things i have posted in my high school alumni facebook group vs. reality

Every few months, the “class coordinators” for my alma mater, a K-12 private school outside Washington DC, ask all of us for updates on our lives that they can put in the alumni magazine. And so every few months, we ask ourselves, “How can I make myself sound happiest and most successful without lying outright?” Everything terrible about facebook is magnified when you’re speaking directly to your old high school classmates. Here are some rough translations of the posts I’ve made in the Class of 2010 facebook group.

January 26, 2011

yall have cool lives. My most proud accomplishment thus far has probably been going sledding yesterday. It was daunting. Oh, and I think I might become a psych major, but that is very likely to change. Anddd this semester I’m the layout editor of our weekly lifestyle magazine which is super cool.

Translation:

My first semester at college was not as fulfilling as yours all sound. I’m not sure that I have any friends, although I like the people I went sledding with yesterday. There was a boy who I thought liked me, and we sent long facebook messages to each other all winter break, but I just found out he changed his mind, so that sucks. I haven’t taken any psych classes yet. However, I’ve managed to get involved in something totally random, which should impress all of you, right? I have a title. I’m not sure you’ll think that’s cool, so I’m going to go ahead and tell you how cool it is.

June 26, 2011

Hey guys! I’m in Bologna at the moment, studying abroad for six weeks. Introductory Italian has never been so delicious.
There are twelve of us on this Brown program, living in apartments, providing food for ourselves, running around the city on vintage fixie-bikes like the hipsters that we probably are, and eating gelato basically every day. Also drinking wine at lunch, because that’s totally acceptable here. You know what they say about being in Rome…

Translation:

While you ambitious motherfuckers suffer through congressional internships, I’m in Italy getting drunk. You should be jealous. And in case you think I’m lazy, let me name-drop my ivy league school. I AM WINNING.

December 30, 2011

hi guys!
I’m with Nick – y’all are too legit. I’ve decided to concentrate in Linguistics, so I can play with words for the rest of my life and maybe just stay in school forever. I spend my days living in the International House, working on a new blog project (which I can’t link to quite yet…), freezing my fingers off in Providence, re-learning the alphabet, and working away as the chief layout editor of post- magazine. It’s nice that they call me “chief” because I’m also the only one (which means I’m the best!).
I spent the summer living and studying italian in Bologna, which was absolutely incredible, and then back in DC interning for NARAL. hope everyone’s holidays are wonderful! wish I could see more of you more frequently!

Translation:

Whoops, I’m definitely not winning. For some reason I’ve decided to major in the least marketable thing I could think of, and my current plan is to get a PhD in that, because I can’t think of anything else to do. The international house is alienating and my roommate might be a sociopath, but all of you are in sororities and I want to look like some kind of formalized group has accepted me.

I’m still working at that magazine though, which I’m still really hoping sounds impressive.

I wish I could see maybe two or three of you more frequently. The rest of you are fine but I have no need to talk to you whatsoever.

June 14, 2012

hey guys!
everybody sounds like they’re doing great. I’m spending my summer in providence, taking a class at Brown and working for a midsized firm outfitting the endangered Eagle of North America (whose habitat is regularly threatened by Hollister logging co.)
next year I am staying put. no more transatlantic moves for me, thank you very much.
also! i have a writing internship with [a fashion blog] this summer/fall. i know, clara+fashion=what?? but clara+blogging=excellent. hooray!

Translation:

I am not winning. I am losing. I have lost. I am as depressed as I have ever been. I just got dumped, and then quit the internship I had lined up, and now I’m working at American Eagle, which I cannot bring myself to tell you except in the form of this weird joke.

I am also not studying abroad next year, because that sounds terrible. My ex-boyfriend is studying abroad and that’s what RUINED US and studying abroad is the WORST THING that a person could DO because what’s so bad about staying in providence with people who LOVE YOU, HUH??

Anyway, please don’t think I’m weird and sad.

Note: The alumni magazine actually published my weird joke.

January 23, 2013

Hi guys!

After my last winter break in Switzerland (that’s right, we’re coming home!), I’m back in FREEZING Providence. I’m now the Serif Sheriff of Post- Magazine, the weekly arts/lifestyle paper that runs in the Brown Daily Herald. My assistant’s last name is Hamburger so we call her the Hamburger Helper (or, sometimes, the Serif Deputy).

Still blogging (no surprise there) and am currently recruiting new writers for my new blog. So if any of yall have any interest at all in writing for the coolest college blog on the block, send me an email!

Today was our first day of classes. I walked into my first class to the infamous keyboard cat being shown on the projector. #liberalarts

Translation:

I am empty inside. I am still talking about my layout position on the magazine as though it isn’t the hundredth time I’ve explained it. I am unconvincingly self-promoting. This post got zero likes.

February 13, 2013

not a note of my own BUT did you guys know that mr. harding is leaving?
but he’s being replaced by mr. bloom!

Translation:

I am now so depressed that I care about what happens to our old math teachers.

July 20, 2013

HEY Y’ALL! sUmMeR2013 is CRAAAAAZZZZYYYYYYY

I’ve spent the summer thinking about feminism, listening to taylor swift, and spending a lot of time on twitter. Somehow, this crazy twitter account I made [twitter.com/feministtswift] got 100,000 followers (and sparked a lot of interesting conversations) in like, a week. Now that my insane viral success has more or less tapered off, I’m working with a literary agent to potentially turn this thing into a real live physical book. (again, no big deal. totally casual).

The rest of the time, I have an internship with this college women’s blog/media network. I write articles here and there, but my main work is in sales and marketing – the plan is to learn how I might be able to just fool around on the internet for the rest of my life, as a career, and not be homeless.

Are any of you are in the boston area this summer? I’d love to catch up!

Translation:

I’M SUCCESSFUL. YOUR PARENTS PROBABLY EMAILED YOU ABOUT THAT WASHINGTON POST ARTICLE ABOUT ME, DIDN’T THEY? HAH. SUCK IT.

I’m going to write a BOOK and be a SUPERSTAR and you’ll all be jealous.

Are any of you in the boston area this summer? I’d love to get dinner and talk about how well I’m doing and then pretend to be interested in your lives. I am on top of the WORLD.

July 19, 2014

updates from clara:

I have not graduated! After taking last fall semester off to lay about in my online fame, I’m now on track to graduate this december. Any rumors you may have heard about me writing a book have been greatly exaggerated – I put together a feminist taylor swift book proposal before discovering that I never wanted to think about it ever again. So that’s on the shelf for now.

This summer I’m taking a bootcamp-style class in web development, learning ruby on rails, javascript, the works. my first project is live here: [link]! (the course is via General Assembly, which does after-work night classes in addition to 9-5 bootcamps. worth checking out if you’re trying to build up tech skills etc, and they’re in a lot of cities now).

After graduation I’m likely to move to DC and do internet things of some kind. Who knows.

Hope post-grad life (or not, as the case may be) is treating all of you well!

Translation:

Never mind about all that. I am now a tech person. I am now Mark Zuckerburg.

I didn’t graduate in June like the rest of you, which hopefully doesn’t mean I’m a slacker and a dropout? Just in case you’ve forgotten, let me remind you that I was once-upon-a-time (a year ago) very successful and famous. I didn’t take time off because I needed a breather from the endless rituals of education. That would be weak. I took time off because I was literally too cool for school.

Now let me drop some technical terminology like “rails” and “bootcamp” and “internet”. Be dazzled.

Wishing you all the best! But only to the extent that I hope you can help me get a job in ~6 months!

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