Ever since I was a tiny little freshman, I’ve religiously ordered the holy grail of school supplies every single year: the Lilly Pulitzer agenda. From selecting the perfect print to choosing the best size (obviously jumbo), there was never any doubt where my agenda purchase would occur. After receiving my most prized possession, I would carefully fill it with birthdays, anniversaries, and test dates, to be supplemented by a perfectly chosen sticker for each momentous occasion I expected to have over the next 18 months. It was a system I had never doubted would continue every August for basically my entire life.
Just like every other year, I purchased my agenda, picked my favorite pen to fill in the semester’s parties and barbecues, and packed it carefully in my computer bag for the first day of my summer internship. Only when I arrived did I realize that I had a problem. As the only female in my class to score a high profile, high finance internship, I had taken extreme care to ensure that I would fit in with my new coworkers. I cut my hair, altered my blazer, and ensured that every bit of my appearance was on point. That is, except for my planner.
The first time I pulled out my planner at work, I realized I’d made a terrible mistake. In a world of black and navy, my nearly-fluorescent jumbo planner stuck out like a sore thumb. The pattern was a mistake. The jumbo size was a mistake. The stickers were definitely a mistake. All of a sudden, my beloved planner, instead of being a status symbol, was now a representation of my immaturity and unprofessionalism.
I hid my planner and quickly ordered a much smaller, neutrally colored replacement, and my things began to change for the better. I was able to carry a white and gold pocket planner to meetings without attracting any looks — and better yet, received praise from my supervisors for my attention to detail. When I was done recording appointments, I could slide the thin notebook easily into my bag, much unlike my jumbo Lilly planner, which more resembled an organic chemistry textbook than a planner. Where before I had gained pride from carrying around my Lilly agenda, I now held my head high with my sleek little datebook.
When I arrived back at school, I assumed my Lilly agenda would make a victorious comeback. The air of superiority I once had from my coral-printed agenda, however, had permanently transferred to my new professional planner. Anyone could purchase a Lilly agenda, but could anyone say that they spent the summer gaining invaluable professional experience? Could anyone say that they’d been fast-tracked for a six-figure salary after graduation without having to get her hands on a ring to do so? I don’t think so. My new planner was a status symbol telling everyone that I was now a professional badass, and with that, I knew I could never go back.
So it is with a heavy heart that I bid a final farewell to my Lilly Pulitzer agenda. You have served me well over many years, and your stickers have made test days seem more bearable. Your beautiful prints identified me as a Greek on campus, even when I wasn’t wearing my letters, and for all of these things, I have to say, “thank you.” However, I’m a grown-up now (kind of), so it’s time for me to say goodbye. It’s time for you to move onto yet another incoming freshman who will spend her four (or five or six) years making you her most prized possession. I’ll miss you, but like all good things, our time together has finally come to an end. Rest in peace..