i stopped making plans in college

When I was a freshman in college, one of the first things I was assigned to do in our Cornerstone class (aka College 101) was to write a 5 year after college plan…where would I be five years after I graduated?

I think the point was to help us decide on a major.

A what-to-do-in-college plan.

Wanna know how many of those things I actually did from my plan that ends on my birthday this year?


In my “plan” I wasn’t married, I went to grad school to be a shrink and I was living out West.


That little exercise did teach me a lesson, though.

Expect the unexpected. Don’t plan too far ahead…because it probably won’t happen the way you think it will.

If it does, you’re totally anal.

It is almost laughable when I think about it. I mean, when you write it on paper it comes out all, “I’m 26…married to a man who is 13 years my senior who was never married before…never even engaged…living in nowhere, Georgia where I write for a living.”

Five years ago, I had no idea that writing was my true calling. I just knew I could write emails and letters that would plaster someone to their seat starting with the very first sentence. Somehow that didn’t connect to an actual profession. I did toy with journalism in high school. I was on the yearbook committee for two years and everything.

But I ended up majoring in Psychology instead. I was captivated by it. I loved it…I loved class and I soaked up everything like a sponge. I couldn’t get enough. I think it helped me understand myself.

And I needed that.

I also had a boyfriend throughout my ENTIRE college life. All three years, minus a “break” in the middle that wasn’t really a break. It all went down the toilet after I graduated and we lived together. BIG MISTAKE. He’s the goose guy. The one with all the “great ideas” but was allergic to hard work.

But, had I not been with him…I may have met someone else…and I could potentially be married to them now…or at least in a long-term relationship.

I also got some wild hair up my ass about two weeks before my first spring semester was over. I decided I wanted to graduate college in three years. Why four when I can do it in three? Where that came from and why I followed through on it…I have not a clue…but I had to make all these special arrangements to be sure classes would transfer because I applied to a school close to my parent’s house a week before the deadline…which required multiple trips home during the same week I was taking finals (90 miles…one way. Not impossible but long enough to be annoying) to get everything in order. It was insane. I was in school all year long…for three years.

But I did it.

And then I half-applied to about five grad schools. I never finished any of the applications. I didn’t know what I wanted to “specialize” in so I just abandoned the whole thing. The part I had THE MOST trouble with were the essays on why I wanted to be in a particular program.


And I was awesome at essays. Essay’s are why I did so well on my anatomy tests. Because I always got all the points on the essay. I sucked at the “lab” portion because I refused to go after class to study Felix, our skinned cat or the hog heart. That was a little too up close and personal for me. So I usually always sucked at that part.

Anyway, I’m totally rambling.

After I graduated, I ended up living with the ex-who-was-allergic-to-work for about 5 months.

Then I called my dad all, COME GET ME. I packed up my stuff…which fit into like three boxes…and walked out without even saying goodbye. Mostly because the asshole was busy talking on the phone to whoever he was “seeing,” shut away in another room.

I lived with my dad for another few months while I was looking for a job.

I couldn’t seem to find one. So I started working at a restaurant as a server (NOT WAITRESS).

Who hires a recent grad with a PSYCH degree?

(The eventual answer is two horny men, by the way)

So, I worked late hours, I went on LOTS of dates with guys I never saw again and I went to the gym.

That was my life.

I was 21.

With no plans.

And then I found Tim and sent him an email.

My dad FREAKED OUT when I finally told him that Tim was 13 years older than me all, “HIS INTENTIONS AREN’T WHAT YOU THINK.”

I kept seeing him, anyway.

Yet, had I not graduated in three years…not been with douchebag the whole damn time…had I gone to grad school…and had I not randomly decided to start the whole online dating thing…

I would have never met Tim.

I wouldn’t have the life I do now.

And you think my story is crazy?

Wait until you hear Tim’s.

He had 13 more years to potentially screw it up go down a different path.

His is next…it’s coming.


14 Responses to “i stopped making plans in college”

  1. 1 Spot October 23, 2009 at 10:09 am

    I agree that life plans are ridiculous and that it almost never goes that way you planned. And if it does, that was one boring damn life. If anyone had asked me where I’d be at 40 (my december bday is creeping up on me) it would not have been anywhere near here! Some days I look around and go “wow. this is totally not the life I signed up for.” But honestly I wouldn’t change a thing. Because as alternate lives go, it’s pretty darn good. And if you change one thing, you potentially screw everything else up so?

    But I do make scrupulously strict plans for other things, like vacation and trips to the grocery store. =]


  2. 2 Alice in Wonderland October 23, 2009 at 10:43 am

    I made “Happy Ever After” plans…and where did they go? Widowed at 26, now I’m 30 and looks like I’m destined to be alone for the rest of my life! Lost my parents , a brother and my sister all within 10 weeks of each other last Christmas/February. Sometimes life is just a dark hole, but, at least I have the business to keep going, and this old house, but there is no one to snuggle up to and watch T.V. with at nights, or if I go to the Cinema, I go alone. That is one of the drawbacks of living in the sticks! Then most of the people I chat to are in America, and this time zone thing drives me crazy! I’m just about to go to bed at 3:00a.m. when I get bombarded with e-mails!
    I should get tough with myself! Where did all my dreams go?
    My get up and go, got up and left four years ago!

  3. 3 Jaime October 23, 2009 at 12:05 pm

    Ha. I still don’t know who or what I want to be. And I’m 26. But I’m married, and happy. Can’t I just want to be happy? Can’t that be my plan for ‘when I grow up’?

  4. 4 Cindy Lou October 23, 2009 at 1:17 pm

    Yeah….I like Jaime’s plan! Can’t we/I just plan to be as happy as possible? I kind of always knew I wanted to be a teacher and now that I’m in my 29th year of it – I haven’t regretted it. Most days anyways!?!? But the rest of my life? Who knew it would be like this – 3 marriages/2 divorces, 2 wondermous kids w/ many years of single parenting, alcoholism and now sobriety….I could go on and on. But through it all, I’m pretty content and I’ve learned from all of these experiences. I’m happy and that’s enough for me.

  5. 5 Jenera October 23, 2009 at 1:34 pm

    Any of my plans I had back in high school and shortly after never came to be. I would have never planned to be where I am at and I’m still amazed I made it here.

  6. 6 mark price October 23, 2009 at 1:55 pm

    I’m not so sure if making plans works or not. I think life sometimes gives you things that you weren’t expecting. Maybe the thing we should be concerned with is our own ability to “roll with the changes” to adapt to our changing situation. Sounds to me like you have done exceptionally well. Keep up the good work and a gold star for Tim too.

  7. 7 LiLu October 23, 2009 at 3:03 pm

    I’m with you. Plans are for wussies!

  8. 8 finn644 October 23, 2009 at 6:31 pm

    LOVE this story

    my similar plan? by 25 be married, living in a real house, thinking about kids

    am 41, NOT married, no interest in having children, living in the bottom of someone else’s “real” house” and loving it

  9. 9 FB @ FabulouslyBroke.com October 23, 2009 at 6:56 pm

    I know all too well about goose guys. Had one of my own. I was dumber though, stayed with him 6 years.

    Anyway, I haven’t stopped making plans, I just make long-term-ish plans so I have a focus and I expect things to go wrong or change over time

  10. 10 LB @Wait, She Said What? October 23, 2009 at 7:15 pm

    I’m not where I thought I’d be either, but I don’t think anyone really is. You make plans and life throws you the other way just because it can. I used to think meeting people online and having long distance relationships was INSANE! Then boom, I accidently met my now hubby online, had a long distance relationship for over a year and now here we are. Who knew? We think we know what is best for us but sometimes we don’t have a damn clue.

    We think. We decide. We plan. Then life slaps us upside the head and changes.

  11. 11 Angelia October 23, 2009 at 9:22 pm

    What a great story! I had no idea Tim was around my age. 13 yrs is a good age difference. I, myself, robbed the cradle. I have (gasp)a younger man, 3 1/2 years anyway.
    I was always interested in psychology, but I never went to college. I dreamed of traveling and I did becoming a travel agent. It’s been a lot of fun. Not sure if I’m a writer, I love to write, guess we will see. I definitely think you are destined to be a famous. You’re writing is captivating. Have you ever read Janet Evanovich- Stephanie Plum novels? Your writing reminds me of her. Those books are hilarious.
    I’d say you are living the dream. Hear! Hear!

  12. 12 bevchen October 24, 2009 at 8:33 am

    My plan would never have included moving to Germany, but I’m glad I did!
    Now I’m scared to make plans in case it all goes horribly wrong. If I don’t want anything I can’t be disappointed, right?

  13. 13 capriccio October 25, 2009 at 6:42 pm

    My plan was to go get a PhD in Anthropology. In my senior year I burned out, didn’t want to go to grad school, struggled through it and when I got out I went to go work with farm animals. It is one of the BEST THINGS I HAVE EVER DONE.

  1. 1 any other path…like that astronaut one…and i wouldn’t even know him. « booshy Trackback on October 24, 2009 at 7:32 am

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