One Year After Graduating College| All of My Thoughts

Greetings Daizies,

About a week ago I was laying in bed and thought “wow it’s been a long time since I’ve been in class” and then realized it was almost one full year since I finished school. March 12, 2018 was my last final of undergrad. I think this past year went by in a whirlwind but at the same time it feels like the year was more like 30 months then 12. So much has happened. And I have a whole new life now.

What I Like the Most

The best thing about being done with school is… being done with school. I think having a full time job is way better than when I was in college because there’s a feeling of security and less stress. In school, I often had the stress of not knowing if I would even pass a class even with putting in the most effort I could. And this cycle repeated every…single…quarter for 4 years!

Halfway through my first rotation I can say my work environment and responsibilities are nothing like school. I’m not being formally tested and graded on what I remember from a course and feeling like my whole future depended on it. I have gotten the hang of my role and the nervousness can come when I have a presentation coming up or the ambiguity of a new project. Overall I like my job and really like the balance of my personal and work life. I get tired often though, especially around 2pm when I just want to go home and sleep. It’s not really due to me feeling like I’m bored, but at the end of the day it is work lol. The biggest change I’ve had to get used to is simply working full-time. As a student, I worked full-time only for an internship period of 2 months and it was always followed by a study abroad trip. Now, when one week is done the weekend is here and then it ends and I think to myself “alright back to work again…this is what we’re doing now? This is the routine?” With school there are breaks you’re counting down to, you know an end is coming. With work it’s like “hmmm, this is just gonna keep on going and going?” There is no end to it. The breaks in sight come from trips I plan. I have a work culture where I can take vacation days throughout the year and I’m looking forward to a week off next month hooray!

Financial security is the biggest change for me that I am blessed to have. I’m able to live comfortably and be able to do things I enjoy like travel and buy essential oils lol. But this one piece, is a huge relief.

My tip for future grads is to start acting on your hobbies and interests while in school so it’s easier to build on them once you start working full-time. Don’t let being a student define you.Graduating college is the most monumental goal ever and once that’s done you may feel like “now what?” or that you need a new goal. So many years have been riding on accomplishing this ONE thing. That’s probably where my thoughts of uneasiness about routine come from, the “is this my life?” type of thoughts that happen once the weekend ends. Introducing new fun things have helped me these last few months so I don’t feel like it’s just work work work and living for the weekend. Small interesting goals are fun. Being goal-driven can’t just be turned off once you finish college. I try to do activities after work that involve some sort of ambition like going to the gym and taking challenging classes. Launching a new business, Dai of Social, was also no small thing this year. I even had my first branding workshop this week which made me feel so accomplished and happy my client was happy.

Staying in touch with friends and making new ones is another aspect of graduating. Yes I do miss having a handful of girlfriends around me that can go with me to on campus events or to go out with. It often does take days or weeks in advance to plan a night out or just to hang out. This can be difficult but it’s just the reality of things when people move away or are in different parts of the city. I’d probably be making more friends if I had moved to a new city and knew absolutely no one. I have a lot of new acquaintances but not necessarily in the friend part yet but making progress with getting to know people and seeing if we vibe well. I don’t force anything. I make an effort to be social but I don’t overextend myself or try to be like anyone else.

I of course enjoy my alone time. I explore the areas around me and have gotten quite used to my new neighborhood. I love being able to do what I want to do and when I want to do it. My actions aren’t confined to what finals I have coming up or what topic I need to study more on. I can take a night in and watch tv and the next day can go hang out with a friend. I’ve always been a person that does what feels right with my spirit. So I’ve found a good balance with being social and being by myself.

Things I Miss About College

One night I thought to myself ” was college really the most fun I’ll ever have?” There were some nights for the books where everyone would go out to the same place and dance all night. I haven’t had a night like that in a while or as much. Maybe there will be more of that when it gets warmer but that’s one thing that’s been different with life after college, very little functions and going out.

I miss the *option* of going to class or being able to not go to work lol. My classes started at 10:30am, and it was up to me if I wanted to go. Now I wake up around 7:20 am every single day and it never feels like I get enough sleep. Last year if I felt I didn’t get enough sleep or I knew I wasn’t going to be in bed on time, I would simply take a “personal day” from class. There’s none of that now and that takes some mental strength to accept that you are an adult and these are real adult responsibilities.

I also miss being around black people in spaces and events that were in close proximity. There was the IC at school, for students of color, all of my roommates, the undergrad clubs for business school, and so many functions I could go to when I had the time. Now those are few, far, and between outside of school. I’m finding more events on Facebook for black women now and it just requires a little more effort and research when finding these spaces but I think it’s worth it.

More time for hobbies

I’ve tried a lot of new ideas recently. Now I am at a point where I just want to experience life and be inspired. This year my motto was to be shameless and act on any and every idea I think of. But there’s also beauty and importance of being still. Listening to myself. Living. And enjoying. I think that’s where my next amazing idea or goal will come from. It’s okay to not have a million things on your to do list. And I’ve changed my mind about what interests me and that too is okay. I just want to do what I find interesting and build on those interests.

Each chapter in life has lessons and amazing memories that only happen in those chapters. When I think of freshman year, would I want to go back? Absolutely not. It was rough trying to pass my prerequisites but then I can always remember my first spring quarter on campus and the hilarious weeks of events and memories. Same with the rest of the years of college, oh yes it was so much work, but each year had something unique and special. So even now as I’m new into my career and a young adult, there are things I miss and things I’m getting used to, but there’s something special about this chapter too. And I want to be present and enjoy those moments as well.

As always,

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“Oh you’re only *insert young age* you don’t need to worry about it” and other phrases GROWN people say

“You’re too young to worry about that”

“When I was your age I thought I knew everything too”

“Just wait until you’re my age, you’ll see”

I kinda roll my eyes when I hear these phrases. I know it’s meant with good intentions…but helloooo every problem DOES seem like a crisis as a neo-adult. I listen to a lot of podcasts and all of them are hosted by black men and women in their early-mid thirties. Their perspectives are often eye opening and reassuring. a recent episode titled “Real Love”

I was listening to my favorite podcast, The Read, a few weeks ago in an episode titled “Real Love ft. The Ellises”, when there was a letter that a 23 year old girl wrote in for lookin for advice. She was so sad about a relationship about to end and she was scared she’d be alone forever once it ended. While they gave pretty solid advice, of course her age seemed to justify her thought process and fears.

“You are twenty…three” Kid Fury said. “ All the things that happened at 23 that I don’t even remember now?” Crissle chimmed in,“I was like oh I’m big grown now…I’m older than 21”. “I can legally drink for 2 years”.

When Crissle said when she was 23 she felt big grown because she was older than 21 I felt personally called out and attacked lol. I too, feel big grown at a fresh 23 and feel “mature” because I’ve been legally able to drink for 2 years. Well that sat me all the way down lol. h


“From 15-20 you think you know everything
From 20-25 you KNOW you know everything
25-30 you realize sh*t I didn’t know wtf I was doing
Then you spend your 30s tryna fix all the things you were doing in your 20s” – Devale Ellis

Question to the 30 somethings and older

Being in your 30s seems hyped up. Lots of people talk about it being a golden decade and clarity blah blah blah. Only time I doubt that is when I watch This is Us and Jack and Becca look hella stressed with triplets. But anyways, I write this so maybe when I am in my 30s I will look back and laugh and calm myself down for whatever it is that I’m stressed about then. BUT when I hear those things from those slightly older than me by a decade or so, sometimes it can be frustrating because it can truly feel like the world is crashing on down with my 23 year old problems. How can y’all be so sure that it’s just a lesson to learn and that I’ll get over it? What if it DOESN’T work out? Don’t you know that it feels like…a really big deal?

Then I think maybe y’all are right

I don’t even think there’s really an age where you do become “grown”. I took a second to think about the chapter in life before my 20s and think of things in a different perspective. In 7 years I’ll be 30, 7 years ago I was 16. When I thought of it this way NOW I could see why people older say the things they do. When I was 16 I was so stressed out to literal TEARS about deciding whether or not to do running start, college credit while in high school, or just do AP courses. I made a whole pros and cons list, cried, and had my heart beating fast and all anxious about how much I would be missing out if I took all my classes at community college because junior year was going to be the best year ever. I giggle about this now because it was…A REALLY BIG DEAL at the time. And now, I couldn’t tell you where more than 3 people from high school are right now and I worrying about missing out on high school was the least of my problems. Getting that college credit ultimately helped me apply to my major earlier, have junior status to apply for my first study abroad program freshman year, which helped me fit 3 study abroad programs all into my college experience, and study 2 concentrations while graduating in 3.5 years.

It mattered at the time but 7 years later my biggest decision is something I don’t even think about and something that worked out in the long-run.

Woo chile the wisdom that my twenties have bestowed upon me …jk. But forreal, I guess I kind of do see the point in what’s being said to me now. I WISH my problems were as simple as deciding if I want to take college credit or not sometimes. But how I dealt with things in my late teens until now have provided me with learning opportunities and experiences about how to make great decisions.

So I get it I guess

Maybe I’m not grown GROWN but I’m…grown-ish? There’s so many firsts happening in your early twenties. I know I’ll come out on the other side just as I have so many times in my life so far.

God bless these 20 somethings.