Life After Ripon – Jessie Lillis ’13

Chapter 2: An Exciting Summer

[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!]

Jessie Lillis

Jessie Lillis ’13

I’ve always heard that time starts to move faster as you get older, but what no one ever told me was that during the transition from college-life to real-life, it goes at warp speed. I can’t believe the summer is over! Granted, I’m starting to have a slightly different view of summer now that I’m working full time, but I did still manage to carve out time for a bit of fun over the past couple of months.

Anyone that knows me well is probably aware that I’m somewhat of a gamer. A lot of my research in the last couple of years at Ripon related to new media and video games. In July, I had the opportunity to go to an amazing concert put on by the National Symphony Orchestra at Wolf Trap called Video Games Live. There were several large projector screens showing clips while they played scores from dozens of games, including the game Journey, which was the topic of my senior thesis. It was cool enough to get to see the National Symphony play, but hearing them play the music from the game that basically consumed my life for a full semester was just amazing. Jeff Davis ’10 and Ross Heintzkill ’10 were with me and they can attest to the fact that I cried like a baby when they played the music from Journey. Of course, not wanting to be too cultural and sophisticated, I followed up this orchestral experience up by going to a Ke$ha concert with Sara Sisco ’11. So things probably evened out in the end.

I also had the incredible opportunity to go sailing in Annapolis with a few friends. And I don’t just mean sailing on a little Sunfish, I mean on a 42’ yacht. This was on the top of the list of things-I-never-thought-I’d-get-to-do. The woman who owns the boat left the dock at high tide while we were all asleep, so I woke up in the morning literally surrounded by ocean. I’m completely sold on the idea of learning to sail and getting a boat. Coincidentally, I’m also currently accepting donations in the form of sailing lessons, boats, cash, check, or money order.

Yacht image

How could you not want to wake up to this every day?!

I can’t forget to mention that I spent my Labor Day weekend in New York City! It’s still very strange to me that I live close enough to NYC that it’s a reasonable destination for a quick weekend trip. As a theatre lover, though, it’s perfect! On Friday night, I saw a show called Fetch Clay, Make Man at the New York Theatre Workshop. On Saturday, I saw the musical First Date. Two very different shows, but both good in their own right. I have to admit, seeing the shows made me start to feel the bite of the theatre bug again. I’m hoping to find some theatres in the area to get involved with soon, since I really miss being involved with productions.

But don’t worry; I haven’t just stopped going to work because there are so many exciting things happening here. Work is still going quite well. I’m settled into my role and am now exploring different growth opportunities to develop my skill set and keep myself challenged. I’ve also recently started volunteering with the Washington Humane Society. My company is quite invested in giving back to the community, so we partner with several service organizations in the area. I went to a brown bag lunch meeting about the humane society, and I was hooked immediately. What can I say; I’m a sucker for puppy dog eyes.

There have been a lot of ups and downs since moving out to D.C., but as the summer winds down to a close, I’m very glad I’m here. How many other places could I have had so many adventures?! Here’s to hoping the fall is equally exciting!

Jessie M. Lillis ’13
[email protected]

To read more alumni news, click here.


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