Story Time: Life After College

Hey, so this story time post is going to be lengthy, personal, and reflective, but my only ask of you is that you bear with me and you grab yourself a snack because you’ll be here a while 🙂

So, in order to get to present day, we need to take a walk down memory lane…

Let’s start with college, because if I’m going to be honest, high school didn’t teach me much other then, girls aren’t nice, boys suck, and life becomes much better after graduation. 

Okay, so here we are. Freshman year of college. I entered school ‘Undecided” meaning I have zero idea what I wanted to do with my life. Before I went to college, I toyed with the idea of going to cosmetology school because makeup is my passion, not necessarily doing it on people, but just applying it to myself, trying out products, learning about new products, etc. But, becoming a makeup artist was an idea that quickly faded when I realized I didn’t want to miss out on the “college experience.”

Let’s pause for a second. I in no way, shape or form, regret my decision to go to college, but I do wish it was under different circumstances. I wish that I took a year off. I wish I traveled, or worked and saved money. I wish that I went to a local community college nearby and saved myself the stress of paying off student loans now. If you don’t know what you want to do or you don’t feel like college is right for you, take some time off. Honestly, what is the rush? Why are we in such a rush to finish high school, go to college, finish college, and then get a job. Where is the fun in that? We have the rest of our lives to work everyday, so we might as well live while we are young, right?

I began school as an “undecided” student, which means that I take the normal general education requirements until my second year when I have to declare a major. I chose Communication Studies because what I realized about myself in those two years is that I enjoy learning about people and behaviors, and I enjoy learning about patterns of communication. I also learned that I suck at taking tests and couldn’t wait to get through every math requirement that I needed. I have always preferred the “soft” sciences over the “hard” ones, so choosing Communication Studies as my major seemed like a no brainer.

Throughout my time as a Communication Studies major, I came to another point in my college career where I had to make a decision: choosing an area of emphasis. Choosing an area of emphasis means that I must pick between 5 options within Communication Studies to focus my learning. Choosing an emphasis helps to condense the major from being super broad and overwhelming to specific and conquerable. My options included: health communication, social media and technology, integrated communication, interpersonal communication and strategic & organizational communication. When I looked at that list, the most appealing area to me was social media and technology. 

I chose this emphasis because I figured, social media is on the rise so I should be able to get a job when I graduate. Little did I know how difficult finding a job really is but we will get to that.

So, my emphasis is picked and I am entering my 3rd year of college. This is the year that I got my first internship in the field that I envisioned my future career being in. Now, let me tell you, this was the time that I realized social media and technology was not all that it was cracked up to be. When I closed my eyes and envisioned my future I pictured myself in the workforce as a strong, powerful woman with a super cool job in social media for an awesome company and my life would be great. Ha Ha Ha…

This internship was nothing like I hoped for and truthfully this internship made me dislike social media to its core. For whatever reason, I was an average social media user but after this internship I started hating it. At this point in my life, I was nearing the end of my time at college and figured I couldn’t switch my emphasis now, so I was going to see it through. 

Side-note: It is NEVER too late to switch your major into a field that you are truly passionate about!!

In my senior year, I completed another internship and this one was better than the first but it still wasn’t the glamourous social media job I was hoping for. When I picture myself with a social media job I pretty much picture myself as Carrie Bradshaw. I’m a cool city girl with a badass job. Again, this internship was a bust. I was starting to learn that working in social media might not be the path for me. It seemed boring and repetitive when I hoped it was going to be constantly changing and upbeat. 

In the final semester of my senior year, I was introduced to a woman who would later become the person who accepted me into the Master’s program. The story of how I got into the program and how that whole event unfolded is definitely going in a separate story time because it is an interesting one (at least I think so, but I’m biased 😉 ). 

We will skip over life at grad school because thats another time another place, but fast forward to my life post grad. 

After I completed my Masters, the exhausting and stressful search for a job began. This part of my life was spent in sweats with my laptop on my lap and numerous job sites on my browser. Searching for a job is stressful, but searching for a job when you have NO idea what you want to do is just plain miserable. I didn’t even know where to start. I searched everything I could think of, everything I thought I was qualified for, everything I was semi-interested in, everything. I applied to jobs, I got rejected from jobs. I went on phone interviews, I went on Skype interviews. I was putting in all the effort I could and I was getting nothing in return. This time in my life was depressing. I had a lot of blue days. A lot of days when I felt like nothing I did was going to work. I felt like no one saw anything in me and I felt like a failure. I have a Master’s! I thought that would make it easier?? Every job that I got rejected from either went with someone that had more experience or was more qualified. But how in the world can I get experience if someone doesn’t take a chance on me and let me gain experience?!

The job search is a vicious cycle and it can feel never ending, but then one day I got an email. I was invited to attend a group interview. The clouds seemed to separate and it felt like the sun was shining down on me. I went to the group interview, and then I got another email. I was invited to attend a second interview. I thought to myself, this might be it! After the second interview, I anxiously waited to receive another email. A week later, I received my final email. I was invited to go on a one-on-one interview with the store manager. Hallelujah! I left the interview feeling confident in myself and confident that the connection I had with the store manager was good enough to get me a job and sure enough I was right! I received a phone call and I was offered a position!

After several months of constant disappointment, you have no idea how good it felt to have someone see something in me! I’m so thankful for my job at Lululemon and I’m sad that it has to come to an end, but that is life.

Throughout my short-lived time at Lululemon, I believe that I have grown tremendously as a person and as a worker. I broke out of my shell a little bit more AND I started this blog. I strongly believe that if Lululemon did not happen, this blog wouldn’t have either. Now, as I begin the job search yet again, I will approach it with a positive mindset and the belief that the job that I am meant to be at will come to me. 

It can be difficult to remain positive when you receive numerous rejection letters or you keep trying and keep feeling like your failing, but pick yourself back up and get your mind right. I’m writing this, because I personally need this right now. I need to remember that the opportunities that come my way do so for a reason, so be patient. 

I really appreciate you taking the time to read this post and learn about my journey. 

If you are in the Pittsburgh area and know of a company that is hiring, or you want to share your job search journey with me, comment below! I would love to hear about how you ended up at the job that you are at! It might give me some inspiration, or help a fellow reader! 

UPDATE: I have been offered a permanent part-time position with Lululemon! Looks like I won’t have to be looking for a new job anymore! 🙂

See you all on Sunday!

4 Comments

  1. January 16, 2019 / 6:50 pm

    Kendall! Thanks so much for being so real about your college/job journey on your blog. You are definitely not alone. I’m 27 and have had a very interesting career journey as well full of ups and downs. I think adulting and finding what you’re passionate about is so hard and is always changing. My biggest advice is to keep applying for things, keep networking, and most of all – keep believing yourself! You are your own best advocate and one day you will find someone who appreciates you for your drive, grit, and desire to succeed. It’s not easy, but you’ve got this. PS – I am moving cross country and am also on the job hunt and trust me, I totally know what you’re going thru. Best of luck!

    • Kendall
      Author
      January 16, 2019 / 11:20 pm

      Thank you so much for reading, Cassie and thank you for your advice! I am very much an “everything happens for a reason” type of person, so I try and remind myself of that when a certain job doesn’t work out for me. Best of luck to you too!! Moving cross country AND applying to jobs is a lot, but you got this! We both got this!! 🙂

  2. January 18, 2019 / 12:10 pm

    Thank you for sharing this! Life after college wasn’t what I anticipated and I’ve come to realize that adulthood in general isn’t what I always dreamed of when I was younger. 🙂

    • Kendall
      Author
      January 19, 2019 / 4:35 pm

      Thank you for reading!! Yeah I’m just taking life day by day and trying to take advantage of any opportunities that come my way!!

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