Life After Ripon – Jessie Lillis ’13

Chapter 3: A Visit to Ripon and Plans for Grad School

[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

My Midwestern heart was hoping that the New Year would come complete with a new batch of snow for DC, since I haven’t gotten a good taste of winter yet. Unfortunately, my weather wish seems to have gotten stuck in the Midwest and fizzled out into rain by the time it reached me. My apologies to all of you stuck in the frozen tundra!

The holiday season was full of friends, family, and good food. I was able to make it back home to Michigan for both Thanksgiving and Christmas, which was a bit unexpected, but a nice surprise. Since moving out, my parents redecorated the entire upstairs of our house, meaning that I spent a good portion of my visit home cleaning out my closet. Oh, the joys of adulthood. The bright side is that my room at home is now absolutely beautiful and I no longer have to sleep on a twin-sized bed when I go home. I guess there’s always a silver lining?

I was back in DC for a quiet New Year’s Eve, and back to work just after. I don’t think I fully appreciated my month long break at Ripon until I only had a few days off. I promise that winter and summer breaks aren’t the only reason I’m excited to go back to school, but…they are a nice bonus perk, aren’t they?

Once I got over the initial shock that comes with realizing another year seems to have passed in the blink of an eye, it hit me that it’s been a pretty good year, all things considered. I closed out my academic career by researching a subject I loved and taking part in two amazing theatrical experiences. I graduated and said goodbye to one home and hello to another. I have a full time job that still leaves me time for my hobbies. I’ve traveled to see friends, family, and new and exciting places. 2014 has some big shoes to fill!

While I’m not planning on doing anything quite as drastic as moving across the country, there are still some exciting things on the horizon. I’ve picked a name for my Etsy store and am currently working on building up stock before it’s opened. I’m taking the GRE in a few months (eep!) and narrowing down grad school programs. I’ve started sewing again (thanks for the machine, Mom and Dad!) and am in the middle of some pretty cool projects. I’m taking on some new responsibilities and projects at work. I’m (hopefully) going to get my motorcycle license this spring. We’re not very far into this new year, but it has the potential to be a great one!

I’m usually terrible at making (or rather keeping) New Year’s Resolutions, but maybe if I put them here for the entire Internet to see it will keep me more accountable. This year, I’m going to explore new places – whether they’re in a different part of the city, or a different part of the country, I want to have more adventures in my life. I’m going to learn more German – I took a semester at Ripon and loved it, but I just didn’t have time to keep up with it. Fortunately, two of my roommates speak it, so I have built-in study buddies! I’m going to be more involved in theatre – whether it’s watching it, reading it, or helping create it, I’m going to find any and all opportunities near me. I don’t know if there are a standard number of resolutions, but three sounds like a good place to start. Now I’ve just got to get going on keeping them! Here’s wishing you all a happy 2014!

Jessie M. Lillis ’13
[email protected]

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