I’ve been missing.

My deepest apologies for nearly a month without posting. I’ve been…busy. I swear, I’ve used the time wisely. How, you may ask?

I have an internship. An editorial internship. As in “related to what I want to do”! It’s unpaid, mostly because it’s an independent, non-profit publishing company that runs on grants, but I’ll be working retail and hopefully some side hustles throughout the three month period I’m interning. It’s a small company, about three people actually on-staff, but that means I’ll actually be functioning as one of their staff. I’ve been assured there will be no coffee-fetching!

Basically, this place uses their interns as extra employees, so I’ll be editing manuscripts, corresponding with authors and distributors, and everything in between. There are even some author events that I get to attend! I don’t know if anyone can tell, but I’m very excited about this opportunity.

I also have a lot of respect for the company itself. Their goal is not at all to make money—it’s to spread good literature and poetry. It’s definitely a company I’m proud to be a part of, with people that I am delighted to learn from.

Besides the internship, I also have my first non-school apartment! I found it all by myself after scouring over one hundred Craigslist postings and visiting four different locations. I also argued down the rent by about $30. I’m officially an adult.

However, to detract from my adult-ness, I will be depending on my parents for half my rent. There’s no way I could make enough working part-time to cover rent each month, so my parents have very kindly consented to split it with me. They’re incredibly wonderful people who want to make it as easy as possible for me to get my “start” without making me dependent on them. I think they’re also just excited this whole publishing idea has resulted in something tangible post-graduation.

The truth of the matter is that I’ll probably move back into my parent’s house at the end of the summer. Honestly, I’m not very upset about it. Although I still want to move to New York City and working at a large publishing house, I also want to be able to save my money and maybe even spend a little more time with those lovely parents of mine.

I’ve felt very ready to graduate and leave school lately. It definitely has something to do with the exciting future I now actually have, but I think it’s also because I’m just ready to move on. For a while, I was really panicking about leaving school. All I’d done for sixteen years was learn, write academic papers, and just be a student. Not that it wasn’t hard work (oh my goodness, it was) but it is a limited perspective. I was incredibly worried about taking on the unknown, as I’m sure many students are.

That friend that wasn’t excited to go to graduate school? She’s decided not to go for a year. She’s facing far more unknown than I am, but we were equally miserable about starting our Big Person lives. Now? Now I can’t wait for my new start. I want to meet new people outside of my very small college, I want to really perfect my writing and editing, and I want to be able to focus on things like this blog. I want to focus beyond when my next test is, or the next assignment is due.

I graduate in two weeks, and although I’m apprehensive, I am not scared. I’m excited. It’s the feeling in your stomach right before a roller coaster drops. The anticipation.

I’ll keep this blog updated more frequently now (hopefully), and I’ll try to share any internship/side hustle information I can. After all, the whole purpose of this blog in the first place was to share ideas, talk like a nerd about books, and hopefully get some help myself.

My deepest apologies for nearly a month without posting. I’ve been…busy. I swear, I’ve used the time wisely. How, you may ask?

I have an internship. An editorial internship. As in “related to what I want to do”! It’s unpaid, mostly because it’s an independent, non-profit publishing company that runs on grants, but I’ll be working retail and hopefully some side hustles throughout the three month period I’m interning. It’s a small company, about three people actually on-staff, but that means I’ll actually be functioning as one of their staff. I’ve been assured there will be no coffee-fetching!

Basically, this place uses their interns as extra employees, so I’ll be editing manuscripts, corresponding with authors and distributors, and everything in between. There are even some author events that I get to attend! I don’t know if anyone can tell, but I’m very excited about this opportunity.

I also have a lot of respect for the company itself. Their goal is not at all to make money—it’s to spread good literature and poetry. It’s definitely a company I’m proud to be a part of, with people that I am delighted to learn from.

Besides the internship, I also have my first non-school apartment! I found it all by myself after scouring over one hundred Craigslist postings and visiting four different locations. I also argued down the rent by about $30. I’m officially an adult.

However, to detract from my adult-ness, I will be depending on my parents for half my rent. There’s no way I could make enough working part-time to cover rent each month, so my parents have very kindly consented to split it with me. They’re incredibly wonderful people who want to make it as easy as possible for me to get my “start” without making me dependent on them. I think they’re also just excited this whole publishing idea has resulted in something tangible post-graduation.

The truth of the matter is that I’ll probably move back into my parent’s house at the end of the summer. Honestly, I’m not very upset about it. Although I still want to move to New York City and working at a large publishing house, I also want to be able to save my money and maybe even spend a little more time with those lovely parents of mine.

I’ve felt very ready to graduate and leave school lately. It definitely has something to do with the exciting future I now actually have, but I think it’s also because I’m just ready to move on. For a while, I was really panicking about leaving school. All I’d done for sixteen years was learn, write academic papers, and just be a student. Not that it wasn’t hard work (oh my goodness, it was) but it is a limited perspective. I was incredibly worried about taking on the unknown, as I’m sure many students are.

That friend that wasn’t excited to go to graduate school? She’s decided not to go for a year. She’s facing far more unknown than I am, but we were equally miserable about starting our Big Person lives. Now? Now I can’t wait for my new start. I want to meet new people outside of my very small college, I want to really perfect my writing and editing, and I want to be able to focus on things like this blog. I want to focus beyond when my next test is, or the next assignment is due.

I graduate in two weeks, and although I’m apprehensive, I am not scared. I’m excited. It’s the feeling in your stomach right before a roller coaster drops. The anticipation.

I’ll keep this blog updated more frequently now (hopefully), and I’ll try to share any internship/side hustle information I can. After all, the whole purpose of this blog in the first place was to share ideas, talk like a nerd about books, and hopefully get some help myself.

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nervous nervous nervous.

Pre-Interview:

I don’t know if you can tell, it’s pretty subtle, but I’m a bit on edge. I’m 18 minutes away from my first phone interview/screening and I kind of want to projectile vomit. At the same time, I just want to get it over with. The waiting is absolute agony.

I’ve decided I’m going to do this post in two parts. One before the interview that’s mean to get my thoughts out of my head so this poor woman doesn’t have to listen to me ramble, and the other as a sort of reflection piece after. I figure if I mess it up, someone else can at least benefit from seeing how and why and avoiding exactly that. Oh goodness, I’m nervous.

I’m not particularly into the job, it’s just the first time a job interview has mattered so much in the scheme of things. It’d be nice to know I had options when I graduate, although I know if something more editorial assistant-like was offered, I’d snap it up in a heartbeat. That doesn’t mean I’m not going to give this preliminary interview everything I have.

To prepare, I’ve been to the company’s website, read their manifesto and mission statement, and done some research into what other people are saying about them (past employees, current employees, competition, etc.). Seems like a pretty good place to work, and it’s not too far from my family home, so the adjustment from college to real life would be a little less jarring. I could go home for Sunday dinners, just like my mom wants.

At the same time, though, I think I might need change that’s a little bit more drastic to mark the transition. I’m also not entirely sure what that means right now, but there. I’ve said it.

Later:

She missed the call-time. Isn’t that so funny? I was awake two hours earlier than I had to be because I wanted to prepare. I wanted to ace this, my first interview for my future. I wanted to blow her away with how organized and ready I was. Some part of me even hoped she’d offer me the job right away. I’m just that impressive.

No. Instead, I stared at the phone for thirty minutes and had to get ready in a whirlwind for class because I’d spent the entire morning anxiously awaiting a phone call that didn’t come until an hour later than it was supposed to while I was in class. I couldn’t even answer because I was leading a discussion about the submissions to the literary journal we work on as a class.

It’s possibly the most dejected I’ve felt in a couple of weeks (which is actually a great sign for my mental health).

I spent the morning feeling sorry for myself and forgotten, which was incredibly overdramatic. And, even worse, it was unproductive. I was distracted from what is basically my job right now, and felt unprepared to show my professor I what I’d been working on. It was just a shit way to exist for several hours.

Then I stopped myself (meds are amazing in that they give you control over your brain. Wild concept, I’m aware). It wasn’t helping me at all to get angry at this woman, who probably just wrote it in her calendar incorrectly. Feeling dejected wasn’t going to help me get a job, and in fact would probably be counterproductive. I reminded myself that I had, honestly, not even been that excited for this particular job. It’s not exactly in the field I’m trying to get my foot into. So why was I so upset.

My pride. I’d been vain enough to think that I was so important, that this woman was definitely interviewing me and maybe six other people for the position, but leaning heavily towards me. Which is ridiculous, because that’s just not how the hiring process works.

I’m competing with everyone from my graduating class across the country (and, often, outside of it), as well as the ever-growing number of people from previous years who still don’t have employment.

If I want to make it in the publishing world, or any field, I need to get a tougher skin. Each rejection letter is not a personal slight, and each forgotten or missed opportunity is not the end of the world as we know it. At least…I hope not.

6:12am

As “The Search” continues, I find myself waking up at 5am every day and immediately pulling open my laptop to begin applying to jobs. Today, the lucky receivers of my pleas for employment included Hachette, Harvard Business Publishing, and what feels like hundreds of others. Each was for an internship, which is apparently all I’m useful for at the moment.

I spoke with a woman from my college who had graduated and gone on to work at a publishing agency. She was incredibly honest about my chances of getting a full-time position without any internship experience (slim to none). Not only that, but she guessed I probably wouldn’t be able to get any of the paid internships until I’d had a couple of the unpaid. So what I’ve learned this week is that I a) will be poor for at least a decade and b) am of little to no monetary value to companies. It’s just so inspiring!

Anyway, I’ve focused my job search a little more, mainly applying to internships in larger cities, now. I am doing a phone screening for a Broadcast Editor position tomorrow, and then a position at Yelp on Wednesday. Prospects, but I’ve also contacted my old manager at American Eagle to tell her to expect me for the summer. Gotta have backup plans for your backup plans. At least, I do.

I can’t explain it, but despite all the setbacks and general let downs, I can’t give up on this. I love books (are they perhaps all I love? No comment), and I want nothing more than to work with them permanently. I got a late start because I let others tell me it was a dying industry, with no jobs available and very little chance of jobs in the future. No more. People continue to say: “publishing? Really?”

And to them I respond: “hell yes”.

My dream job is to be an editor, and I’d so much rather enjoy it than make oodles and oodles of money while hating the job. That just isn’t worth it to me. For instance, I could’ve become a teacher—as everyone who hears I’m an English major assumes—but that is aggressively not for me. Teaching has never even been an option. My plans have always been outside that, because I’m pretty sure I would hate every moment. It’s not that I don’t respect teachers, or the work that they do. I’m just positive I would be terrible at it. Teaching shouldn’t be your backup, not when education matters so much right now.

Some of my English teachers are the reason I love books so much, though that did start around three years old. You can also trace my obsession back to my mother, who read to me and my sister every night before bed. I mean every. Single. Night.

Yet another inspiration? Books like Toot & Puddle, a children’s book about two pigs, one of whom loves travel and the other who is perfectly content at home. As someone who is constantly afflicted with wanderlust, that book understood me from a young age. It was like (and this sounds silly, but screw it) Toot and Puddle were the two parts of me. On the one hand, all I want to do is see new places and absorb new ideas. It’s one of the reasons I studied abroad in the fall of 2016. I’d been itching for adventure and information that I could only have gotten from that study abroad experience. But at the same time, I love my family and my home. I enjoy every break I have from school because I like the familiar as much as I like the new. I like the boring and mundane as much as I like the exciting. There’s a time for everything and every feeling, and those two pigs pretty much taught me that. And it’s always okay to come home when you need it.

on people continuing to feel like crap despite being awesome

Here I am at 5:12am drinking obscene amounts of water after a lot of drinking a lot of not-water on a Thursday. There may have been curly fries involved, as well. And I may have sounded just a little like I was dying from how purely delicious they were. No regrets (but actually so many, ow, my stomach).

I’m thinking about the fact that after writing an entire rant on job search difficulties, I’ve managed to set up two phone interviews for next week. It’s like the universe decided to throw me a bone or something. I have since then clutched the bone in my teeth like someone suffering from lockjaw and will be carrying it everywhere in order to maintain some semblance of hope.

Now to the thing I’m actually thinking about: my best friend heard from her first graduate school (she applied to two) and she’d been accepted to her program! Yay! Hence drinking, celebrating, revelry, etc. You’d think that was the tone of the evening, but you would be quite wrong. We spent the night first drinking at her house and commiserating, then at the bar and doing pretty mych the same thing. Partially because we both have moderate to severe depression we both find it a little difficult to “look on the bright side”.

But also partly because she wasn’t excited at all to have gotten her first acceptance. She had just received actual proof that her plans were going to work out, regardless of whether she got into the school she really wants to go to.

At first, I was a little shocked. A definite future? That sounds better than sliced bread to me right now. She could start planning! So I demanded to know why she was being so blase about this. And she told me it was because she didn’t know if she wanted to do the program she’d applied for. She didn’t even know if she wanted to go to grad school at all. She’d just been operating under the assumption that it was her only choice after college for someone in her major.

This made me start thinking. This smart, beautiful, capable girl was sitting in front of me not even acknowledging that fact that she gotten into grad school. She’d moved straight past that accomplishment to something of an existential crisis. I started to feel so pissed at the world that had trained her not to brag about the wins in her life, or feel proud of them. Regardless of whether she decides to go to that school or participate in that particular program, she has been recognized by a rather trusted source for all the work she’s put into undergrad. They’ve looked through her resume, her transcript, her personal statement and said “good job! We’d like to hitch our wagon to yours!”.

So I have something of a list (told you we’d end up with listicles) to remind people that when they succeed at something, they get to feel fucking proud for at least one week before freaking out about everything else.

1) An outside source has validated you.

Congratu-freaking-lations! I know we’re all supposed to derive comfort in our lives from ourselves, self-fulfillment, blah blah blah but it is an amazing feeling when someone else acknowledges you for what you’ve done. My friend has dedicated four years to her major—that’s countless hours of studying, stress, and a lot of money to something she loves—while dealing with a mental illness that basically tells you not to care about anything. She hurtled over that obstacle and was so successful in doing so that she has been accepted by yet another university to do that x10. It’s always nice to have someone notice all the work you’ve put in and reward it. On a related topic—

2) All your work and time and effort has been towards something.

Even if you’re no longer sure that grad school, or a PhD program, or a career path is right for you, please allow yourself to realize that everything you did paid off. Just because you might not take that road does not mean that all the time you spent building it has been worthless.

Those sleepless nights and freezing mornings walking to classes paid off. Your goal might have changed, but dammit, you reached it! I call that a win, especially when your brain has been telling you your hard work is pointless because we all die eventually (apologies for the downer…but also it’s true…).

3) You goddamn did it

John Mulaney has this great comedy special on Netflix where he basically thanks the audience for “doing something”. It is so, so, so much easier to just not do anything. To not do that extra credit, or to not help that professor with research. I think deep down my friend somehow thinks she’s lazy because she likes to nap. Maybe that’s your definition of lazy. If so, throw me down as lazy because dear baby Jesus sometimes the only thing keeping me going is that I get to take a freaking nap later.

But while napping and enjoying yourself (occasionally) you’ve also done something incredible, too! You did a thing! Things are hard, but you did them anyway! Not to mention that very story-specific fact that she had to take the GRE and fill out boring, long applications. It would’ve been so much simpler to just not do those things, but she took the actions she needed for what she wanted. Perhaps what you wanted changed—which, especially at this point of your life, is just fine—you know from experience now that you’re capable of taking the new steps for your new goal. You’ve done it before, you can do it again. Maybe even better.

I’m just really sick of people not feeling like they’ve done anything special just because the world expected them to do it. Graduate school may be the norm for her major, or her career field, but it is not a given. Not everyone has the opportunity to go, or the ability. You’ve done a thing, and that’s awesome. Acknowledge it and be proud. It’s not vain, it’s justified satisfaction.Feel good about it.