Stranger 42, Day 42 – Meet Mallory, the “Planner”

Stranger 42, Day 42 - Meet Mallory

I ran into today’s Stranger at the coffee shop in my office. As I walked around looking for someone, she looked up at me, and asked if I wanted her table. Hmm… In those few seconds, I realized that she was a genuinely nice person. She sat at a four-person table alone, and upon seeing me look at her, she assumed I needed a table (in an other “busy-ish” day at the coffee).

Nope. I just wanted to meet you…

Meet Mallory, 19

Who are you?

“Who am I…?” She starts laughing. “Umm… such a broad question…”

“I am Mallory. I am a student at Kennesaw State University. I’m a sophomore. I’m an accounting major. I work for a babysitting company – an online babysitting company called the Sitter Tree. I do that part-time.”

She laughs again citing she doesn’t know what else to say. Except, she continues, “I’m in college… obviously, I already said that. I love Jesus. I like to hang out with my friends. I… like to cook. I like to go to coffee shops. That’s me basically! In gist!”

What are your passions? Do you have any Dreams? If so, what are they?

“What are my passions… that’s always a hard question for me. I guess my dream is… my passion is my family. So obviously, to have my own family one day. I’ve always dreamed about owning my own business. Don’t really know what it would be. I’m not really a creative person. I’m more of a do-er, so I’ll get behind you. I might not own my own business one day, but I would love to work with someone and be the administrative do-er side to someone’s dreamer-side. So that’s kind of my dream. I feel that’s my end-goal as far as career or job.”

“I love organization. I’m an accounting major, so I like working with numbers. I like organization and budgeting and stuff like that. I want to do that, but for something that I like. Maybe I’ll work in the corporate world, but I like small businesses. I would love to do that.”

How did you pick Accounting as your major?

“I never really knew what I wanted to do. I never had a dream growing up as a kid like, ‘I want to be a doctor’ or ‘I want to be a dentist’ or ‘I want to do this’. I never really had that. I always thought, ‘I have no idea what I want to do’.”

“When I went into college, I obviously had to choose a major, and what I wanted to do. So I started looking at what I’m good at, and realized I’m really good at math. I’ve always been good at that. I’ve always been more of a math person than a writing person. Very type A, organized, planner, stick-to-my-schedule kind of person. I thought business would be good, so I started taking my lower level division business classes, and took accounting and really liked it because it’s just adding numbers, basically, and spreadsheets. I love that, so that’s kind of how I chose!”

What was a challenge for you as you entered college?

“When I first started college, a big challenge I faced was finding friends. I think that’s everyone’s challenge when they first come to college. I’ve always been a kind of home-body, so I really missed home a lot even though I only lived an hour away from where I grew up.”

“I had friends, but I didn’t have that feeling of home. That really took a while. That was probably my biggest challenge.”

“I lived on campus for first year, and after a few months, really started to feel that ‘homey’ feel with the people I was around. Then, this year in August, I moved into an apartment off-campus, and I faced it again even though I was living with people who were like my best friends. It was just this weird transition from such a big environment to a smaller… not-as-involved in school. I wasn’t always on campus, always around people. That’s definitely been a big challenge for me because I’m a small-group person, and I like the feeling of home. This is really a big deal for me. So that was a challenge for sure.”

What’s a good lesson you’d like to share for… anyone? College or otherwise?

“For college, this has to do with me choosing my major. I think the biggest lesson I learned, when I went to college, I felt like people always told me growing up, ‘oh, you’re going to do something so big… you’re going to do something to change the world’. I’ve always had that pressure on me like I had to do something crazy, or I had to do something bigger than some average human-being. And then, I just realized my purpose in life is not tied to whatever career I have. Your career can be super fulfilling, but just because you have an average job, doesn’t mean that you’re not fulfilling your life’s purpose. For a long time, I felt like I had to get some awesome job or do something really big to be successful. Then, I realized I don’t. I just have to focus on the person in front of me and the people around me. Just do what I’m good at, and then, I’m successful. I really learned that when I first went to college. And I feel like that was just a really big stress-reliever for me, and kind of changed my whole mindset on… life.”

What are two truths and one lie about yourself?

“Two truths and one lie…” She takes her time to think about this. She wants to make it good, but simple.

“Okay…. My favorite color is blue.”

“I don’t like dogs.”

“… and I have never broken a bone.”

How do you keep going? How do you get up and do whatever it is that you do that day? What is the thought that comes to mind that says, “this is the reason why I’m getting up”? (Thanks to Diamond, Stranger 41)

“This is honestly the first thing that came to my mind – I have a planner because I’m… a planner… that breaks down my day into 30-minute increments. I have it all filled out and stick to it pretty closely. So whatever I have to do that day determines what time I have to wake up and all that good stuff. It structures my whole day. So I think knowing, ‘okay, I have thing to do today’, let’s do it! Let’s get it going. I guess that’s what gets me up, or else I’ll just lay in bed all day if I didn’t have a plan!”

How does this throw off your plans?

“Actually, it doesn’t much.” She told me how she had a “few hours to kill” before meeting someone later. Instead, she was just sitting and enjoying some free time.

“It’s kind of perfect!”

What would you like to ask tomorrow’s Stranger?

“Why are you where you are right now?” I think she’s asking for where the Stranger is presently, physically. However, I’m going to ask just this, and much like the rest of my questions, let the Stranger answer how he/ she wants to.

After the handshake.

Much like our meet started, I came to appreciate Mallory’s general positivity and her always-laughing attitude. She was sincere. She was open. She was the type of Stranger who was/ is never really a Stranger. I thought she might be older than her age, but that was just her own maturity for 19. (Geez, I feel old as I say that being 31.)

There’s really not much more for me to say here other than it was a pleasure to meet her, and it’s great to know she’ll be graduating in a couple years, and will be helping shape tomorrow.

… well, tomorrow + 2 years.

Meet Mallory. No longer a Stranger.

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