Friday, May 5, 2017

College Graduation: 1 Year Later

College Graduation: 1 Year Later
Hey guys,

So it's been exactly one year since I graduated college and I honestly can't believe how quickly time has flown by. Honestly I still feel like I'm in college and sometimes I get anxiety thinking about the paper that I have to turn in or the exam I need to be studying for.

I loved college even though I didn't do the normal college thing where I lived in a dorm my freshman year, joined a sorority or some type of club where I made a bunch of friends, or went to parties. But I've never really been that type of person anyways so I am totally happy with the college experience that I had. I met a few cool people in my classes that I will probably never speak to again but that's okay. I was still able to work with them, experience different viewpoints, and learn a few things from each of them. I pretty much only made one real friend in college and I think that we will always be friends. He's older than me and so I always like to turn to him when I need advice about something or if I just need to talk to someone.

I chose not to have the stereo typical college experience because it was never something that I was interested in. All I wanted to do was go to school to learn and graduate either early or with two degrees. I ended up doing the latter and I don't regret a single thing. I love being able to tell people that I'm only 23 and I have two Bachelor's! People are always super impressed!

Currently, I am enjoying not being in school but at the same time, I miss it a lot. I wish I could go back and still be able to say that I was in college. However, I do plan on going back before I'm 30. I have always had this goal of getting my doctorate before I turn 30. Unfortunately, I don't think that will be happening since I've already taken a whole year off and haven't even started studying for the GMAT or the GRE. I honestly can't decide what I want to go to school for so that's my biggest issue. I have always wanted to be lawyer so I thought about maybe going to back school for business law but unfortunately there are no schools nearby that offer a business law program. I would have to move somewhere new and I just don't know if I want to do that. 

I have also thought about getting my masters in something fashion related since I absolutely love fashion but the main reason I didn't go to fashion school from the beginning was because I didn't want to be restricted with a fashion degree 20 years down the road when I decide that I want a career change and no longer want to work in the fashion industry. I have also thought about going back to school and dual degreeing again and getting a masters in Business Management and another one in Marketing. However, that would be extremely expensive and it would take up a lot of time.

My last degree option that I have thought about is hospitality. Ever since taking a hospitality management class, I fell in love with the idea of working in that industry. One job that I have always wanted to do was be a flight attendant and most recently I have thought about working in a hotel. I live so close to Disney and it would be amazing to work in one of their hotels!

Where I was then:
I was 22, getting ready to walk across a stage to receive my degree's (which didn't actually show up for like another month), jobless and not sure where life (God) was going to take me. I was scared and confused but at the same time I wasn't too worried. I spend a lot of time worrying about things but I've also spent my entire life being told not to worry about things, so it was hard for me because I just had to keep telling myself that everything was going to work out and that I was going to be fine. I finally had to grow up and be an adult (which I still don't really like haha but who does?!). When I graduated I hadn't even started looking for a job because I knew that I had a trip to Europe coming up soon and I really didn't think that anyone would hire me if I told them that I needed two weeks off so I could go on vacation. Also since I had two degrees and zero experience no one wanted to hire me.

Where I am now:
Currently, I am a retail sales associate at DSW (Designer Shoe Warehouse). Honestly, I had THE hardest time finding a job after I graduated but I didn't expect it to be easy. I purposely chose not to work in college because I kind of wanted to start from the bottom and work my way up. I was also receiving the GI Bill and didn't really need the money so my logic was to let someone else who might actually need the money have whatever job I could get. I grew up in a semi-wealthy and supportive family and I knew that no matter what they would be there by my side to pick me up if I ever fell (and by that I mean fail. They would never let me because homeless).

What I've Learned so Far:
I've learned that having two degrees doesn't really help you all that much if you don't have any experience. I have learned that a lot of employers don't really even care if you have a degree (and this doesn't include careers where you absolutely need some kind of training such as doctor, nurse, lawyer, etc.). All they seem to care about is the experience that you have. So in my opinion, don't go down the same road that I went down. Get a job after your freshman year is over because then at least you can add experience and degrees to your resume. Now with that being said, I don't regret what I did. I wanted to work hard and start from nothing. I wanted to build my resume and have to fight for what I wanted. I've always been that way and I'll probably always be that way. I come from a family that has always worked extremely hard to get to where they want to be in life and so I don't mind starting out as a sales associate at the age of 23 (technically I was still 22 when I started but I'm 23 now when I'm writing this!) after graduating college.

I've also learned that life is too short to worry about certain things. You need to live your life the way that you want to. Spend time with loved ones, go on adventures, meet new people, and do the things you've always said you wanted to do. Don't wait for the right time or anything else because you could end up missing out on whatever it was that you wanted to do. I've also learned to never be lazy and by that I don't mean no more sitting down on the couch watching your favorite TV show. I mean if you want to do something do it with your whole heart, don't be that person at work that everyone can't stand because they know that if they ask you to do something you won't do it.

Also, there is no right or wrong way to do college. Learning is such an amazing opportunity that you just need to do it anyway that you possibly can. It doesn't matter what school you're at, learning is still learning no matter where you are. So if you didn't get into your dream school, that's okay. I promise that life will still go on and honestly, if you didn't get in the first time then just keep applying. Chances are you will get in eventually or maybe you will realize that it was never your dream school from the beginning.

Food for thought: You are exactly where you need to be.

Sorry for the super long post! I hope you enjoyed it and I hope it helped some people who might be getting ready to graduate soon. Good luck and congratulations to those who have recently graduated or will be graduating soon!

XO, Steph
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Thank you so much for leaving a comment! I love talking with you guys and getting to know you better! If you leave a question I will most definitely try to answer it! XO, Steph