I know it's been a while, but now that things have finally settled down, the only thing I can think to do is... write about it.
I've finally reached that point in life. You know, where you start to really think about where your life is going, what you really want and what truly makes you happy.
It's been hard for me to rationalize the fact that everything has led up to this point. High school led to college, college led to internships, internships led to jobs...but then what? I'm in this awkward stage where half of the people in my life are beginning college and experiencing independence and partying till the sun comes up, and the other half are getting married or having children. And I know, I don't have to choose between those two lifestyles, but it's the fact that I don't have a plan anymore that makes me feel unsettled.
Everything I've considered to be important and part of my plan up until this point, is seemingly done. Game over. "You've arrived at your destination," *Siri voice* plays in my head on an endless loop.
But am I really done? What do I do next? Obviously my short term goals are to work hard at my job to get promotions, save money, spend money, make new friends, maintain old friendships, etc. But what is life really about now?
Does anyone really know or think about this? Life has always been a constant hustle to me. Grinding all day, everyday. But now, my mind is preoccupied with what's next?
And, I guess the point of this blog and all this rambling is to tell you...surprise! I really don't know. And the biggest part of this revelation is that it's okay.
The hardest pill to swallow right now is that I don't have a solid plan for the next decade of my life. And I'm learning to be okay with that. This harsh realization for me has really led to some deep thinking, (like turn the lights off and stare at your walls type shit). And I've realized that the plan moving forward, is to have no plan.
From now on, my focus is to broaden my lens and take in everything. Focus on what makes me happy and fuels me, and do more of that. And I suggest you do the same, because it's honestly liberating.
For those of you suffering from the slump. Whether it's sophomore year slump, post-grad slump, or the new parents slump- just keep moving forward. Focus on the small victories, and things that make you feel excited again.
Not sure if you've found that yet? That's okay. Try something new, even if it makes you nervous as all hell. The only way to find out what's next, and what you're meant to do is by being uncomfortable.
Until then, hang in there and realize you're not alone. In fact, you're just one person on this big, round Earth that is trying to figure it out. Take a deep breath, make a list or don't, try something new and really focus on your happiness. Because in the end, that's what matters, not a plan. Not anymore.
You guys won't believe what's happened in the last six months...
Things actually fell into place! Like every cliche, or post-graduation speech from relatives or professors- I can actually say that things do fall into place when you least expect them. After months of applying to any and every job that seemed relevant to my experience, I finally landed a job in my major (communication) at The Ohio State University, (Go Bucks)!
But to say this transition was easy would be a lie. This was a hard, emotional and challenging transition in life that taught me a lot. I have doubted myself, felt defeated and cheated for all that I worked for. Not getting a job right away forced me to trust the process, and continue learning and growing, even when you feel that life is at a standstill. When you don't see instant gratification or feel like you've failed, just please know there are better things on the horizon.
After working tirelessly to plan your whole life out (good grades, college, internships, working, extra curricular, etc.) it's easy to feel defeated when you don't land the job you want as college comes to a close. It's even worse seeing others live that dream that you think is how it is supposed to play out. But I'll remind you, things do fall into place. When you're forced to think outside your so-called "plan," you'll soon realize that there are so many more opportunities that await, especially when you're given time to figure out what you really want and what makes you happy.
I wish I knew this months ago when I was in my head and depressed, perpetuating my own sadness and feeling like there was no hope. I wish even more so that there was a perfect solution or advice I could offer anyone feeling that way. But what I can say is that I hope this gives even the smallest ounce of comfort. And I'll be honest it feels kind of weird writing this to myself/ whoever is listening but geniunely, if you need any tips how to get through this transition, don't hesitate to reach out.
Until then, just please know that you will succeed and you can and will find things that make your life better and more fulfilled. Most importantly, don't give up on finding a job that makes you happy and allows growth in your life, because they're out there and waiting.
Well, it's only appropriate to start off with a *sigh*
Man, I'll tell ya...You think four years of grueling school work, internships, and exams is hard? Try meeting lifelong friends and having to tell them goodbye. After the all-nighters, beer bonging, Taco Bell runs, and studying comes to an end, here are the top three things you need to know regarding post grad life:
+Why post grad life sucks+
1. Saying Goodbye
They never tell you as a student that the hardest part of post grad life is leaving things behind. Society tells you that bills, car insurance, jobs, and "adult life" is the future we should fear and prepare for. But honestly, I'm struggling so much with leaving structure, faculty, friends, and loved ones behind.
Leaving a yearly, academic schedule behind is slightly sad, but I know learning doesn't have to end- I get that. Leaving professors that have seen you sweat, succeed, and probably cry, is honestly bitter. Leaving behind dirty, crappy dorm rooms and campus houses is sadder than you could ever imagine (although, I don't miss shower shoes). But worst of all? Leaving behind your friends. The friends who've see you at your highest and lowest, your happiest and saddest- is a feeling like no other.
To be honest, I don't have any words to help you prepare for saying goodbye- but just know the day will come. Just remember, you're luckier to have met and have them in your life, so don't take any time with them for granted.
2. Job Searching
For some, you will work your ass off with summer internships, part-time jobs and extracurriculars, just to guarantee a job before graduation. Believe me, I was one of those people. But I'm here to tell you right now, things don't go as planned and it's okay.
This has been really hard for me to overcome. I thought I did everything right in preparing for post grad life: good grades, outside experience, involvement, Greek life, internships, community service, job experience...I could go on and on. But guess what? No matter how little or hard you work, things happen- businesses close, others are more qualified, timing sucks, job markets fluctuate, etc.
Finding the perfect job is rare, and honestly, congrats to those who do. But finding something you genuinely want to do, that makes you happy, makes a difference in the world- TAKES TIME! And my goodness, it's taken me so long to convince myself to not stress over needing some time to figure things out.
Instead of pitying yourself and stressing, make slow steps towards the goal of employment. Take time to research jobs that align with your skills, reach out to those you know who currently are living your dream, conduct informational interviews, and apply, apply apply. Applying to jobs takes time and dedication, college doesn't always prepare you for it- but don't let it bring you down or intimidate you. You can do this.
3. Adult Stuff
I refuse to use the verb "adulting," because frankly it's annoying and ignorant. As college students, you are adults- you're in charge of your own lives and success whether you want to accept that or not. But what you should know is, that adult daily life is a lot.
Working 9am-5pm, paying bills, moving out of your parents house, finding car insurance, setting up doctors/ eye/ dental appointments can be overwhelming...which is why you shouldn't procrastinate. Granted, it's okay to take some time and ride out your parents health insurance and see how long you can mooch the unlimited data of their Verizon plan, but at some point it's time to move on.
By all means, save some money and time after you move out, but sooner or later you'll want to get a new car, apartment, or get a credit card. To do these things- surprisingly, it takes more than a degree. Start planning ahead now so you can relax and enjoy life longer, without a mental breakdown when you realize bills don't pay themselves and that to get that new Jeep, you need some credit (unless you want to ask your parents to cosign, which I don't recommend).
Make goals before or after graduation to start preparing for these adult responsibilities so that this doesn't consume and overwhelm you. I promise you can do it! Just don't be blindsided when it all begins to happen.
+Making the most of post grad life+
Overall, I'm not going to lie, post grad life seems dull, sad, and boring. But with some time, effort, and optimism, you will see the possibilities and good that come with it. Being able to say you have a degree is priceless (with about 40k of loans of course), getting your first apartment is awesome, and when you finally find the 'dream job', you'll realize post grad life isn't that bad after all.