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Samantha Holland

Samantha Holland

4-02-2013 Samantha Holland 
Sacrifices After College – 

Call me naïve, but I just never realized how expensive of a person I really am. When I first started living on my own and fending for myself my cash was just draining away! And not on frivolous things like weekends out of town, or nights spent at the bars, or even immense amounts of clothes (aside from much needed work clothes), it seems to be that most of my money is spent buying food… and unfortunately the food I buy rarely is at a restaurant.

Apparently I eat too much. My mom always complained about how hard it was to keep enough food in the house while I was growing up. As a competitive athlete I was always eating and a eating a lot. Unfortunately for my post swimmer body and my appetite, my eating habits have hardly changed.

I’ve found out that a mere five apples, which is what I buy for my five work days, costs me $8 to $9 dollars. Sheesh! I buy healthy groceries – about 90% produce and 10% non-produce. But I can’t even afford to give my body what it’s naturally supposed to have.

It didn’t take me long to notice the coupon books that come in the mail once a week. I used them to plan my meals and plot my route through the grocery store. But this got me too. Those coupon books are really good for a multiple person home. I ended up buying 2 of this for the price of 1 and then found out that I wasn’t able to eat it all before it went bad. So there I was wasting food…and money.

It didn’t take me long to learn that couponing won’t be in my future unless I have 15 kids to raise…which is NEVER going to happen. Maybe this is a sign I should start eating the 10 for 1 box of macaroni and cheese, or maybe a sign that I just eat too much. I’ll have to circle back in on this topic once I actually figure out the answer. Until then I suggest parents start tapering kids off food so they won’t be in shock once they leave the nest..

2-04-2013 Samantha Holland 
Sacrifices After College – 

Let’s keep talking sacrifices here.

I accepted a job offer and started in a week. That meant I had a few days to find somewhere in Northern Virginia to live. I found a “rando” on Craigslist looking to rent out a room of her very nice, two bedroom apartment. I met her and checked it out and accepted.

I’m in my second week living in the apartment and my roommate (we’ll call her “S”) had only been home one night for about an hour since I arrived. Fine by me, I prefer it that way. But by midweek my roommate’s cockatoo, Sydney, became absolutely obnoxious. I couldn’t be in the kitchen or living room because she wouldn’t shut up…and birds don’t make the prettiest noises. I became so angry I honestly contemplated strangling that bird, and I LOVE animals. So to handle the problem I just locked myself in my bedroom.

By the end of the week I realized that my roommate hadn’t been home at all so I figured Sydney was probably throwing a fit because she hadn’t been fed. I handled the situation via text:

Sunday 5:21 PM

: “Sydney is eating her newspaper, haha, is there food I should give her?” 
(Hey, your bird is throwing a fit and eating her own mess!)

S: “LOL. Oops, there’s dog food for her under the cabinet across from the sink.”

Me: “Okay!”

S: “Thank u!”

Me: “Yep, no problem”
(Actually, it’s a really big problem, your bird is annoying the heck out of me.)

The food didn’t help; she went right over and ate maybe three dog food pellets. She didn’t stop squawking, moving about, or shredding newspaper.

By the middle of the next week Sydney is suddenly very quiet and hardly moving about, I enjoy it. The next day it’s the same way except she is silent and not moving at all. I happen to be on the phone with my mom and she asks how Sydney is doing because she knew I was annoyed with her. I tell her she’s quiet and acting weird.

My mom mentions food and water. DUH! It sounds so stupid now but I didn’t think about water. For some reason I related the bird to our old tortoise that didn’t drink water (because he got it from his lettuce) and the beak and everything threw me off. I know, it sounds ridiculous but I honestly just didn’t think of it. Sydney hadn’t had food or water in EIGHT
days! Or real attention, which Cockatoos, need to live. Realizing this I texted S ASAP.

Thursday 6:53 PM

Me: “Hey does Sydney need water? She hasn’t had any for a while and doesn’t seem to be herself today.”

Me: “IDK if birds drink water? I guess they would have to, haha”

Highly concerned and with no immediate response I Google if cockatoos can have tap water or if they need distilled or what. They need distilled. I grab one of those ginormous water jugs, all the way full by the way, and attempt to pour some of the water into a small bowl. Careful to not give Sydney too much as to make her sick, I place it in the bottom of her cage. She immediately goes down to it and starts drinking it up. Just in time for S to respond.

Thursday 7:00 PM

S: “LOL. Yes, sorry. I’ve been a bad mom since my neck injury. If you wouldn’t mind, the
bowl on the left next to her food and the bowl on the other side of the cage can be filled with tap water. I’m going to try to come home tomorrow. I’ve been nervous because of the stairs.”

(Apparently she’s been to the ER TWICE in my two and a half weeks here…I’m skeptical.)

Me: “Okay I’ve got her!”

S: “Thank you sooo much you are the bestest!!!”
(Damn right, I am.)

By now Sydney is awkwardly lying with her head in the bowl. From the couch I thought she wasn’t breathing. I get up to check and she still is. I open the cage door and sit on the floor with my arm inside petting her and trying to comfort her, all the while on the phone with my mom. Even more concerned now I reply to S.

Thursday 7:32 PM 

Me: “I’m not trying to be dramatic here, but I think something is seriously wrong with
Sydney she hasn’t moved from this position.”


Me: “Should I do something?!”

I want to take her to the Vet, but that’s not my place. I have no idea what to do and neither does my mom. I’m trying to sound urgent and get the point across in my texts to S but she never responds. Five minutes later I call S and stress my worry, she says she’ll be home as soon as she can. I call my mom back still extremely worried.

All of the sudden Sydney starts moving and tries to stand up, I immediately shut the cage. I didn’t know if she was going to fly out or attack or whatever. Life is just better
if you keep the unknown locked up. She can’t stand and starts freaking out; squawking and moving weird. I start hysterically crying (I am NOT a crier). This was so sad to watch and be a part of and not be able to do anything to help her, I couldn’t take it. I run into my
room and my mom is still I the phone, I tell her I think Sydney is dying and a couple seconds later it’s quiet. I peek out of my room and, sure enough, Sydney is dead.

This was easily one of the most traumatic experiences of my life. I can’t describe how bad I felt. I took refuge in my room until S got home thirty minutes later. I walked out with tear stained cheeks and swollen eyes and told her Sydney died. Her response was
“What?” S walks over to the very dead bird, grabs her out of the cage, which is hard because her claw is wrapped around the poles and her wings are sticking out all over the place. S thinks Sydney had a stroke because “she had those when she was younger”

I think it was neglect; lack of food, no water, and hardly any attention. S calls her mother. Her mom says that she can bury Sydney in their back yard, but its late now and to do it tomorrow. S’s mom says to put Sydney in a shoe box and put her in our freezer until morning.
(Umm…WHAT?! No freaking way!)

S went bird shopping the next day.
12-10-2012 Samantha Holland 
Sacrifices After College

Robious Corridor is published every other month, so I can’t post all that’s been happening in my life since I’ve been jobless after college. So let’s take a big step forward…I’m NO LONGER jobless after college!

In fact, I have been working full time for several weeks. I’m doing marketing for a government IT solutions reseller in Reston, VA. And I LOVE it so far. I have amazing benefits… can you say free all-inclusive trip to the Caribbean in January? I can!

But I’ve got to be honest, my salary does not allow me to live up to my desired frivolous lifestyle, so I’m changing the title of this column to “Sacrifices After College.”


Everyone has to make them; usually no one wants to. My post college sacrifices obviously
started with moving back home, but I’ve stumbled upon many more now that I’ve gotten full time work, to begin with…

The whole interview process!

I might not have always given my full attention in class but you bet your life I paid FULL attention when my professors talked about applying, interviews, and the workplace as a whole. So I knew when I had my first interview to wear a suit, dress conservatively and
remove all my visible body piercings.

This wasn’t a huge issue; I don’t have gauges (those big gaping holes in kids’ earlobes) or crazy eyebrow piercings. I had a few more earlobe piercings (5) than the two conventional and a small stud in my nose. I took them all out for my interviews except for two simple and
small studs in my earlobes.

This was fine for the first and second round interviews. When I arrived for the third round I removed all my piercings, again, but waited until I was about to get out of the car to remove my nose ring (for those unaware, the nose tends to close up rather quickly, at least it does
from my experience).

Of course, after the last interview, I can no longer get my nose ring back in place. I know how petty and small this is, though I really liked my nose piercing. After the last interview I tried to get my nose ring back in (very painfully, I might add). Eventually I gave up. So I convinced myself that I am now an “adult” and a nose piercing is just not that professional.

Big, life, sacrifice here folks? Wrong!

A new nose piercing is on my Christmas list (not that I’ll get it, but it’s on there). In all honesty many of my co-workers have the same nose piercing. Some even have worse ones. I work in a young and open-minded office and really in this day and age I should be able to get through interviews and receive a job offer while wearing a nose ring. But hey, you’ve
got to make sacrifices; beggars can’t be choosers!
10-05-2012 Samantha Holland 
Jobless After College

“Samantha!”  “We Have Rules Here, We’re Frugal.”

Ahhh, the beautiful voice of my yelling mother. I happened to need her assistance in my room the other day when my light/fan fixture was acting up. Laugh it up now; not only do I still live at home but I still NEED my mommy.

Stuff happens and it’s happening now. Anyways, as I shot downstairs for a maximum of seven minutes to grab a bite to eat I left on my TV, my bathroom light, my closet light, and my fan. Bad Samm. Bad, bad Samm. Usually I don’t do things like this (I’m an  environmentally-minded individual), but it was only a couple of minutes. Apparently that does not comply with the house rules. Yep, I also have rules to follow again, holla!

fru·gal adj \ ’frü-gәl\

: characterized by or reflecting economy in the use of resources

Examples of FRUGAL

1. a frugal meal of bread and cheese
<by being frugal, the family is able to stretch its monthly budget>

*All credit to http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary

This whole situation got me thinking; just how frugal am I going to have to be? I’ve been beyond lucky and fortunate (I would say blessed, but I’m not in the least bit religious, and feel that that word is somewhat off limits to my language use) in the family I was born into. My parents have always provided for me and I honestly think I’ve pretty much deserved it. Working hard in school and athletically left me very little free time; I’ve only had four summer jobs, one life-guarding and two coaching, and one UNPAID internship. I’ve gotten a monthly allowance to cover my gas, any groceries I might need, whatever swim expense that popped up, and the occasional drink.

Simply put, I don’t deserve this allowance anymore; at least my food is all paid for as I live at home, I’m not on a team anymore so those expenses are gone, I have no friends left here at home so I won’t be getting that occasional drink, and who needs new clothes when you never leave the house? But then again there’s gas and a rare outing that I’ll want to partake in.

What’s a gal supposed to do when even her local Outback and O’Charley’s won’t hire her for temporary employment?! Frugality just isn’t the American way. Especially when you’re jobless after graduation. I better watch out with my energy use at home or I might be frugally living in a box, on the streets on a diet of bread and cheese.

8-05-2012 Samantha Holland 
Jobless After College

A Degree Isn’t Enough…. My Journey into the Working World.

I think it’s safe to say that moving back in at home requires some adjusting by both parties, you and the family you left behind for what you thought were bigger and better things. I’m just joking calm down all you parents reading this. We didn’t leave you behind but we did think we were off to bigger and better things and for some of us that was true, for others it at least lasted four, or for the lucky ones five years. The point is we’ve all met again under the same roof for an undetermined amount of permanent time, and we’ve just got to make it work. This will most likely pose difficult as the college life style does not resemble the life style of older aged middle class, and if it does your either not taking advantage of this ONE time in your life or your parents have problems. Follow my three biggest pieces of advice that I’ve learned thus far to make your new life a little more bearable.

1. Act as a roommate and not a child

In a recent post I mentioned how my mom thought it was fun to have a roommate again. That’s exactly what I am now, more of a roommate and a peer (kind of a stretch but roll with me) than their child. Don’t make them wait on you hand and foot. Clean up after yourself. In all, respect them. At 21 or 22 and not exactly their responsibility anymore be grateful for what they’re doing for you. Respect the space they are allowing you to use. Most importantly, empty the dishwasher without being asked, easily my largest piece of advice!

2. Don’t be a bum

Since you’re bumming off them and still living at home at least make an effort to act like a functioning member of society. Go on a job hunt (see my most recent post). Apply to anything and everything local. If employers aren’t grabbing for you, much like in my area, don’t be afraid to ask if places are hiring. Applying hasn’t worked out for me yet, but I’ve just gotten started. At least my parents see that I’m trying.

3. Humor them

Today I learned how to properly cut an onion. Sheesh. Shoot a sista for wanting some onion on her sandwich the other day and incorrectly slicing the onion. HOW DARE SHE! So my father insisted and I mean insisted on giving me an onion-slicing lesson. Sure Dad, I’ll cut the onion however you like. What do I really care? I just wanted to eat the onion. Whatever it takes to keep the peace. Humor them by listening to what they want and complying; even when it’s absolutely ridiculous, like cutting an onion.

May the power of flexibility, compromise, and sheer giving up be with you all, mothers, fathers, siblings, and jobless grads as you learn to live together again.

6-05-2012 Samantha Holland

Jobless After College
A Degree Isn’t Enough…. My Journey into the Working World.

I just graduated from JMU in May.

My first day after college was spent… moving back in at home. A place that my parents and I never thought I’d be living again. (Isn’t this beautiful?)
It turns out that a college degree and a driven personality aren’t all you need these days to get a job. But now that I have the entirety of everyday packed with nothingness, I figure I have some time to get myself situated and become a pro.
I’m trying to make progress here, but so far it’s not working. Although it’s not even 24 hours after I went on my little journey around Midlothian in what I call “an application spree.”
I began around noon, thinking this was a reasonable time for most restaurants to begin opening. I started at Capital Ale House, walked in, asked if they were hiring. The manager was called over; I read the job description and filled out an application. Supposedly the manager will call me about the tests I have to take… (please call!)
Then I made my way to a restaurant called the Crazy Greek. Straight up denied. The hostess was too afraid to turn me down so she ran and got the manager who greeted me by saying, “Yes, we’re full staff now, thank you anyways.”

Rejection hurts folks.

Okay this rejection didn’t really hurt that badly, I was just hopeful of this new restaurant’s opportunities and they were diminished in a matter of seconds.
Then I made my way over to Texas Road House. Closed until 4pm.  Well shoot.
Next on to Hardshell. Closed until 4pm. Shoot again. (Guess I’ll have to go back out again later.)

It doesn’t seem like that large of an effort at all but I was gone for a good hour. I had pinpointed larger restaurants near me that I would fancy a position at. After heading home, eating, doing minimal work, and replenishing my beaten down mind frame with a nap I got up to hit the not so open roads of Midlothian again in search of a serving position.
This time my first stop was Hardshell.

They kindly provided me with an application (which they’re always accepting, considering they’re not hiring right now), as I sat at the bar and filled it out in the vacant restaurant – aside from the lonesome couple taking advantage of happy hour – the bartender offered me a drink. (Aww how sweet of him.) However, I declined. This was a business trip.
Then, I made my way to Baileys Sports Bar/Pool Hall.

I couldn’t have been greeted by two more perky girls. The one girl was so anxious to get me a seat, “Smoking or non-smoking?!” she blurted out. (Do I look like someone who attends a sports bar by themselves at 4pm on a Monday afternoon? I’d like to think no.) After inquiring about the restaurant hiring she happily jetted off to retrieve me an application, leaving me alone in the lobby with the other hostess. We got to talking and it turns out that she was hired a mere two days ago; still training, in high school, and had no prior restaurant experience.

Here I find hope.

I’ve latched on to this gleam of a chance that if they want her, they will definitely want me. A washed up jobless college grad has to be a better server than a 17 year old giddy blonde right?

Apply, apply, apply…. Augh…