Following Your Passion After Graduation

I’m sitting here with just a few short weeks before my graduation and I’m still asking myself, what do I want to do with my life? I thought I’d figure it out at this point and have a job lined up after graduation.

It seems like just yesterday I was visiting New York City while in middle school and thought I knew right then and there I wanted to be a journalist, and to live and work there. I had the opportunity to do just that after I graduate, but now I’m turning it down.

A few months ago I reconsidered that dream of mine. I decided I didn’t want a job in journalism…and I cringe at the idea of it as I write this. I see the people that work in that field and they love and hate their job at the same time.

I would rather love it all.

I thought I wasted all of my college years, but I didn’t. I feel like I’m saving myself from the time I would be miserable with a job I don’t love.

At Thanksgiving I had to answer the “what are you going to do after graduation?” from all of my relatives. I was embarrassed at first to tell them that I had absolutely no idea what I was going to do. I told them I want to do something that makes me happy.

My parents have always told me to find a job in something I love and I’ll never have to work a day in my life. I want to open my own business. That will make me happy. I will be able to apply my entrepreneurial skills and still be able to use what I learned in journalism to promote myself and my business.

With the careers we choose, we shouldn’t care about the pay we get, but rather, be able to know that we can look forward to waking up every day and want to go to work, not dread it.

If you’re in my position, don’t worry yet. You will figure it out. Just think about what you are passionate about and go from there.

In our upcoming fall issue of Orange & Blue Magazine, we will tell you a story of a former engineer that traded his job for something he loved.

Finding Yourself After You Lost Someone

By Monica Andrade

Several people told me that after a break-up it would only take half the length of the relationship to get over the person. They were wrong. I found myself still missing my ex almost to about a year after our ten-month relationship ended. I occasionally find myself missing him even to this day. But it was through the pain that I was able to figure out who I was and what I deserved.

It started off innocently enough. I first met Ethan* at a party my freshman year of college. I thought he was cute, but didn’t think anything else of it. I continued to run into him at the parties his fraternity held, and he even tried to make a move on me a few times. I turned him down each time though because I heard he was a player so I didn’t want to get sucked into his charms.

Well, comes sophomore year, and I crushed on this guy I met during homecoming week. We spent all week hanging out, but he became standoffish toward the end of the week. Turns out his “little brother” in his fraternity who I was once involved with still liked me and didn’t feel comfortable about us. I was so upset he was ignoring me that on game day I decided to head over to Ethan’s fraternity and flirt with him. I figured that if I couldn’t get the guy I really wanted, I might as well go for the one I knew was interested in me.

So we kissed that day. It was nothing major, but soon enough I began hanging out with him every day for two weeks. After those two weeks, Ethan and I became “exclusive,” and then a week later we were officially dating. He was my first boyfriend so I was beyond excited about our relationship. I couldn’t believe that I had found someone who I connected with so easily and had changed his ways for me. Everyone was completely shocked when they found out that Ethan actually settled down. He told me the only girlfriend he ever had before me was in his freshman year of high school.

Everything went well for four months until he broke up with me. His reasoning? He couldn’t think of a concrete explanation other for than “it just feels like something is missing.” Less than 24 hours later, he asked if I could take him back. So I did. I thought he just had cold feet for a while and was just being a stupid boy. But five months later, he broke up with me again…for the same reason. He felt as if we weren’t compatible enough and that other people would suit us better.

To say I was heartbroken was an understatement. I remember asking Ethan during the breakup if he ever saw himself marrying me. He said “Sometimes,” and then asked me. I said, “All the time.” That first week stung like no other. I preoccupied myself with schoolwork and friends, but it felt as if a piece of me was missing. I just remember feeling completely lost. I didn’t know what to do with myself.

It was only until I began to let go of the idea I held onto of us getting back together that I was able to focus on myself again. It was definitely a long and confusing process though. Sometimes I would call him, tell him I missed him and vice versa. It went on for months until one day I realized I was okay with just being alone. If it weren’t for the amazing friends I had, I would have never been able to finally let him go. And I started to dedicate all the free time I had to doing activities I loved, like writing and painting. I also listened to Taylor Swift’s songs nonstop. One lyric that really stood out to me was in her song, I Knew You Were Trouble, when she said, “I think that the worst part of it all wasn’t losing him. It was losing me.” I had become so consumed with him that I completely lost myself.

But I learned that my self-worth isn’t tied to a guy. I learned that no matter what, I always had myself to lean on. Being alone isn’t the same as being lonely. I’m able to do what I want because I know myself now. I don’t look to the approval of my ex anymore like I used to. It was through my ultimate low that I became stronger than ever. As Swift said, “She lost him, but she found herself, and somehow that was everything.”

How To Be Productive

During this semester and during my collegiate experience, I’ve had to balance classes, working a restaurant job on the weekends, visiting family hundreds of miles away, finding time to do laundry, grocery shop, make it to the gym and eat well. All while trying not to break out, bite my nails, or stress about how soon after college I’ll have a “real” job.

College as a whole has been a huge self-discovery project. But through all of the late-night study sessions, breakups, football games and hungover mornings, we all have to find the energy to face the day. So here are some tips and tricks that I’ve used throughout college to meet deadlines and get a jumpstart on my own productivity.

  • Don’t wait to start

This is the hardest part, but whatever it is, just don’t wait. Whether it’s going to the gym or writing a paper, the sooner you get started, the sooner you’ll finish.

  • Wake up an hour earlier

Everyone loves a lazy morning. I personally can’t do anything until I’ve had my coffee, skimmed Twitter and read a few articles. But the sooner I get to wake up and do this, the sooner I can start my day.

  • Make a short to-do list

I used to wake up and make a super long to-do list, and by the end of the day I would be beating myself up for not getting halfway through my list of 25 things to do. Every day, write down only three things you want to get done that day. By keeping your lists short, it keeps things organized and attainable in your mind. Once you’ve made your list, do the hardest thing first. The rest of your day will seem so much easier once you’ve knocked out the big things. And if you end up doing more, yay!

  • Put your phone on airplane mode

Or just turn it off. There are so many apps and texts aiming to grab your attention. Don’t let them. Buckle down and focus on the task in front of you. If you’re like me and like to take Facebook breaks, you can also try installing a plug-in to your browser that will block these sites for as long as you like.

  • Set aside planning time

I know it may seem excessive to schedule a time to plan ahead, but trust me it is worth it. Sunday night is usually the best time for me to do this. Right after a relaxing weekend, I have to mentally prepare for the week ahead. This isn’t the time to make a to-do list, but a time to write down events you have committed to attending, and a time to set clear goals for the week. Whether that means sticking to a gym routine or planning to call your mom. For this, Apple’s calendar app is my best friend.

  • Routines, routines, routines

If productivity is your goal or you really don’t have a choice, you have to follow a routine. Wake up at the same time every day, make a to-do list, and plan your week before it starts.

Remember that when you get bogged down by all the things you have to do, just go back to the first tip here and don’t wait to start.