Sinking In

I’ve officially been a college graduate for two weeks now, and the whirlwind that was May is coming to a close. After all the flights, catching up with family, and one quick walk across the stage, it’s starting to sink in. I completed my undergraduate degrees! It’s a cause for celebration. It’s an accomplishment, yes, and an accomplishment I’m proud of- I was never the best student but always hovered around average or slightly above average.

I get that this is a happy time in my life…but does anyone else feel a small loss of identity? I’ve been a student since I was 5 years old. I’ve been pursuing (modest) educational pursuits for as long as I can remember, and now I’m a real person and I’m not quite sure what that means. I had to put “occupation” on a form the day after graduation, and I was completely at a loss.

I’m not a different person than who I was before I walked the stage, but it almost feels like I am. I’m unsure of how to fill my time without homework or studying, which admittedly I would experience every summer, but this is a forever kinda summer in my mind, pending potential graduate schools! I feel like my life is way more up to me. How I want to spend my time, how to fill my hours with things that I find fulfilling or productive. I’m feeling like I need to find a new “thing” now that school is out, like finally taking the leap and signing up for a mud run/obstacle course race or attempting a yoga challenge. I could take a cooking class or try CrossFit or run a marathon (lol) (can you tell I like to work out and eat). I feel like I have to DO something or create something or be something more than what I’ve been. It’s like a post-accomplishment lull, shrugging my shoulders and looking around, asking everyone who walks by “what now?”

This is getting depressing- that was not my intention! It’s more like a positive mindset: what can I tackle next? What is my life going to look like a year from now or three years or ten years from now? As sad as graduating college was, isn’t the prospect of doing anything you really want to exciting?!

Maybe I’m the idealistic graduate who is about to get punched in the face by the “real world” or maybe I’m the pessimist who feels identity loss, or maybe I’m both: the graduate that recognizes that graduating and joining the working world doesn’t make the past five years any less “real” than the world I’m entering now.

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The First Time I Said…

I’ve been emotional, and reminiscent, and very much on the fence when it comes to my looming college graduation. Several times A hundred times I’ve mentioned how these last five years have been the greatest of my entire life, and that remains true. That will never NOT be true.

College Graduation

With that being said, a sentence I never expected slipped out of my brain and off the tip of my tongue yesterday. The sentiment I never truly felt until now snuck it’s way in there and I stumbled over the words, but out it came:

“I’m actually excited for graduating college.”

WHO KNEW?!? I didn’t. I half expected to be reminiscent and emotional for the rest of my life.

I’m actually looking forward to the end of academic career (for now- no one ever really rules out grad school). Why? What compelled me to believe that I’m actually ready for that whole real world thing?? Well, I’m bored. I’m annoyed with writing papers that require three different types of citations because it’s whatever the professor preferences. I’m bored of notecards, even if the content in interesting. I have my systems of note taking and studying and procrastinating, and nothing is going to change in the last six weeks of school after 17 years of education. I might actually be READY to take on the real world, not just dream about it (whether those dreams were ambitious, romanticized viewpoints or nightmares). I’m seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, and I’m starting to feel proud of earning two undergraduate degrees. I can quite literally make a list of the papers and tests I have left! Graduation might be looming, but I’m shying away from it anymore.

I’m excited to get a big girl job. I’m excited to have hobbies (and expand on current ones- like this blog, and cooking!). I’m excited to not have to plan my year around semesters and I’m excited for everything I don’t know yet. I can physically feel my anxiety lessening as the reality sinks in that we actually made it- we’re graduating and getting on with our lives.

And I’m not going to lie, this post was inspired by a strange weekend. My Easter weekend involved a game night with friends, work, studying, and a long walk Easter Sunday to take advantage of the beautiful day. Meanwhile, my three best friends: 1. Got nominated to teach abroad, 2. Got a major scholarship offer to grad school, and 3. Got engaged. Their successes made me unbelievable happy, and proud, and gave me hope that even though these five years have been amazing there is still so much to look forward to. There is still so much to do and so much to see and so many goals to set still.

I said it last night and I’ll say it again: I’m actually looking forward to graduating. I am as ready as I’m going to be for whatever comes next, and I am allowing myself to feel excitement over that.

What was the best, scariest, most unexpected thing that happened to you post grad?

What Now…?

The season is wrapped, Spring Break (and the two weeks after it) are over and I’ve got every weekend mapped out from now until my college graduation. The reality is it’s not even that many weekends left to plan (insert that total-shock emoji x100).

Despite all the reminiscing I’ve been going through I can’t help but look forward to the next six months! It’s going to be a whirlwind, no doubt about that, and I’m approaching the next six months with excitement, a whole lot of nerves, and one heck of an open mind. Withoutfurtherado

The Injury Update: I’ve been 100% boot-free as of Monday. My follow up X-rays Tuesday showed some bone growth but not completely healed, but I’ve been diving again part time training for a National competition in six weeks! I’m still not allowed to jump until next week and I can’t run until the week after that, but partial cleared is better than not cleared!

The Internship: Starting June 1st I’ll be starting a my first “real job” post graduation! This ten week internship is going to be a STEEP learning curve, with long hours and a lot of work and a whole new professional experience to help advance my career. While I never pictured myself working in baseball, I could not be more excited about this opportunity to expand my skill set and experiences!

The Obstacle Course/Mud Run: A 2015 Tough Mudder is STILL on the schedule, despite the fact I haven’t run for months and I don’t have a date/race picked out in the slightest. I’m open to doing a Warrior Dash or a Spartan Race, and I’ll pick a race once I determine my fitness level post-Nationals and am 100% cleared to do everything again.

The Job Search: Despite having the internship, a part time job, and my virtual job, I’m still hunting down positions and sending off resumes. Ideally I’d like to get something lined up ASAP for post-internship, so I can feel better about scaling back on other things. I’m too afraid to let something slip off my plate in case I need it as back-up come Fall, so here I am trucking away still.

Side Note: As of May I’ll have two undergraduate degrees, my High School State Coaching Authorization, and my CPR certification. I’m debating getting my Personal Training Certification at some point this summer, and I’d love feedback! Worth it as a side job? Not worth it? Is there something I haven’t considered? I figured a fitness side job without the restrictions of a typical shift worker would be great but I’m worried I have a romanticized view of the industry! Comment below or email me :)

A New Roommate: Same apartment, different team mate. It’s going to be a bit of transition but I”m still so excited to live with someone on the team and I’m SO happy I don’t have to leave my place! It’s like all the benefits and excitement of moving without actually having to move- I get to reorganize and redecorate and it’s like a brand new start minus the heavy lifting.

Future Quote

As always, when life picks up this blog is the first thing to slip. I don’t stress over it as this blog is not a source of income or endorsements, but a release for me and great way to expand and report on my interests. A midterm after Spring Break kept me pretty busy and I had to pay catch up after that, but I’m looking forward to a chill but productive Easter Weekend! I’m looking forward to sleeping in (till like 8:30am) and then FINALLY catching up on the running, endless, To-Do list.

What’s coming up that you’re looking forward to?

2015 Grind

I love planning. I’m a big planner, making to-do lists, brainstorming activities. Every September at the beginning of the school year (and the college season), we dig deep to find those goals that will push us to better than we were before. Every May at the beginning of the summer, we do the same, and of course January 1st is the classic time to kick off new challenges.

There are plenty of things I’m looking forward to this year- goals included. What a better (and cliched) way to kick off 2015 on the blog by looking at some of the things I intend to work towards this year?

Graduating with two degrees this May. After five years of college, I’ll be walking across the stage at Carver Hawkeye Arena with a Bachelors of Science in Recreation and Sport Management, and a Bachelors of Art in Ethics and Public Policy from the University of Iowa. I was not one of those people who knew what they wanted to do their whole lives, and I transitioned majors and classes and professors while finding out what I loved. While technically this a goal, I only have one class left for each degree so 99% of the work is done!

Top 8 at the Big Ten Championships and NCAA Zone D Championships. Top 8 make the championship finals at Big Tens, and while top 18 make finals at Zones top 8 is still the goal. In my college career, I have come 9th on every event possible- my sophomore year on platform, and my junior year on 1m and 3m on back-to-back days. It sucks and it stings to be 9th. I’m ready. That’s what I’ve been working towards for two years now. There are only three months left in my collegiate athletic career (eek!!) and I want to finish to the best of my ability.

Get a real world pull up your big girl panties kinda job. While my college career might be ending soon, I’m still looking to train for the 2016 Olympic Trials. To do so means job hunting in the Iowa area for a bit- like REAL job hunting, not just a part-time summer job kind of gig. I’m excited. I’m terrified. I’ve been told both of those emotions are normal.

Extra- FINISH a Tough Mudder! A close friend of mine did a few of them this year and I obsessed at how cool they sounded. While I contemplating doing one in October, I choose to hold off and take the summer of 2015 to train for it (also won’t interfere with the diving season!). While I haven’t selected a date or location yet, I’m all giddy at the thought of it. I’m also looking at the Spartan Race series or the Warrior Dash just to make sure I’m selecting a race date that’s a good location and not too far away. Who knows maybe I’ll get in more than one event even :)

Leave a link to your posts about your 2015 goals! Happy January 1st my loves I hope everyone started the year on a strong note!

That One Time I Wanted to Go to Law School and Other Changes

I’ve had a lot of plans over the years. Like, too many to count. I’ve got all kinds of life plans, and academic plans, career goals, and milestones that I want to reach but who knows what will actually happen. If I have learned anything from 4+ years of college, is that everything that I thought would happen most likely did not, and all for very good reasons. That’s the funny thing about a change in plans- rarely was it for the worst.

I’ve had various apartments and classes and majors and dreams, and they’ve all morphed into the life I live now and how I want my future to look like. And something I’ve learned over the past six months alone is that that is COMPLETELY okay. Life is allowed to be fluid and ever changing and I’m not done growing and my plans will probably change; whether I anticipate the change or not.

There was a time in my life that I wanted to be a writer. I became a blogger instead (and who know could still become a writer). Then I wanted to be a high school English teacher because I loved that class so much.

I entered college knowing that I did not want to go into education- too much patience that I frankly just don’t have. I became a freshman with a pre-Journalism major, anticipating to enter one of the best journalism schools in the country at Iowa.

Yeah that didn’t happen. I didn’t even apply for it.

After taking one single sport studies class the fall of my freshman year, I was hooked. I never loved reporting, there was nothing creative about it (unless you wanted to be a really bad reporter). I didn’t want to just cover the sports news- I wanted to create it. So I switched to my first double major, journalism and sport studies.

Low and behold one year later when Iowa starts my Recreation and Sports Management program, and I march right into my advisors office to switch to it without it even being declared an official major yet. I had fallen in love. I had found my place. I got to take facility management and design classes, I’m currently in a liability class, I got to study management and promotions and business practices and it was all focused around sport. The best part? Picking Sport and Diversity as my focus area, and being able to take classes in sociology, communication, sports psychology, and ethics.

While trucking along having found my place program I was encouraged by a professor to pursue law school, or at least to consider it. And consider it I did- for a few weeks all I could research was law schools and the LSAT and how to get in, and when it came time to choose a second major (in order to fill up my five years) I went with Ethics and Public Policy as I got to explore even more sociology, ethics, economics, policy analysis, and political science.

Yeah, I’m not looking at law school anymore.

BUT I still love my two choices of degrees- wanting to pursue amateur sports administration fit perfectly with studying sport management and public policy. And I’m pursuing what is just the right fit for me- just enough reading and writing to keep me going, just enough quantitative data to keep me on my toes, and plenty of passionate people in my programs.

I would say this is the plot twist, or the news flash, but lets be real. Is it a surprise to ANYONE that I don’t know what I’m doing after college? I could very well pursue a Masters, or a MBA, or a JD, put will I want to? Will I need to? When do I have to decide…?

The future is weird. It’s like some big dark cloud that I’m hurtling towards, and I keep thinking I’m prepared for it, but I have no idea what’s past that cloud. I do not know where I will end up or what I will pursue besides just what industry I want to pursue and generally where I want to be geographically.

Like how can the girl who changed her major a dozen times be ready for whatever happens next? This has to be the part of the story where I blindly trust the work and experiences I have put in and jump- and hope that something happens to nab me on the way down.

This late night rant has been brought to you by helping my best friend apply for grad school. What have you guys done when approaching a big gray cloud labelled with “Your Life”?