Chapter 1: Changes and New Experiences
[Editor’s Note: Jessie Lillis ’13, Elizabeth Brown ’13, Kyle Ruedinger ’13, and Amy Browender ’13 are writing alternating monthly entries for the Ripon College Newsletter chronicling their post-graduation experiences. We hope you enjoy their perspectives on Life After Ripon!]
It’s hard to believe it’s been almost two months since graduation. It seems like just a few days ago I was waking up every morning in the Campus Apartments, wondering whether or not it would smell like cookies outside. It’s crazy how much can change in just a couple of months!
I should start by introducing myself to those of you who don’t know me: I’m originally from Coldwater, MI, and I was a Communication major and Theatre minor. I was on our forensics team for four years, played golf for two, interned with Ripon Main Street, Inc. and the National Forensic League, and worked a handful of jobs throughout my four years at Ripon. About a week and a half after graduation, I accepted a job with The Advisory Board Company, based in Washington, DC, and a week after that, I packed up all of my things and drove 10 hours to my new home.
As someone who grew up in a relatively small town and went to college in an even smaller one, living in a huge city is a new, exciting, and occasionally terrifying experience. Being accustomed to Pick ’n Save, I never thought that grocery shopping could be a stressful, multiple hour endeavor. I have since learned never to go grocery shopping on a Sunday afternoon. I’ve also discovered the joys of public transportation! My first day of work, for example, taught me the value of commuter shoes when taking the bus. It was raining and my bus was late, so I missed the second bus I was supposed to take. In the end, I walked about 35 minutes in my cute new flats and ended up with massive blisters for the rest of the day. I have since learned my lesson and worn flip-flops or tennis shoes every day to and from work.
Speaking of work, I should tell you a little bit about what I do. The company I’m employed with works with both the healthcare industry and higher education. I work in Career Management – our in-house human resources office – specifically within recruiting. I wasn’t sure how the shift from full-time student/part-time employee to full-time employee would go, but it’s thankfully been easier than I anticipated. Granted, I still don’t particularly enjoy waking up at 6:30 every morning, but I do really like my job. The people I work with are fantastic, and it’s nice feeling like I’m making an impact when I go to work.
Even with all of the changes I’ve been going through in the last couple of months, there are a few things that have stayed constant. Fortunately, Ripon has been one of those things. Thanks to the wonders of technology, I’ve been able to keep in touch with all of my Ripon friends who are now scattered across the country. There’s also a nice little pocket of Ripon alums of all ages in the DC area. I’ve seen three different Ripon professors in DC during the five weeks I’ve lived here. Even the house I’m living in has Ripon connections! While I was in the process of moving in, I mentioned that I went to college in a small town in Wisconsin, and it turns out that one of my housemates is the son of two Ripon alums! Honestly, I was a little afraid that after graduating I would somehow lose all of my ties to Ripon. It’s been so comforting finding little pieces of home in the big city. I can’t wait to find out what other unexpected things I’ll discover in my new post-grad life!
Jessie M. Lillis ’13
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