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The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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Brendan Polmer: Almost the beginning of ‘real life’

This is it. The last stretch. The final frontier. So how do I feel as a second semester senior at GW? Excited? Sure. Anxious? Oh yeah. Scared? You bet’cha.

I’m only less than a week into my last set of classes and I’m already nervous – with 17 credit hours, a job, an internship and a band to maintain, I fear that this schedule is really going to interfere with my drinking. Now having to report to work at 9 a.m. most days, my Tipsy Tuesday’s, Wine Wednesday’s and Thirsty Thursday’s may be in jeopardy.

On the plus side, maybe I’ll lose some weight, remember where I put my keys, not wake up feeling like shit, have enough money to pay my bills on time – you know, be responsible, productive – prepare myself for true adulthood in the real world after college.

But then again, maybe not.

Being a second semester senior is a confusing period in one’s life, with a mixture of feelings surrounding it. I’m anxious and ready to move on, be done with school for a while, get a job, an apartment, pay taxes – you name it. But at the same time, when will I ever get the chance to eat Pita Pit at two in the morning again? Stay up in Gelman until the sun rises? Have sex in a twin bed? Towel a door? Sure, I’ll take some knowledge from what I learned in the classroom into my future jobs, but many of the things I learned here weren’t in the classroom.

Soon enough I’ll have to start applying for jobs – jobs that, hopefully, don’t Google their potential employees names only to find personal and revealing information from past columns in student newspapers. The pressure really is on, though.

Over the winter break, scores of people were asking me what I was going to do with my life after college – as if I actually knew.

“What are you going to do?” they’d ask. “Will you stay in D.C. or move back home?” “How are you going to make money?” “Are you going to graduate school?”

I didn’t enjoy giving boring generic answers most of the time, like, “Oh, I don’t know – get a job I suppose.” Rather, I found it more fun to just make something up, listen to how it sounded rolling off my tongue, gauging how others reacted to it, and then slightly changing my story based on which friend or family member I was talking to.

I told some people that I would pursue my dream of getting an easy, well-paying job this summer, bartending or something like that, and save up enough money to drive across the country in my car. I’d stop and spend some time in all the major cities I’ve never been to in the Midwest, West Coast, Northwest and Southwest of America, just paying for gas and food, sleeping in my car or on someone’s futon, making new friends – I’d be a modern day Jack Kerouac, on the road with no specific place to be or timetable to stick to.

I also told people that I was going to stick with the music thing for a while, tour the country with my band, get signed to a record label and end up on the cover of “Rolling Stone.” Rather than get a boring office job, sitting at a desk behind a computer all day, the prospect of playing music for the rest of my days sounds pretty enticing, living the rock and roll dream, groupies and all.

My mother did not approve of this plan, however. She said I should move back to my hometown to be with her and go to graduate school down there, bursting my dream bubble.

I suppose I still have some time before I have to make any major life decisions – a few more months, at least. I don’t think more school is in my immediate future; although I may decide to go back at some point if it could potentially lead to a better paying job. Unless I make my millions as a rock star, that is.

I think I’ll have to just hold on tight these next few months and see where the end of my life at GW takes me. If I try to force myself now to decide what to do after college, I may miss out on something grand. Besides, I’ve got too many other things to think about right now- like how I’m going to be able to schedule in a SizzEx happy hour this time around.

The writer, a senior and Hatchet arts editor, is a Hatchet columnist.

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