Wasn’t this what College was for?

Happy Thursday!

I knew my 24th birthday came and went too easily. Identity crisis was soon to follow. Initiating full panic yesterday afternoon.

I’m struggling friends, I’m struggling with deciding what I’m supposed to do with the rest of my life. Now, more than any other point in my life, I’m completely lost on what my life is leading up to. I’ve always been such a driven individual, with clear goals and the motivation to get there. But lately, I’m feeling unsettled and frankly, completely lost. Isn’t this what college was for?

Source for quote/Graphic made by me

At my core, I am an all-or-nothing person. People who really know me, know when I get a pet fish, I will know EVERYTHING there is to know about that fish. I’ll spend hours on forums making sure his behavior is normal, that his tank is the right temperature or that he is happy. Within the first month, they’ll see him in a 10 gallon tank with his decorative rock and live plants changed twice a month. And they know that when he died, I cried like an absolute baby (Truthfully, I’m tearing up right now writing this…Miss you Avatar). I don’t do anything lightly my friends, even owning a $2.99 fish. This is my explanation for why I can’t just “try” something out and hope it works out. It will either work out or I will make it work out.

Avatar, the best betta I ever knew.

I graduated college 2 years ago and was incredibly fortunate enough to get a research position in the field I majored in at a well known Neurodevelopmental Institute. Graduate school was ALWAYS on the horizon but I purposefully chose not to apply while I was in college because I wanted to enjoy my last year of college and because I wasn’t 100% sure what program I wanted. So I started work full time, but grad school was always in the plan.

Fast forward 2 years and I’ve realized that research isn’t what I want to do for my life. This takes a Ph.D. out of the running since it involves an intense amount of research. Now I’m left to ponder Psy.D programs or Masters programs in Psychology for grad school. Then, I started this blog and discovered my immense passion for event planning, crafting and photoshop. At parties I’ve planned for work, one of our psychologists even mentioned that I could make more money party planning and suggested I look into it seriously. After months of receiving those compliments, a dim lightbulb started to shine brighter and brighter, until it started to overshadow the plans I had made all along.  This new creative side that I didn’t even know existed is competing with what my logical self has been planning on for YEARS. Could I really make a living out of my hobby? What about all the work I already did for my degree?

So now I’m stuck.

Stuck because I’m not sure which psych graduate program I want to apply for (All I know is I want to counsel somehow)
Stuck because I can’t shake this feeling that I could maybe do what I love everyday and even get paid to do it?
Stuck because I’ve worked so hard to gain experience and knowledge in a particular field already.
Stuck because the honest truth is I have bills to pay, student loans to pay off and I can’t do that on a dream alone. Now a degree, it does pay and no matter what anyone says, money has to count for something.
Stuck because grad school is expensive…and more loans won’t help with the next point below this one.
Stuck because I’m 24 and (I’m going to be frighteningly honest) I want at least 1 kiddo before I’m 28-29.
Stuck because I desperately miss being in school and I know I’m meant for more education someday, somehow.

Basically every thought in my head contradicts itself. I didn’t even mention that my ultimate goal in life is to first and foremost, be a Mom someday, and a good one at that. This will probably mean staying home with the kids for at least a year or so in the beginning. So all these things combined, I swear my head is going to explode. I want it all friends.

 WHY can’t we have it all?

I’m not begging for advice or suggestions (although they are welcome, I mean I did pour this all out on you and you’re still reading) but if anything, I’m looking to know I’m not alone in my complete and utter confusion. When you chose to continue schooling, or when you chose your career path, was it as clear as day? Are you currently still in the dark like me? Did you feel like the path you chose was what you were meant to do? This article was on Facebook the other day and it was SO relevant, it hurts. Read it!

LOL love this. Source

Sorry if this blog post is somewhat of a debby downer. At the end the day, I’m incredibly lucky to have attended college, to have great options and the time to pursue them, now if only I could just live and let live, I would enjoy my 20s more!

Plus, I’ve already got Rob and that’s half the battle isn’t it? Someone to weather the storm with? And celebrate your success?

Don’t forget you can still totally join in with Let’s Get Physical October! Link up is open until Friday at 11:00 pm PST.

Even if you don’t have a blog to link up or for them to visit, stop by the blogs of the ladies who linked up and give them some encouragement because their participation really made my day! Plus they rock, simple as that.

Thanks for reading ❤

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The Beginnings: Job Hunt Part I

The question on every grad's mind

As the euphoric feelings of graduation faded away, unemployment and the daunting fear of not finding a job hit me like an 18-wheeler. The search for a full time job is what originally brought me to blogging, hoping to connect with other scared college grads like myself. Being officially a year out since my own graduation and hectic job search has put a lot of perspective on the whole process. As I breathe a little easier (as does my bank account) here are some of the things I’ve learned and would like to share with recent college grads:

1. Feelings are okay. First off, don’t feel bad if you’re scared/nervous/anxious about what comes next. You will undoubtedly  have friends that have it “all figured out” and they’ve already got admissions to their grad school or have had a full time job lined up since last year. Don’t feel bad or guilty for not doing so, everyone sets their own pace. Allow yourself to feel however you feel about the new stage in your life and know that you don’t have to put unnecessary pressure on yourself. How did I deal with my post grad unemployment? I forced my parents to get an adorable dog to follow me around 8 hours a day. And now he’s my Mom’s favorite child.

2. Take time. If you feel a little burnt out from school, take a small break before you start the job search. The summer after college may be your last legitimate summer before adult life and you WILL miss it. Take a graduation vacation or just veg on the couch for a bit, while you keep your eye open for jobs. There has to be a few shows you had been dying to watch in college that you never had the time for. Enjoy some time and pat yourself on the back for the accomplishment that is finishing school. I know a lot of people don’t have this luxury but don’t be afraid to take some time to yourself if you can.

3. Don’t fight the facts, live with them. There’s no doubt about it we live in tough times. Here are the facts: 1. Unemployment is high so jobs are relatively scarce. 2.College grads aren’t getting the jobs they used to get. 3. The job market will be partial to experience and it may seem to you that you have little to none. All recent college grads can attest to this and stating these facts over and over don’t make them any less true. But that doesn’t mean you’re not capable of getting a job, it means you have to work within your means. If that means working a less-than-glamorous job to gain experience for your next, do it. If the annual salary is going to a basically leave you nothing but food, take it with the hopes of moving upward. I’m not saying settle, I’m saying what everyone else is sayin, times are tough.

4. Use your resources. Before you even start looking for a job, get yourself prepared using the resources you have. If you are a Davis grad, the ICC is a great place to start and edit a resume or look for jobs. I didn’t take myself off the Psych listserve at Davis and that’s how I found my current job. Even if you don’t attend Davis, I’m sure there are resources on campus to help you, it’s just a matter of finding and using them. Also, use your connections through your family and friends, it’s much easier to swing for a job if you have a personal connection to someone.

5. Narrow your focus. The #1 problem I know people have in job hunting is not having a target job or category. Although college was about picking a major and focusing on that, it doesn’t mean we’ll be lucky enough to find a job in that field. Even more so, just because you got a degree in a specific field doesn’t mean you can’t branch out into others. Overall, focus your job search. Searching for jobs in Econ could range from bank teller to IRS intern to any financial department within the state. Pick 3 jobs/titles you would be happy with and first search only for those 3 jobs/titles. That way, you can focus your resume and cover letter towards a specific field and make yourself a better applicant. Widen your focus after you’ve exhausted all the options in your previous search.

And take a deep breath, you’re going to be fine.

Part II in the coming weeks!