Entrance Into the Real World
There I was, staring graduation right in the face with mixed feelings of excitement, anticipation and downright fear. That was last May and at that point I didn’t have any job offers and for the first time in my life, I didn’t have a plan. But surprisingly, I was calm. It seemed pretty normal not to have a job lined up right after graduation; at least most of my friends didn’t either.
However, this is a little surprising for me because as I stated before I’ve always had a plan. Ever since I was 10-years-old I knew exactly what I wanted to do and how I was going to do it. You could call me driven or even a workaholic.
Here are some things you should know about me and how I got to where I am today. I’m 22 years old and I’ve been in the working world for about 10 months now.
I grew up in a small Midwestern town. A town that’s so small, you could almost call it a village. That’s right, I was a farm girl. We may not have had a lot of things in my hometown. Actually, one grocery store, a gas station and a handful of restaurants were about all we had.
But there’s one thing this small town did have – my dad. He’s the one who started it all and got me to where I am today and he doesn’t even know it.
I was an ambitious little tyke and at about the age of 3 I started bugging him to teach me how to read. I wanted to learn and gosh darn it, I wanted to do it now. (Patience is something I have yet to master).
So my dad did what his little girl wanted, he taught me to read. It wasn’t long before I consumed every book I could get my hands on and from there my love of words spread like wild flower.
It was around the time I was in the fourth grade that I realized I wanted to write, either as a novelist or a journalist. That’s when I made my first life plan and it went a little something like this: I will work hard, get into a good college, and soon I’ll be doing what I love.
I went on to high school and set my plans in motion to get into a good college. Towards graduation my resume looked a little something like this: I was a varsity athlete in four sports all four years, I held the same job since before it was even legal for me to work, I volunteered my time as a Big in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program, my G.P.A. was around a 3.5 and not only was I a part of the National Honor Society, I was the president. (I know what you’re thinking and you’re right, I didn’t sleep, I survived on about four hours of sleep a night).
After four years of hard work I did indeed get into the college I wanted. There was only one I had my mind set on and it’s because it had a great journalism program which is what I had decided on at that point.
Unfortunately for me it cost about $34,000 per year and my scholarships only covered about $20,000. So I did what most college students do and I took out loans. But that’s a topic for another day.
During college I decided against being an athlete because I wanted to dedicate my time to doing what I can to advance my career. For the first year I was a lowly reporter for my college’s newspaper but it was enough in addition to the two other jobs I was working and the intramurals I just couldn’t bear to part with.
But it didn’t take me long to get myself a larger role.
By the time I was a sophomore I was heading the paper as the managing editor and kept that position for three years. It’s a good thing I had practice in surviving on no sleep.
I knew that getting a good job after graduation would take more than just running the newspaper. So by the time May rolled around I had two internships under my belt – one was at a magazine in England that I did over the summer after my sophomore year and the other was working for a hometown non-profit organization in their media department for two years.
Along the way, I earned myself a number of awards and accolades to put on my resume as well as some great recommendations.
Fast forward to graduation and after all that hard work I had put in since I was a tiny little munchkin and there I was without a clue as to where I was going to from there.
Now the story does have a happy ending – sort of.
I did find a job as a reporter about a month after graduation but I can’t say it’s been easy. I’m barely keeping my head above water but all I can say is at least I’m out here doing it on my own.