Well, I guess I should start this off by apologizing for sort of abandoning this blog for the last few months. However, my last semester of college was so busy, great and just overwhelming for the most part so I needed to focus more on myself, work, classwork and trying to stay sane. So, with that being said, I’ve graduated! After being out of school for almost three months now, I’ve started to realize things and change some habits because well, school is no more! (At least for me – I’m not interested in getting my Masters right now)

  1. Set Small Goals
    It’s going to be really easy to feel like you’re not really working towards something if you’ve graduated and don’t have a full time job within the field you just studied for the last four or five years. What I’ve begun to do is set a few slightly larger goals than my yearly ones, and break those down into smaller goals. For instance, I wanted to be hired full time somewhere by the end of August 2018. So, I’ve set myself weekly goals of how many jobs to apply to that certain week. I can keep track of who exactly I applied to and when, and if I heard any information back from them and when. It’s also important to not just dwell on work your entire time, and focus on yourself. I’ve tried to start being at least a little bit more active because the last time I exercised was probably in high school gym class. Because I’m not really working towards some kind of fitness goal or anything like that, I just keep track of whatever physical activity I did 5/7 days of the week whether it be walking the dogs, yoga, quick mini workout, run, etc. It’ll be satisfying to see your past progress and what you’ve accomplished so far!

  2. Pick Up New Hobbies / Occupy Yourself
    Another thing I’ve realized is that now….I don’t have homework. Once I get home from work for the day, I’m done. No reading, essay drafting, texting group members to finish their part already, nada. Nothing. I started watching The Office for the first time all the way through – finished that. I watched The Staircase, Safe, and Evil Genius (all on Netflix & soooo good!!!). Now I’m stuck, and had to think of something other than planning to occupy my time because there’s only so much you can do in a compact passion planner for a weekly spread! I’ve gone to the public library, in hopes of picking up reading once again. More recently, I stopped at Michael’s and grabbed a watercolor sketchbook that I plan to use as an art journal and take with me everywhere! While I’m not a good artist, it helps me when I’m anxious and worried about random things I most likely can’t control anyway. Start a workout routine, do something different each day you normally wouldn’t do, just try something different you’re not used to. Take a new way home, even. I finally stopped at this little corner farmer market just down the street from me and it’s become my new favorite place! Cucumber for 75 cents, plants, flowers and fresh herbs in the pots, a super cute fat cat that’s always there, fresh blueberries and black raspberries, asparagus – everything! And it’s all so cheap and I know it’s supporting that local farmer / family! I have driven by this place for years now and never stopped, until one day I did and tried something new!

  3. Trust Your Gut

Something I’ve always lived by and taken seriously is my gut feeling. Time and time again I’ve proven myself right/wrong because I did/didn’t listen to my gut feeling. Well, once again I should have listened to that gut feeling. As I’m sure some of you saw, I was recently hired for a full-time position with what I thought was an advertising/promotional firm for big fortune 500 companies. They described the position to me as a training program for a few months, where I would then be promoted along the way, eventually reaching an Account Manager role, making 70-$80,000 a year. They travel frequently across the country; send team members to the Dominican Republic and meet up for team meetings / building pretty frequently. Seems allllmost too good to be true, right? Yeah. Well. It was.

Long story short: this company completely and 100% scammed me from the beginning. I’m sure you’ve heard stories about places that just want to find fresh college grads who are desperate, looking for work after graduation and are ready to commit everything they have to a job, especially one that has perks like this mentioned! I had a weird feeling about this place since my very first interview at their main office. I wasn’t sure why, but I just did. And I had kept telling my boyfriend, and my mom, that I just had an off feeling about the place for some reason but I was going to keep going through with it since it was a foot in the door somewhere.

So I go to interview number two, and was told about the decent salary after all the training, and the ‘president’ (this is in quotes because you’ll see later…oh it gets juicy y’all so keep reading!) who interviewed me the first time, met me again at a Sam’s Club (huge wholesaler like Bj’s, Costco, etc.) for the next phase of the interview. All is going normal and she walking me through the store, until we reach a set up of a girl handing out samples of this like, vitamin / fruit protein juice. All I remember was that it was your entire serving of fruit for the day in like one tablespoon of this protein juice or something. Whatever. Anyway, we get there and she’s telling me about the product, and like cool! I thought this was something we’d be doing PROMOTIONS and ADVERTISING for. K, keep that in mind. She walks me back up front and we sit down and finish the interview. She says they’ll call me tomorrow (that day being a Wednesday) and let me know if I got an offer or not. Awesome.

Fast forward and they call me saying I was one of six people out of 60 people interviewed they brought back. (I’ve never been told this before after an interview, why share the number of applicants? Idk). They offer me a position as a junior account executive and I accepted. They ask me to go to Orientation the next day, and I agree. ‘Orientation’ ended up me back talking to the ‘president’ for 15 minutes and signing some paperwork – electronically. This was when I found out I was going to be making minimum wage plus only commission. I wasn’t comfortable with this and knew this wasn’t what I was looking for, but it got worse. I still couldn’t really tell what I would be doing. I called my mom about the whole minimum wage plus commission and that’s when we both started being very weary. They have me start work that following Tuesday, so earlier this week.

I got a call on Monday from a random out of state number and randomly decided to answer. This guy answered, asked for me and said he was with the company and wanted me to meet him at a Chick-Fil-A on the corner to go over how m first day would go. Huge red flag. My boyfriend, his mom and my mom were all basically creeped out, as was I. If he was with the firm, why couldn’t we do this in the office or office lobby? (It was a huge office building, tons of space…). So, anyway, I go there. This guy was still not up front about everything and basically once I got in the office in our ‘meeting’ that’s when I realized what I had REALLY signed up for.

We were selling random products at Sam’s Club. I would be making minimum wage, and my paycheck would basically only be based off of what I sold. And if I was working with someone, my commission was split with them. I was taught ‘the five steps to a conversation’ my first 20 minutes. This was a straight up sales position. Absolutely nothing marketing or advertising related. I was so mad that I wasted my time with this place, and that they lied and scammed me.

However, I was glad I caught the ‘president’’s name before I left. Oh, I quit yesterday morning (happy fourth of july!!!!) by the way. Anyway, I got her full name and googled it, and look at the first link that came up! My ‘president’ got cited for unethical business practices! If you read the entire report from ripoff report, it gives you every single detail as to what I just went through the last four weeks of my life. I wouldn’t even be making GAS MONEY back because this place is so far from home!

I’m sharing this because I want everyone to know they’re OUT THERE and are looking for fresh and excited college grads! Don’t get your time wasted like I did, and just keep on applying to jobs. If you are going through the interview process, be very observant of the surroundings, how people are acting, everything! Another odd thing I noticed was how the receptionist was ALWAYS calling people for interviews whenever I was in the office. And my meeting was about an hour and a half on Tuesday. Another huge red flag!

But anyway, be weary, friends! I’ve been down in the dumps recently since I feel so dumb and wasted my time with something when I should have listened to my gut feeling in the first place! That being said, when you know you’re in the right workplace, you know immediately. Like my internship, which I absolutely adored! Anyway, hope everyone enjoyed my little mishap story and had a good fourth! Cheers!

As many of you know, I’m finally graduating college this month. I’m the first in my actual family to receive and degree, and only the SECOND person in my ENTIRE family on both sides to ever receive a degree. Being a first-generation student supporting themselves financially through school came with its struggles within and of itself, but I made it work! The past five years of my life have been a complete whirlwind, with me thinking “there’s now way this can really be happening half the time”, that’s how shocked I was at all I was being thrown at and dealing with while being a full-time student. With that being said, let’s dive right in…

Your friends freshman year will not be your forever friends

If you’re living on campus in a dorm/residence hall freshman year, basically everyone expects to become best friends with everyone they’re living around. While sometimes this does happen and you end up making nice, long-term friends from freshman year, it’s important and VITAL that you do not let these people dictate your future college career. I became really close with people who lived on my residence hall floor. If we weren’t in our classes, we were either at the dining halls together, hanging out in someone’s dorm room or just finding absolutely anything to do with one another for the most part. We hung out over winter and spring break, finding any possible way to meet up with one another or as a group when we weren’t all on campus in our dorm. They really were my best friends at the time! However, despite how much time we all spent together, all good things come to an end. Even though for a time I thought I would be lifelong friends with some of these people, things happened and I don’t even want anything to do with several of those people now. * shrug * People change in ways you could have never imagined and I would have never expected that freshman or even sophomore year, but it’s always important to do what’s best for yourself, regardless of what anyone else thinks, says or does.

Moral of story #1: The people you meet in your dorms may or may not become your good friends. If not, that’s totally fine! Meet people through clubs, classes, spots, etc.! And if they do, ensure it’s a healthy friendship and the second you feel like it’s not, don’t feel bad about letting them go.

Don’t be in a rush to move off-campus

I had a lease signed for my own apartment with two other girls before the spring semester of my freshman year even ended. I did this because I knew there was no way I would be able to stay sane living back at home during the summer, I couldn’t commute from home to school if I did go back there since I didn’t have a car, I didn’t get the RA position I was hoping for nor did I get offered a position for the on-campus summer job I applied for. Needless to say, I was freaking out. So, I did what I thought was best at the time and my only option and got this apartment I would be paying for completely myself. Because I decided to do this, I had to work at least two jobs the entire time I was in school, while working three the majority of the time. I became really depressed, my anxiety became worse than ever before, my grades started slipping and I was into some really unhealthy habits due to the lax environment of living in your own apartment. If your parents offer to help you out with rent and utilities, that’s awesome! But I stress to everyone, do NOT rush into an apartment and work yourself to death while you’re in school. There are other options. I could have lived on campus another year, but I didn’t want to run the chances of getting a random roommate I would have issues with. I probably should have just taken my chances, but nevertheless, I wanted an apartment so I got an apartment. And I’ve learned my lesson a thousand times over!
Moral of story #2: If you can, do not rush into living off-campus if you think your grades and mental health may be sacrificed.

Your mental health is most important

I struggled with my mental health years before college. I was very depressed and anxious, and was 100% ready to go somewhere new, meet new people and start a new chapter of my life. Freshman year I was very anxious at times and the amount of alcohol I was drinking (which was a lot, if we’re being honest here) did not help the situation whatsoever. Flash forward to sophomore year when I was living off campus and paying for my own cell phone, rent and utilities, school necessities and food. So, basically everything. Because of this, I had to work 50+ hours a week, let my grades drop and let my mental health deteriorate more and more everyday. As soon as I would get to my apartment at night from work I would shut myself in my room and be in bed, anxious, until the next morning when I had to get up and do it all over again. I was in a terrible place and sought the help of my school’s counseling center. While that didn’t really go well and ended up with them telling me that I needed further help they couldn’t offer, I don’t regret seeking the initial help from someone else. After this I believe I moved elsewhere, and ended up feeling a bit better but was still very anxious. Eventually I was able to move somewhere where I didn’t need to pay rent, saving me from most of the stress I was dealing with. Once this happened, I started finding healthier ways of coping, figured out good medication from my doctor and have been doing better and better. If you feel your mental health slipping or feeling different about yourself, it happens. Everyone is stressed during college and more and more kids are dealing with anxiety now, too. While school counseling centers may be better elsewhere, it’s always a good idea to seek out their assistance if you’re at school and are looking for someone to talk to and possibly help you.

Moral of story #3: You can’t pour from an empty cup.

I have a lot of different emotions and feelings about graduating, but if you’re currently there and are having a tough time: it’ll get better. It may not be until a year from now but it’s so important to just keep on trucking because before you know it it’ll be your last semester and you’ll be outta there!