College is an ex-lover

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I’ve always been a “yes” person. I am that girl that agrees to brunch over Sam Adams Saturday night and, come Sunday morning, wholeheartedly hopes for a text saying it’s a no-go (or better yet, no text whatsoever). Maybe even a natural disaster.

But I always say yes. I’ve done so for most of my life – and it explains a lot.

This, in part, is because the fear of missing out is so deeply rooted in my mind, which – frankly – still thinks it’s eighteen. Sure, this may have served as an advantage in college – the fear of missing out regularly dragging my ass out of bed Saturday mornings to answer the call of a boozy brunch – but I can tell you that as a post-grad approaching the six-month mark, the fomo is fucking real.

Welcome week came and went as I came and went to the office. To this day, every late night college-town mupload feels like a swift kick to the stomach as I warm up my tea and get ready for bed, the television set to Bravo. Every filtered Friday night Instagram sends my heart straight to my gut (do not pass “GO,” do not collect $200) and a slight shock to my feet. The kind you get when you’re almost in a car crash or when you find out your boyfriend is cheating on you with someone skinnier. The very same kind you get when you stumble upon a picture from a party in your old apartment.

The feelings are also real.

With every weekend recap and hungover phone-call comes genuine laughter paired with disbelief (was Kerri seriously harassed by a Greenwhich homeowner?) followed by immediate sorrow and self-pity. Everything feels really dramatic, like a first-season episode of the O.C. We spend Saturday nights yearning for our four-year routine, even if that routine revolved around a grimy sports bar everyone loved to hate/hated to love followed by the average blacked-out Marco Polo in the streets for a cab.

We want it back and we want it back hard because, as happy as we may be to have a college degree, our home has become a second home and our weekends feel like they’re on pause. We’re rutted in the real world while what feels like the rest of the world is day drinking.

“This is a new chapter,” they said. “It will get better,” they said.

See also:

“Ew, you’re a real person now.”

“Brb I’m gonna take some Fireball to the face.”

and “LAST NIGHT WAS CRAZY.”

Refer to this very real (and very touching) message I received last week:

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My alma-mater is in New Rochelle and I am from Brooklyn, commonly confused with Brook-dick. He’s also really into Destiny’s Child.

The pattern repeats. Every weekend; until it gets a bit easier, or so I’ve heard it does. Until then, the only advice I can find in what’s left of my heart anchored below my gut is to take every inkling of college with a grain of salt and a deep breath. Feel free to add lime and a shot of tequila.

Try not let your jealousy run rampant. You had a year over these seniors while they thought they were top of the food chain in high school. Back when Four Lokos directly led to heart disease and “I Love College” by Sam Adams was cool.

I digress.

As excited as I am for the new-generation seniors to make the best of their last semesters, I am equal parts envious and covetous of their Sunday morning struggle and the stories that come with it. Just as I would be with an ex-boyfriend.

Like a bad break-up, post-grad-depression can be cured or at least subdued by Norah Jones pandora, good girlfriends and, of course, relentlessly revisiting your past. Go ahead and label college “DO NOT ANSWER” in your contacts but, by the end of the work week, you will get drunk and you will answer. You will text first and you will beg for a second chance, even when you know you’re better off. You’ve grown up. You and college are just at different points in your lives. You’ve moved on. It’s over, okay?

But there’s a catch (as with most former lovers).

Those seniors you’re closest with with won’t be seniors forever. In two short semesters that will feel like decades, the real world will welcome them with the same open arms and student loans as you continue on your career path and finally find some normalcy.

Now is the time to get caught up in a college love-affair.

Give into an ex-lover (no, not that one). Go back and go wild. Escape your mundane nine-to-five and throw back a few Natty Lights over a round of shirtless civil war, if only for the weekend. In a few fleeting years, you’ll recognize more buildings than faces on the campus you once called home – and that’s okay – because, like an ex-lover you can’t forget, your college will always be yours.

So, sleep in an age-old school sweatshirt that still smells like your first apartment. Cuddle up with a movie you saw with your roommates freshman year. Admire old photos like these:

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because, as much as it swears it’s happy with someone else, college misses you too.

That doesn’t mean it’s not time to move on.

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This weekend in brief review

This weekend my college roommate and I were projectile vomited on by a stranger on a staircase in a crowded bar, a friendly neighborhood crackhead tried forcing his drink in my mouth and I saw Stevie Wonder pay tribute to John Lennon – live.

“Are you here for a family reunion,” asked a stranger at a Midtown sports bar Friday night.

As I helped my girlfriend wash her dress off in the bathroom (with much appreciated assistance from a small male employee we kidnapped and held hostage in the woman’s bathroom), I realized: we most certainly were.

And on Saturday, as I watched my hometown girlfriends twerk to a live cover of “Day Tripper” performed by Stevie Wonder on the Great Lawn of Central Park, I realized: I’m living the life.

Five reasons the Internet is incredibly on-point right now

1. It shows the world how enlightened Europeans can really be:

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Like Tinder, I’ll never take a site like this seriously, which can only mean it’s perfect. It’s only a matter of time before the U.S. gets its hands on this and my friends find a way to either end my social life or get me married. In which case, my profile would look much more like my actual self and much less like my OKCupid façade. I imagine a majority of my friends would describe me as “a 22-year-old cluster-fuck of sensitivity with terrible timing, luck and very little grace.” I wouldn’t like my picture and my hobbies would likely include “ordering off of GrubHub,” “sitting” and “spilling my beer.”

2. It graced us with this:

Love or loathe her, Miley is a household name right now; one of those that make you vaguely itchy when you say it because the NSA is probably keeping track and you don’t want to admit that you actually think Miley is kind of cool (I say this very loosely and I am very itchy).

Cinematography is insane – and what’s crazy about this promo is that it’s so well done that it made me fucking love her and, at the minute mark, I think I even respect her. I may not want to straddle a crane but I wouldn’t mind shooting a hot-dog gun.

3. Tweets like this:

4. This amazing moment from Merritt Wever was immediately made into a GIF:

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5. This picture of Mitt Romney making a baby cry back in 2012 made a comeback this week and is archived for eternity at #5 on Huffington Post’s 35 Hilariously Awkward Politician-Children Encounters:

Romney 2012

Hallelujah.

Because, Monday

Pledge allegiance to the struggle.

Note-to-self: 10 clues I left for myself in my phone

May 21, 2012, 5:01 PM
“I’ve been notebooked. Everybody was crying and at the end I had no idea what happened”

November 15, 2012, 9:18 PM
Slow walkers

December 1, 2012, 1:14 AM
“Well fuck me silly if the last three years haven’t been about you” bathroom stall

February 5, 2013, 12:26 AM
Appreciate everything, regret nothing

June 17, 2013, 7:49 PM
Bowling league

June 17, 2013, 11:25 PM
I have been outsmarted by a jukebox where do I put my dollar

July 2, 2013, 10:06 PM
“You’re gonna fuck this little girl, and then you’re gonna fuck all of us?”

July 27, 2013, 12:23 AM
Check your vine

July 31, 2013: 8:07 PM
Ashton to Jameo: 47

September 19, 2013, 10:15 PM
“I got yelled at by a homeless for looking homeless and not being homeless today”

Not OK, OKCupid

Dear OKCupid,
It’s not you, it’s me.

We all have a friend with faith in online-dating.

A year and a half ago, mine did dinner and drinks with an online-match on the Upper East Side. After a round of overpriced cocktails and mediocre banter, her date mentioned he was low on cash. As he reached for his card, my girlfriend caught her breath, only to almost choke on it.

“You want to give me cash for yours?” he asked confidently, nodding at her half-finished cranberry-vodka.

And so the story goes, she handed him seven dollars and never saw him again.

No; this was not where her credence came in. Nor is it from where my curiosity stemmed. Both came later in the form of a real-life, totally not-creepy long-term relationship with a genuinely good guy. Truth be told, I haven’t seen her this happy since the release of SkinnyGirl our sophomore year. Bethany Frankel may have let her down, but Plenty of Fish did not.

My inevitable interest caused me some concern.

I am an admitted victim of overpriced high-waisted shorts with standards just as unreasonably high as (if not higher than) the cost of my pre-worn denim. Single sans the mingle, I spent this year scoffing at potential suiters, so much so that I can no longer differentiate flirting from friendly conversation.

Here’s how it typically goes:

“Meg. That guy is hitting on you. Talk to him.”

FYI: the tap-on-your-opposite-shoulder-to-get-you-to-look-the-other-way approach will not make you part of the 1%.

Soon, the seemingly subtle engagement announcements wedged between important opinions on Miley and Molly hit me like a wrecking ball. High-quality muploads of soon-to-be-newlyweds under the Brooklyn Bridge flood in like Fall, shoving their conveniently-manicured left hands as far in our faces as everything fucking pumpkin.

My girlfriend and her perfect match are coming up on their one-year anniversary, and then there’s me.

The closest thing I have to a committed relationship is with the barista at Starbucks who thinks my name is Maggie. I’m captaining a well-caffeinated sinking ship, so this summer I took the plunge.

Not only did I hope online-dating would lower my senseless standards – part of me half-expected to receive a mail-order boyfriend in three to six business days. This was my first cue to abandon ship:

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It took some deliberation but I decided not to shout my love for Mexican cuisine from the rooftops of the Internet as OKCupid so thoughtfully expected me to. I went with another variation of my first and last names, cringing with every finalizing click.

According to my profile, I am an Instagram-filtered Fireball enthusiast with a part-time job in journalism. My special skills include Netflix binging, putting quotes around things like “finding myself” and eating Chipotle.

Twelve middle-aged visitors later and the messages came rolling in. Like this one, for instance:

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And this one:

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Soon, people were starting to be honest with me:

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And I mean really honest:

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Thank you, gray-scale 23/M/Astoria in snow-cap. I can’t say that I have, but my third grade teacher taught me to keep trying. After all, there are keepers like this guy (for anonymity, I’ll leave out his username but tell you it has “Tiesto” in it):

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Thanks, Dean. Unfortunately I’m not sure we’re right for each other. Life is too hard down here at 5’2.

The Magic Hour is Now

Since we’re at the beginning, allow me to go back.

TimeHop and I are in an open relationship. The commitment-free kind where we avoid public eye-contact but hook-up on Friday nights. Some evenings, it brings me pure, unadulterated pleasure in the form of old photos and recovered retweets while others, it shatters my heart into a million jagged pieces. Most nights, TimeHop stands me up, left alone with still-frames of college day-kegs and a half-eaten tub of Ben & Jerry’s.

This week, we’re on speaking terms (sort-of).

This time last year, I was blacking out at Beechmont Tavern for Halfway to Saint Patrick’s Day, still lugging around unnecessary baggage from a melodramatic breakup and, of course, still nursing a gnarly knee-scrape from Labor Day. (Subtly wondering how I still had friends,) I was suiting up for senior year.

Roughly 365 days later, I can safely say: It has been quite the fucking ride.

I watched my cousin get married while, less than 48 hours earlier, I was holding a fraction of my front tooth in my palm after an average elbow-meets-beer-bottle-meets-face incident in a crowded bar.

“Just wear it down with a nail-file,” said a girl on line for the bathroom. I did not take her advice.

I survived the almost-apocalypse, frequent near-death games of civil war, approximately ten to twelve gin buckets and one six-day trip to Puerto Rico with almost 20 of my closest friends. I lived through my first seven minutes behind the wheel of a car (I can’t say the same for the passenger…kidding, though his head did hit the windshield and that is no fucking joke).

I decided to put half a handle of vodka in a pitcher of boxed-sangria and, somehow, no one died.

I moved from one home to another, 20 miles away from girls I hadn’t lived farther than 10 feet from in four years. I finally got closure from above-mentioned breakup in the form of an 18-speed-mountain bike gifted to me three years earlier. I said dozens of painful goodbyes, one of which was to said ex-boyfriend’s mother whom I no longer had a valid reason to see. But, the hardest goodbyes were to the gals I no longer shared a lease with.

I graduated with a degree in what I love, treading carefully across the stage at Radio City; the gauze around my post-senior-formal feet clearly visible.

My mother was punched in the face by a Hell’s Angel — and then she got cancer.

In three months that felt like years, my mom beat cancer and still holds onto her sanity through remission, minus that time she thought she saw the Notre Dame mascot in a bruise on her arm. I sat shot-gun in a cross-country roadtrip to Chicago, saw Lil Jon live at Lollapalooza, browned out at Wrigley Field and spent one-third of my Chase savings on a shot of v8. I spent five days with ten boys who, in between literally choking each other out and blaring Miley Cyrus on repeat, made me feel like one of the guys.

I took a job that I adore. I saw Shaggy live. I made it to 22.

About a year ago, a good friend referred me to the record “Would It Kill You” by Hellogoodbye and, in an intimate drunken stupor, repeated the lyrics to me: “Would it kill you just to let it all work out?”

I’ve spent a year free from the reigns, letting life fall into place.

A year later, I’ll pull from the band’s new single, less than one week old:

The thing about the sun is that it’s gonna set and rise again, over you.

The magic hour is now because we’re not guaranteed another.

To make a long story short, consider this an introduction of sorts. I’ll be using this platform for good (and for evil), sampling some of my deepest, darkest and painfully honest thoughts on life, love, the pursuit of happiness, dating websites, binge drinking, tracksuits and more.

Cheers to another year in life and in writing.