...And Student Loans are Coming in Hot!
Life during college came with a set of instructions, a laid out schedule and places to be. Whether that was good, great, stressful, and just terrible at times, there seemed to be consistency. Like I knew Fall break was just around the corner or that I had a sorority full of the amazing woman I could go running too. Fours years later and the University of Michigan "process" or balance of dealing with classes on top of work on top of running a sorority on top of having a social life is ingrained deeply. That sounds like the real world in a nutshell, but while in school you get to claim the identity of "student," which helps! You are a student, and apart of a cultural, in my case a "U of M" cultural.
here are only a few lessons I have learned
coming straight out the game (OR COLLEGE):
I am also realizing now that my family and community are my starts to success. Especially, with my business startup. They have been my first fans and customers, and I truly appreciate and need that coming straight out of college.
Also please don't forget to say thank you!!!
Lesson #2: Cover Letters, Resumes, Recommendations and LinkedIn are critical! You can not just work passively try to get a big girl/boy job. You need to take risks and be open to situations you wouldn't expect. I did not hope to be a librarian and adjunct professor. I know I will get my dream job in the future, but I also realized a degree is not the only thing you need to get there. I needed that two-year part-time job during school. I need that sorority to see how real life management works. I needed all the smaller gigs I am doing now, to gain experience and knowledge for what I want next. I need the upcoming summer art residencies, conferences, and networking to get to where I want to be. So, keep pushing forward. Don't stop at one career choice, maintaining the mentality of school and keep researching what it is next on the agenda.
Lesson #3: Do not let money or bills terrify you! It is fine and more will come, it is a never ending cycle. Thank the Sun, and it's shining lightwaves for my optimistic mother sharing her optimism with me! I know everything will always be okay, and I also know you will figure it all out. I mean come on, if you found four years of school then you can handle bills (student loans, car payments, seven types of insurance, Netflix, etc.)... And REMEMBER there are ways to pay bills and spend money! If you invested/investing in yourself, then your deserve to enjoy the fruit of your labors as well. Don't get wrapped up in the struggle!
Lesson #4: It is okay not to have it all figured out. In college, you had a very guided step ladder to graduation, but once on your own, in the real world, which the ladder is suddenly gone. It can seem wild when your dentist asks to schedule an appointment for next year, and you don't know where you will be! It will all come with time.
I remember my first month home, back in August, working my ass off prepping individualized cover letters and specific resumes and not hearing a word back! I was educated, in bed, on my laptop and couldn't find a job. It was tough, but persistence and networking gave me the next month full of interviews and job offers!
Lesson #5: It is disheartening not to live exactly the way I expected right out of college, but that is OKAY! Just because you aren't exactly where you want to be right now, doesn't mean you won't get there. Have hope and keep moving forward.
Lesson #6: Life will become a classroom. I am always still learning, and I still seek out learning environments in any way I can. Outside of college, your research becomes "how to write a check" or how to start a small business or how to do your taxes. Your papers and essays become emails to potential clients, networking, and however else you seem to have to email! Your homework becomes applying to jobs, running errands, working full-time and so on. You will continue to learn and keep growing!
For now, I am satisfied with life, and I think it is because I am doing what I want to do. Some days and tougher than others, but I am slowly defining myself. Finding and building my identity as an artist.