Life in Maryland

So I realized recently I’ve taken quite a break from blogging here. Some of that is due to trying to get my footing at a new job in a new location, but some of it is also due to the fact that I’ve been writing for a professional collective! I’m on a three month trial run with them, blogging 3 to 5 times a month, and I think it’s really a great opportunity. I do, however, want to continue trying to give this blog my attention as well. With that being said, I have learned a few new fun facts since I moved to Maryland.

Car Ownership is Expensive
Really. F-ing. Expensive. I bought a car in NY with transition plates so that I only had to pay state tax in Maryland as opposed to paying it in both states. Being a first time car buyer (I inherited Yolanda the ‘Yota, may she Rest In Peace), I did my best to be an informed consumer and ask the appropriate questions. I was buying used, and little did I know, buying used means you as the buyer need to go over that vehicle with a fine toothed comb. I got home to find a big ass scratch and crack in my front bumper. I then got a notice about needing a new fuel filter. And then I failed inspection in the state of Maryland. For the first two incidents, the dealership basically said “too bad, so sad.” Thankfully, they did a bit of customer recovery over my failed inspection, but I’d be hard-pressed to shop with them in the future. On top of that, paying state tax, getting tags, re-registering, and transferring a title costs a WHOLE FREAKING LOT. My advice: Don’t buy a car between jobs if you can avoid it. In all reality, I couldn’t really avoid it, but I certainly know now not to do that in the future.

Small Schools Are Very Different
I knew that transitioning to a school of less than 5,000 from a school of 34,000 would be a welcomed challenge, but I’m surprised at the ways in which it’s been challenging. What I’ve noticed most is that I ask a lot of questions. When you’re a cog in the machine at a big school, you need to be pretty freaking clear about what’s expected of you, so as not to mess up the machine. At a smaller, younger institution, there’s a boatload of autonomy. It’s also great when ideas can immediately be put into action because it was simply something that hadn’t been done before. Previously, I would so often hear “Well that’s been done before” that I eventually stopped voicing ideas because it was a fruitless effort. Where I am now, I kid you not, the other day I mentioned an idea for magnets in student rooms, and less than a week later, my shipment of 400+ magnets arrived from Vistaprint. We’ve changed policies and amended procedures, all in the last 30 days. It’s really been an awesome transition.

There Are Shitty Drivers Everywhere
In Texas, “shitty” meant driving a big ass truck 100mph all over because you could (and the rest of us in reasonable vehicles had no choice but to move). In Maryland, lines on the road seem to be more of a suggestion for where you should drive rather than a designated lane in which you should stay. The brake replacement industry in Pennsylvania must be a huge revenue spot because those people slam on their brakes for everything. PA should also probably just be called Construction, since that seems to be a trend. Then there’s my beloved NY. Having lived in Texas where the speed limit is rarely less than 40mph, it just always feels like I’m moving in slow motion when I’m driving in NY.

Close Proximity to Family & Home=Priceless
In Texas, my closest family members were five and a half hours away in the DFW area. They were fantastic and always welcomed me with open arms, but life was busy and I had an old car, so I was not able to see them often. I built some of the strongest friendships I have in Lubbock because we were all each other had, but there’s something to be said for living close to family. Where I live now, I’m 20 minutes from my aunt, uncle, and adorable little cousin (we’re working on “Mairead,” but that’s kind of a mouthful for an 8 month old). I’m 5 hours from home. I’ve both been home and had family come to visit in the month I’ve been here. It’s also great to be close to a large airport; traveling doesn’t have to be a cringe-worthy buying experience anymore!

All in all, I’m loving being in Maryland. I feel like I’m broke as a joke, but that’s changing as the paychecks start rolling in. While I was initially (as I think anyone going into a new job is) questioning my decision, I’m so glad I chose this job. Now while I say I want to focus on blogging here more, I will say that I’m headed into RA training and opening, so I’m going to be a tad bit busy. That being said, I’ll do my best to check back in here soon!

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