Reunited And It Feels Less Weird Than I Thought It Would

I recently attended a reunion for my elementary school graduating class. It’s been about nine and a half years since we graduated from our small elementary school, and a lot of us parted ways in high school. So I was very surprised to see that over Facebook, one girl invited most of the 32 of us, as well as a few others who left the school before grade 8, to her house for a reunion.

At first I didn’t want to go. I mean, there’s a reason I don’t talk to most of them anymore. We aren’t friends. Never were. I do still talk to three people from elementary school, but those friendships were formed before/after those years anyway. Plus, like, the point of a reunion is to go flex a little, right? Show ’em how great you’re doing. And what news did I have to share? Nothing. I’m currently unemployed, live with my parents, and have less friends than I did back then.

awkward peace gif.

But two of the three people I am in contact with decided they were going to go to the reunion, so I agreed to as well, as long as they promised to not let me get trapped in a weird conversation. I thought the whole thing would be weird and awkward and we’d leave after half an hour, but it was actually a lot more fun than I anticipated!

There were only five people there when we arrived and about four more came later, so it was a small event. It would have been nice to see more, but I do think the smaller group was less overwhelming. We chatted and drank and reminisced, and it was alright. It was familiar, in a sweet way. These people used to be essentially my whole world, in a sense. And now, my world has expanded, but no matter what we grow to do or where we go, we all came from the same small school in the same small town, and it’s an experience that only we can share in.

Iron Man 3 we're connected gif.

I was also worried that the whole thing would be awkward because it’s not only that I wasn’t very close to these people ten years ago, but I actively didn’t like a few of them. And maybe it’s because we all matured or I was just too drunk to care, but it wasn’t weird at all, because nothing mattered now. It was so nice to just interact with people and not worry about the quality/value of your interactions because it was a one-time thing for catching up and then we’d go our separate ways. Maybe we’ll reunite again, but also maybe not.

Overall, I had a good time and I’m glad I went. If there’s ever a proper high school reunion in the future, I think I’d probably go to that too. In fact, a month ago, I ended up unexpectedly hanging out with two people I was friends with in high school, and it was nice.

If you’ve been invited to a reunion and are on the fence about going, I suggest you do it. It could be fun. I’m someone who usually doesn’t like interacting with people who don’t clearly want to interact with me (a tactic that often leads to me sitting alone at parties, 10 out of 10 would not recommend), but this reunion taught me that just because you haven’t seen someone in ten years or five years or even one year, it doesn’t mean you can’t have a nice evening together just because.

Game Of Thrones cheers gif.

 

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Things I Learned From My First Full-Time Office Job

I wrote the majority of this post a few weeks ago, knowing my one-year anniversary was coming up for my first real adult full-time job. Two days after the milestone, I was laid off. That sucked. I was told they were restructuring the department, outsourcing my job, and then they packed up my office for me.

The job wasn’t all sunshine and roses, but I was committed to stick it out for a couple years. Adjusting to it took time, just like I know adjusting to what’s next is going to be. Despite how angry and disappointed I am to so suddenly be out of work, the lessons I learned are still true and valuable. That job was the longest I’ve done something consecutively, and I am proud of myself. For 22 years, all I had known was school, and then my priorities and life had to shift. So I wanted to make this post to highlight some things I learned in the year. Hopefully it can help people about to graduate and move into their own full-time adult jobs, even just to understand what it’s like.

For those who didn’t know (which is probably a lot of you since I didn’t talk about work that often here), I worked in marketing. I won’t say what the company I worked for did, but it was B2B and not a thrilling industry by any means. The marketing department was small, and my job was to write a lot (emails, landing pages, social posts, blogs, website updates….) and I liked that because I went to school for communications and I do genuinely like to write/create, even if my creative freedom was obviously limited. I told anyone who asked that I learned so much at work, and it’s stuff that school could never teach me. Now I’d like to share a bit of it.

Image result for work work work gif

  • Not all offices are like The Office. There were days where work seemed similar to The Office, like we’d have a meeting talking about branch goals or something that kind of reminded me of The Office, but that’s about where the similarities end. I wished the office was more like The Office though. They seemed to have good times over there in Dunder Mifflin.
  • Dress codes are dumb. I sat at a desk by myself all day. I didn’t interact with customers. Some days I didn’t even stand up (which is bad, I know. I did make an effort to stand up and move more). So who cares if I wore fancy black shoes or purple running shoes? (Related: this post on my personal style and how clothes shouldn’t matter as much)
  • I am convinced lunch hours go by a lot faster than other hours.
  • I loved meetings. I just had to sit there, listen, learn, occasionally say something, and it counted as productivity! I had a coworker who would sometimes say after a conference call “Okay, we didn’t need a half hour phone call for that,” and I’d be like “We sure didn’t! It was great!” #WasteMyTime2k19
  • Dilbert comics make a lot more sense.
    Image result for dilbert comic marketing
    Image result for dilbert comic marketing
  • I don’t miss school per se, but I miss aspects. I miss being able to lounge around at 1 in the afternoon because my class wasn’t until 3. I miss sleeping in and staying up late. I miss doing a few hours of homework and considering it a good day’s work. I don’t miss lectures and boring papers.
  • School really didn’t teach me much. I learned so much more in the real world. Every company approaches communications, social media, and lead generation differently. The generic concepts from school may have given me a starting point, but I forget most of it. So don’t stress about not knowing and applying everything. It sucks that it cost so much to happen, but it gets you in the door for jobs. And if you’re debating going on to grad school, consider if it’s really needed. For the communications/marketing field, I personally don’t think it is.
  • I had two large computer screens and it made any multi-tabbed project SO MUCH easier. How the heck did I survive all my essays and projects in school with only my single-screened small laptop?
  • It can be hard to figure out when to speak up and voice an opinion. Sometimes it’s best to just shut up and do what you disagree with because no one’s really asking for your thoughts. Just do the job.
    Image result for don't say anything gif
  • Loverboy was right. Everybody really is working for the weekend.
  • I would’ve actually died if I hadn’t been allowed to listen to music while I worked. It was so quiet in the office, and I dislike the silence like that, so I always had the radio going. You can’t always control the volume of your surroundings the way you usually can doing homework at home, so I did have to learn what kind of noise I liked and what helps me work.
  • Just because coworkers are grown adults who’ve been with a company for years, it doesn’t mean they’re brilliant. Especially when it comes to technology.
  • If you have questions, even ‘dumb’ ones, ask them sooner rather than later. Otherwise you end up like me, who genuinely did not know my own office phone number, and even up until the end was too afraid to ask.
  • Have snacks on hand always.
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I’ll always be very grateful that I found a job in my field only a few months out of school and so close to home. I may have been counting down to 5’oclock every day, but that’s life. The above lessons will prove valuable throughout my career, no matter where I go or what I do now.

I hope the things I learned amused you or help you! To anyone who has workplace lessons to share too, leave a comment!

Wish me luck on the new job hunt.

 

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Do Kidz Need Too Learn How Two Spel?

I am cringing at my title there. I am sorry for any distress it may have caused you.

Do you guys think spelling and grammar is valued these days? I mean, most of the writing I do aside from sticky notes to myself is done online. On both my personal laptop and my work computer, I have the free version of Grammarly downloaded, and I definitely make use of spellcheck when I can. That’s not to say things are perfect. I’m sure you can find small mistakes in my blog and I know there are a few small errors in my novel. But I genuinely try and I care about grammar. I was also taught it in school.

I’m 22 which means when I was growing up, computers existed, but they weren’t used that much. Like, there was always a bulky computer or two in my classrooms, but they were just for games, and when I went home, I almost never used Dad’s desktop except for cereal box games once in a while. All homework was done via pencil and paper, and only on big projects in later grades did I type things out. By then, I had had many years of spelling classes.

I only somewhat remember spelling tests in elementary school. Each week, my teacher would give us a list of words to study, and then a day or two later they’d be recited out loud for us to write out. I always did well. They were never fun and no one liked them, but spelling was a thing we learned just like math or social studies.

Image result for spelling cyanide gif

Do kids today still have spelling tests? And if they do, do they not care about them considering they’ve grown up with spellcheck available for everything? Kids today may never need to write something of importance out on paper for anyone else but themselves, so who cares how things are spelled?

And I’m not saying that my generation is better than the younger one because we knew dictionaries before red squiggly lines—goodness knows social media proves that there are adults who genuinely don’t know the difference between your and you’re. I just think it’s interesting to consider how technology’s prevalence could dramatically change the way kids learn and use correct spelling/grammar. If you ask me, proper spelling and grammar is a skill (one I fear is dying).

Image result for spelling gif

But maybe it’s not a bad thing. It’s like cursive writing. I learned that in school too, but I never use it. It’s nonsense. I don’t mind that it’s not as enforced in schools these days. Things change, and society doesn’t have a need for cursive. And while I do wish kids and people online used better spelling and grammar, I understand that society isn’t calling for it. Life be like that, I guess. As I said, I use and am grateful for spellcheck. I use it a lot because there are some words I misspell all the time (like appreciate). So yeah, I rely on it sometimes. I’ll admit to that.

I’d love to know everyone’s thoughts on this topic, but especially if you have young kids. Are you satisfied with what they learn in school or do you feel like they’ll rely on spellcheck too much? And how much do you guys rely on spellcheck?

That’s all for now!

 

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High School Clichés In Movies

Lately I’ve been obsessively listening to the Broadway Mean Girls soundtrack (it’s good stuff, y’all–listen to it here), and there’s one song called ‘Where Do You Belong’ that isn’t even in my top five songs of the show, but I’ve had it stuck in my head a lot. It’s a really showtune-y song and it’s really fun, but the reason I’m talking about it is because it’s all about finding and sticking with your clique in high school. If you’ve seen the Mean Girls movie, you’d know that it heavily relied on the concept of high school clichés and cliques.

Mean Girls isn’t the only movie to feature this. If you’ve seen any high school-set piece of media, you’d know what I’m talking about. High schools in America all apparently have these popularity hierarchies with football players, cheerleaders, and mean girls at the top and band geeks or nerds at the bottom with everyone else living precariously in the middle, afraid to disrupt the order.

Stick to the status quo gif
High School Musical had a whole song about it!

And I say “America” because I am Canadian and this high school set up is so weird to me. My high school wasn’t like that at all. I mean, we didn’t have football players or cheerleaders, but we did have more well-known kids (I wouldn’t say ‘popular’) and kids who played Yu-gi-oh before class and musical theater kids. But there was no set hierarchy that dictated the way we behaved. There was no pronounced bullying. I’m not saying we were all BFFs with each other, but there were no clear cliques. We were just kind of friends with who we wanted to be friends with. That’s why I’ve never really identified with high schools portrayed in media because they all seemed so hellish and unnecessary.

Are American high schools really like the way they seem in movies and TV? Do football players really run the show? Do the hallways really part when popular kids stroll through? I’ve considered that perhaps my high school was just an anomaly and other Canadian schools may align with the media, especially given that I went to a Catholic school in a largely middle-class town, so I asked around. Overall, people said that there were popular kids (often athletes) and some mild bullying, but nothing strongly resembling the movies. To be fair, I only asked like ten people, and I think they all went to school in the same province as I did, so I know it’s not concrete data, but still. I also asked a couple of American internet friends, and while they said their high schools were a bit more clichéd, it still wasn’t as dramatic.

So, now the questions remain: are there high schools where people are labeled and forced into hierarchical cliques and football players are local celebrities? And if not, why does movie after movie perpetuate this idea? What’s fun or smart about portraying a wildly unrealistic setting? Isn’t the point of high school-set media to make it relatable to everyone because we all went to high school?

I don't get it gif

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this, so let me know what country you went to high school in and what that experience was/is like.

 

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My University Career: The Good And The Bad

A few days ago I received my last mark meaning that I am officially done university and my education. I mean, technically, I don’t graduate and get a diploma until June, but that’s just a formality.

These past four years have been wild. A lot happened to get me to this point, where I now have a degree. I completed two majors! I did that! And while it is an accomplishment, the four years had ups and downs like anything. This post is documenting them all.

Elle Woods grad

The Good

  • Moved out, learned how to be more independent (which I enjoyed)
  • Made a handful of new friends
  • Got to play Muggle Quidditch! (And through that got to go to events like the Fantastic Beasts red carpet and premiere)
  • Published an iBook on Muggle Quidditch
  • Published a novel
  • Learned some basic code
  • Managed to maintain this blog throughout, as well as do some other writing
  • Managed to keep up with many TV shows weekly
    watching tv doing homework gif
  • Improved my writing and editing skills
  • Designed and presented a video game prototype with PowerPoint so well that classmates thought I actually programmed it
  • Co-built a dancing Baby Groot in an Intro Electronics course
  • Got a really good GPA
  • Learned a bunch of new programs including InDesign, Photoshop, and iBooks Author.
  • Completed an internship
  • Learned about several theories and scholars
  • Got comfortable using public transit

The Bad

  • Struggled to make and maintain friendships
  • I don’t think I ever really got that cliche university experience
  • I should have got more involved in extracurriculars
  • Not that there were a lot of good ones anyway. My campus kind of sucked in that regard.
  • Moving off campus killed my social life
  • I feel like going to college would have taught me more hands-on skills
  • What did I really learn?
  • I had some annoying and/or weird professors
  • My school’s campus food was bad
  • I didn’t venture out and explore new places

The Good list is longer than the Bad, which is how it should be. Also, if you’ll remember, in September I also created a Final Year Bucket List, and I am pleased to announce that of the 10 things on it, I only failed to complete 3 (go to a bar, find a new band/singer to get in to, and make a new friend).

 oh well gif

Overall, I’m glad I got my degree, even if I didn’t have a bunch of fun. I know I’m lucky to have gotten to do it. But now it’s a chapter in my life that’s closing, and it’s been interesting enough, I suppose. And if you’ve been reading this blog, then you’ve been along for parts of the ride. You may even be tired of me talking about it. I used to have a tab at the top of my blog for University-related posts but I’ve just gotten rid of that and merged the handful of posts in there to General.

Anyway, I’m proud of me.

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