Life at a Standstill

I’m at a standstill already.

I go to work at my part-time retail job. I come home. I sleep. I rinse and repeat.

My days off are spent comfortably on my couch staring at my computer screen.

Searching through countless job listings, rewriting my cover letter, giving up and staring at Reddit for the remainder of the day.

In fact, I stopped looking entirely.

It’s all about who you know in this world, and unfortunately, I don’t know anyone with these connections.

On occasion I see a friend and have a fun few hours.

But.

I don’t see a way out. August will come, and I won’t be packing my bags to join my friends at the little bubble we call college.

It feels like a summer vacation, wasting away my days in the air conditioning.

Yet, that’s the problem.

I’m wasting away my days.

I’m fine with my part-time retail job for this summer. It is allowing me to enjoy my last ‘free’ summer.

Well it should be, if I would take advantage of it.

But

This begs the question:

How long after graduation am I still considered just a ‘recent grad’ as opposed to a ‘failure’ for being career-less?

How much longer do I have to find a job before I’m looked down upon for having a degree, living at home, and only working a part-time retail job?

How much longer until I can escape this pause, and press the play button to resume my life?

I don’t want to sell out.

I just want to find a career, and  be happy with the one I find.

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What Job Searching is Actually Like

Step 1. Make resume.

Skills? Uh…I sort of knew HTML back in middle school when I had a MySpace… I’ll put that on there, make myself really stand out. Any employer would feel lucky to hire me!

Oh..But what if they actually want me to use HTML at my job? All I remember is how to bold the B in BaBiiGuRl…

What you’re left with:

“Skills: Microsoft Word.”

Step 2. Reading through job descriptions

They want 3-5 years minimum marketing experience? I worked at a Hallmark store during my winter break one year. I had to market like, cards and stuff….I got this!

‘Looking for a finance/business recent graduate’….Hmm…I was a Communications major but I have a bank account…Sounds good.

‘High school degree or GED equivalent required, college degree unnecessary’… So glad I went thousands of dollars into debt…PICK ME

 

Step 3. Finding your objective

Objective…objective…

Objective: To be employed.

…is that good enough?

Or should I put: “Objective: I have no specific objective because I don’t actually know what your business is about nor if I am qualified for the position. In fact, I don’t actually even want this job at all but I figured I’d give it a shot.  Pick me”

Step 4: Writing the cover letter

“Dear business,

I have a great personality. And I want to move out of my parent’s house sooner rather than later.

Pick me,

Your’s truly”

Step 5:  Sending in the resume, cover letter, and application.

*Click*

That e-mail confirmation came rather quickly…Alright. Now I just have to wait for the interview. I got this!

How exhilarating.

Look at me go, taking the initiative, applying to real-person jobs! I love the real world.

Step 6: Waiting.

Monday…Tuesday..Wednesday….two weeks later…

Step 7: Trying to find the phone number and/or contact person and/or e-mail address in order to follow up and find out when interviews are being conducted 

Where do they hide this information? I feel like I’m searching through a Where’s Waldo book.

Step 8: Realizing you didn’t get accepted or rejected. You just got ignored. 

I hate the real world.

College Graduation: The Saddest of All the Milestones

College graduation is the saddest of all the milestones.

Well, okay. It’s really exciting. I mean here I am, thrust into the so-called ‘real world’, ready to make money, live on my own, travel, learn new responsibilities, find a husband (lol just kidding on the husband-part) and be an ‘adult’. And will I soon move out of my parents’ house, find a salary job, and go create my own life? Let’s hope so… But that’s a post for another time.

Today I want to focus on graduation (mostly because I’ve refused to focus on the dirty g-word all semester).

As the day of doom approached, I felt cool, calm, and collected. I was frequenting the bar, spending time and money with friends, and all around enjoying the last of my college days.

What sucked though…is that I didn’t (and arguably still don’t) realize that my college days were soon to be over. Sure I knew in the back of my head. Why else would I go out on a Tuesday night or try to explore the entire city where my college was located in the last few weeks that I’ve neglected to explore in the entire four years in which I lived there?

Subconsciously I was freaking out.

I was spending money I barely had (my bad bank account). I wasn’t sleeping well for literally weeks on end (zombie status). I was eating my feelings  (just in time for bikini-season). I was trying to reconnect with people that I barely knew (and will definitely never see again).

I was sucking in all that is the “college-experience”.

And as the day got closer, I wasn’t afraid, I wasn’t nervous, and I wasn’t anxious. I was secure in the fact that I was graduating and ready to move on. I needed a new space, a new time, a new face. I was sick of the same people, the same town, the same classes. I wanted to make money, find my passion, grow. I was ready.

And then the weekend came.

The candlelight baccalaureate service on our college’s front lawn was beautiful. That’s when it first started to hit me. Tears silently filled my eyes as I struggled not to scream, sob, freak out. As soon as the seniors in various a cappella groups from campus began to sing the Irish Blessing “May The Road Rise Up To Meet You“, I lost it. Not only was this indicative of my college career ending and beginning a new chapter of my life, but OF COURSE the country I happened to study abroad in was Ireland.

Like, really? It HAD to be that song? 

Memories flooded my brain. Images of the friends, mistakes, blessings, anger, happiness, parties, and education I had at college slid across my mind like a slideshow.

Fast forward to later that night, in the local bar that I happen to love with a few of my best friends, enjoying the last beer we’d have there for awhile. We chatted a bit about graduation and how weird it was, but it felt like an ordinary night at that bar. Not the eve of our college graduation…

I don’t think I slept for more than 3 hours that night. I woke up late, as per usual, took a fast shower, attempted to apply make-up and put on my best fake smile.

This was it. This was the day that I had been working towards not only for the past four years of my life, but for the past 22. I was graduating college. 

Black circles under my eyes from many sleepless nights were only appropriate for my graduation day, as they were the symbol of my college life; whether I lost sleep due to staying up late finishing a paper and studying, or partying well into the early hours of the morning.

The ceremony was a blur. I try to remember, but only 3 weeks later and I hardly can. All I remember is that gut-wrenching feeling, and yet at the same time the avoidance of the fact that this could be the last time I sat in that school’s gym.

On graduation day, I barely saw any of my close friends from college. After the ceremony, I had a nice brunch with my family, packed up out of my college house, and began the hour drive home alone.

Um, thank God it was only an hour. The SECOND I fastened my seat belt, the tears came. And I am not talking some silent-cry like I’ve quietly done in my adult-life whenever I’ve come across a bad situation. I’m talking a SOB. A loud, painful-sounding, gasping-for-air sob.

That sob lasted the entire way home.  This is when it hit me. The last four years went by so fast. Freshman year felt like yesterday. I have met some of the best, crazy, smart, interesting people in the world. I had new experiences, new places, and new situations under my belt. And now it was all over. 

I remember feeling like I was going through a break-up, like Muhlenberg College dumped me and kicked me to the curb. I felt heart-broken.

And before this depressing-self-rant goes too far, I will leave you with this advice:

1. Don’t work at a card/gift store directly post graduation. It will only depress you to see people shopping for high school grad gifts, and make you think “UGH THEY’RE SO LUCKY, THEY STILL HAVE ALL OF COLLEGE.”

2. If you have to work at a card/gift store post graduation, go read through all of the inspirational sayings on cards and gifts…You might just come across this:

“You can’t move on to the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading the last one”

3. The next chapter can (and probably will) be better than the last. College was great; it gave you perspective, experiences, and friends. You don’t have to let these things go, in fact, take these with you as you move on to the next chapter.

I truly believe, when given the chance, the ‘real-world’ can be just as fun and rewarding as the college experience was.

And I’m excited to find out just how great it can be!

(But really, this is how I feel about graduating)

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Why I Chose My ‘Useless’ Major

In college I chose to double major in Media & Communication and Religion Studies. While I get enough crap about being a ‘comm’ major, and ‘having an easy work load’, ‘not having to try as hard’, or ‘taking the easy way out’ (none of which are true), my Religion Studies major tends to raise more eyebrows.

If you happen to study anthropology, philosophy, history, sociology, or basically anything in the humanities or social sciences, I am sure you have dealt with a similar issue I have: people asking why.

Why would you study that? What can you even do with that? Why didn’t you pick a more practical major? 

Recently I even had a friend from high school say, and I quote, “You trolled yourself. You were one of the smartest people in high school and you graduated a troll” because of the major(s) I chose.

Granted, being a jobless recent graduate, I took this criticism very personally. He was right- I didn’t choose a ‘practical major with a set career path’.

But why does that make my major useless? Does getting a high paying job immediately after college mean everything these days? Is that what shows my worth in life? Isn’t there anything else?

So why did I choose my useless major with an ambiguous future?

Because I like learning.

At my part-time job the other day a man asked what I studied in college, and after I told him, for possibly the first time ever, I did not get “…why?” but rather “So you’re an intellectual?”

Nothing felt as good as that compliment.

What majors such as philosophy and religion studies give to a person may not be a set path to a career, but they are not ‘useless’ majors that warrant a ‘why would you study that’?

Religion Studies may not give me specific technical skills to place on my resume, but it opens my mind, it allows me to think, to analyze, to compare, to understand.

 

Religion studies allowed me to think deeply about the historical, anthropological, philosophical, sociological, and psychological aspects of religious people, cultures, places, beliefs, beginnings, teachings, rituals, and understandings. I did not study religion to become a pastor or a rabbi; I studied it to gain a deeper, more well-rounded understanding of the world and how both explicit and implicit religious meanings has affected its history.

My major has forced me to think, read, and write critically. It has forced me to see things I would otherwise have looked past. It has forced me to learn. What more could I ask for out of an education? I mean, I have skills for my resume-I’m not skill-less, but I also have a mind, and an ability to think.

Further, set paths scare me. This world, my future is open. I can create and follow any path I choose. So if you were a finance major who wants to be a businessman and knows exactly what you need to do to become one- good for you! We need people like you in the world. But I never wanted a set path. I always wanted choice and opportunity. Therefore my majors were perfect for a person such as myself.

And guess what- the world might need you with your understanding of economics, and you with your medical doctorate, and you with your law degree, but the world also needs people like me with my Media & Communication and Religion Studies degrees.

So why did I choose my ‘useless’ major? Because I wanted to learn. I wanted to know. I wanted to think. I love knowledge. I love understanding. I love when my mind is opened and expanded. I love thinking critically. And I didn’t want a set path.

I don’t think that is a bad thing.

 

 

P.S. If anyone wants to give me a job, hit a sista up. I have a great personality.

 

Are Student Loans Stunting Our Maturity?

As I sit here on my parent’s couch over Easter break listening to Steve Angello’s Essential Mix at 9:30 p.m. on a Friday night… I begin to foresee my future.

**Fast forward 6 months. Diane is sitting on her parent’s couch on a Friday night eating a box of Cheez-itz alone with her dog, watching Forgetting Sarah Marshall or some other movie she has already seen 7 times previously.**

Let me start this off by saying I am both optimistic and greatly excited for my “future” in the “real world”; however, I can’t help but notice all of these drawbacks that may trip me as I attempt to leap into adulthood, forcing me to fall flat on my face. And so, it becomes easier to sit on the sidelines under the protection of adolescence than to take the step forward. However, I would argue that it is not only easier, it is almost becoming necessary for young adults to remain “stuck” as children for a longer period of time. And for that, I blame the expenses of college.

To elaborate, why do I foresee my future as spending countless Friday nights sitting on my parent’s couch? Because I don’t see myself being able to financially afford moving out of my parent’s house for <undocumented period of time>. And when I am home, I am boring. Suburbia isn’t exactly the party-scene of America…

Why won’t I move into a city? Oh, I’d love to! However the expenses of city-living and my student loans loathe each other, and I feel as though there would be a lot of tension in the apartment if all three of us attempted to live together. And since I’ve been with my student loans longer, I chose them as my premier roommate.

It’s a vicious cycle.

Student loans= living at home=not living in city= boring social life. 

And so I will remain stuck (luckily stuck, but stuck nonetheless) in my parent’s house, with a refrigerator full with food, Mom’s home-cooked dinners, and free Wi-Fi/cable (‘free’ meaning I personally don’t have to pay for it…)

These are all basic necessities as well as luxuries that I am SO thankful for- Thank GOD I have parents that will let their liberal-arts-degreed daughter mooch off of their Wi-Fi and Cheez-its until she gets a decent job and can start to afford both student loans and a crappy studio apartment with 6 other roommates in some unappealing area of some city some where.

However, as more and more college graduates are forced to move back home due to this vicious cycle of post-college-poorness, are their maturity levels being stunted?

I feel as though having this luxury of ‘home’ will only start to inhibit my attempts to ‘grow up’. I won’t have to budget myself or even my time for food and other basic amenities. College has spent its last four years attempting to teach me how to survive on my own, yanno with a meal plan but it still tried- yet will all that go to waste the more time I spend at home post-grad? Will I start to regress to my high school dependancies?

It is difficult to learn how to grow up until you fully submerge yourself into the life of an adult, and living at home prevents you from doing so.

When looking at past generations, they were moving out, getting married, having children well before or around my age of 22. WHAT. I cannot even imagine that lifestyle. Sure, our generation seems to focus more on careers and so that could be why all of this marriage-nonsense is getting pushed back for us, but could it also be because we simply cannot afford it? That education costs so much that we spend a good amount of our early twenties just coping with the idea of how to pay for food/housing/bills/etc on top of our loans?

I am so grateful that I have a place to live after graduation come May, but my only concern is that the more time I spend at home, the less I will grow up, that the financial burden of student loans forcing me to stay home will stunt my urge to mature into a fully functioning adult. That it will be too easy to be my parent’s little girl using their Wi-Fi and eating their entire boxes of Cheez-its in one sitting…

As much as I love calling my parent’s house my home, as much as I love coming home on the holidays, and as much as I am not ready to leave it quite yet- I hope one day soon I am ready to, mentally, emotionally, and financially.

To summarize, I want this home to be a place I *can* come back to, not one I *have* to because of the pressures of student loans.

The Art of Day Drinking

Day drinking, otherwise known as alcoholism if you are out of college and above a certain age (not sure what this age is, I can only assume it keeps getting pushed back with time such as the age to get married, start having kids, settling down, moving out, etc all do-for those I blame student loans but that’s a different story…I digress…ahem…)

Day drinking is an elusive hobby usually found deep in the confines of a college campus, particularly around St. Patrick’s day.

Day drinking is a favorite among these inhabitants, probably due to its rarity or defiance of normal socially-acceptable inebriation, or perhaps just because we all know in a few years we will be considered legit alcoholics for popping a beer…or three by 11 a.m.

However, there is a certain art, or technique to the appropriate way to day drink that differs from that of night-drinking.

For example, it’s Thursday night around 10 p.m. You are going to the club in an hour and don’t want to wake up the next day with a depleted bank account from the bar. So what do you do to make sure you are sufficient enough to not have to buy drinks? You pre-game. Hard. I’m talking terribly mixed drinks where your mouth literally burns from the amount of Vladdy. You go to the club for say 2, 3 maybe 4 hours, and you come home to pass out from the night’s festivities.

Day drinking is a whole different ball game. Why?

Reason 1. You are not drinking for those 2, 3, maybe 4 hours as you would on a regular drinking-night. You are drinking….ALL….DAY… Early in the a.m. until late in the evening. Therefore, you take it slower. You don’t need to make terribly mixed, painful-to-drink drinks just to come home after a few unmemorable hours to pass out. You actually need and want to make it past noon and still be somewhat coherent.

Reason 2. Therefore you have no real reason to pre-game. Yay! You can save your cheap vodka for Thursday night’s festivities and drink the cheap beer provided instead!

**Sneaking a mini bottle of Bailey’s into the restaurant where you decide to have brunch to add to your coffee is encouraged, however.

Reason 3. Since you have all day and don’t feel the need to be so drunk so fast, you can actually enjoy every stage of the drunken experience.

1-2 beers:  Nothing. My liver has been trained well.

3-5 beers: So this is what buzzed feels like…

6-8 beers “AM I TALKING LOUD? WANT TO HEAR A REALLY PERSONAL     STORY? ALSO I FREAKIN’ LOVE YOU BY THE WAY. I HAVE TO PEE.”

9-10 beers: *Peeing every 10 minutes* *things start to fade out* *you may remember who you were with or what you were saying, but you will definitely not remember both of these at any given time*

10+ You’ll find out tomorrow what happened.

Reason 4: And then you get to experience the slow process of sobering-up (which you never get to experience on a weekend night because you’ll be long asleep during this time.) Although keep in mind you will never achieve this state of “sober” unless you are in for the night, and let’s face it, you’re not.

The process is as follows:

You realize you’ve been drinking all day, start to take it slower, begin to sober up (but never fully do), eat some hot dogs/hot wings/hot pizza, go home, take a short 30-minute nap, wake up still drunk, drink 1-2 glasses of water, drunkenly attempt to apply mascara without poking out your entire eyeball and straighten your hair without burning your neck and having to explain to everyone it’s not an actual hickey, and you’re ready for the night’s festivities which should include your cheap Vladdy that you luckily didn’t use up earlier in the day. Make a really crappy drink to pregame with (although it’s not really needed considering your entire day was basically a preparation-you will definitely think it is and make one anyway) and go meet your friends at whatever party that won’t live up to your day’s rebellious, socially-frowned-upon fun.

 

 

22 Images That Made Me Scratch My Head and Think “..but why?”

I joined the world of smart phones in June 2012 after my trusty, but evidently dumb ENV-3 decided to stop working as a phone, refused to allow certain letters to show in texts, and the screen popped off… thus becoming entirely useless, except for the awesome street-cred I got when showing up to parties with this guy:

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Jokes

Once I was finally united with my baby (otherwise known as my Galaxy Nexus) I began to see the world in a whole new way. AKA I started taking note of the odd, hilarious, and ironic images around me, especially while at college. (I mean, college is a strange concept anyway: Let’s place all of these confused kids together on a block, take away the adults, and see what happens….)

SO, here are the 22 strangest, funniest, or most ironic images I have captured while at this strange institution called college, things that I have noticed and just thought to myself “…but why?”

1. The important staples of any college party: 5 pieces of cheese, a few crackers, brownie crumbs, a solo cup…and a Natty. 

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Clearly they don’t offer a “How to Host a Proper Gathering” course, here. At least you can wash down the half a piece of cheese you manage to acquire with some oh-so-delicious Natty light.

2. I think they’re doing “vegetable” wrong…

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How to get that beefy flavor without having to chew it!

3. Birthday wan-tan.

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The name says it all. For when you want the celebration but not the cake.

4. Birthday Explosion.

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This might be a fire-hazard…

5. College student, or culinary genius?

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Nutella & PB on one piece, mustard and cheese on the other…

I’ll admit this was me…it seemed like a good idea at the time…

6. Lovely and affordable wall decor for the student on a budget.

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Lookin’ like a fool with yo’ pants on the wall.

7. Pants on the wall with a plastic pony in them.

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Because that makes perfect sense…

8. A pair for every room in your tiny college-owned house makes it feel more like home.

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I think we’re really onto a new trend here…

9. Don’t forget your classy table settings.

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Make sure it’s crappy alcohol- the cheapest empty handle of vodka will make the best looking vase.

10. Childhood toys can also be used for decorating your college housing. 

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Check to see if it’s in some weird assortment that will probably fall down soon though- it keeps the suspense high.

11. This…just this… 

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Rollin’ wit da homiez.

12. Closet door removed from the closet can also make a convenient coat rack!

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Or it can be left on the closet and remain a convenient coat rack…

13. Moochers gonna mooch.

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Ladybug drinking my beer….anything for a free drink around here.

14. The mathematical equation proving that God exists?

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Or studying for finals for different classes made everyone a little crazy….

15. That…seems illegal. 

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16. At least we’re all mature here.

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Located conveniently in the bathroom so you can take notes as you do your doodie.

17. Fire pit gone horribly wrong.

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Or amazingly right?

18. Kiddie pool on top of deck? 

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Why not? We have “adult” supervision.

19.  I question my test taking abilities…I question even more how they work out for me…

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But I’m glad they do.

20. My Photo notes.

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Use a filter, and burn the THC? I swear this is about photography and not marijuana in any way….

21. The perfect place for Mr. Potato Head.

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Clearly that dish washer isn’t ever used for its intended purpose…

22. Sudden sleep for women- the new roofie?

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Like…why does this exist?

And there ya have it, 22 things I have seen that have struck me as sharing-worthy to celebrate my 22nd birthday. (Okay, I just threw that in there, the number was a coincidence.)

**Some of these strange things were my own doing…I’m not sorry…Pants are a convenient decoration and I love playing with toys.