Flashback Friday: The Crazy Years

In the spirit of Janetha, today’s post focuses on a little travel through time, circa 2003-2005ish.

When I first graduated from college back in 2002, I moved back home with my mom and began the daunting task of finding a job. I had a degree in Graphic Design and had big aspirations to do anything from layout to logo design, and to eventually start my own magazine. I sent out about 80 resumes- all over the DC metro area. I had big dreams of living in an apartment in Alexandria. I spent my time (between searching for jobs) dreamily searching for different places to live in that area. In the meantime, I got a job through a temp agency working nights, which was perfect for my then sleep schedule (in which I never woke up before 10 am).

Out of the 80 something resumes that I sent out, I got an interview for two jobs. One wasn’t worth interviewing for, but the other peaked my interest- it was an entry level position at a design firm in Annandale. They offered me the job, but the pay was just way too low (around $24k a year- if you live in NoVa, you know that you couldn’t even pay rent off that amount). After a summer of disappointment on the job front, I thought about going into another field: teaching. In the fall, I began substitute teaching and took an education course at a community college- just to see if it interested me. I decided to enroll to grad school the next semester, which offered all of the classes at night. I got a great full-time job working as a receptionist and moved out into an apartment with a friend in downtown Frederick. Though I was busy with work and school, my weekends were totally free and I was living the party animal lifestyle. I dated a few guys, got together with friends a lot and was as spontaneous as I could possibly be.

I took a lot of road (and plane) trips with my friends to different parts of the country. We were young, obnoxious, and enjoying our lack of responsibility.

I partied in Florida with my friend Sarah:

Yes, that’s me making the awesome pose. We had a habit of taking pictures with meat head guys and just kind of making fun of ourselves.

My friend Katie and I went out all the time… I think this photo was taken in Adams Morgan

We also took an EPIC trip to Vegas. This is one of my favorite pictures ever- it makes me laugh each time I see it.

That was a group of drunken Irish men that kept us entertained for a good hour or two at Harrah’s outdoor party bar (our favorite party spot in Vegas!). I remember the guy in the striped shirt, completely hammered and barely understandable with his accent tried to convince me that we were meant for each other. I think I also told him my name was Katrina and I was a lawyer (we always had alter egos in Vegas!).

My good friend James and I hung out a lot in Baltimore

We also took a (dare I say again- EPIC) road trip up to Boston, along with our friend Lindsay, to meet up with a bunch of friends and go to a concert.

Oh man, that trip will forever go down in history as one of the craziest weekends ever. And yes- I had a tounge ring (I actually had it from 1998-2010!)

Shortly after that, my friend Lindsay and I flew to Buffalo to meet up with those same friends and see the same band play. We even crossed the Canadian border and saw Niagara Falls!

In 2005, the first of my friends got married, and the first of many Bachelorette parties happened:

I graduated that year with my Masters and started teaching in the fall of 2005. And then life completely changed! I had to be in bed early every night and get up at 5:30 am for work each day. By the weekend, I was usually too tired to do much, and certainly wasn’t road-trippin’ with friends all the time. The teaching profession turns you into a morning person real fast, and definitely strips you of your fun night-owl past. My job has definitely changed me, in both good ways and bad. I will be the first to admit that I’m not nearly as “fun” as I was before I started teaching.

Life is great now, for a lot of other reasons that don’t have to do with my old wild partying ways… those are definitely long gone. I have to say though, I would love to go back in time and just have the energy and care-free attitude of my early to mid twenties for one more weekend (and my ability to have more than 2 drinks and not be hungover)! There were a lot of great times, and I’m really happy to say that I definitely lived life to the fullest back then, and have no regrets.

Did you “party” a lot when you were younger? Do you feel like you missed out on anything?


14 Comments on “Flashback Friday: The Crazy Years”

  1. I actually work at my alma mater now (Graphic Design degree too, hopefully starting my MFA in the fall) … and I work with students and it’s really hard for me not to answer truthfully when I am asked “if i could go back, what would I do differently?” I would PARTY more. I had my nose to the grindstone. Always. I was so concerned with grades and getting a job that I never took time to have fun.

    And as you know, with graphic design, it’s not about grades. It’s about the portfolio, experience and how you sell yourself.

    If I have a time machine, I’m going back and partying. Period. 🙂

  2. 24K in Northern VA…did they want you to live in a box under a bridge? My first job started me at 36K and I lived paycheck to paycheck.

    Haha, I did some major partying in college and when I first graduated from college (2008). I was broke as a joke and living in Silver Spring. I hadn’t dived full force into my ED so I was happy with my weight, ate/drink pretty much whatever, exercised on a regular basis, and enjoyed life. However, I did some stupid things…

    I’ve grown up now too. I have to be at work before 6am so I need to go to bed early too. Partying will always have a special place in my heart but I’m what I really miss is the care free person that I had been not the partying.

  3. I worked really hard in college. But I also partied really hard in college and after. I loved going out with friends, taking trips and enjoying being an adult. I don’t regret any of those days and I love that I have them out of my system. I’m too tired now to do any of that stuff….well, maybe I have it in me every now and then. 😉

    Fortunately I can now afford better beer and better than well drinks. Ha!

  4. This was fun to read! I used to go out a lot when I lived in Chicago…my b-f does not like to hear those stories 🙂

  5. Those are some epic trips!

    I studied lots and lots….but had some awesome trips and lots and lots of dates! I dated a lot! hah.

  6. This post had me smiling the whole way through. You could photoshop a lot of put “past-life” pics together. 🙂 I certainly love to have a good time… but yeah, had to grow up. I don’t think I’d turn it down if I could go back in time for just one weekend. My crew and I have some amazing memories.

  7. Gil says:

    I was always working and studying in college EXCEPT the semester that I lived in Spain…the Spanish are so ridiculously laid back, its hard to stress yourself out over there. I still dream of the terraced tapas bars and long lazy afternoons filled with wine and friends. That’s where I met the friend that we would later live with in NYC, and we bonded sometimes (ok, often) in all night partying, but mostly in plaza picnics, park sunbathing and cafes. I used to live it up on the cheap in NYC (none of the Sex and the City glamour with a 3,000/month rent to pay…no joke)…but Ive always been more about hanging out than clubbing/hardcore partying.
    No regrets here! But I also fully expect that the adventures never end…

  8. biz319 says:

    OMG, I was a total party animal. I worked full time then worked at a bar 4 nights a week. The days I didn’t work at the bar I went for happy hour. I was the queen of sleeping until the last dog was hung, and prided myself that I could still get to work on time, even if I woke up just 30 minutes before sitting at my desk.

    Then I had my daughter at age 23. You can read about my story here.


    She was the best thing that ever happened to me because she made me grow up WAY faster than I ever would without her. She just turned 20 and I don’t know where the time went?!

    Loved all your pictures!!

    • Lauren says:

      I love your story- and your blog! Love the post about meeting your hubby too! I can’t stop reading your posts- they make me smile so much. So glad you found my blog!

  9. Lee says:

    My first job paid $24K in 2000. I remember thinking it was a big deal when I got a promotion and made $27K. Ha.

    Do you have a tattoo on your finger or is that a ring? I can’t tell.

    I probably partied more than most of your readers combined in my younger years.

  10. cottercrunch says:

    oh yes, those were the years. Actually i was always a grandma and was in bed by 11pm in college. But then again i was the weirdo up at 6am too. 2005 was the get married year. totally!

  11. i went to college in austin so we were downtown every thur, fri, and sat. I do NOT miss that at all. I smelled like smoke all the time and had to wear heels! Great post…I sometimes look back at pictures of myself and ask “why?!”

  12. janetha says:

    i love love love flashback posts!

  13. love all the pics! i partied it up in college, not sure i took so many pics though. flashbacks are the best!

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