Friday, August 27, 2010

Lessons Learned from Office Supplies

On Wednesday I went to Staples to pick up a couple of back-to-school items. No big deal, right? I love school supplies and getting organized, so an office supply store is one of my favorite places to go. In junior high and high school I couldn't wait to bring my newly penned, master list to the store. I love the crisp new paper, a blank start, and that fresh feeling of being organized and on top of your shtuff.

Mega Nerd Me should have been ecstatic for an excuse to go to the store then. Right? Well, let's just say I walked out of the store with a few nail marks on my hands from tight fists as I tried to calm myself down. (Would that be a sign of a panic attack??)

I was looking for a paper planner, because that's how I've always tracked school work. I want to be able to cross off grad school assignments and keep work appointments separate. I found something that'll work, but it's not the  same as the one I got every year of junior high, high school, and college.

As I walked out of the store I reflected on my experience and what I had just learned about myself:
  • I really like organization and having the tools to help me live that way
  • I am kind of stubborn. I was reluctant at first to purchase the item I did because it wasn't what I used to have. It's fine, I'm 25 and totally expected for a product I stopped buying in 2006 to still be around 4 years later...
  • I really hate change. After 3 years of just being a young professional (which often felt like school and wasn't perfect) I'm taking on more, self-imposed responsibility in the form of classes towards an MBA. That means new schedule, new higher education technology, and remembering my old school habits.
  • College was amazing and I do not want to relive it. I have the attitude towards my time as an undergrad of "been there, done that, most amazing experience, moving on." That may sound trite and I can assure you that I learned and grew more than I ever would have expected to, but that's not what grad school is about for me. I'm still trying to figure out exactly what I want to get out of grad school.
  • I'm hugely afraid to fail or not be as successful as I was as an undergrad.
  • Aside from refining a business plan I've begun to draw up, I kind of want to learn some new stuff, but I'm not all that convinced about this whole little endeavour. My degree is kind of a means to an end, with some letters to add to my resume to give me authority to run said business. I guess that's enough of a goal?
  • My yoga breathing hasn't gone away even though I can't practice full-out yoga as I continue to let my foot heal. I'm 99.9999% sure those breathing techniques are the only reason why I survived my mini panic attack on Aisle 9 of Office Supply Central.
  • Items are fully refundable with a receipt. And by that I mean, if I try classes and don't like it, I won't apply to the program. If I do, I'll keep it and we'll forget all about this silly little fit of fear.
  • I can and will conquer my fears. Stepping in the door and focusing is the 1st step towards doing so. Staying calm will also be extremely important.
You know the ice breaker where everyone shares their favorite office supply? Or item on their desk? My 2 answers to those questions are always: my planner because it keeps me organized, lets me plan my life, and I get to add some color to it; and Silly Putty which has inhabited my desk ever since I started working a full-time job. It's fun, pliable, helps release tension and nervous energy, and reminds me of being a kid. I feel like those 2 items perfectly describe where I'm at and the journey I'm about to embark upon over the coming months.

Do you hate change as much as I do? Are you facing any fears?

And since I can't not ask it: what's your favorite office supply or item on your desk?? :-)


  1. Oh gosh do I have fear?? yes!!! It is hard adjusting to change, but having a plan helps.

    I hope you enjoy your time in grad school!

    Favorite office supply -sticky notes

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