Tag Archives: The real world

Making The Most Out Of It

Since I was a teenager I’ve condemned everything around me. In high school I hated my teachers, I hated some of my school mates, and I hated the school itself. Although I had a large group of friends and I had lots of fun, I couldn’t wait to graduate and leave that place to start fresh in another country. When I joined college the same thing happened. At first I was excited about the whole experience, but gradually I started to go back to criticizing my condition.

I don’t know why I do that; maybe it is the perfectionist in me that I am trying to get rid of. I’ve always wanted to be somewhere else, with other people, and living a “cooler” life. It doesn’t matter where I go or who I am with, I will be able to find a way to hate it. Maybe “hate” is a strong word, but I was not satisfied. I can’t say that I am 100% content with my life right now, but at least I am trying to adapt.

Currently I am in grad school to get my master’s degree and I am also involved in a startup company. I know that this is not exactly what I want to be doing right now, which is supposed to be studying psychology, but this is the only thing I can do. I don’t have a stable income that I can use to pay for four-years-of-private-college tuition fees. I am in a weird position; being a grad student and working on launching my friend’s company, it is kind of hard to explain to others your financial situation.

Sometimes before I go to sleep, I think about how I am not really living the life I wanted. But, I remember that I am simply stuck in this and things aren’t going to change any time soon, so why not make the most out of where I am right now? Why not get a master’s degree and work in the company until I make enough money to pursue my dreams? I think it’s okay since I am still 21. Our twenties is the time when we’re supposed to try different things and get to know ourselves better.

So, I promised myself not to say anything negative again about my current circumstances and just be grateful that at least I am doing something instead of being idle. Besides that I don’t have to give up on who I am and forget what I like to do. I can still write poetry and work on my first book along with doing all the other stuff. What I want to say is that if life forces us to temporary follow a different path we have to make the most out of it while staying true to ourselves and not forgetting who we are in the process.

How A Year Of Unemployment Changed Me

Today marks the end of my first post-college year. I’ve been through the hardest and most confusing year of my life. I first thought that this is the worst year ever. I felt that I’ve hit rock-bottom and there’s nothing lower than that. The only question that went through my mind day and night was “Why?”. I kept wondering why this is happening to me. And why me?? I mean look at everyone around, they’re all busy doing something useful in their lives. I am not a lazy undetermined person who just wants to stay at home all day watching TV!! I am a hard worker who wants to accomplish something. But as everything else that happens to us in life, this was just another experience. It was a massive bump in the road, but it wasn’t for nothing.

I’ve already mentioned in a post before the story of how I ended up like this. Today I want to talk about what I gained from going through such an experience. A year of unemployment right after college sounds like a nightmare that a person can get nothing blessed out of. But I did. I’ve learned maybe the most important lessons of my life so far.

I’ve spent the majority of this year in solitude. You can imagine how hard it can be to transform from an active college student with a fairly good social life to an unemployed isolated adult. No you can’t! You can’t unless you’ve been through it, or something similar. It messes with your head. It makes you depressed and unable to think clearly, or sleep peacefully, or want to wake up in the morning. It was a psychological turmoil. I can’t write about my emotional ups and downs in details because it will take me a whole post to do so, but I can only tell you what I got out of it.

A break for my mind 

I was very busy during the last year of college. Most of the day was spent in classes, and at night I would stay up till late hours to study and finish required projects and papers. I rarely had time to relax. And even during my free weekends I’d probably go out somewhere with family or friends, and that somewhere is probably a crowded place because I live in the city. I was so used to the fast noisy busy city life, which made my staying at home kind of a trauma to me. At first I didn’t know what to do with my time. I have no schedules and no deadlines to meet; I have no structured days. It made me think about our lives and how we live it. This was a break for my mind. It allowed me to see that there’s more to life than being busy 24/7. It taught me that we need to relax and have fun. It was good to take some time off the stressful days. I had more time to do what I like, and even learn new things. I started catching up on the books I had on my to-read list, enhanced my poetry-writing ability, learned baking and improved my cooking, started learning Italian, and of course started this blog.

Spiritually rewarding

Another thing I was able to do is reflecting on my life. Given lots of free time, I had a chance to do a lot of thinking about how my life has been so far, the wrong decisions I made, the mistakes I learned from, what I really want to do with my life, and what should be my next step. It was a spiritually rewarding year.

Peace with my person

I spent most of the time alone (I didn’t have another choice), and that allowed me to get to really know myself better. You think you can know who you are from others’ opinions of you, but that could be far away from the truth. We all have some kind of a dark side that we might not be aware of. Spending our time being busy working or hanging out with other people doesn’t give us the chance to confront the dark depths of our personality. By hanging out with myself I was able to make peace with my person. It wasn’t easy at first, not the least, but eventually we became best friends.

More understanding and less judgmental

Being an unemployed fresh graduate put me in an awkward position. When my friends ask me that annoying question “so what do you do now?” the only answer I have is “nothing!”. But that’s the short answer; the real answer is a long story that I can’t keep telling every time someone asks me that question. This taught me that sometimes we don’t know what others might be going through; we don’t know everyone’s story, so we shouldn’t make assumptions based only on what’s apparent for us. I learned that I have to be more understanding and less judgmental of others.

Things we take for granted

Losing almost all the things I cherish in life was one of the difficulties I faced this year. However, it made me appreciate every little thing I have and every small blessing I’ve been given. There are lots of things we take for granted in this life, and I had the time to look around me and observe these things and be thankful.

Finally I would say that as much as this year was hard, it was a fruitful experience. What comes to my mind when I think about it is a quote from Batman Begins movie that says “And why do we fall, Bruce? So we can learn to pick ourselves up.”

The Pity Party Is Over!

It’s been almost a year since I graduated college, and it hasn’t been an easy one at all. When I first finished college, I was so excited about what the future holds for me and I thought I will conquer the world. Little did I know that I will end up unemployed, separated from my family, losing my social life, and confused about every single decision I’ve made.

I graduated on the 25th of June, 2013. I had plans set; finding a part-time job while going to a  grad school. I knew what I was doing with my life and how exactly it’s going to go. I applied for a graduate school, and I was sure to get accepted because I worked so hard during senior year to get a high GPA. Most of my college professors and teaching assistants expected a bright future ahead of me, even my college mates did. I had the world at my feet.  Suddenly, everything changed and I no longer knew what I was doing.

When I was writing a draft of my statement of purpose for the graduate school, I stopped and put the pen down. I stopped to question everything. Why am I applying for this graduate school? What is it that I have to offer to the Computer Science field? I had no idea how to answer those questions. It was the moment that I remembered how I do NOT like this field, and it’s not what I want to do with my life. Then I thought it will be crazy to change fields, and I should just stick to computer science. I moved back to the country where my family lives. I applied for a job at one of the schools there. It was a boring desk job that I quit two days later.

After that I thought I should better continue my studies than get a job right now. I decided to go back to my country and apply for grad school in the college I graduated from.  I thought it will be easier for me as I am already used to the place and I know the teaching staff there and maybe they will help me to find what I should be doing in this field. So I flew back to my country. At that point, things seemed promising.

I applied for a new master’s degree program at my college. I cancelled my application in that other college because I knew I wasn’t going to be accepted. I mean I couldn’t even write a proper statement of purpose. Anyway, I waited for a reply. Then the program launching was postponed to fall of 2015. I was doomed; I had no plan B!! This meant that I had to wait a whole year!

I didn’t want to get a job in the computer science field. I don’t want to sit in a cubicle all day doing what my boss telling me to do. I also couldn’t apply for other graduate schools because at that point it was past the application deadlines. So I just curled up in a depressed ball and shut myself away from everything and everyone because the real world didn’t turn out to be the way I pictured it.

I felt that I am a victim of circumstances. I felt that I lost control of the stirring wheel, and I didn’t know where life was taking me. I couldn’t pinpoint where I went wrong. I started thinking hard and deep. I listened to  my heart and tried to understand what it’s trying to tell me. It was telling me that I should start doing what I really want to do. I thought and thought for a long time until I realized that what I want to do is to study Psychology. I want to be a psychologist. It’s been something that I wanted to do since I was a middle school kid. I have no idea what happened, but it seems that along the way I forgot that this is what always intrigued me. Then I decided I will quit the computer science field for good.

I started looking for good psychology schools where I live to apply for. I found few, but I don’t have money to pay the tuition fees for four years. I told my family about my decision to switch fields but I got a reaction that I wasn’t expecting. They thought it’s a stupid idea to start from scratch in a field that is not exactly one of the hottest right now (especially that I already have a bachelor degree in computer science). Then I knew I wasn’t going to get any support, neither financially nor emotionally.

I got even more depressed. I started reflecting on my life and I found that I am losing everything. I have no job, my future is hazy, my friends are busy with their careers and lives, my family is living in another country, they don’t support my decisions, I started to gain weight during the last few months, I stopped exercising, I don’t take care of my health like I used to, and nothing was left for me except a degree that I don’t know what to do with.

After many sleepless nights and rough lonely mornings, I decided to stop this. I decided to gain back control of the situation.  I want to be the same girl I was in 2013. I want to be healthy again, I want to set goals and reach them, I want to be optimistic, to be active, to be alive! I promised myself now that I will do whatever it takes to fulfill my dreams. I will use my degree and the skills I have to get a job even if I don’t like it; It will be temporary until I have enough money to pay my college fees. Then I am going to study psychology. I will not let circumstances control my life, I will do something about it.

Yes, I am jobless, lost contact with all my friends, can’t see my family, have no idea where I’m gonna be next year, but my life is great! I know that I sound now like a naïve princess from a Disney movie, but it’s true.  I did learn a great deal during this past year. I just want people to know that the light at the end of the tunnel is always there, but we can’t see it if we kept looking down. So negative thoughts, I am gonna have to ask you to leave because this pity party is over.

Let It Go

No, this is not a post about the song from the Disney movie. This is about life. It’s about one of the hardest lessons you’ll learn. Letting go. Moving on.

The human’s life is made of consecutive stages. First, you’re a toddler; unaware of the world around you and still learning and exploring. Then you grow a little, but still a kid. Life is still great. You only see the good things in the world and the good things in people. You’re innocent, pure, full of life, and simply happy. Then comes puberty and teenage. You see the ugliness of the world for the first time. You see everything as it really is. It becomes hard for you to believe that there’s any goodness left. Then you go into your twenties. You’re an adult, but with a young spirit. You’re still reckless, maybe a little irresponsible, but expected to be fully mature. A dilemma; a state of confusion. Making it into the real world is scary. You face challenges and end up in unpredictable situations.

The hardest change is becoming an adult. In the first three phases you change without your will. Your body forces you to move from one stage to another. But during adulthood, your body stays the same for a while and your mind and personality develop. This is where we choose whether to grow up and move on, or get stuck in the ‘young and immature’ phase. It is very tempting to live a late teenage.  You ask yourself “why do I have to grow up?” “why do I have to be responsible? I like it that way!” . But unfortunately you can’t stay like that for too long. You have to let it go and move on at some point. Maybe you don’t feel it now, but when you’re forty and look at yourself in the mirror and see the wrinkles starting to appear, you will know that it’s not a joke anymore. So yeah, it is hard to leave the life of  ‘careless, young, and free’, but this is how things happen. If you refused to become a teenager and decided to stay a kid forever, do you think this will work? It’s the same thing for adulthood.

I am in my 21st year of life and I’ve been suffering from adulthood blues. I just couldn’t imagine leaving the fun life of being a college student and becoming a responsible adult with a full-time job. But I learned it the hard way. Apparently, every one around you will move on and you’ll find yourself stuck in a weird place. You can’t be teenager, and you won’t allow yourself to be an adult either. So to avoid the confusion and depression, I suggest you just get it over with and accept the harsh truth.  Maybe adulthood has it’s advantages, and maybe you will still be able to have fun. So don’t forbid yourself from seeing what life has in store for you. Wish you all a happy life.

Peace and love.

This Isn’t ‘Spot The Difference’ Game!

The primary reason why I’m writing this post is to stop myself, if I got tempted, from doing this destructive habit. I am talking about constantly comparing your life to other people’s lives. I’m gonna discuss why I used to do it, how it affected me, and how I learned to stop.

I think it started in my teens. At this age you are expected to figure out what you wanna do in your life and design a plan for your future. Of course I was clueless, I still am. In high school everyone around me was studying hard trying to maintain excellent grades to get accepted in prestigious universities. They seemed to have everything already figured out for them. I felt lost, and a little jealous of them. It continued after high school graduation and throughout college.

The problem with this habit is that it doesn’t encourage you change or do something about your situation, you just inactively watch everyone around you living their lives. You pity yourself, and ask ‘Why me?’. You keep wondering why everyone around are doing something in their lives and you’re just not accomplishing anything. It’s not envy really, it’s more like running away from your responsibilities by keeping busy of what others are doing and whining about how you’re not like them. It’s passive and self-destructive. I noticed that I do it whenever I feel like I am not going anywhere with life.

In my senior year of college I started to break that habit because I realized that everyone wants different things in life, and of course are gonna take different routes to get it. So why should I compare myself to others? Instead, I started to compare myself with the person I was before. It worked, and it was incredible and allowed me to change for the better. But when graduation came things started to fall apart. It’s time when you enter the real world, start looking for a job, be financially independent, sort out your life, and other adult’s stuff you need to take care of. It was scary and confusing. I couldn’t get a decent job, in fact I am still unemployed. The only thing I got was a part-time office job which I quit after two days. Seeing my college mates working, or taking courses, or whatever they’re doing made me feel like a failure.

Recently I’ve met with my college friends for lunch and they told me their stories of post-graduation and how their lives are like right now. As they talked I realized that this is not what I wanted. Their lives that I saw as glamorous were suddenly unattractive for me. And that’s when I told myself that enough was enough. I promised myself not to compare my life with anyone else’s again, no matter what happens. Maybe the fact that I don’t have things figured out is a good thing. Maybe this will give me time to explore, to know myself better, to learn more about life, and to do things that others won’t normally think of doing.

Life is a journey. Everyone takes a different path with different means of conveyance. Some people would drive at 60 mph trying to reach somewhere as fast as they can, and others might drive slowly to watch the scenery around them and enjoy every moment on the road. Whatever your purpose in life is or how you want to do it, always remember that the only person you should compare yourself with is you.

Advice needed!!

I know it’s supposed to be Poetry Tuesday today, but I haven’t wrote anything new for this week. There was a lot going in the past week and I’ve been really busy, and unfortunately not in the mood for writing something inspirational. I am currently going through some changes and it’s NOT cool.

Life is really getting confusing and I am starting to feel lost. It’s because I graduated college two months ago and have been on a quest to find a job or at least an internship. With no luck for two months, I finally landed a temporary part-time job. I didn’t want to get tied to something full-time and permanent because I move constantly. The first day was overwhelming; I absolutely despised it! I don’t know whether it was the job itself or my psychological state at this time. I was actually underemployed, and that is a huge part of why I didn’t want to continue in the job. Also the transformation from a college student to an employed person is just hideous!

I did a little research and found out two things. There’s something called ‘post-college depression’ and another thing called ‘first job blues’. I think I had both! That was just too much. In addition, I had to move back to my hometown (which is not in my country) two days after graduation. My life during the last months of college were more than great! After I graduated, everything suddenly disappeared. The whole thing was like a dream, a sweet sweet dream, and I unfortunately woke up with the inability to go back to sleep and continue it. I miss college days, my friends, and my country. I miss being just a student who didn’t have to deal with the real world.

Anyway, I quit that job after two days. I am now unemployed again, but this time I actually feel good about it. I know what I’ve done might be considered as immaturity and chickening out, but I just couldn’t help it. I learned that I am NOT ready for joining the workforce yet. I am planning to go back to my country. I don’t quite know how things will go from this point, whether I will look for a ‘real’ job that I will be satisfied with or join grad school. But I feel optimistic.

The reason why I started this blog is to give people advice and help them get through certain obstacles in life. Right now, I am the one who needs advice. So if you’re reading this and feel familiar with my situation or you have any advice for me, I’d really want to hear about it.

Thanks a lot.
Have a nice day!