I don’t expect this to go on very long… I’ll probably create one or two posts total, and then never revisit this random Google account for as long as I live.” – Cath in College – July 1, 2014
WELCOME TO THE 100TH POST ON CATH IN COLLEGE.
Wow. Okay. Welcome. Welcome to those who have been following this blog since it went public almost a year ago (whaa) and welcome to those experiencing CiC for the first time.
Over the past year and a half, I’ve written 99 posts, ranging from interviews with administrators to videos of me getting tipsy with my friends and answering readers’ anonymous questions. 99 times I’ve attempted to share with you my perspective on the world around me. (And 38 drafts signify 38 other attempts that have failed).
In April of 2015, CiC was getting 100 views per day. In September, that number quintupled. I am paradoxically both humbled and proud to say that in its lifetime, CiC has seen over 17 thousand unique visitors. 17 thousand Dear Readers, just like you.
Now here we are, at post number one hundred. For this (arbitrarily, I’d argue) monumental post it felt right to curate a list of 100… somethings. I spent some time brainstorming potential attention-grabbing titles: “100 Things I’ve Done Since Becoming Cath in College,” “100 Ways My Blog Changed Me,” “100 Things to Do Before You Graduate,” or simply “My College Bucket List” with, of course, 100 items.
But then Shannon and Slim reminded me how large a number 100 is.
“Dude. That’s a lot.”
True. And as I began to brainstorm actual content for these lists as opposed to just the titles that would frame it, this truth became more and more apparent. So, the creative solution at which I have arrived is…
100 Lessons, Quotes, Stories, Photos, Questions, Thoughts, Experiences and People that have Shaped my Life Since I Became Cath in College
(AKA mish-mash of all the other lists combined. YAY cop-outs!)
Literally f*ck the haters. Okay, maybe not literally. But f*ck ’em. I’ve found that at the root of all of the hate lies the same truths: a) People make assumptions, which often times are completely untrue b) People judge you based on these assumptions c) People judge you because they are insecure with themselves.
A very very wise RA (Sasha haaay) once told me expectation is the root of all heartbreak. Write that down or something.
I learned how to be in a relationship. Then I learned how to be single. After eight months dating my ex-boyfriend, I needed to be single again. Not because he was such a crappy person, but because I needed to learn how to make my own happiness.
From the beginning of the blog to now, my brother Gus has undergone the following physical transformation:
Shoutout to puberty. (He also got a girlfriend)
My dad – My dad has had an impressive transformation of his own. He completely turned his eating and fitness habits around around last winter and is now in some of the best shape of his life. (He is currently down to *11%* body fat… wut).
I gave Portuguese a shot and it worked out. I’m in my second year of Portuguese classes, more proficient in the language than I am in Spanish (my first foreign language) and getting ready to go to Brazil for the first time. Side note: I’ve felt an intense emotional, if not spiritual, pull towards Brazil since I was sixteen.
I started college. That was big.
I got homesick. Last Thanksgiving and mid-spring quarter last year I got bitten hella hard by the homesick bug. As a gal who prides herself on her unwavering independence, I was quite surprised.
How do I stop relying on other people to make me happy?
Hmm… Maybe I’ll know the answer by post #200…
CiC got a fanbase. This may the craziest thing on this list. I get emails from people all over the world, receive the snapchats from readers, and my friends and I often get recognized on campus. How cool? (See #11 & #12)
My friends and I get recognized. Just this past weekend Thomas told me that he and Conner were summoned by an upperclassman to surprise her sister– a freshman and fan of the two boys from CiC videos– with cupcakes on her birthday. Oh, and shirtless of course.
Even better than enjoying the occassional “Hey– You’re from Cath in College!” on my way to class is getting to share that awesome feeling with my favorite people 🙂
Getting amazing snaps from Dear Readers like you… (Sorry for the screenshots.)
I learned how to be more open-minded. Because you can’t have an intellectual conversation with somebody who isn’t open to hearing all the alternative perspectives.
Learned how to be an athletic person. How to exercise, how to not eat crap, etc.
The freshman 15. Yeah. Bummer all around. Story for another time.
“Positivity. Just let it happen.” – Lily Moradi
Met some really amazing people who taught me some really important life lessons. Here are just a few…
Thomas taught me that stress is a mindset. If you choose to enjoy the little things in life, like the bike ride to class, good music, and spending time with friends, you’ll see how lucky you really are.
“You’re looking at it wrong. Open your eyes.” – TJ
Joey taught me I can talk about physics, religion, and philosophy, even if I’m not a physicist, theologian, or philosopher.
Raj taught me that work hard play hard is always the best motto.
“Financial comfort is nice but f*ck the corporate world ya feel” – Raj
Slim taught me to shut up and book the tickets. (We’re going to Rio!)
But I haven’t just spent the past year and half learning. I’ve also gotten comfortable with the fact that at times, I’m one wise cookie.
Another lesson learned: You have absolutely no idea what’s going on in people’s lives. Even the ones closest to you. So don’t assume.
“Most of the time in life, you pay for the experience.” – Madi Kist
“F*ck boys.” (or some close derivative) -Shannon, Slim, Calli, Ali, Madi, Gabriela, Madilyn, Sasha, Lily, Camila, Alexa, Madi, Becky, & others
I fell stupidly hard for more than one boy. *Note to self: Try to avoid this from now on.
Had a ton of fun answering over 600 questions on the CiC ask.fm. (With 420 still waiting to be answered! 😟) Here are some of my favorites…
I got farmsick. After only a couple weeks back in Barrington this past summer, I was already changing my lock screen to a photo of the quad and daydreaming about sand volleyball on Wilbur field…
Living with a random stranger. It seems that Stanford is one of the only universities that (still?) pairs you with a random roommate your freshman year based on a personality survey filled out prior to move-in. Luckily, I was paired with Shannon, now one of my favorite humans on the face of the earth. ❤
Two of my current roommates, Shannon and Calli, are on the Stanford Women’s Golf team, and last spring they won the NCAA Championship for the first time in the program’s history. I was sitting at the tables outside of Axe and Palm, streaming the golf channel on my laptop and biting my sleeves off as it got down to the last couple holes. When they won, I was cheering all by my lonesome as people biked by probably wondering what the hell was wrong with me. Go Card 🙂
I attended Admit Weekend– googly eyed, the whole world before me, nothing but pure excitement for the adventure ahead. It was the true start of my Stanford experience.
I was a House Host at Admit Weekend– Talk about coming full circle… I had the distinct pleasure of hosting 50-some wonderful little saplings in Larkin last year along with dozens of other awesome room hosts. We made midnight pancakes, gathered around the campfire for s’mores in the courtyard, and held an “Ask Me Anything” panel discussion where they asked us their biggest, toughest questions about all things #college.
I got to travel the world. From Italy…
… to Mexico…
… to New York…
… to Germany…
… to France…
… to Switzerland…
… to Canada. In just the past year and a half alone. (Holy cow am I blessed.)
Living with four random strangers. Calli, Slim, Shannon and I got our first choice for housing for sophomore year (Suiteeesss). Since there are four of us, we assumed that we would be assigned to a 4-person suite. We were wrong. Our draw group was combined with another all-female 4-person draw group in an 8-person suite.
I think it’s safe to say that at first we were all a little irked about having to put two tight-knit groups of friends together in the same suite. But after several months of occupation in what has now been affectionately nicknamed the “Octopussy Suite,” I can honestly say that things have worked out great. Everyone is respectful, clean, laid-back, and pretty no-bullsh*t. It was a great combo.
Got voted “Most likely to be a household name” by my freshman dorm 🙂
Got a tragus piercing, fell in love with it, and kinda pissed off my dad. (But he’s mostly cool with it now.)
Got a tattoo.
HAHAHAHAH JUST KIDDING MOM CHILLLLLLLLL
My sister, Michaela, became a viral video star. As the owner of the video “Michaela’s Flu Shot”, I signed a contract with a media company in the summer of 2014 giving away the rights to share and promote the video on the company’s own terms. I figured Michaela and I had nothing to lose and everything to gain.
The next thing I know I’m receiving texts and emails from friends and relatives with links to the video, all begging the obvious question “Is this Michaela?!” Within days, she’s showing up on my newsfeed (without me searching for her) and getting recognized at water parks and nail salons. My little celeb sis :’) She wrote a blog post about it here: Alternative Perspectives: The 11-year Old Viral Video Star Sister.
Speaking of family, I went home and surprised my entire family on a random weekend my freshman spring quarter. I recommend that everybody do this at least once in their college careers. I wrote a post about it here.
“The real secret to life is that you get what you want when you do what you want.” – Nomadic Matt
Santa Barbara– where Michelle, Allan, Joey, Conner, Chris, Thomas, Raj, Michael, Griffin and I had the most amazing spring break in the history of spring breaks. (And where we only had to pay $700 in damages!)
I can ride my bike with no handlebars! (The trick is to sit completely upright.)
“No matter how cute he is, he is still a boy, and that will always work against him.” – Sasha
My mom – Since she started competing in ballroom dance competitions last year, my mama has snagged first place titles in every tournament she’s competed in. She rediscovered her passion for dance as an adult relatively recently and is now absolutely, positively addicted to the sport. I am constantly inspired by her diligence; she puts in hours upon hours every day both in practice and in study to become the best dancer she can be. Moral of the story: She’s a G.
Maggie – Maggie is the friend I’ve known the longest in my whole life. We did a bunch of stupid stuff in high school together, and last year she flew out and visited me over Thanksgiving break 🙂 We decorated my dorm room for the Holidays, day tripped into SF, made a gingerbread house with Benji, and had a ratchet thanksgiving feast with KFC and sprodka. It was a glorious time.
Lily’s run in with the Deans – Lily came and visited me at Stanford last year as well. We had a great time. 😉 😉 😉 Such a great time, in fact, that she decided to write a little journal entry on a Google Doc when she got home recalling all– and I mean all— the fun stuff she did while she was here. The day after she wrote said doc, she was called into the Deans’ office at our high school. The deans had intercepted the document (some Edward Snowden type sh*t right there) and, based on its contents, felt they needed to have a little “chat” with Lily.
I died laughing when Lily told me this story. Poor girl.
I didn’t rush. Even though I went back and forth on it for a little while, I decided against trying out for Greek life. I am ultimately happy with my decision.
I tried out to be a Dollie. LOL YEAH. It was sort of a bucket list thing I had put out for myself. Read all about it here: Finding Completeness in Rejection: The Un-Death of the Dollie Dream.
Computer Science – I’m giving it a go!! So far CS106A has been 5% wanting to cry while searching for bugs, 10% crushing on Mehran, and 85% learning the actual material and having a lot of fun while doing so.
The soundtrack to the past year:
And the soundtrack to this past summer:
Oh and everything that happened this summer…
I learned how to be there for a friend, through thick and thin, through sickness and in health. (Read more: On Friendship and a New Kind of Family)
Acrylic nails. I tried them out as a senior in high school and haven’t looked back since. Going to the salon every 3 weeks is my therapy 🙂 (Anybody who follows me on Snapchat @catherinegoetze knows this truth, and that John is my therapist.)
Every cute boy with whom I’ve exchanged fleeting eye contact in coffee shops, libraries, dining halls, and circles of death in the past year and a half. You have shaped my life.
The Dear Readers I’ve had the greatest pleasure of talking with at firstname.lastname@example.org– Laura, Ephie, Alina, Maeve, Jordan, Hannah and Haeyun. Y’all are the realest.
ALSO JORDAN PUT ME ON THE SAME LEVEL AS CASEY NEISTAT.
“When I think of what channels I can depend on to upload cool content, CiC & Casey Neistat resonate the most.” – A DR named Jordan
Speaking of which…
Casey Neistat, and his YouTube channel are a constant source of inspiration for my vlog-things.
Isabela Angus, and her blog. It’s the basically the only site I’ve found that I look at and say, “I want Cath in College to look like that.” (Check it out. At just 17 years old, she’s a freaking inspiration.)
Grace Mitchell and her blog, “Just China Have a Good Time”. Girl can W R I T E.
QUICK INTERJECTION: Based on #73-#75, you now know three sites that have influenced CiC in some way. What other blogs/websites/YouTube channels does CiC remind you of? Fill out this form and let me know!!
The article Ivy League Admissions Are a Sham: Confessions of a Harvard Gatekeeper had me reconsidering everything I think I know about interview strategy.
“I just want to hear that you like certain things and dislike others, that you’ve run into obstacles and heard the word “no” on occasion. Don’t tell me everything is great, because it’s not. Don’t tell me everything is terrible, because it isn’t. And most of all, prove to me that you’ve spent some time thinking about a big brand-name in education, and what it can do just for you.”
The article Introducing Humdog: Pandora’s Vox Redux had me in a panic for at least a solid week. Have I sold my soul to Cath in College? Or worse– have I commodified it?
“i have seen many people spill their guts on–line, and i did so myself until, at last, i began to see that i had commodified myself. commodification means that you turn something into a product which has a money–value. in the nineteenth century, commodities were made in factories, which karl marx called ‘the means of production.’ capitalists were people who owned the means of production, and the commodities were made by workers who were mostly exploited. i created my interior thoughts as a means of production for the corporation that owned the board i was posting to, and that commodity was being sold to other commodity/consumer entities as entertainment. that means that i sold my soul like a tennis shoe and i derived no profit from the sale of my soul.” [sic]
GOD 100 is a big number. Are you still here?
Thinking About the Universe. My favorite class at Stanford so far. (THINK 45.) Also my section leader, Dr. Kassa Betre, who is the only person on the planet who could make me even consider studying physics.
“Why not be excited about your life?” – Maggie Davis (YAS GIRLLL)
Geri Migielicz – For being a mentor, and writing me letters of rec when I was just a wee freshman, and teaching me everything I needed to know to make this video documentary…
Michaela Goetze – At 12 years old, she’s one of the most kind-hearted, honest, funniest, and– contrary to what this photo might have you believe– mature, people I know. I would opt to spend a night out with her than most other kids my age. (And I often do.)
“Catherine, you’re so pretty.” – Benji
I finished my first year of college. 25% of it done. Just like that. Damn.
Allan – Somehow managing to push me to my limits (work-wise and temper-wise), while reminding me not to stress the small stuff. “There are worse tragedies” he says (all the time).
The guy with the ponytail at the Good Shepherd gym in South Barrington. One afternoon this past summer I came into the gym and asked for assistance with the machine that measures body fat. In what would probably be considered a totally unprofessional manner, he smiled, shook his head a little bit, looked me right in the eye and said, “I’ll tell you what your fat percentage is. It’s perfect. Don’t you worry about it one bit.”
He doesn’t know this, but I really needed to hear that that day. Thanks, ponytail guy, for shedding the formalities to help lift a girl up when she was down.
Whoever wrote my “Stanford Crushes.” Stanford Crushes is a Facebook page that accepts messages from students who want to anonymously profess their love for their peers. The admin of the page simply reposts the messages without the sender’s name attached, and one time they posted one about me. I’m still not over it, and YES it changed my life. (Link!)
Also one time last year someone had a donut delivered to my dorm room. It came with a little napkin with my name written on it in. I still don’t know who did that, but the donut was delicious.
I moved out of my childhood home. Check out this CiC throwback post for my exact sentiments regarding that transition: Tomorrow Is My Last Day in My Childhood Home.
Over the lifetime of this blog, I’ve spent a lot of time considering and reconsidering what CiC all about and what it’s all for. At the end of the day, why do I put so many hours into this? The thought process so far has sort of been the following:
June 2014: CiC is a little underground hole on the Internet where I can d*ck around and write about my personal life without having to worry about anybody ever finding it. I can design, write, and be otherwise creative. I’m doing this for me.
January 2015: Brain blast! I’m going to edit the existing CiC a little bit, make it slightly less intimate, and then share it with all my Facebook friends. I’m proud of what I’ve created so far, and I want to share it with the people in my network. I’m doing this for me, and sharing it with them.
March 2015: There are a lot of interesting things going on around me, and that’s all defined by much more than my perspective. I want to have other people write for CiC, do interviews, and introduce alternative perspectives to the site to present a more balanced view of what’s going on. I’m doing this for my readers.
April 2015: I’m going to be creative and make whatever I feel like! Freedom of speech! Self expression! WOOHOOO!!! I’M DOING THIS FOR ME AGAIN, B*TCHES!!!
May 2015: Wait wait wait why are people hating why don’t people like my stuff why are they saying mean things. Wait, who am I doing this for again??
June 2015: WHOA WHERE DID ALL THESE READERS COME FROM HOLY SH*T. Okay okay gotta start making hella content all day every day go go go go. I’m doing this for them. Gotta make ’em happy. Gotta please the DRs. Gotta build up that CiC community. *Creates Facebook page*
July 2015: Wait, what is CiC about again? Do I write about campus issues? Do I write about my life? Do I do interviews? Do other people write for CiC? Is it a college advice blog? Is this my personal brand? Is this a source of editorial content? Is it a YouTube channel? Is it all of the above? Am I doing this for me or for somebody else? *Scribbles all over a whiteboard to try to figure it out*
September 2015: F*ck the haters. I do this for me. My DRs are so freaking cool. They read my stuff and watch my videos and say hi to me at Tresidder and at football games and they know me and my friends and that’s unique and awesome. I’m still not sure what content I’m supposed to be making, but I’m just gonna do what feels right.
November 2015 & beyond: To be continued…