For the past few months, I’ve been referring to my post-undergrad life as “being a real person,” having a “real person” apartment, with “real people” furniture and “real people” artwork and “real people” coffee mugs (that I’m mildly obsessed with – see here). I’ve been avoiding the kitchen sections of stores like the plague because of a lack of new cabinet space and on a search for towels that match my shower curtain for over a week. For people that know me – that’s almost the norm. I bake like it’s my job (apple cake baked today!) and I love kitchen appliances. My graduation present was even a KitchenAid mixer that is maybe the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. But when my mom asked me, “Are you sure you can handle a white duvet cover? You won’t eat pasta on it? Or spend all of your time watching episodes of Grey’s Anatomy on it?,” my answer was, “Of course not, Mama. This is my real people duvet cover.” I realize how grammatically incorrect that statement is, but it’s been my reasoning behind a lot of things lately.
And after using the phrase “real person/people” so much over the past few months, I’ve come to realize that William & Mary has shaped me into the type of person who will never necessarily be the quintessential “real person” that comes to my mind – who is the type of person who functions for the purpose of working at a mindless 8-5 job, who has matchy matchy things all over their apartment, and who lives for a post-work happy hour. William & Mary has made me so much more passionate than that person who doesn’t care about their work – I’m about to begin my Master’s in Elementary Education because I want to shape the future of children (whether it be only one child or 300). William & Mary has made me have so much more eclectic taste than before – whether that is able to be witnessed in my watercolor poppy paintings from my study abroad in Italy, the Haitian flag I’m trying to figure out where to put in my new apartment, or my tablecloth I bought in Zimbabwe a few years back.
When I look at the person who I’ve become at William & Mary and the person that I continue to grow into, I realize that yes, I will one day be a “real person” with a real, paying job, and a real family, and hopefully, a real husband. However, I will always be that silly and spunky Southern girl who showed up on August 22nd, 2008 and moved into her room in Barrett 304; the one who loves YouTube videos and wears pearl earrings all of the time; the one who learned to let go of her fears and meet new people and embrace everything that the William & Mary community had and still has to offer; and finally…the one who loves everything about William & Mary so much that she simply can’t escape it and is here again and still achieving her dream.
So here’s to being your own kind of “real person.”