Tag Archives: post grad problems

A Sarcastic Letter to Young “Adults”

Dear young “adults”,

Feel like a whole lot is happening all at once? Is life starting to become bi-polar? Are you starting to get dizzy from all of the changes?

Good because that’s when you start really experiencing life.

Things happen: old friends disappear and new friends appear, jobs come and go, interests peak and die out.

Cue CIRCLE OF LIFE.

As cheesy as it sounds, it’s so totally and completely true. I mean, A LOT happens in your twenties. Big things. Many people in their 30s say that’s the important decade, or people in their 40s believe that’s when true realization hits.

But… you have to get through your twenties to make it to those other “so totally cool” decades in life.

What could possibly happen after undergrad, you ask?

1. Friends will leave you [literally & figuratively]

The majority of your friends will move away and slowly (or drastically if you’re super unlucky) stop texting. Or your friends will be geographically nearby but will emotionally check out. Why? They find a significant other, they get married, they have kids, or they just drift out of the picture on their own.

What to do: Remember, you found those friends at some point, so you can find new ones – stop being lazy.

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2. You will have a ton of internal conflicts

Some include but are not limited to: eating healthy and eating anything with cheese, bread or sugar; talk to this guy (or girl) who is no good for you or ignore them to prove a point; spend your money on self-pity gifts or save for future self-pity gifts; find whatever job you can to get money or search for your dream job; etc.

What to do: Accept that you won’t sleep for a few years.

3. You could potentially move back home

Yay, you’re officially a kid again, needing parental support. Hey, you can’t help it though! Society hasn’t really prepped you for the moments right after undergrad. Very few have their ducks in a row. Most twenty-somethings don’t even have all their ducks present, not to mention the weird grouping they’re in instead of a line. Sometimes you just have to go back to the drawing board – aka your childhood bedroom – and figure things out.

What to do: Remember how you sneaked out of your window when you were sixteen.

4. You could totally change career paths

Undergrad was so fun and you worked your butt off – maybe. But now you’re done with that and need to figure out what you can do with that super unique, narrow-fielded degree you chose. You definitely run into trouble when there are no jobs open in that field, which chances are there won’t be any jobs open.

What to do: Panic, and then realize you can go back to school or learn a new skill or apply and pray someone will take pity on your soul.

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5. You will be single at some point

Not to be totally pessimistic, but there is a high probability that you won’t be in a relationship for your entire twenties. So, buckle up and get over it. Being single doesn’t isn’t bad, so don’t sulk over it. And just know that you aren’t completely alone – there are tons of singles out there mulling around like The Walking Dead extras.

What to do: Do what you want when you want; be selfish…and a little bitchy, too
6. You will probably move a lot

First, you usually move away from college after graduation – there’s one. And sometimes you have to move back home. Then you move out closer to your job – that’s two. Some people even move in with their SOs – that’s three….and some break up and have to move out again – that’s four.

What to do: Save your boxes!

So, you see? It’s not all bad! I mean, it could be if you let it get you down, but just remember to turn that sarcasm dial up real high and smirk your way through your twenty-somethings.

Cheers!

xOx

Original post found on my website: http://www.shaylaokeeffe.com/blog

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What NOT to Say to 20-Somethings

We get it. We should have more of our life put together. We know “at my age I was working full-time and raising a family already,” mom. And we know “at my age I had ten kids already and a house to take care of,” grandma. But guess what? It’s not the 1900s anymore, so society tells us we don’t need to be doing that right now!

Some things are just out of our control, though. I mean, we can’t help that there are too many people on this planet. We can’t help that since Social Security sucks so much, more old people are staying in the workforce. We can’t help that there are a million college degrees to chose from and no one helps us choose a practical one. We can’t help that money doesn’t grow on trees.

There are seven things that you just really shouldn’t tell (or ask) a 20-something, in general:

1.”You should find a company that offers good benefits to its employees.”

What’s wrong: First, finding ANY job would be a good start. And second, DUH, of course we need benefits; as much as the Airborne commercials claim, it won’t save you from much…like your failing vision or alcoholism.

 

2. “When do you think you’ll settle down?”

What’s wrong: First, “settling down” requires a place to settle down like a home, which we cannot afford. Second, why is THAT the first thing family asks us? If I knew, I’d have a ring on my finger, now wouldn’t I?

 

3. “You really shouldn’t drink so much.”

What’s wrong: For starters, we didn’t ask you. Also, if vino is BOGO, I’m buying-o.

 

4. “You should start a savings account.”

What’s wrong: One, no, I actually like to play this fun game where I use up all my money to the last penny each month. Two, to open an account you need money…and to get money you need a job…and to get a job you need experience…and to get experience you need a job…

 

5. “Just apply everywhere! Someone has to be hiring!”

What’s wrong: First, I, along with a million other recent grads are all applying simultaneously. Second, applying everywhere isn’t exactly effective because I can’t afford to live everywhere.

 

6. “Do you just sit around all day?”

What’s wrong: First, you’re assuming I sit – in fact, I lay down. Second, applying for jobs is a full-time position in itself: checking all the hiring websites each day, reading about the new position, writing a cover letter to match that position, uploading your resume only to find you STILL have to manually input all the info on the application, submitting the application, and then repeating.

 

7. “This is the time for you to find your passions.”

Although somewhat true, what’s wrong: First, you say that but you also expect us to start working ASAP. Second, you say that but you also tell us to realistically reign in our dreams and hopes.

If anything, just don’t offer us any advice because as millennials, we know everything already and are happily ignoring the truth. Thanks, bai.

xOx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Expectation vs. RL: Work

Graduation comes and goes, everyone is happy, everything is confetti-filled and sparkly, hugs and gifts come pouring in from family, and loads of pictures are taken. Then, it’s on to the real rat race. We go into the job search pretty optimistically; I mean, we do have a bachelor’s degree that cost us thousands of dollars, right? So, it can’t be that hard. Every employer will want us, young, educated millennial beauts.

 

The Job Search

Expectation: Quick look online shows 100+ jobs perfectly matched with your skill set

Reality: Zero jobs open, nothing requires the skills you possess, and no one wants you as an intern anymore

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Job Descriptions

Expectation: All with a Bachelor’s degree in (your field of interest) welcome to apply!

Reality: Master’s degree plus 3 – 5 years of experience required for a janitor position

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Jobs Open to Apply

Expectation: “Great hours, all holidays off, pay is competitive, your time is valuable”

Reality: Below entry level, pay is worse than at McDonalds, and your boss is younger than you, so you are wasetfully over-qualified

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Interview

Expectation: Friendly employer, who casually converses with you, keeps you at ease the whole time, and asks if you meet specific qualifications

Reality: A couple of mid-level bosses with blank stares make a psychiatric evaluation of you: what are your weaknesses, where do you see yourself in 10 years, what could you bring to a team?

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Work Environment

Expectations: Fun and casual fellow millennial coworkers, who are all dressed in the latest Banana Republic styles

Reality: Your coworkers are all super aged, and they just complain about their high-school aged kids and insurance

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Week Nights

Expectations: Going out with your coworkers and trying out a different fun bar every Thursday

Reality: Drive home half asleep at 6:00pm and pop your dinner in the microwave

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Weekends

Expectations: Plenty of time for fun and adventures now that you don’t have schoolwork piled up like in undergrad (everyone remembers those cram-filled Sunday afternoons that involved studying and writing papers simultaneously)

Reality: Sleep….because it’s free, and you can’t afford to go on any adventures

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The Actual Work

Expectations: Fun, creative projects that will change the company and propel you upward to promotion after promotion

Reality: Lots of graphs, paperwork, and stapling

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Keep an eye out for the next installment of Expectation vs. Reality!

xOx

 

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#NationalBestFriendDay Post-Grad Style

The idea of our “best friend” has evolved as awkwardly as we have since childhood: there are many phases of best friends and many types of BFFs. Some stay with us since childhood and others we are lucky enough to pick up along the way.

We have gone from the best friend, who we played make-believe games with as toddlers.

To the BBFLs in elementary school, who we tried new sports with and pretended we were “big kids.”

To the best friends in middle school, who we mutually helped get through the inexplicable awkwardness of 6th-8th grade.

To the best friends in high school, who we acted like pure fools with and thought we could handle a lot more than we actually could.

To the sistas (or bros) in college, who we cried in front of, who knew our secrets, who tested our limits, and who struggled hard with us.

To the current besties in our post-grad life. They are a special kind of best friend. There are different life experiences to explore, different stories to tell, different problems to tackle.

Here are the types of best-friend-moments you will have in your post grad, adult-like life:

 

1. “Going Out” means going out the door (only slightly) to get the pizza delivery 

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2. “Girls Nights” are more like laying on the couch (or floor) and just complaining 

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3. “Shopping Days” are when you run into each other at the grocery store and can both only afford a maximum of 6 items

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4. “Movie Nights” are Netflix marathons that turn into weekend-long endeavors 

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5. “Drinks Night” consist of getting all dressed and ready, only to realize it’s already 9:30pm and close to bedtime, so you stay in and drink cheap wine from a bag instead

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6. “Adventures” are more like finding a new, trendy place to eat that is all over social media and pretending you are “cool” or whatever that is these days

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7. “Gossip” is more like pulling up the Facebook accounts of old high school peers and either 1)laughing until you snort or 2) punching the computer screen 

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8. “Laughing-fits” are when you both realize that you have nothing going for you LOLOLololo…. 

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9. Text conversations are just sending each other memes about your day or sending Buzzfeed posts that are scarily-accurate of your current struggles

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10. Birthdays are more like a set actual nights out that you force each other to do 

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So happy National Best Friends Day 2016, you poor kids!

xOx

 

 

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How to Make Decisions as an Adult

Being an adult is hard. It is just too much work, too much thinking, too many consequences. One wrong decision and BAM, everything falls apart. One wrong move and WHACK, consequences for days. Take too long to make a decision and ****! (<– I didn’t even give you the first letter, there are many options here for you)

There are many things to decide on: where to live, what career to have, what jobs to take, maybe intern first, or maybe follow your dreams first? Then, there is always the classic healthcare, taxes, income, and cat food concerns.

It is not undergrad life anymore: no easy decision on what club to go to tonight, or what hour before the exam you should start studying, or what coffee at Starbucks to walk around with…I mean drink.

But, fear no more! Here is how you will make decisions on an adult-level. There’s no time for goofing off. There’s no time for baby steps. There’s no time for time.

1. Your brain will promptly notify you of decision-overload

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2. Whatever decision comes to mind first is going to be the one you choose to worry about most

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3. You will realize every other decision you choose to ignore will be GREATLY affected by the one you are focusing on

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4. Your brain will react to the stress by telling you that you want to watch Netflix now

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5. (days later) Your brain will suddenly remind you of your decision stress at 4:12am and force you awake

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6. You will drink and eat a lot in the days of your decision

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7. You will go days thinking everything is fine and it will all work itself out

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8. You will be forced to make a decision because you verbalized it to one person and now have to stick with it

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And there you go. See? Isn’t that helpful to know?

 

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8 Things You Know You’ve Done

You know you’ve done each and every one of these things. Don’t lie to yourself. Or me.

  1. Slowing down as you are passing a cop with radar hoping the radar only catches your speed when you literally right in front of the police car
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  2. Drinking cold water after burning your tongue or throat hoping it would un-burn you
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  3. Trying to delete a text while it’s still sending in hopes that stops it from going through
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  4. Eating an entire pizza by yourself and immediately start walking around to attempt to freeze the calories in time
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  5. Punching someone in the neck while going in for a hug because you couldn’t figure out whose arms were going on top
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  6. Paying your credit card frantically hoping that every minute you save you don’t get the full interest.
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  7. Tearing the grocery bag, giving yourself a hernia, and popping a blood vessel in your face while you struggle to make only one trip up the stairs after shopping
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  8. Watering your plant after it has already turned yellow-brown…it can come back from this, right?
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Things to Stop Asking Twentysomethings

We get it. We should have more of our crap together at this point in our life. The constant questioning is not going to help us figure things out, though. So get out of the interrogation room and let us be….free. We know what you really mean when you ask us things; you’re not as sly as you think, sir.

Here’s what you ask us….and here’s what we hear….

1. So…any wedding bells ringing soon?

What we hear: Are you seriously still single? You’re going to die alone, you know that right?

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2. Any exciting job offers?

What we hear: You’re going to be unemployed forever so better go pick out your box to live in.

3. How’s grad school?

What we hear: Have you failed out yet? You know that Cs don’t get degrees in grad school, right?

4. Are you living out on your own yet?

What we hear: How long will you mooch off your parents? Poor mom and dad would like to retire.

5. Time to start thinking long-term. Finances are a pain, am I right?

What we hear: You’re already behind on everything regarding stability in your life.

6. Remember the good old days of undergrad?!

What we hear: You are older than the dust under my fridge and now have no life.

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7. What do you miss the most from college?

What we hear: You’re no longer in college….wait, what?

8. How’s the real life treating you so far?

What we hear: Have you failed yet? Because you are going to sooner or later…

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xOx

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But I Don’t Want to

After undergrad, we have to either work or go to grad school.

There is no third option in our society of expectations.

Our world today requires great responsibility from the get-go.

However, most of us don’t have the luxury of getting job offers upon graduating. In fact, we would be lucky if we got a job offer within a few months. That is if we even have a clear, cut idea of what we want as a career path. I mean, seriously, how many of us know for sure? I know it seems like everyone else around us has an idea of a career path but how many of those actually work out?

I have changed my possible career path FIVE times since I graduated a year and three months ago. It’s very stressful, but staying on a path I’m not happy about is even more stressful. I haven’t given hope that this one will be the one. But I also haven’t let myself be married to this new career path either, especially given my track record.

I have realized that I don’t have a specific desire. I don’t have a career that I am completely sold on. I feel like I’m missing something that others have, something that seems to be needed for a job: passion. Does that mean something is wrong with me?

No. That’s what I have determined. Nothing is wrong with me. It’s not that I don’t have a passion; honestly, I have too many probably. But nothing I think of combines all of those passions. So until I find something, it’s still an adventure. The only thing I’m certain of is what my dad told me a long time ago: Make sure you find a job that you WANT to wake up for and go to every day.

That has always been my goal. And it always will be. No, I haven’t found that job yet. Yes, it’s scary. Don’t let your balloon of hope pop. I’ll let the waves carry me. Or let the loans and debt carry me. Either way, something strong enough needs to be carrying me until I find that dream job!

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I just want to stay a kid, have some fun, and stay forever young. And hold a red balloon in a crowd of people.

[my photo, taken in Berlin 2014]

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7 Thoughts Starting a New Job

Now that you have graduated, starting a new job is a lot harder than you think. Some of us have to work jobs made for high schoolers, in fact some of your supervisors could be younger than you. Some of us have to work meaningless jobs at the lowest level possible. Some of us will get jobs that put us way in over our head. Others will have jobs that make us question our entire life so far. However, there are 7 thoughts that will go through your head when you start this new job after undergrad. Whatever the level of the work, intern or career, you will have these thoughts and probably some of these facial expressions, too.

First, it may not be the prettiest job in the world, but it will pay the bills…kind of.

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Second, you will forget what it is like to have major responsibilities

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Third, you will be so over the cliques already in place at your workplace. 

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Fourth, you will realize you don’t care to make new friends.

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Fifth, you will realize no amount of money is enough for you at this point.

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Sixth, the drive to work will be really dreadful and no music can help. 

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Seventh, you will be so jealous of the young, hopeful interns and realize how uncool you are now.

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10 Things to Question about Your Life after Undergrad

Questionable phases of life after gradation. We all go through them and we all survive them….well most of us do. Here are 10 things to question:

1. Receiving a job offer

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Because of all the talk about the difficulty of getting a job, if you do receive an offer, it becomes very suspicious. Wait, I only applied to 20 jobs and actually got one? Whereas, you hear horror stories of people applying to 40 jobs and getting one interview and no job. It is a paid position, right? Not an internship? Always be on high alert when something happens too easily in the working-world. Unless you got hired at McDonald’s, then just nod and accept it.

2.  Old friends

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Some of your old friends act like they have too much of their shiznit together. Those are the ones you need to watch out for. No one has that much of their life pieced together yet. And with the politics starting to erupt already for 2016, some of your friends’ true colors are coming out over Facebook…question their reasoning. Block.

3.  Your relationship status

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If you feel like Christ Traeger, you are probably questioning yourself, too. Leaving undergrad means leaving all of your friends, and who knows when you will all be together in one spot again?

4. All the work you did in undergrad

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All that stuff you had to memorize for exams was beyond pointless. It was actually wasteful. Wasted the space in your brain, wasted your time, wasted thousands of note cards. Question why you tried so hard do to do well in those useless courses. And then be ready to get mad.

5. Your ability to keep it all together

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If you can fake it enough to act like you have it all together, you deserve an award. If you think you have your life all put together nicely, you need to question yourself. Don’t lie to us, you rub your face into a pillow every night before bed like our trusty, relate-able buddy, Nick Miller.

6. Your career choice

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Think you know what you want to do after you graduate? Guess again. Chances are you will question yourself with every job application or every grad school assignment. If all else fails, become a wizard; it’s as close as you will be to a real job after you graduate anyway.

7.  Your ability to stay professional at all times

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Think you will act like a mature adult now that you have a diploma? Chances are you will become very sarcastic very quickly. Professionalism is boring anyway, so question those who act like it all the time. Plus, you’re still a child in the eyes of many.

8. Your so-called undergrad accomplishments

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Think being secretary in an undergrad club will get you far in the job market? Think that one intramural team you were on will help? It won’t. And the lack of actual “accomplishments” on your resume will only make you feel worse. I hate that part of a resume anyway. Can watching Netflix be on there?

9. Your interview capabilities

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Maybe give yourself a practice round or two before that job interview. And if you don’t, question why you aren’t. No one is actually prepared for an interview. That’s the joke of the year. It’s also something they didn’t teach you in undergrad, so question your college/university on that one.

10.  Your ability to flirt

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If you think you’re still in ‘the game’, you’re probably wrong. Question why it hasn’t worked out for you so far.

xOx

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