My American Dream

I didn’t intend for this post to be about pizza, but now that I’ve typed “American Dream,” all I can think about is American Dream Pizza in Corvallis.

My apartment is a wreck. I have books everywhere, a basket of clean laundry waiting to be folded, dust bunnies under the desk, and a pair of socks lying on the floor that I kicked off in my sleep. Yes, it’s definitely the end of a quarter. I remember warning my friend after we moved into the residence halls together, “I tend to get super messy when I start to stress out. If you notice it, ask me what’s up. And then I’ll clean up.”


It’s the end of the quarter. I have two quarters left. On June 16th, I will be wearing a cap and gown. On June 16th, I will hopefully know if I’m staying in Oregon or headed somewhere new. It’s only six months away, and I’m still not able to see the future.

I’ve been coming up with creative alternate plans, plans that align with some of my other dreams that come with an overactive imagination. I looked into how much it would be to pursue cosmetology. It turns out that a program for esthetics will run about $3600. That’s not bad, considering that when I was younger, the only consistent career path I could come up with was “cosmetologist.” I explained to my mother last night that if that’s the path I go, even when I find that full-time dream job in higher education, I could still contract out to do make-up on weekends and such. School dances and socials? Helllooooooo.

My other ideas include starting the recruitment process for dispatching in the Portland area. I used to joke about becoming a cop, but realistically, I’m not good at the things cops do. What I am good at is taking in information and acting on it. It would be a way to be in something high-stress and related to public service, and with the odd hours dispatchers have to work, I could realistically pick up an internship on the side to continue in higher education.

Other idea? Bartending. I used to work at a local bar in Bellingham, but I was only a front-door cashier. I didn’t have the chance to learn cocktailing and bartending, but maybe someone would be willing to pick up where I left off. I wouldn’t mind slinging drinks to busy patrons. Someone told me I had the right look and attitude to bartend: cute, with a big sarcastic sense of humor. Just sassy enough.

Of course, the dream would be to land a position at a school working in advising or outreach or related support services. I am very much interested in continuing my work with transfer students (meaning on all sides of that transition–whether it’s preparing students at a two-year to transition into a four-year institution or helping them once they arrive at the four-year), as well as multicultural support (e.g., what the Ethnic Student Center at WWU does) and general advising (whether that’s academic or programmatic).

And the dream from there? Well, that’s what I was fantasizing about while drinking my morning coffee and staring at my messy apartment. I hope someday to have a comfortably-sized home with some kind of yard (I’m totally envisioning my house on Ponderosa Court from my junior and senior year, aren’t I?), and well-lit rooms. Adorning the walls will be photos of my travels, and I hope that one of them will be a big picture with my mom and all my cousins and relatives in the Philippines.We’ll all be smiling, laughing at a reunion that was over two decades in the making.

I hope another will be a photo of myself and that yet-to-be-determined significant other, the one who put up with the spectrum of my emotions and my wild dreams of simultaneously seeing the world and grounding myself in a career and life I love. Maybe we’ll be standing at the edge of an Icelandic cliff, overlooking the sea. Maybe it will be us in Las Vegas, without a care in the world. Maybe it will be on the Oregon Coast or a Spanish beach. Who knows?

I sure don’t.

What I do know is, wherever I end up, it will be exactly where I am supposed to be.

Here’s to the next six months. May all your dreams come true, my fellow student affairs grad students.

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