If We Were Having Coffee (Back to School Edition)

day designer

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you about going back to school. This is my first semester of my new major, Communication Management and Design, and I’m already so thrilled about the classes. In speech-language pathology, I was simply memorizing facts that I wouldn’t remember beyond that semester, but in CMD I’m learning actual skills that will apply to my career.

Communications classes require active participation in a way that my science classes didn’t. I’ll have to interact with my peers, give presentations, and design campaigns. My science classes were passive and lecture-style: as long as you took basic notes and studied for the test, you were fine. I can learn from a book, but hands-on engagement is where I really thrive.

I also have two jobs this year–one paid position writing for the college’s marketing publications and one unpaid position helping students with their resumes, cover letters, LinkedIn profiles, and job searches. Both of them are off to a strong start, and I’m sure you’ll be hearing more about the articles I’m writing and career training I’m providing.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you about learning to be an adult. My car got hit this week (I speculate that the construction work happening in our driveway is a related issue), and I’ve had to handle talking to my insurance agent, the appraiser, and the body shop to get it fixed. Welcome to adulthood.

sweet potato chickpea bacon spinach saladI’ve also had to stock a kitchen and plan/cook my meals independently for the first time. My first dinner I cooked here was spaghetti with meat sauce (classic), but I’ve since made Moroccan chicken and a sweet potato/chickpea/bacon salad. Next week’s menu has quinoa salad, pulled BBQ chicken, and shrimp scampi. I’m sure at some point I’ll get sick of the tedious grocery shopping/meal planning routine, but for now I’m excited for my freedom from the dining hall.

If we were having coffee, I’d let you take the floor. How is “back to school” time going for you (whether you’re teaching higher ed, sending the kiddos off to the bus, or simply gearing up for fall weather)? At what point did you feel plunged into adulthood? What are some of your favorite recipes that I could make for myself? 

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30 thoughts on “If We Were Having Coffee (Back to School Edition)

  1. Have a great time this school year! I hope that you’ll have fun and success with your new major.
    I used to bake a whole lot of cakes my first year at uni (especially when it was exam time). I love making a good risotto, and you have just given me an idea for a post.
    Have a great weekend.

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  2. What an exciting and fun (and sometimes overwhelming) time! I remember my first “real” meals when I got my own place… and then the challenge of figuring out meals that would be good, inexpensive, and easy to prepare (hello a gazillion variations of “rice and beans”). Enjoy the “adulthood” process! And I’m glad that you’re feeling good about the switch in focus in school – sounds like that will be a good fit!

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  3. Well, welcome to “adulthood”. Your menus sound really yummy. That Moroccan chicken and a sweet potato/chickpea/bacon salad sounds delicious. I’m going to have to give that a go. And I maintain spaghetti is the go to meal.

    I remember my first car accident and the first time having to cook for myself. Both very daunting tasks. Especially cooking. I did everything I could do to get out of it.

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  4. I think you are handling adulthood wonderfully. If you were my daughter, I would tell you how proud I was of you! Glad you are enjoying your classes, I hear you about science classes being less interactive than your new ones, I had a hard time staying awake during Physics.
    Have a wonderful week, dear one!

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  5. It sounds like you made the right decision with the major! That’s not always easy and many don’t do it until they have to, like their Senior year!

    I went straight from college to being married so I never cooked “for myself”, I cooked for my husband. That adds a whole different set of problems. You have to figure out what he likes and what he doesn’t and how to combine it with what you like and most of all, how to combine it with what you know how to cook! I didn’t cook for myself until the past seven or so years since I’ve been alone.

    You might get into the practice of cooking extra that can be put away for leftovers for those nights when you don’t have time, don’t have groceries, or when the weather won’t allow going out to shop, etc. It’s also good to leave one night a week open for leftover night when you just clean out the fridge of all the leftovers!

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  6. Ah, I miss a real “back to school” time! Your major sounds so cool! Communications management is basically what I do for work even though I majored in English. I also abandoned the sciences for it. What made you decide to make the switch?

    I am SO READY for fall! It’s my favorite season, and I think I actually have seasonal affective disorder for summer. It’s weird, I know.

    I think the first time I really felt like an adult was when for some reason I don’t think any of us will ever understand, my roommates in my first post-college house thought it would be a good idea to wait to set up heat for our house. And I came back from an out-of-town trip to a below-freezing house with no heat to turn on. All of my roommates were gone, too. I had to make a late night trip to the store for an electric heater and blanket just to make it through the night without catching a violent cold or worse. And then we had to play hardball with the heating company just to get them to come out and set it up, and they kept changing the time, wanting to charge us more, oh, it was a nightmare. But it taught me to never ever postpone adult things like that again!

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    • I decided the science was too much. Frankly I felt drained in my speech classes rather than excited, which is not how you should feel at 19 about the think you’re supposedly doing for the rest of your life.

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  7. I still don’t feel plunged into adulthood and I’m 22. There were moments…like when I was living on my own in D.C, last summer and when I had to figure out my car issues by myself this winter at school…which ended in me having to buy a completely new engine for my car. That said, I lived on campus all four years of college and I live at home now with my parents for the time being. I don’t regret on campus life at all and wouldn’t have wanted it any other way, but it did leave me feeling a little bit behind my off campus peers when it came to adulting. That’s one of the reasons I’m so excited for Thailand. I’m financing this trip completely on my own and I’m going by myself and I’m just kind of forcing myself into adulthood simply by going…which is terrifying, but also so exciting.

    So glad to hear your classes are going well! Discussion based classes are always so much more enriching in my experience.

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  8. Speech pathology can be hands on. My sister is in a program where some of the things are hands on. But I’m glad you like your major! I’m interning this semester and I’m a president of a club so I’m pretty busy as well. I live in an apartment and I’m making my meals too! I saw your instagram of your dinner you made. :) I’ve been cooking frozen veggies and turkey on my lazy days. (I think you told me to add a meat, actually)
    I also buy the packaged meals from Trader Joes (they’re really good!) Sometimes if I”m really lazy I just make a almond butter sandwich. I need more cooking ideas too! LOL

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    • Oh definitely, there’s hands-on clinical experience, but not until senior year or grad school. Until then it’s all lectures & memorization.
      We should share recipes!

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  9. I wish I was going back to school! (hopefully next year with grad school!!!) One of my favorite recipes is a simple casserole

    Cook about a pound of chicken and pull it apart so it’s shredded-ish.
    mix cooked chicken with a can of cream of chicken (i prefer cream of mushroom) soup and some green beans
    put cooked stuffing on top and bake at 350 for about 20-30 minutes.

    It’s delicious and easy!

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