March 17, 2016

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

I know I’m a day late with this post, but I have a good reason!  Yesterday was pretty wild, and I’m still trying to process it even now. Allow me to explain:

A few days ago I sent an email to a friend who I used to work with in the district office of my local congressman.  I knew they were moving people around in their office positions so I thought I would let them know that I’m graduating soon in case a position opens up.  The next day my friend said he would forward my email to the chief-of-staff Cole to figure something out.  I had wanted to apply for their Washington, D.C. summer internship anyway so I sent that along as well, thinking that is what they would offer.

The day after that, I got a request for a phone call from Cole.  Little did I know, it was actually an interview!!

I already knew Cole from working in the district office, so the conversation went well.  He said the internship position was mine for the taking!  But then he presented an even better offer: a full time position.  As it turns out, the congressman needs a new Schedule Coordinator and the staff is looking for someone to fill in the open position.  Cole said that he thought I would be a great applicant for the job, and he proceeded with the interview.

After all of the questions and job description, we scheduled a second interview for next week.  In a few days I will have to go to the district office for a video conference call with Cole and the congressman.

When I finally hung up the phone, my mind was racing.  No matter how the interview next week goes, I’ll have an opportunity to work in Washington D.C. in May.  Moving across the country is huge, and working a job with so many opportunities is even bigger!!  This is exactly the type of thing I’ve been waiting for, something that can open up doors and kick-start a future.

If I get the job, I’ll be in charge of scheduling and keeping track of all of the congressman’s meetings, appointments, and engagements.  I will also be the direct contact regarding his schedule.  It will be a demanding job, and working on Capitol Hill will be quite the experience, but this is something that I just can’t pass up.

So this week most of my thoughts will be centered around my upcoming interview, which hopefully goes well.  Thoughts of the east coast, politics, and being an “adult” are filling my head.  A part of me thinks this is too good to be true and that I shouldn’t get my hopes up.  After all, I’ll be fresh out of college with virtually no experience in schedule coordinating.  Cole said that if everything works out, I’ll start training via the internet in April and will move to D.C. as soon as possible in May.

Moving to a completely different area will be tough again.  I have a few friends on the east coast who have assured me that it’s great, so I’m feeling pretty optimistic at this point.  But once May rolls along, I’ll probably start to freak out.  I only have half a semester left, and May is just around the corner.  If I end up getting the full time position, there’s no telling when I’ll move back to California.  This will put a strain on my relationship, I’ll be far from my entire family, and the work will be overwhelming.

Despite the intimidation that this job brings, I really do believe that this is the best thing for me right now.  The sales job with the newspaper was fine, but I honestly don’t see myself in sales and there’s no telling when I would actually get the opportunity to write.  This position in D.C. however, gives the opportunity to be exposed to a large number of other jobs as well as making last contacts.

I’m hoping and praying that next week goes well, and even if I don’t get the job I’ll still have the chance to travel and add another great experience to my resume.

March 12, 2016

Tomorrow is the last day of spring break.  I’m only human, so a big part of me wants to stay at home and continue to watch Netflix as rain creates a calming atmosphere.  But there is a part of me that is excited to go back.  I want to immerse myself back into the crazy schedule that is my life at school.  I want to stay busy because honestly, all of my responsibilities take my mind off of the stress I’ve been feeling lately.  The stress has sort of heightened while I’ve been home.

I have been staying in my old bedroom for the past week.  I could feel myself lapsing into my former self, my childhood self.  I even spent the week watching every single Harry Potter movie (totally worth it).  My childhood self was very introverted, and for the past couple of weeks I could feel myself becoming more and more introverted than I usually am.  Being home really maximized this part of myself, and I also just wanted to escape all of the questions that having been filling my head lately.

Questions seem to be the theme of my life this semester.  Not one specific question, but many in general.  Questions about my social circle, questions about my academics, questions about my relationship, questions about my career path.  I get asked questions every day by my friends and family.  I find it exhausting because the questions that are most frequently asked are the ones I don’t want to answer.  No, I don’t know when I want to get married; No, I don’t have a job in mind for after graduation.

Returning to school will help me temporarily run from the questions.  The questions will turn into exams and quizzes.  I will be required to use logic and memory rather than major decision making.  But there are only a few short weeks left in the semester, and classes will be over.  The questions will still be there.  And there will always be questions, this isn’t just a temporary phase.

March 9, 2016

Today marks the middle of spring break.  It has a bitter-sweet feeling to it.  The return to classes looms in the distance, and yet there are a few free days left.  Unfortunately those free days are going to be filled with all of the homework and studying that procrastinated on.  I always tell myself that I’m going to change my ways, but I never do!  Once a procrastinator, always a procrastinator.

I haven’t had a crazy spring break.  No trips to Mexico, no days at the beach.  It has actually been raining a lot so there goes the sunny vacation every college student day-dreams of.  But, on the bright side (no pun intended) my interview went well!  On Tuesday I had a job interview for an advertising sales position.  It was more intense than I thought it would be, and I’m not even done with interview process yet.  I was given an “assignment” to go back with a prepared presentation to sell them an ad in a fictional magazine.  I have been doing some research and preparing myself, but I’ve never done anything like this before so it should be interesting.

When I was doing my research for the presentation, I thought to myself, “Have I learned anything from any of my classes that could help me with this?”  I am a communication major, so I definitely didn’t learn anything about sales.  I took a class on visual rhetoric, so I guess that’s connected to advertising?  And as far as presenting goes, I know how to speak clearly and orderly (to get an A, not a sale).  I realized that non of my classes directly connected with this scenario.  I didn’t take “Sales and Advertising 101”.  Nor did I take “How To Convince Someone You Know What You’re Doing”.

I have, however, taken Media & Society, in which my professor literally told the class “Your education isn’t going to guarantee you a job.”  And now I am really starting to see how right he was.  Sure, my college degree will show my work ethic and the well rounded aspects of my studies and knowledge, but it doesn’t tell an employer how well I will perform specific tasks.  It’s up to me to show my experiences, strengths and talents.  I think as students we expect too much from our diplomas.  My college degree won’t earn me a job, I will.  I think this is something all students have to realize.

March 2, 2016

In a previous post I wrote about how I wasn’t stressed about midterms, and that I really didn’t feel too much pressure during midterms week.  I lied.  It is now Wednesday and I am in full midterm mode and it is not fun.  I’m not sure if it’s just something about this semester, but it feels like one moment I was receiving syllabi, and just yesterday I had midterm study guides thrown at me at the last possible minute.  I know I like to procrastinate, but something about this semester feels rushed.

So in the midst of midterms, my schedule has been completely filled.  I mentioned that I was going to a career day, which I did yesterday.  I got dressed up, printed out copies of my resume, and headed over.  The flier for the event made it sound like the companies had full-time job offers and other opportunities, but I found that only about half did.  Most companies only offered internships, and some didn’t offer any positions at all.  I spoke to a few booths about hiring possibilities, and I felt like it was a productive experience, but it wasn’t quite what I expect.  Also, I just have to make a comment on the conduct of other attendees there.  I was speaking to a gentleman about job opportunities at his establishment, and I young man bounded up borderline pushing me out of the way.  He aggressively stuck out his hand towards the gentleman and introduced himself while I was still speaking.  I was thrown off-guard so I turned by back to him and continued the conversation because I wasn’t about to let this guy just ruin my opportunity.  Turns out, he can only walk the walk because once the gentleman made it clear he wasn’t done speaking with me, the guy walked away as fast as he appeared.  I totally understand that you need to be assertive, especially when it comes to job hunting, but this guy was rude and I couldn’t help but feel proud of myself for icing him out.

Hopefully I will be hearing back from some of the company’s I talked to! If not, it won’t be the end of the world but I really would love to hear back from someone.

February 27, 2016

Late. This post was supposed to be published on Saturday but I was thrust into a busy weekend. On Saturday I spent the day in Turlock, California to watch a few old teammates play a tennis match against Stanislaus State.  It was so great being able to visit with old friends, some of whom I haven’t seen since May.  I miss being on a tennis team, but I still stand by the decision I made to transfer to Fresno Pacific.  

I wanted to go to FPU because I felt like I wasn’t getting the most out of my college experience.  I wanted a job, an internship, or some type of experience that would help towards a future career and I felt like tennis wasn’t doing that for me.  So here I am, juggling a few different responsibilities.  My old teammates said to me “Oh, you must have so much free time now!” All I could do in response was laugh.

This week midterm exams are coming up, and to be honest I’m very stressed.  I really don’t even have too many tough midterms which is nice because last semester was brutal when it came to midterms. I genuinely think that the reason why I am not stressing about midterms is because I am stressing about other things.  

Lately the subject of finding a job I actually enjoy has been on my mind.  I am just so afraid that I won’t find something that I particularly like because I haven’t found a specific career goal yet.  I decided that I will go to the Fresno State (nearby university) Career Fair on Tuesday and I am just going to keep an open mind and put myself out there.  Maybe I’ll express interest in jobs I hadn’t before, maybe I’ll be exposed to some I didn’t know about.  I’m just really hoping that this career fair will be helpful because I don’t feel like time is on my side at the moment.

Job hunting is tough, I am not really enjoying the process so far.

February 24, 2016

For the past couple of days my thoughts have been focused on not my issues, but my sister’s.  My sister goes to a JC (junior college) and has plans to transfer to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.  If you know my sister, you know that going to Cal Poly is all that she’s ever wanted.  I hate to brag, but she is an EXCELLENT student, always getting good grades.

The other day she received an email that said she had gotten accepted to Cal Poly!! Here’s the thing, last semester she got a D in trigonometry.  This was huge because she had all A’s and struggled with trig, but worked really hard.  She had a C up until the final, which brought her grade down.  The Cal Poly acceptance email reminded students that they had to get a C or better in all courses, so naturally she freaked out.

Fast forward a few days and she made an appointment with the department she wants to go into at Cal Poly. She explained her situation and asked if she could get more specific information on whether or not she would eventually be accepted despite the D. No answers.  Then she made an appointment with the dean of mathematics at her JC, and explained her situation again.  He told her that he would gladly change her grade, but he can’t because he leaves that responsibility to the instructors.  This particular instructor was not too kind when it came to Emily’s situation.

And so now, due to all of the confusion, my sister is having a rough time. She won’t find out if she is officially into Cal Poly until after the semester is over, but she has to commit to a school by May 1st which doesn’t make any sense in my mind.  College is an opportunity to learn, so why are universities making it so hard to get there in the first place? Watching this whole situation unfold has really disappointed me.  I was a big fan of Cal Poly before, but now that I’ve seen the way they treat and handle transfer students, I have lost some respect for them.

Hopefully, for my sister’s sake, this mess gets cleared up.

February 20, 2016

This week was a roller coaster of emotions, and I mean that in a completely non-cliche type of way.

As I expressed in my last blog post, I was pretty stressed out.  I felt overwhelmed and had a lot on my plate, which didn’t help my mood.  On Thursday, I got an email saying that I basically needed to take 5 classes to graduate.  As a last semester senior, this email gave me quite the heart attack.  I spent the rest of the day scrambling, trying to get things straightened out while at the same time keeping the rest of my responsibilities in check.  Finally, at the end of the day, I got another email explaining that there were a few mistakes and that everything was straightened out.  I was cleared for graduation.

Thank God!

That moment put everything into perspective and I finally realized that very soon, my college experience would be over.  I don’t have immediate plans to go to grad school, so at the moment this is it.  College is coming to an end.  I thought back to all of the times I struggled with required classes.  I transferred twice (crazy, I know) so I almost got used to the constant battle of trying to get my existing classes to count towards graduation.  As of now, I don’t have to do that anymore.  Such a relief, all transfer students can relate!!

As a little celebration, I chose to spend the weekend at home being lazy and relaxing.  I didn’t let myself get caught up in the stress of everything because pretty soon this college experience will be over.

I’ve heard a lot of crazy, stressful transfer student stories, and I honestly think that transfers have it harder than traditional undergrads. Who else thinks so?

If you have a personal story from your experience as a transfer student, let me know in the comments!