Remembering Sept. 11 — and one woman’s path from high school dropout to college student | NoDropouts.org

Oh. This. I haven’t read this since I submitted it last year. 

Remembering Sept. 11 — and one woman’s path from high school dropout to college student | NoDropouts.org


This is life now.

Going to bed at 4 a.m. Waking up an hour, maybe two hours before work if I’m lucky. Staying in my pajamas all weekend because showering signals to my body that it’s time to Go To Work. When I’m at work, I love it. When I’m not, I…don’t? This too shall pass. Everything is scary and new. I’m scared and new. I’ll find my footing. 

I miss D.C. so much it hurts. Need to visit. Even just watching Scandal and knowing full well it’s not filmed in the DMV and knowing Metro stations are not all bright and cheerful but hearing my old red line – Shady Grove  – stop made my heart flutter. 

I thought I’d be young forever. 


Thigh gap

I joined a gym. It recently opened next to my house. The boy behind the counter started saying unpleasant numbers, like $62 for this and $125 for that.

I channeled my inner Desi auntie in a display of skills that would make me cringe in the past as a little girl watching my mom haggling and ended up paying $10 to join. 

I’m so excited. I have a little keychain card and everything. 

I had taken it as a sign that I needed to start working out again when my Panera Bread swipe card snapped off my keychain from overuse. 

Also, my job will kill me if I allow it. I’ve been letting 20 percent of my week dictate the other 80 percent but it’s time to do a switcheroo. 


How to get a job in journalism

It starts when you’re in school.

Don’t gossip or rake anyone over the coals, be it fellow students, professors or colleagues.  This program has little ears. That professor you’re talking shit about today? Tomorrow, your career could be in their hands with one click of a mouse or pen stroke. Treat them with respect. 

Pay attention to posts like these:


Don’t just click the “like” button. Act.


Don’t make any fucking excuses. Shut your mouth, and silently own up to being lazy, unprepared, or a combination of both. Do better next time. 


Intern early, and often. 


You’ll gain valuable experience from actually putting your hands into the fire. You will get burned a few times. Many times. You will feel unprepared and scared. Your first day, your ass will stick to the seat from fear sweat. That’s OK. Push outside of your comfort zone. “Comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable” applies to you, too. 

imagePhoto by Jessica Saggio

Write for the school paper. Even better, work for the school paper.

You will never forget your first byline. God, it’s like seeing your name up in lights. 

 You will disagree and you will call a sergeant a corporal in a headline and there will be names spelled wrong and maybe even your own name spelled wrong. You will make mistakes. Typos will sneak through and you will print corrections. You will apologize. Forgive and be forgiven. 

Write all the time, even when it hurts and you don’t want to. 

Apply for jobs before you graduate. Cry a lot. Pray a lot. Get hired. Dance around the kitchen holding a grumpy cat. 

The day you walk across that stage, your eyes will prick with tears and you’ll wish you could go back and do it all over again.