Tag Archives: College

Protect Your Feelings

3 Jan

Protect Your Feelings Photo

Hello wonderful people. I know, I know I’ve fallen off the face of the earth. Truth be told I stepped on a pile of clothes in my room and got sucked into a vortex of college stuff, sweatpants, flats, club stilettos, normal stilettos, professionalish stilettos, church stilettos, wedges, college T-shirts, button downs, old textbooks, my computer, 50 shopping bags (yes I know I have a shopping problem), tissues full of tears during my unemployed stage, my jailbird Halloween dress, job applications to stores at the mall, my little sister and anything and everything else. Honestly, I think the fact that I was able to find my way out of this cyclone in only a few months is worth an Olympic medal. And I’m not talking bronze or silver or even gold. For this profound accomplishment I deserve a platinum diamond medal. So while I wait for the Olympic judges to send me my medal I’ll share with you one of the most important things I learned while I was fighting for my existence against the vortex.

First of all, I am no longer unemployed. Praise God! But do not worry your pretty little head; for those of my bffls who are still unemployed the struggle will soon end. I promise. And for those of you who are questioning my credibility to still be able to understand the unemployed problems now that I have a job, off with your heads. My post grad struggle has been realer than The Real World, Love and Hip Hop (NY and ATL), the Real Housewives and Keeping up with the Kardashians. Well, maybe not the Kardashians those bitches are crazy. But either way, I have more credibility than Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express combined. Trust me dahling! And to prove it I’m going to share with you my foolproof way to ensure that you don’t end up like Rich Homie Quan feeling some type of way when you do not get a job, again, again and again.

The most important point to understand is that the odds are against you my friend. And not in a fun I accept the challenge kind of way but a seemingly impossible to overcome kind of way. As of June 2013, the unemployment rate was 7.6% and the unemployment rate before the financial crash of 2008 was 4.7%. This past summer the government shut down. Let that sink in for a moment people. The whole entire United States of America’s government shut shit down and not in a good way. Back in the day and by back in the day I mean before this whole deficit thing came into the picture, college graduates could depend on a possible job with the U.S. government if nothing else worked out. Not only are businesses downsizing but the United States Federal freaking government temporarily eliminated everyone. How do people expect us to find jobs when one of the biggest job markets just stopped providing jobs temporarily? See, I told you seemingly impossible.

Second, look at the number of new graduates that entered the job market in May of 2013, 1.8 million to be exact. So now you are competing with all of these other people and many of them were the president of their student council or fraternity, volunteered and have a 2.5 or higher GPA just like you. And as a recent college grad more than likely you (don’t worry I am definitely included in this you) lack experience. And you know what jobs want? That’s right mother fluffing experience.

I know you are amazingly wonderful (obviously because you’re my friend) but there will always be someone better than you. More qualified with more connections and more of that damn experience. So if you remember that and these next few things I can promise you that you will not lose your mind or your confidence as you keep hearing no over and over again.

1. Don’t get excited when you get an interview or a call back from a job you applied for. Yes, you are one step closer to possibly being employed but that call back or interview could also end in a big fat no. I know you are thinking London, did you wake up on the wrong side of the bed this morning? Did someone try to take away your Chanel? No, since I am your real friend I am being brutally honest with you as I wish someone had been with me. Completely honest about how confidence crushing this whole experience is.

2. Apply for anything and everything. As college grads we usually just apply for things that we want to do or are in our desired field which makes sense because it is what we are interested in. However, due to the fact that we lack experience we need to be applying for everything we possibly could get hired for. If you have an art minor start applying for positions at museums and other artsy places. Currently my job is not in my desired field. In fact if you said, London after you graduate you will end up working in the higher education field; I would have told you do not wish such unfabulous things on my life. But now that I am here and have put it in perspective (the perspective being it was the only offer I got) I took it. And it is not the end of the world. Just like if you get an offer that is not in your field it will not be the end of the world either.

3. You have got to check your ego at the graduation stage and eat a nice big juicy piece of humble pie. Personally, I prefer a humble drink maybe a lemon drop that sounds humbling. You know what else is humbling? Tequila! Jose Cuervo will have you sharing your last chicken nugget with the homeless man you walk past every day. Anyway, that “I have a bachelor’s degree I should not have to do that kind of job” will not work if you want to be employed. Swallow your pride and apply for those “just for right now” jobs. Go ahead and apply to places like Bath and Body Works. At least you’ll have some sort of income but more importantly it is their semiannual sale and you will get a great discount on the stuff that’s already on sale! By working there at least you will smell like you have your life together.

4. If you can help it only talk about your unemployment struggles with your friends. You will stress your parents out if you talk to them about how real the struggle is.; and stressed out parents usually equal an annoyed or stressed out child. In their heads they will see their currently 22 year old child at 32 (yes they just aged you ten years unnecessarily and yes that is incredibly rude of them) still living in their home, eating their food, using their electricity, showers and all the other perks of living at home. Also, parents do not understand the 2K13 college grad unemployment struggle and trying to explain it to them is more tiring and frustrating that applying for jobs online. So just continue to tell them you are working on it and they will be the first to know of any changes in your employment status.

5. Don’t compare your success or lack thereof to your friends, acquaintances or other people you know. You have no idea what is in store for you so do NOT waste your energy doubting yourself because you are not on their “level” yet. Besides with filters, Photoshop and social media people can appear to be something that they are not. So there is no need to stress over things that could be false. According to Theodore Roosevelt, “comparison is the thief of joy” and I could not agree more with him. Just live your life for you, focus on your goals, your aspirations; wants and desires; and happiness will come chasing you.

If you follow these guidelines I cannot promise you that you will be employed tomorrow but what I can guarantee is that your feelings and confidence level will be protected and you will not feel like taking shots of Everclear every time you get denied from another opportunity. Remember that the universe and the higher powers that be know what they are doing and when the opportunity is right for you. That is the one you will get. Lesson Learned.

Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/35654668@N08/4312137901/”>neohypofilms</a> 

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Home Is Where The Heart Is

16 Aug

It is officially August. Those July heat waves have subsided, we’ve gotten our summer tan, whether natural or tanning bed induced, we’ve worn the hell out of our short shorts, tank tops and flip flops. We are slowly getting the hang of this adult thing. Until we get on Facebook and we see a bunch of statuses from our friends who have not graduated saying, “Parents irritating the hell out of me. Ready to go back to school. #15 days” “Miss all my friends. Can’t wait to reunite!” and “I miss all of our shenanigans. I’m ready for the back to school gym jam!” As you are mindlessly scrolling through all of the status updates you subconsciously do a self evaluation where you realize that you feel just like your friends despite the fact that many of them are just your Twitter followers and not your friends in real life. It doesn’t matter because right now you are in sync with their emotions. Your parents are also getting on your nerves and you are tired of being at home as well. You want more shenanigans and time for memory making too. But you cannot have many of these things because you’ve graduated. Then it hits you, like the school bus that obliterated Regina George in Mean Girls, for the first time in your existence its August and you are not preparing for school. No more buying books, no more last minute errands, no more preparing to move into a new space. That part of your life is over. And it feels weird. Your entire life all you’ve ever known was school and now that chapter of your life is over­­ –at least for the time being. Luckily for me one of my roommates from my summer ’12 apartment, who was a recent graduate at the time, shared some of her wisdom with me about this hard life that I am now experiencing. Saraphina told me and my other roommate Cassidy, both of us approaching our senior year naïve about how difficult life was about to get for us, that August of 2013 was coming for us and it would make us feel strange. All those damn statuses reminding us about a life we used to have a life that is now gone. Think about it, we have spent four years in a place where we’ve grown, cried, experienced life and made some kickass memories. But now this place we called home is no longer ours. We are now visitors.

At my institution our unofficial theme song is Wagon Wheel by Old Crow Medicine Show. Now I never heard this song before I came to college. But like everyone else when it came on at social events I would sing along and enjoy those three minutes and fifty-six seconds. Never in a million years would I have ever thought I would play that song by choice. Yet here I am one and a half months out of college playing Wagon Wheel on YouTube by choice. I am under no circumstances being forced against my will. Now I know what you’re thinking, one time is not that bad, London. You are overreacting you drama queen. Now let’s not result to name calling but I do appreciate you recognizing that I am royalty. Honestly, I am glad you noticed and I did not have to tell you. This is proof that our friendship will go far.   However, I played the song multiple times not two, three or four but the song was on repeat for like an hour and a half while I filled out job applications screaming out: “rock me mama like a wagon wheel. Heyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy mama rock me” in my Southern voice that my roommate Maria helped me perfect. On another note, this southern voice of mine sounds best when I’m hot then I can say things like it’s hotter in here than three sinners in church. Now I understand that you are questioning where I stand on the royal hierarchy of drama queenness, especially after telling you about my fake southern voice, but I promise you I am not exaggerating. My sudden crave to listen to Old Crow Medicine Show when the only musician I listen to on repeat is Beyoncé should be enough proof to anyone that you will deeply miss that place you once called home.

During my graduation, our class president Hillary said something during her speech that stuck with me (and obviously applies to this post). Hillary referred to the saying home is where your heart is. She went on talking about how our school has captured her heart over the past four years and no matter where in the world she ends up she knows she will always have a home at the place where she entered as a girl and left a woman, our alma mater, because that is where her heart is. So as we deal with the weird feelings that come with not going back to school this fall and watching our college student friends go back to a place that used to be ours, instead of envying them because their weekends still start on Thursday, let’s remember the words of Señorita Hillary, home is where the heart is and as long as your heart is with your alma mater you will always have a home there. Lesson Learned.

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