I am usually not one to share many personal stories and pictures on my Instagram. As a middle schooler, in those tumultuous days, I was teased for having a big nose and not being “cool.” Admitting my lack of “coolness” has been something that as an adult I have taken pride in. I realize that more people can relate to not “being cool” than the contrary.
What was cool in high school, especially when you attended a Quaker private school, is very different than what is perceived as “cool” in the working world, and even in college. So let’s start there.
College: Washington University in St.Lous; not known for their sportsball teams or tailgates, but rather known for the academics and some pretty awesome living/dining amenities. A.k.a perfect for someone who can’t seem to chug a beer, is obsessed with food and refuses to use communal/public restrooms.
Freshman year: It’s incredible for the past 13 years you woke up at 7am went to school until 3pm, had afterschool sports or art classes (if you were not athletic like me) and then you came home did homework, ate dinner and went to sleep. Well- freshman year is life changing. 9:30 am classes are too early, Friday class forget about it and coming home after school to physical activity followed by homework no way! Maybe a trip to the library, but a nap first. 9pm usually started the two hour pregame to some karaoke or frat party.
To sum it up- I was that girl. I went to college just a few weeks after I was diagnosed with MONO, so alcohol was no option. I did what anyone else would do- filled my red solo cup with cereal. I was the only freshman ever tasked with the burden of needing to gain back the 10lbs I lost when I had MONO. Further I traveled to Colorado most weekends in the winter so I really wasn’t around for many of the fun events. BIG mistake on my part. Besides joining a sorority, and making some of my best friends freshman year was a dud.
Sophomore year: By sophomore year, you’ve already figured out your pre-game (I mean friend group). You’ve probably already figured out that buying a new text book is a waste of time- you may open it a few times and your nap/Netflix and eating schedule is defining most of your day. Partying becomes second nature and oh you’ve learned DON’T DRINK THE JUNGLE JUICE AT THE FRAT PARTY!
The year I learned to drink, and how to be embarrassed by my actions the next morning. Boy was sophomore year my time to shine. I lived with my best friends, each in a closet sized single connected by a common room that we LOVED. After being MIA from all social events freshman year, I took matters into my own hands and resumed the position of social chair. Ask anyone, my “mixers” were unique to say the least. Everything was great, I was living my best college self- until I came down with unexplained fevers from the end of January up until May. My mom actually had to come to school and move me out, fly me home and explain to the professors that I would not be able to stick around to take their impossible finals. Fun fact: One professor (stats) actually sent the Final to my house and told me to have my mom time me and send it back when I was feeling better. Another professor (The Psychology of Happiness) allowed me to take the final in the Fall of my junior year. I failed so he let me write an essay instead.
Junior Year: Oh, this one is a doozy so bear with me: Most of the first semester, is spent planning your trips and exciting eating excursions abroad. Or if you go abroad first semester, second semester is filled with fond memories and stories about all of those nights you don’t remember abroad. Junior year is kind of a joke. You’re starting to feel old at frat parties and the drinking every night is starting to run you down- but you prevail! It’s the year of ZERO responsibilities.
My junior year on the other hand was filled with- well lots of unexpectancies. First, my sister married her husband and that night was the BEST night of my life. Not only because I am so happy for my sister, but I am relatively sure I peaked and it has only been downhill from there. Further- my abroad plans to London were thwarted off by the fever I mentioned. My parents, and doctor, were not so keen on me being over 6 hours by flight away SO I went “abroad” to the most diverse place in the universe. Right here- NYC! Yes, I went to NYU for a semester, took on a non-profit internship and made sure to visit my friends at GW on the reg. My abroad was filled with lots of cultural experiences: I went to Mardi Gras (doesn’t get more cultural if you can bear to remember it). I went to Texas and saw a RODEO! (after Round Up- shout out UT!). I went to GW and saw the White House for the 100th time. I went to LA- Nobu Malibu duh. Finally I did meet some friends abroad and went for Florence for 12 hours, Barcelona for 3 days and London for 7 hours where the most exciting thing I did was transfer from one tube to the next to get to the airport during rush hour! Junior year was also when I figured out that my summer internship in commercial real estate would lead to my first ever job! (and my forever career path) Very exciting time to be Gabrielle.
Senior year: “I am not ready to graduate, but I am also ready to graduate.” A year of conflicting thoughts. Jeez the real world is in arms reach, everyone is stressing to secure a job so they can stop studying, and social functions have been infested by the youngins that don’t know how to drink and get sloppy. BUT! I LOVE COLLEGE! And I refuse to take any responsibilities serious until after the G-word.
My senior year… feels like forever ago but it was only 2.5 years ago. I look back on senior year. My friendships became stronger and my love for St. Louis grew. I had a lot of free time during my senior year. It was a blessing and a curse. I went on some awesome interviews- one where it was me at a conference room table amongst 9 interviewers! I actually had the best time; lots of rapid fire questions. I ended up getting a job offer right after spring break, so my spring break was filled with anxiety and fun! Las Vegas, Bahamas, and Florida! All in all, my favorite time was the week before graduation. This week was called senior week. It was the only time in my college career where Greek life played 0 factor into our social life. I loved it!