Blissfully Unaware

I love what I do.

On a daily basis, I get to interact with students seeking knowledge at a Big Ten university. I’m not in the classroom and I don’t pretend to be molding their minds the way faculty has the power to do, but I like to think my time with them has an effect and they leave our doors changed for knowing me.

But man, sometimes my patience level with them is sorely lacking.

Your boyfriend cheated on you for the fourth time? Seriously, deposit him on the curb.

Having issues figuring out how to pass math? Let’s talk about the last time you actually attended class.

The dress you bought for an event no longer fits? Cut back on the beer and welcome to the world of slowing metabolism.

These are not Sophie’s choice level issues.

And why are they sharing these issues with me in the first place? Because my life hostage doesn’t remind me to wash off the talk to me sign that’s written across my forehead in the morning.

Seriously though, I’m not a professional and I don’t do tears. No really, I have a sign in my office that states that. I do feel good knowing they are comfortable with me to share, though sometimes I wish they would recognize that overshare line.

Part of me is empathetic to their plights. I remember being that age and thinking my problems were the end of the world as I knew it. The other part of me is jealous. They’re blissfully unaware of what reality holds for them. I want to tell them to hold on to that innocence for as long as humanly possible.

I have to wonder if the grass is always greener? College held a virtually stress free life where you could stay out until 3:00 a.m. closing down your favorite bar, sleep until noon, knock out a few classes, take in a good hour of cardio and start all over with a shower beer.

Now, just typing that exhausts me and makes me a little vomity. At this point in my life I have better skin because I’ve learned how to be good to it, I’m able to afford clothes at stores that are the anti-Forever 21, macaroni and cheese no longer comes out of a box, and I’m okay with being a rockstar who’s in bed by 10:00 p.m.

What gets you over that life-changing transition? At the time, I was sure college was the best days of my life. Now, I’m pretty happy where I’m at. I think that’s a certain level of maturity you attain when you start to compare multivitamins. It’s all about perspective.

The perspective I have to give our students? Innocence peppered with reality. It would be a disservice to give them anything else. I just hope they realize my wisdom comes from a good place. And they don’t see me roll my eyes.

Rachel Olszewski

A hot mess held together on a daily basis by dry shampoo and probiotics, Rachel is still trying to figure out what she wants to be when she grows up but for now is a communications professional by trade. A true Chicagoan through and through, she is an East Coast transplant trying to set down roots. Although the height of her high heels may be getting shorter, Rachel’s expectations are not getting lower and she is on a mission to change the world one person at a time.

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