So some of you know that I’ve been planning a surprise anniversary party for my parents’ 25th. (It’s actually in June, but the fam was here for my graduation anyway, and besides, it’s a better surprise this way.) Anyways, the point is it was tonight, and it was awesome.

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Even better, I GOT A CAMERA!!! That’s right. My friend Rebekah got me a camera for graduation, and it rules. As you may or may not remember, my other camera met an unfortunate end when it was stolen by hardened criminals*. But I will no longer be sad about that because now I can incorporate more photos into this little blog.

And since I’m moving to New York ON THURSDAY, I have more people to keep updated about my life. Aren’t you as thrilled as I am? I thought so.

Anyways, the point is, tonight I was a good daughter, and now I’m exhausted. Tomorrow is graduation. Here’s hoping I don’t trip and fall on my face in front of thousands of people!!

*people my roommates invited to a house party

It’s my last final e-ever, doo-dah, doo-dah! It’s my last final e-ever, all the doo-dah day!

I’m a little excited.

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Ok, that’s an understatement. My excitement is almost overwhelming. I can’t even believe it. Last final! Ever!

By 2 o’clock (a mere 2.45 hours away), I will be completely done with my college education. But you know, it wasn’t all that long ago that I was a sweet, innocent college student like some of you, so here’s a bit of advice:

1. Save your pennies. Yes, I know. Eating out for almost every meal and buying new clothes and gadgets and whatnot seems tempting, but someday you will want a nice apartment in a nice neighborhood in one of the most expensive cities in the world, and THEN where will you be?

2. Be nice to your parents. They drive you crazy, and maybe some of the times you were mad at them you had a good reason. But bottom line: they love you more than anyone ever will. And their craziness? A by-product of that love. So grit your teeth and bear it. No one is ever on their death bed wishing they hadn’t been nicer.

3. Learn to let go. Grudges are fun and all (I think they burn calories or something), but at some point, your mental sanity requires that you relinquish bad feelings and grow up. Which isn’t to say you have to let people kick you around. Just mend the relationships you can, cut your losses for the ones you can’t, and get on with your life.

Ok, so the next time you see me, I’ll have earned that goofy hat and oh-so-flattering gown. Peace.

Life lesson #50: In times of panic, it’s important to breathe.

So yesterday was a hoot and a half. Turns out the apartment that I was supposed to move into in, oh, just over a week is not going to be ready until June 1st. And since two of my roommates need to move out of their dorms by Friday, my other roommate has a non-refundable ticket to NY for May 21st, and I start work May 25th, that just wasn’t going to do.

Cue panicked scramble to find a new apartment in 12 hours.

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Fortunately, Erica (one of the new roommates) is a goddess and found a new place tout de suite. Unfortunately, it costs a bit more than the first one. And she and Vanessa (other new roommate) needed our down payments, well, today.

Cue panicked scramble to find $2,025 in eight hours.

Fortunately, I was able to scrounge up most of it. The rest I will have by the end of the week. But holy emotional rollercoaster, Batman.

On an unrelated note, if you know any single millionaires looking for a wife, let me know. K thaaanks!

Weddings are fun. They just are.

Even the things you think you hate about weddings, you don’t really. Yes, they will always play “Celebration” and “Brick House” and “We Are Family,” but in a way, isn’t that consistency comforting?

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You don’t even have to get down about the love thing (if you’re single) as long as you have people to dance with. My housemates and I (sort of) crashed a wedding recently. Shelby (one of the girls) is dating Aaron who was the best man, and they invited the rest of us to the reception (post-dinner. We didn’t know them, after all).

Give me an evening where I can dress up and boogie, and I’m a happy girl. Plus, they served fresh-from-the-oven chocolate chip cookies. It’s like someone wanted to throw a party with all my favorite things.

The only potentially awkward moment came when the bride and groom did the traditional “dollar dance.” (It’s not as scandalous as it sounds, if you’re unfamiliar. In an attempt to make a little extra cash for their future together, everyone has to pay a dollar or more to dance with the bride or groom for a song or two.)

The awkwardness comes in when you have to explain to the groom why you’re even at his wedding. I know what you’re thinking: Why did I even take part in the dance if I knew it could be weird? Long story short, Emma’s boyfriend talked a big game about how he was going to do the dance, then chickened out, and I had to show him up. Spoiler alert: I did. After calling him a coward, he danced with a stranger. Mission accomplished.

Of course, I couldn’t just trash talk. So I danced with the groom. Fortunately, I’m a master at small talk. Turns out we went to the same high school and had the same major. Score. It also gave me the idea to share some of my masterful small-talking skills. Here are a few sure-fire winners:

1. Location, location, location. “Where are you from?” or “Have you always lived around here?” are open-ended questions that you can always build on. Even if they’re from somewhere you’ve never been, you can ask them to tell you what it’s like. That’s sure to get you through a dance.

2. Take them to school. Find out their major (or job) and ask how they got into that. Ideally, it will be something they’re interested in, so they’ll want to talk about it. Or at least they’ll have an opinion to share.

3. Stall. I know that there’s always a chance you’ll end up with a total dud who will contribute nothing to the conversation. In which case it’s ok to fall back on empty compliments or idle chit-chat about the weather or random objects around you. (“So, where are those gorgeous flower arrangements from? How much did you love that cake?!” Etc.)

Above all else, keep the energy up. If you sound interested, no one will notice that you’re not really talking about anything. Mazal tov!

Life lesson #44: Write everything down. Now.

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I’m losing my mind.

I mean, sure, I’m not going literally insane (I think.). But I have noticed over the last year or so that my short-term memory is equal to that of a mosquito. Maybe worse.

For example, at work I have to make up a lot of schedules for each issue of the magazine I intern for. I do this by looking at the last schedule and making sure each event (send pages to printer, receive fact checking materials, etc.) is the same number of days apart in the new schedule. It’s thrilling, as you can imagine.

The hardest part of this task is counting the days on this little calendar I have. Seriously. That is the most challenging part of this task.

And yes somehow I can’t look from the old schedule to the new calendar sometimes without forgetting how many days I’m supposed to be counting. I’ve officially become one of those middle-age women who walk into a room and have no idea why they’re there.

It’s not just numbers, either. I forget people’s names faster than you can say “nice to meet you.” I forget homework assignments by the time I walk out of the class. And I forget what I was intending to Google by the time I open my browser.

Basically, I’m a very old person. Or a toddler on pixie sticks.

Which is why it’s important to follow this lesson. Writing things down comes with a two-fold reward. Not only do you not have to tax your brain by actually remembering things, you also get the satisfaction of crossing tasks off when they’re completed.

Kind of how these lessons are a way of remember everything I’ve learned this semester. Now what was I saying…?

photo courtesy of mwoodard via Flickr

Attention:

Today marks the last day of classes I may ever have to take.*

I am currently one class and two final presentations and a couple ThinkDSM.com posts away from life after college. And I couldn’t be more thrilled.

Commence countdown to commencement. (See what I did there?)

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*The only reason why this would not be true would be if I decide to become a professor and have to get my Masters. But for now, that’s the distant future. Let’s try and live in the moment, shall we?