Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Answering ... high school, college, and how I ended up here

Emily asked what high school and college were like for me. This is feeling a little bit like therapy, but I guess I'll write it down anyway.

High School ... I had been attending a private school that was K-12 off and on since 1st grade. I attending 1st grade there, then switched to a public school for 3 years, and then went back to the private school in the 5th. I don't really remember how all of this transpired, or why, but that's what happened. I think my Mom personally knew my 2nd grade teacher and really wanted me to have her so we made the switch. So, I was in 9th grade and told my parents that I wanted to switch back to public. My thinking was that by attending a school where I had 20 in my class, I was never going to be able to cut it when I went to college and had classes with hundreds of people.

So, they let me switch, but sent me to the "good" high school that wasn't in our zone. Not that we were in a bad area, but there were plenty of people at my supposedly "good" high school that were doing the same things that everyone at the "not so good" high school were doing.

I had friends, but I was also a bit of an outsider. I was in my punk rocker/bad poetry/hair in my face phase and just didn't know exactly where I fit in. I enjoyed English and Art, tolerated History, and struggled through Algebra and Chemistry. I ended up being friends with the cheerleaders and the popular girls even though I'm sure I didn't look like them or listen to the same music that they liked. I always liked school, teachers liked me, I stayed out of trouble even though I do remember forging late notes from my Mom in the parking lot when I was late for school. I did Sub Debs, went through Presentation and all of that. I ended up meeting a guy and having my first real boyfriend when I was a Junior. He went to a different school and was a year younger, so when I graduated he was still finishing up his Senior Year. Yes, I went to Prom as a college freshman. Say it with me, La-0-ser. But, I did have a great dress because I was so much older and wiser than all of those college seniors.

High School seems so far away now, but I have good friends and memories that I still cherish. I remember being nominated for our "Friendliest" superlative, but lost out by a few votes to a girl named Brandi. Sigh.

Onto college. All my friends were going away to to the larger schools in TN or in Kentucky and I was planning to go away to college in KY with one of my good friends, Beth. At decision time, I decided to stay and attend college in my hometown, where my Dad had graduated from. Not to mention, I had the boyfriend.

Freshman year was probably no different than my senior year of high school. I lived at home, dated the boyfriend, worked part time, and that summed up my life. Sophomore year rolled around and I decided to go through Sorority Rush, my friends that went away to college in other cities all came home, I ditched the boyfriend, and moved in with my oldest friend and now sorority sisters.

This was a little more what college should be like. It was still a bit of a mixed experience. I didn't live at home, but we didn't live on campus. My friend that I lived with had a condo that her Dad owned (and it was AWESOME). I was a good student, but probably not as serious as I should have been. Looking back, I cringe when I think about some of the grades I made when I could have done better, but sometimes wine and cheese mixers at the Pike house took precedent. I majored in Communications, with a minor in English and really loved my classes and professors. My sorority/women's fraternity (Chi Omega) was definitely a big part of my life and I served in several leadership capacities, including Chapter President. Some of those ladies are still my closest friends today and I am glad I made the decision to join.

Do I regret not going away to school? Sometimes. Do I regret not doing things like studying abroad? Definitely. I had a good experience, but there are definitely things I would do differently if given the chance.

Laura C. asked how I got to Greensboro.

After college, I attended graduate school in Chattanooga, TN with one of my best friends. We had always said that we wanted to attend college together, but it just wasn't feasible, so grad school seemed like the next best idea. During our 2nd year, she got married and moved to Alabama. I had taken the first semester off to travel, so I finished out the second semester and started applying for jobs. My thought was that I would get a job and go to school part time. I really felt like I wasn't ready for grad school since I had no real world work experience. I interviewed for a job in High Point, NC, got the position, and moved to Greensboro in May 2008 sight unseen. My other plan was to go to work in Yellowstone National Park again for the summer and enroll in the Masters of Corporate Communication program at my alma mater. Yellowstone is a whole other part of my life that I should really write down. As cheesy as it sounds, it was pretty life changing for me and was my first time living on my own. I probably grew up more in those two summers than I did all of college.

Greensboro has been a great city for me and for our family and it's hard to believe that I've been here for over 10 years. I left briefly when I was transferred with my first company, but returned after about 6 months. Hubby likes to call it the biggest smallest town you will find. We have plenty to do, Raleigh and Charlotte are nearby if you need a "big" city, plus the beach and mountains a few hours away too. I'm involved in my community, we know our neighbors, we have good friends, it's a great area for our family, plus I honestly like the area.

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