Find a job after college?

In one of my last blogs I talked about the hardships of life’s transitions. The hardest transition by far has got to be the college to the workforce change. This is the most complicated because these days, with my degree, it’s so difficult to find a job. First off, I chose a field I love, something I am very passionate about, therefor, I chose a field that does not have many jobs available. (That stuff they tell you in high school, the “pick a career you love so you never have to work”, yeah, you never have to work because no one is looking to hire those professionals.) Another reason it’s hard to find a job is that employers generally don’t like hiring the new people that lack experience. Sure, I did my internship, but that isn’t enough for most companies. They all want designers with 5-10 years of creative firm experience, but creative firms do not hire anyone without that experience, therefor college grads cannot get that experience to have it help them receive other jobs. Sound confusing? It is. And to be honest, it’s stupid. There is no even flow of professionals. It’s all stop and go, while many get left behind. Even at the minimum wage level jobs, many do not want to hire you for being “over qualified”. What is that? Stupid! It’s stupid!

I know I sound spoiled, maybe like the “occupy this and that” people from a few years back. I’m not trying to sound unappreciative. I appreciate my education, that I paid for myself. My education is all the more reason I need a job. I took out loans to pay for it. I had no choice. I don’t come from the type of family that pays for their child’s tuition. I worked minimum wage jobs (30+ hours a week) to pay for college (+rent, gas, bills)  and still had to take out loans. I need to know that all of that work was worth something. I need to know that I won’t default on my loans. I need to feel important. I don’t care if the job offers a 401k, insurance, or any pretty benefits. I just need a job. I don’t care to be rich, I only care to pay my bills and be able to pay off my debts.

I am not alone, neither are the other graduates with my degree. I know many students who proudly walk off the stage, move their tassels from one side of their cap to the other, into a jobless, debt-filled life. Where do we go from here? One thing I’ve been incredibly proud of these past few years is that my generation is by far the most educated. We also happen to have reached a point in time that does not present many job opportunities. So what does this mean for my generation? That most of us will be college educated, minimum wage workers? I mean at least its a job, but for every year we spend not working in our chosen fields, we will not have that experience, and we will forget a little more of what we learned. Just about every professional field out there requires continuous learning. So once we do find real jobs, how far behind will we have fallen? It’s scary to think of. Once more positions do open up, those employers will not want meat that has been sitting around, left to spoil, they’ll want something fresh, some new grad. Leaving more of my generation working  low paying, unskilled labor. According to statistics, millennial make up 40% of the unemployed in our country.

I am not lazy, I want to work. I want to work so many hours I barely have time to sleep. I don’t just want some beautiful paycheck, I want enough money to pay my bills, and I want to earn it. I am not entitled, I have worked for everything, and I will do my best to continue. I am not useless, I have wonderful skills. I am not weak, I have a beautiful portfolio.

Je suis person C

Do you ever feel like something is missing? Something isn’t the same and you don’t quite know what it is?

It’s like I forgot about someone or something somewhere along the way. Like I got too caught up in my temporarily busy schedule, that at a time like now, when I’m free I don’t quite remember what it is I used to dwell on.

I look at my maiden name and see a completely different person. Someone I want to wash away. Not that it was a bad person, just that, I don’t know. It’s like I appreciate that person, but I would like to kidnap her and keep her locked away inside my memory, somewhere no one else can ever find her. I’m sure many people want to do that with their past. Not that we are ashamed of what we’ve done, that doesn’t have to be the case. It’s just that, we aren’t those people anymore. And at some point, we got busy and didn’t realize we changed, so it’s hard for us to understand how person A became person B. Maybe we’re really person C and never knew it when we were person B.

I don’t hate being person C, but this person still has ties to those who surrounded person A. Even though we have nothing in common. Maybe that’s the answer. What is missing? The connection to the surroundings of person A is missing, or maybe I am missing because I am not person A, I am person C.

I don’t remember who said it or when I heard it, it may have been in a movie somewhere, but it was something about hair cuts and life changes. When a woman changes her hair, she is about to change her life. It sounds silly, but it’s true. It’s like when we change our inside identity, we want to change the outside as well. There’s this medical thing I read years ago. When you have an extreme psychological problem, your body may show it in a physical form such as a rash or pain. We, in the same way, want to show a in physical form that there is a change. We let the world know that something is different.

I feel like overtime I get bored with my life, I decide I am bored with my hair. I know this sounds like such a girl thing, but let it be. I get bored, and I chop all my hair off. My thinking process changes. Like in college when I died my hair red, permanently and then had to take it out when it started fading after a week. I had hair confusion because of the constant need to keep up with it to take me back to my natural color. It took almost two years to get back to my dark blonde. I felt like I lost myself in a moment and it took two years to straighten out my thoughts and become myself again. But I wasn’t myself again, these were the person B days. Once I had my color back, along with my personality, I was person C.

You miss characteristics of the persons you used to be, but at the same time you’re satisfied with who you are. It’s an appreciation for persons A and B, and also the change. Person A could never handle the responsibilities of person C. Person C could never keep up with the emotional instability of person A.

Side Note: Ignore the half French, half English title, I just felt like it.


A couple years ago I set up this blog and promised myself I would keep up with it. I wanted to write out my college life and all of my art projects. Unfortunately, college is time consuming, and not cheap. Working some 30+ hours while in school full time does not leave much time to pour my heart out into a blog. Here I am, unable to sleep, about a month before graduating college. I’m really scared.

I did the mandatory public school thing, I did the college thing, I’m in the marriage thing. How do you do the after college thing?

After growing up in unusual circumstances I decided I wanted to be a textbook example of normal. I must have been out of my mind, for that was never what I was meant to be.

I told myself I would not date the entire time I was in college, but I ended up getting married after my junior year ended. I got a lot of crap for getting married so young, I got a lot of crap for marrying a non-christian man from a non-christian family. But I did it because that’s what I do. I do everything without considering the opinions of others. Why not? Why should I? It’s my marriage. It’s my life. I’ll do as I please.

So now I am moving on to another big life changing thing. I leave the college thing and do the after college thing. From what I’ve learned in the past, the transitions of life are always the hardest.

The semester between high school and college, I stopped feeling anything at all. No happiness, no sadness, no anger, no heartbreak. No clue what to do. It is my opinion that American children are not usually raised knowing what to do after all the ‘required to do as your told’ things are over with. I didn’t. I knew I didn’t really want to go to college, but I did, and I found out sometimes I just need a little push. Sometimes I need to do something new, unexpected, to know it’s what I want.

I got a job my freshman year to pay for my car and college and bills. The job helped me plant my feet and branch out. It helped that I had some pretty amazing co-workers. You think your high school friends are for life, but you let most of them go so easily. In college, it’s different. These people are like you. They’re in the same financial situations, they have the same sense of humor, they are there when you make the big decisions, when you really start to get a sense of who you are. They really helped me transition into this part of my life, through jokes, and nights out being completely stupid with your own money and no curfew. There are certain friends you have for moments, and others you have for life.

Then there was the marriage thing. I had never lived with anyone before. I wasn’t the type to have roommates, it was hard enough living with family. Honestly, and I know how weird this sounds, but I always wanted to be a mom, however, I didn’t thing I would ever get married. So…. I always wanted to be a single mom. Weird, yeah.

One day I found someone I loved in a way that made me want to be married. It’s kind of like that scene from Practical Magic, when she’s a little girl and she casts a spell for a love that couldn’t exist so she would never have to fall in love, and then it turned out that he did exist. Well, he is pretty damn extraordinary. I thought I was unlovable, but he loves me. But, there’s always a but… The transition was hard. The ‘him moving in’ transition. Like I said, I lived alone, I was used to it, I liked it.

I’m a clean, organized person. Never a dirty dish in the sink. Never anything laying on the floor, never a morning where the bed goes unmade. My husband is not any of those things. We had a tiny apartment when we started living together. It was the perfect size for me and me alone. As soon as he moved in there was a suitcase full of his clothes on the floor in front of my our bed, there were dirty dishes in the sink, and the toilet seat was up. I felt overwhelmed.

Thankfully, we moved into an apartment twice the size of the first. My husband had a closet to store all of his clothes and a dishwasher that wouldn’t keep us backed up. He is thoughtful, so after asking once, the toilet seat has always been let down after going up. Those first couple of weeks were… rough. Now we’re so used to each other. I never thought I was cut out for this kind of lifestyle, but he makes me feel free. The bigger apartment helped me transition. The changes were wonderful, the idea of wonderful may have gotten  lost in those first couple of weeks, but I guess I found it after the move.

I have no idea where I was going when I started writing this, but I think I’m done now. I believe the point was, “What am I going to do after graduation?” After going through how I transitioned in other life changing situations, I think I’ll be fine. It sucks at first, always, but there is always a job or a bigger apartment to help me adjust. I’m not sure exactly what my next piece of help will be, but I’ll figure it out when I get there.

My Life With Ben

Somewhere between procrastinating in school and hating my job, my life changed. It changed one night when I was doing my usual event photography for one of the groups I’m on the board for.

Whilst taking my photographs I happened upon two people sitting together, a Tunisian boy and a Chinese girl. After asking the two if it was okay to get a picture of them together, the Tunisian boy stood up, took my camera, gave it to the Chinese girl and said, “No, let her take a picture of us together. You are beautiful, I want to be in a picture with you.” So I stood with him while the Chinese girl tried to figure out the Nikon D7000 I had brought with me that night.

After the picture the Tunisian boy introduced himself as Ben. Ben asked if I was single, but mostly stood in front of me, just staring and telling me how beautiful he thought I was. He continued to do the same throughout the rest of the night. All of this was a huge shock to me. I hadn’t received any attention from anyone of the opposite sex for at least 3 years, and the attention I did get was very degrading. So I assumed he was like all the rest of the guys I had met previously that would only hurt me with cruel  intentions.

He asked me if he could take me out, I agreed and was extremely nervous and excited at the same time. For years I had felt unattractive and unlovable, so I was sure the date would end without a chance for a second one. The date came and after talking for three hours before we even ordered dinner, I realized there would be a second date.

Expectations and Outcomes: Becoming an Art/Design Major

I never originally intended on attending college at all, but the morning of my high school graduation my grandparents took me out around town. After weighing pros and cons on laptops, my pawpaw picked one up, handed it to me and said, “Here, this will help you in college”. He knew I hadn’t applied anywhere, but I was the first person in all of my family to graduate high school and he wanted me to go. When my pawpaw tells you to do something, directly or indirectly, you do it (though I would appear the only one to actually do what he says). My grandfather was a marine, he served three tours in Vietnam. I love him, he is my absolute favorite person the walks (tries to walk) this earth. So when he asks me to do something, I do it.

I started college with an undeclared major, it was rather awkward, professors and fellow students looked at me like I wouldn’t last, like I didn’t know what I was doing with my life, but college seemed like the right idea at the time. Since, I didn’t yet know what I wanted to spend the rest of my life doing, I started out taking academic classes, which I enjoyed and excelled in. With the way perquisites work for most majors, I would have to declare one soon to save my time in Troy. So I sat down with my catalog browsing through all the majors Troy had to offer. I highlighted interesting subjects like Environmental Science, History, Early Childhood Education; I highlighted many diverse interests. I ended up choosing Print Journalism with a contract in Public Relations because  since my dream for working for Nasa will brutally murdered, I had wanted to move into advertising and that was as close as I could get.

A degree in Print Journalism required knowledge of photography. So the very next semester I started my degree by taking Photo 1, Technologies in Journalism, and by jointing the school Newspaper. Technologies was an enjoyable class, it briefed over Microsoft and Adobe programs I would later on be using. I had never had the slightest interest in photography, and in-fact detested it to a degree because everyone that can afford a camera considers themselves photographers. Writing for my school newspaper made me realize how much I would hate being a journalist. So needless to say, I dropped the major I never officially declared.

The next semester I went back to finishing my academics while I figured out what my major would be. I kept in touch with the photography professor and he worked with me to help figure my life out. In case you’ve never experienced it, college can be very stressful. At this time in our lives our society expects us to, overnight, change from an immature child to a decision making adult. My photo professor, Bob, helped me cope. Every interest I expressed he helped me explore and weighed the pros and cons of choosing to live my life exploring that interest.

At this same time I had a job working at a theater, two of my coworkers shared a major. For one of them, this would be her second degree. They said she was scared of growing up and leaving Troy and leaving behind the boy she’d been in love with for five years, the boy that couldn’t find it in him to love her back. The other girl with this major was a good friend, an honest, good-hearted human being. Girl number one saw no problem with this major because to be honest, she really had no interest, it showed in her senior thesis. Girl number two was very passionate. She lived and breathed her major. Every night she would come to work in tears because of a very harsh professor. She would describe her projects to me and in these descriptions, I found love. I couldn’t help but crave to do the homework she was assigned. It was a magical feeling and the perfect solution for the confused twenty-year-old me.

I looked through my college catalog and found this program. I had overlooked it because I didn’t now what it was, I didn’t know what type of jobs it landed. Right after I had made this discovery the time for picking the next semester’s classes had approached. With all the joy I had, I signed up for the beginning classes to graphic design. I explored all types of art; 3D, 2D, the history. I enjoyed my work and expanded it. I now build/refurnish all of my furniture. I have created all of the artwork in my home and continue to do so outside class. Winter and Summer breaks are time for my own projects.

As for my minor, it is required that I have one. It originally started out as Photography. Mostly because I had such a wonderful professor, but he soon retired and couldn’t finish my classes with him. The new professor had moved things around and I won’t be able to finish the program, nor do I care to with all that is new. So I changed my minor to Political Science. It’s a huge interest, and it feels right.

I finally feel like I know where my life is going. I know what I want to do and who I want to be. It fascinates me how everything fell into place. I look forward to my life as a designer.artist and all that I am to create. I hope you all find your calling and the relief/happiness that it brings!

Should I stay or Should I go?

Right now I have the opportunity to stay in the college town for another year or simply just another semester. This summer I will be flying across the country to do an internship in California. After that I only have two on-campus classes I have to take. Should I choose to, I can take the rest of my classes online while working/living somewhere that is not here. The plan was to do just that while living in Florida. It would be a start on a life away from where I am now, which is already a start on a new life away from where I was.

The problem with the plan is I have a good friend that is currently living with her brother and his girlfriend. She’s a good friend, one I expect to keep for life. Our leases expire around the same time and we were looking at apartments together. While I would love to be her roommate, I don’t want to stay here any longer than I have to, mostly because my job stresses me out beyond all measures.

So, any advice? Stay in this tiny college town until I graduate, but while living with an awesome roommate? Or get out, find a job in Florida, and an apartment on the beach? I still haven’t made up my mind yet, but I know in time I’ll know.

Catch Up!

I have neglected my blog since June, forgive me, it was a long semester. I had a semester full of major, minor, and elective classes that took control of my life, but I quite enjoyed it. It was nice to come out alive. Originally I was going for my Bachelors in Fine Art but, the head of my department talked my into graphic design and I have absolutely fallen in love. How did I not not know about this program earlier?

I’m enjoying my major and looking forward to another hardcore semester of graphic design classes. I only have two more of these hardcore semesters and one soft semester before I flip my tassel and throw up my cap again. To be completely honest, I never wanted to go to college. It was never in my future, but upon high school graduation my grandfather made it very clear that he wanted me to go, I was the first in my entire family to graduate high school and the first on my dads side to attend college. I was already getting bored of not spending countless hours in a classroom anyways. So I applied for college about a month before starting. And how happy am I that I did. I have not only made amazing grades at my university, but I have enjoyed it, not the college experience part, I’m not the partying type, but learning and the honor of fantastic grades; this part I have quite enjoyed. During your freshman and sophomore years in college it is hard to imagine that one day you will have the joy of being paid doing something you love, of not having a job you call work. But this time next year I will, and it is frighteningly exciting. 

Another update, recently my mother scored a job in California, just outside of Los Angeles. She has already put her current house up for sale and my family will be moving across the country January the 6th. While I am happy for her, I am also quite frightened. While she has previously lived in New York, and other places, she has never really done so on her own and I am more worried of her living in such a foreign area to us then I am living alone in Alabama. I’ve been researching a decent town for her to live in, but her options either have horrible crime rate and poor education for my sister, or bizarrely expensive housing. I understand she would like to get out of Alabama after living here for about twenty years, but I’m afraid of her living so far away.

As for me, I have the option to leave my small college town this time next year, and I plan on it, but she would like me to pack my bags and move out there with her and I’m thinking that is just not the life for me. Don’t get me wrong, I have been to Los Angeles, but as lovely as it is, it is not somewhere I would ever want to live. I feel my place is in the South. This time next year I hope to move to Mobile, or somewhere around Gulf Shores. I know how it sounds too, the young Twenty-two year old moving to the beach? Yes, that is exactly what I want. I grew up poor in north Alabama, I saw three different oceans with different opportunities. The college I attend is a decent 1 1/2 – 2 hours away from the beach, I go often and am completely in love. I’m sorry, but I cannot resist. If I can get a job there, I’m taking it. I have been dodging hurricanes all of my life, I can handle that aspect. I have been extremely responsible with handling my finances, taking care of myself, and having good judgement, I’ll be fine. It is almost time for this bird to fly!