Post-Grad: A Year Later

Hey Cats!

Exactly a year ago today, May 16, 2015, I walked across the stage at Texas A&M, was handed a diploma and thrown out into the world to fend for myself. Just kidding, it was an amicable split. I remember being so excited and proud of myself but sad and terrified all at the same time. Honestly, sometimes I still feel that way. I can’t believe it’s already been a year! It’s been an interesting one for sure, but a happy year as well. Here are some things I’ve learned about myself, life, and Jesus this year:

I'm an educated woman!

P.S. my diploma is still in that tube.

1.You don’t have as much free time as you did in college. I remember my Bible study leader telling us that we’ll never have as much discretionary time as we did at the time, and honestly I didn’t believe her (sorry Kate- but I know now!). I was always busy in college, rushing from one meeting to the next, going to school and work, and squeezing in homework, so I thought once some of those things went away I would have more time.  But now, I feel like there’s never time to do everything I want and need to do. Like, I should probably be cleaning my nasty house right now, but here I am, blogging. It’s definitely taken some planning, prioritizing, and learning to say no, and it’s still not easy, but I’m working on it!

2. Living alone is the best thing ever. Seriously. It’s really expensive, but it’s really worth it. If anyone’s in my house, I invited them to be there. If I want to leave my towels in the dryer instead of fold them, I can do that. No one’s cheap beer is squishing my leftovers in the fridge and literally everything is hot pink or gold. It’s a dream come true.

3. Don’t forget to clean the lint catcher in your dryer. Okay, so this is kind of a pathetic story, but there was a period of a few months where I would have to leave my clothes in the dryer for about two to three cycles to get them dry. After one particularly annoying instance where I had reset my dryer FOUR TIMES and my towels were still damp, it dawned on me that maybe I should possibly clean out the lint catcher (does this have a formal name? “Lint catcher” just sounds weird). I could barely get it out it was so full of lint. It was terrible. I could have spun yarn out of it and crocheted a blanket. I’m surprised my house didn’t catch on fire, honestly. So now I empty it after every other load, and my dryer works just fine!

4.It’s okay to change your mind. I’ve changed my mind about quite a few things over the past year. Whether it’s the church you’re going to, your boyfriend, or what you want for dinner, it’s okay. As long as you’ve prayed about it and don’t do it all the time, it’s okay. You’re not going to get it right the first time every time.

5. You will always miss the free tacos and the free gym. Like, honestly. Sometimes I just want to run around the indoor track at the Rec and then get free Rosa’s on the way home. Ugh.

6. Don’t forget who God says you are. Moving to a new place where I didn’t know anyone was exciting, but also really challenging. And it still is, to be honest. One time, when I was having a particularly tough time, I wrote down all of the things/qualities that God says I am, and the things He says I’m not. It’s great to have on hand to go back to when you need it.

7. It’s possible to make good friends after college. I thought that I had reached my bestie quota for life after I graduated. I mean, everyone’s best friends are usually from college or high school. I expected to make friends, just not tried-and-true, first people I call when something is wrong sisters. But I was wrong. I found two of my very best friends this year, and I am beyond thankful for them. They’ve definitely made it onto the bridesmaid list!

8. People won’t ask you to do things if they don’t think you can do them. At work, there have been quite a few instances where I’ve been asked to tackle roles or projects that intimidated me, causing me to panic and think, “I CANNOT DO THIS.” But obviously, I had no choice, so I’ve been forced to figure it out. And you know what? It’s usually not that  bad! I still have to tell myself sometimes that they wouldn’t have asked if they thought I was going to fail. And it’s definitely encouraging to know that others believe in you!

9. You don’t have to spend all of your shopping budget every month. But LOL, you probably will especially if you’re like me and have zero self control.

10. If you put God in a box, He will promptly remove himself. One thing I struggle with is limiting what I think God can do in my life. I tend to think that He will only work in ways that I can see and understand, but that’s not right at all. For the longest time, like since I was in high school, I was convinced that I would marry the first boy I ever dated. I thought that that was why I hadn’t ever dated anyone; because God was going to give me one and be done. But I was wrong. And you know what? I’m thankful that I was, because God just reminded me that I actually do not have it all figured out, and the only way to deal with a change in plans is to trust in Him completely.

11. Do something that isn’t all about you. Confession: it’s hard not to be selfish when you’re single and live alone and can basically do whatever you want. I joined the Junior League this past fall, mainly to find friends, but I have loved getting to serve my new community with other women. Whether I was helping raise funds or helping sweet high school girls find a prom dress, I honestly loved every second of it, and it was a good way to stop thinking about myself and think about helping others. JLTW was a major highlight of my first year post-grad, and I’m so happy I joined!

12. Staying in shape after college is so difficult. For real. It’s because I don’t walk nearly a mile every day, aside from actually working out. Not to mention the gyms that are filled with real people are incredibly crowded. I’ve given up on that and have started working out at home.

13. You’ll be tempted to become a workaholic. Don’t. There are always blog posts to be written, emails to be answered, and projects to be completed. For a while, I would work for an hour or two at home every night, but then I felt really overwhelmed. So I stopped. Now, I’m not saying to not do your work. There have been times where I’ve stayed up until the wee hours entering information into spreadsheets because they had to be done. I’m just saying that you definitely need a break from work every now and then.

14. You will still miss everything about college. The friends, the freedom, wearing Norts and a tee to class, the cheap rent. I went back to College Station a couple of times this year, and I cried a little every time. It’s like nothing has changed but everything is different. That place will always, always, always be my home and my favorite place on earth. I don’t think I would actually want to be in college forever, but sometimes I wish I could do it again just for like a week. The good thing is, I can always go back and it will welcome me with open arms!

15. You can do it. Honestly, when my parents left me at my apartment a week after graduation in a strange town, I wasn’t sure if I could do it. I was excited but also really scared, but determined not to give up and move home. I thought about it a few times, and sometimes I still do. But looking back on this past year, it wasn’t always easy or fun, but I did it, and the Lord was with me every step of the way. I have a job that I love, I made new friends, I went through some tough times, I made some big decisions, and developed a love for specialty cheeses. This year wasn’t what I thought it would be at all, but I’m so thankful for the path that Jesus has led me down, and I’m excited to see what my future holds!

bethenny-gif 2

Just kidding, I still know nothing.

Thanks for letting me share some real talk today. That’s all for meow!

For more Sweet Cats!, follow along at:

Bloglovin’
Twitter
Facebook
Pinterest
Instagram

Advertisements

Starting From the Bottom

Hey Cats!

It has been quite a while since I’ve had a chance to blog, so I’m happy to be back! Even though I don’t have homework anymore, 9-5 every day is a lot more time consuming than I thought it was going to be, so a lot of evenings after I go to the gym (if I make it there) and cook dinner, it’s 8:30 and time for Bravo and then bed. And since I’m still making friends, I try to do something social on the weekends, like a normal person, so that’s cut out a lot of weekend blogging time as well. But I think we would all agree that real friends are more important than my blog, as fun as it is. I digress.

Speaking of the 9-5, I actually really enjoy the routine of going to work every day. Honestly, I’ve always really liked working. It makes me feel like a productive member of society, it gives me a sense of accomplishment, and I think it gives me a constant opportunity to learn something new, whether that’s about my industry, or about how to do better at my job.

IMG_0795

My first job ever was a summer nanny when I was in high school. That position taught me how to get to work on time and be a semi-responsible person, and led me to develop incredibly unhealthy spending habits, but that’s a story for another day.

The summer after my sophomore year in college, I interned at a law firm in my hometown. It started as two days of shadowing the attorneys, because at that time I wanted to go to law school, but then they told me to come back on the third day, and I just kept showing up until it was time for me to go back to school. That experience will probably always be my favorite, because I learned so much, everything was so interesting, and I loved the people I worked with. I could always tell that they wanted to help me be my best, so that’s what I always tried to do, and continue to try to do.

First of all, the experience of just being in a professional environment was incredibly valuable. Seeing how everyone interacted with each other, with clients, and with other professionals in the field taught me how to interact with those people as well. I observed that it was important to treat people with respect, but also that sometimes it’s necessary to let people know when you mean business. I believe that professionalism is an incredibly important skill to master, and something that should be exhibited in everything from a cover letter, interview, follow-up email, and every day you show up to work. Even on a Monday. This glimpse of the real world that I got from my internship was something that not only helped me get jobs, but it helped me understand what type of  environment I work best in. That being said, choosing a job is a bit like choosing a college- yes, they have to accept you, but first it’s important to do your research to make sure that it’s the place for you, and that your values line up with the company’s.

One other valuable lesson I learned at this job was never to say, “that’s not my job”. Well, I learned how valuable that kind of an attitude is in the workplace. My dad told me that many times growing up, but I never understood why a team-player attitude was so important until I started working in an office. About the second week, I was told to organize the supply closet. I was less than thrilled about this task, because it was across the hall from everyone else’s office, and at this point I still thought my role was practically a junior attorney (L O L). But I did it anyways. It took me about three days. I didn’t whine about it, I didn’t try to get out of it, and I only cried once when I fell off the stepladder and bruised myself in three places. I also didn’t do a crappy job just to get it over with. I have learned that if you work with excellence in even the smallest of tasks, people notice, and they’re more likely to give you larger, more important responsibilities. Also, one time the toilet overflowed in the bathroom, and I had to clean it up. At first I thought about trying to get out of it…that was definitely not my job. I mean, I had cleaned someone else’s toilet on a mission trip, but that was for Jesus. We had a cleaning crew for this. But then, I thought about how much damage it could do, and how clients would react to a closed women’s restroom. Not pretty. So, I cleaned it up, and then spent the next forty-five minutes with a towel trying to soak up the water that had leaked onto the carpet in the hall. Not exactly my favorite day at work, but definitely a memorable one. Through these and other experiences, I learned how important it is, especially in an entry-level position, to have a positive attitude no matter what is thrown at you, and to go into work with the idea that you’re there to help the company as a whole achieve a common goal. So if that means helping a co-worker when she’s overwhelmed, do it. If that means subbing in for the janitor, do it. Now, I’m not saying to let people take advantage of you. If you have too much on your plate, don’t feel like you have to do extra things. And obviously, don’t ever do anything unethical. But by viewing your position as a member of a team rather than an individual, you will show those around you that you take not only yourself seriously, but that you are a full supporter of the company and it’s purpose, and that will get you pretty far.

So if you’re starting from the bottom, the idea is to make sure your whole team gets here. At least that’s what Drake says.

What was the most valuable lesson you learned from your first job? Let me know!

That’s all for meow!

For more Sweet Cats!, follow along at:

Bloglovin’
Twitter
Facebook
Pinterest
Instagram

Monday’s Musings

Hey Cats!

I hope everyone had a great 4th of July weekend! It was nice to have time off, hang out with friends, and watch fireworks! And also eat everything I laid my eyes on. Then on Sunday, I cleaned my apartment and found a new favorite grocery store, which I am probably still a liiiittle too excited about. But that’s adulthood for you, I guess.

As I was deciding what to write about for this week’s Monday’s Musings, I was thinking about how different my life looks now than it did a couple of months ago. Almost nothing is the same, and it’s all still pretty new to me, but it’s so,so great.

tswift-quote

Thanks to my girl TSwift, I have a really great way to describe how my life in my new city feels. It’s definitely a different tune from what I was used to: I went from having little responsibility to having quite a bit, from having all of my friends in a 10-mile radius to being completely by myself, and from asking permission to making my own decisions. But it’s the best new soundtrack I could have asked for, and I’m ready to dance to it for a long time. I have new routines, new ways of looking at things, a new level of confidence in myself, and I’m finally making new friends, which I love. I’m so thankful that my post-grad experience has been so exciting so far, and I can’t wait to see what happens next!

That’s all for meow!

For more Sweet Cats!, follow along at:

Bloglovin’
Twitter
Facebook
Pinterest
Instagram

Monday’s Musings- A Few Updates

Hey Cats!

I feel like I haven’t blogged in maybe 20 years. I’ve wanted to, and I’ve had so many good ideas, but what I haven’t had is time. The past few weeks have been out. of. control. So much has been happening that I feel like I’ve been living in an actual tornado. A happy tornado, though. If that’s a thing. My life has changed so much so quickly, and I’m so excited to finally have time to share it with you!

First, on May 1, I accepted a job offer, which was when the happy/busy tornado began. I was beyond excited, because it’s a healthcare administration position in a pediatric office in the Houston area, which is basically everything I wanted out of a career. When I was applying for jobs, I thought I could probably manage to get one of those three things, two if  I was lucky, but definitely not all three. I’ve already started, but I’m still so excited about starting my career!

My start date for my job was May 26, and graduation was May 16, so my last two weeks in College Station consisted of me scrambling to find a place to live in Houston, packing up my house, hanging out with all of my friends for (hopefully not really) the last time, soaking up the last days of college life, and, of course, graduation. It was such a whirlwind with lots of emotions, and I loved every second of it.

Some of my best friends and I right before graduation.

Some of my best friends and I right before graduation.

After graduation, I went home to Tyler for a week before I moved to Houston. It was nice to be with my family, but it was also really busy, since I had to help my dad paint some of my furniture, pack up my room, and (try) to clean up and not leave my parents with a mess! It was a little sad to leave, knowing that I was about to be actually, really, 100% on my own in Houston, but I was excited! My parents helped me move in last weekend, and my first week of work has been great! I also love my apartment, but I’m not sure what to do with all this free time I have now that I don’t have homework or tests!

I'm an educated woman!

I’m an educated woman!

It’s been a lot of change in a small amount of time, but I know that it was time for a change. I absolutely loved college, and my four years in Aggieland will always be some of my favorite years of my life. But, near the end, I could tell that I was “outgrowing” college, and I was ready to have real responsibilities and be more of an adult. I’m excited for this new stage of my life, and I’m excited to share it all with you on the blog!

That’s all for meow!

For more Sweet Cats!, follow along at:

Bloglovin’
Twitter
Facebook
Pinterest
Instagram