Chex-Mix. We didn’t know it then, but this was only the beginning to our roommate love story, and the start of many many many nights together.

(this picture, um, sums up the night. oh, man)

In January, LB and I departed on the adventure of our college career. We met up in Florida, and found ourselves in an apartment with 6 other girls. Yes, we lived with 8 girls in one apartment. It was ridiculous, and one of the best experiences of my life. We were all on the same program, and came from very different places. The next four months would be spent working at the *happiest* place on Earth, playing, enjoying life without classes/tests/school, growing up, and learning a lot about each other. We made a few trips to the beach, a lot of trips to the theme parks, and had a few visitors along the way. The experience came at just the right time, a nice little break from college and the winter of central Pennsylvania.

I needed that year to realize how much I loved Penn State. I had no idea how much I would miss this place. I knew that coming back in the Fall things would be very different. Amy would be graduated and gone, and I would miss her so much. Emily, Larisa, and Sally would be my roomies and we would have our first college apartment. I would be a Junior, and I would be completely in love with this college life of mine.

May 8, 2008

We were only Freshmen

Filed under: college,PennState,roommates — by heatherdc @ 12:04 am

I was way too far from home, and had no idea what to make of it. I was desert born and raised, and the first time it rained I thought I’d be okay without an umbrella. But here, when it rains it pours, and I got soaked.

Emily lived right next to me, and within the first week I knew she’d be my saving grace. We were placed in the Honors dorm, and being that I was NOT in the Honors College, you could say I was a little out of place. I did get lucky; my first roommate was awesome, I couldn’t have asked for better. She was so nice, caring, un-confrontational, and completely sane. We got along just fine, and we never wanted to kill each other.

But when Emily ran into my room while I was getting ready one night, and said “Are you going out?!? Can I come?!?!”, I knew we were meant to be.

I joined a social service sorority, which only last until my sophomore year. Through this, I met the other person who saved my Penn State life. She was my “big” (you sorority-ers know what that means) and she took care of me. Amy is two years older than me & I’ll be in her wedding this Fall. She came into my life at the right time. Anyway-We had to have socials, which I was never crazy about going to. All I knew was that Emily would be ready and waiting for me at exactly 11:15 p.m. when I could leave, and we’d have our own fun for the night.

We handled the concept of college classes, and learned how to study/not study and get away with it. We learned that you can Not go to class, and still survive (I learned from the pro herself!). We learned that taking shots before you go to a Frat party may not always be the best way to start your night. We were painfully homesick, and found comfort in each other. We didn’t know it at the time, but we would be the main reason each one of us came back for Sophomore year.

She took me home with her over our Fall Break. We sat at the table with her parents and 7 other siblings, and enjoyed homemade macaroni & cheese with broiled steak for dinner. I remember thinking that by the end of the next four years, I’d know this place as well as my own house. I’d know where to find the cups in the kitchen when I wanted a glass of water, and it’d feel normal to help do the dishes after a big family meal. I was right, and I will always think of that house as my second home.

We met some of our best friends, but some of the best was yet to come. Somehow we survived the year, and have a lot of laughs to look back on. While neither one of us were a huge fan of this little town at the time, we did like the Football, and the ice-cream, and the plethora of flowers that bloomed around campus in the spring. Deciding to be “roomies” the next year was a no brainer, and we picked out where we wanted to live on campus. I was so sad when she left for the summer. It was the first time I realized I’d be happy to be back the next Fall.

May 6, 2008

Always the Responsible One

Filed under: being Seniors,college,roommates,stress — by heatherdc @ 11:28 pm

On a regular Tuesday night, you would find all of us in the apartment going through the TV lineup. Cash Cab, American Idol, The Office, etc. Maybe even stickin’ around for Sex & the City if we are feeling particularly lazy and not removing ourselves from the couch.

Today was like any other Tuesday for me. I didn’t have class on Tuesday, so I was usually the only one home in the morning. I go the gym, lounge around, watch daytime talk shows (Regis & Kelly, Ellen!! I loooove Ellen), get ready and then head off to work for the afternoon. But it was different for everyone else, because while they usually did have class, this is finals week. So everybody was around, lounging with me.

Tonight is different too. Without any classes, or real responsibilities tomorrow, everyone made the obvious decision to go out. We have to live it up for the next week and a half, this is all we’ve got! There’s one little problem though; I have a final at 8 in the morning. That’s early. Thats like, really early. And while I did look over it a little bit at work today, I definitely wasn’t confident enough to go have drinks all night instead of looking over my notes.

The responsible thing to do is to stay in, study, relax, go to bed early, and wake up early. The responsible thing to do is to be prepared for a final, even if it is the LAST one you will ever take. I always do the responsible thing.

I’m never the person that goes out before the test, or stays up until 5 a.m. on Sunday writing a paper because I spent the whole weekend out at the bars or with friends. I’ve never pulled an all-nighter, because I’ve never needed to. I can count on one hand the amount of times that I’ve put school on the back-burner during the important times (tests coming up, projects due, etc.) to realize that this is Just “school”, and I’d rather have fun for tonight. Yes, I’ve done it, and yes it was worth it. Every time. Obviously it would have been a little detrimental if I had always had this attitude. I know that. I know that for most situations I’ll find myself in during this life, this is a good trait to have. But I also feel like I have a hard time finding the balance….

After my roommates left I just wondered…will I regret this? Will I really learn so much in the next two hours before I sleep that it was well worth missing out on one more night with them? Will any grade I get on this test really make me think, “I’m glad I stayed in and studied instead”?

Obviously I don’t think I’m going to fail. And obviously I realize that most people wouldn’t go out the night before an 8-a.m. final. I know, it’s just one night. But I’m looking at this from the “Senior” prospective. I know that tomorrow I’ll feel amazing because I’ll be DONE and I won’t have to worry about this nagging thought anymore. I know that tomorrow night-and every night until next Saturday- I’ll be out with my roommates-and my best friends-with a drink in my hand to celebrate, laugh, relax, and enjoy the company of best friends.

Tomorrow night can’t come fast enough.

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