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Posts Tagged ‘College’

I never ate in a cafeteria until college. Malls and hospitals might have been the closest I ever came to seeing what most children saw in school everyday growing up.

I was homeschooled. My experience, or lack of experience, with cafeterias is just one example of the many things that make me just a little bit different from the traditional school population. I found that most of these things are like cafeterias, most people would say that I didn’t miss much.

I didn’t see friends in class everyday. But if I finished my school work as efficiently as possible and I could spend most of the day playing with friends.

I never did a group project. But I learned to do everything on my own.

I never had specialized teachers with knowledge about specific topics. But I learned how to find a book on anything I wanted to know about.

I never had competition with other students. But I learned to challenge myself and compete with my own abilities to get better.

I couldn’t be in an honors program, no matter how well I did. But I learned to excel for its own sake without the need for recognition.

I never had any sort of dress code. But I learned that you probably won’t get anything done while you are still wearing pajamas.

I never got to stay home sick. But I learned to get work done even if I did it in bed.

I could never leave school. But I learned that even when you can physically leave school at the end of the day, you never stop learning.

I never had a list of extra-curricular activities offered to me. But I learned how to find any activity I wanted and get involved.

I never rode a school bus. But I never had to wait outside for the bus or missed it.

I didn’t have a class of people who became my automatic friends. But I learned I could make friends anywhere.

I never had a class of people exclusively my age. But I learned to be friends with people of any age.

I never fought with kids at school. But I learned that I had to resolve every fight with my three siblings because we couldn’t escape each other.

I never had a schedule made for me. But I learned to make my own schedule and get things done.

I never got sent to the principals office or a detention. But if I did anything wrong, my parents knew exactly what it was.

I never had a summer reading list. But I always made my own list that was impossibly long.\

I never had people tell me what was cool. But I got to decide for myself.

I never had a crush on a cute boy in my class. But I was never rejected or hurt.

I was never one of the popular kids. But I never learned to care about popularity or what other people thought of me.

I never had P.E. But I learned to like exercising.

I never got bullied. But I knew what it was like to be alone.

I never felt peer pressured. But I felt enough pressure from my parents and myself to make up for that.

I never ate with friends in the lunch room. But I never felt segregation, stereotyped, or excluded.

I never ate cafeteria food. But I learned how to make good choices about the food I ate.

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Last weekend, I found one of my friends looking distraught and tear-tainted. After asking if she was ok, she explained that she might be pregnant.

Yeah. Having a kid before you are out of college is, well, not exactly in the blueprint for success.

She couldn’t even take a pregnancy test because it was late afternoon on a Saturday and the pharmacy on our block was closed. Peace of mind was not exactly possible at the moment. pregnant

Ever the problem solver, I looked up the nearest 24 hour pharmacy and dragged her to it. Letting her sit around thinking of the possibilities and problems was not going to help. Begin the adventure.

Once we were walking towards our destination, the humor of the situation began to surface. We cracked some jokes, and almost started to enjoy the total awkwardness of the situation. There was still hope that it would turn out to be nothing.

Among other things, our shopping list included:

Pregnancy test

Chocolate

Juno (the movie)

It reminded me of something you would see on the grocery lists blog. Really, what better to watch while taking a pregnancy test than Juno? All we needed to add was some Sunny D.

Two closed pharmacies away, we eventually found the 24 hour one. And then we located the tests, locked in a clear plastic case, presumably so embarrassed customers can’t steal them. We glanced around, unsure of whom to ask for assistance. There was a big button next to the case with instructions to push the button for assistance. But my friend wanted to avoid drawing unnecessary attention to ourselves.

So I flagged a guy who worked there and asked him if he could unlock the case. He replied that he didn’t have the key, but someone with a key would come –when you push the button. And then he pushed it.

Following a loud beeping noise and a few announcements to the entire store that “customer assistance is needed in the personal care aisle,” a girl with a key arrived. She opened the case, and my friend hastily grabbed a test.

A short while later, after dipping two sticks in a cup of pee, watching Juno, and eating some chocolate, we finally concluded she was not pregnant.

The next day was Mother’s Day.

So my not-pregnant friend, if you are reading this, I love you –and I’m so glad you’re not a mother yet.

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