My name is EJ, and I graduated from Oberlin College in May with a degree in Creative Writing. Like 30 percent of my graduating class, I’m originally from New York City; unlike what seems like 97 percent of my class, however, I didn’t head to the city immediately after graduation. Instead, I accepted a year-long editorial fellowship at the Office of Communications, where I write stories and press releases for the website, work with student writers, and decorate my office with posters of Disney teenage heartthrobs.
When I first came to Oberlin, I never in a bagazillion years thought that I’d still be on campus after I graduated. I thought I’d get my degree, get out, and move back to New York to try to make it as a writer. I envisioned myself as a hip and tattooed twenty-two year old, working at a Blockbuster or a Starbucks or a non-profit by day and fronting an ultra-Orthodox Jewish all-girl G’n’R cover band called Guns’n’Moses by night. But four years (and zero tattoos) later, I’m still here, working an awesome 9 to 5 job, taking advantage of all Lorain County has to offer (hint: dollar beers at minor-league baseball games), and trying not to fantasize about the pork sandwiches at Banh Mi Saigon in Little Italy.
Although I’m a pretty big fan of my current job, I occasionally wax nostalgic about my days as a student, when I was so busy that I still marvel at the fact that I dressed and fed myself like a human being. During my senior year, for instance, I wrote a play, edited the arts section of The Oberlin Review, trained to be an SIC worker with the Sexco, taught poetry to sixth-graders, performed with the improv troupe Primitive Streak, and sang lead vocals in a campus rock band called Givers of Sweet Love (which was as wonderful and ridiculous as it sounds). It was the most stressed-out, over-caffeinated, under-nourished, sleep-deprived year of my life, and I wouldn’t have traded it for anything.