Tuesday, January 16, 2018

I told you so you’d see how this whole world was made for you, how it warms when you smile and aches when you hurt. I told you so you could stop being afraid.

I graduated from the University of Iowa with a Journalism & Mass Communication major, English minor, and Fundraising & Philanthropy Communication certificate last month! Commencement was on December 16, 2017, which means I've officially been unemployed for one month today. Yay!

In all honesty, this is such a confusing time in my life. I've never experienced such boredom and relaxation, fear and anxiety, or just overall uncertainty. From one day to the next, I experience such a range of feelings and emotions. One day I'm totally relaxed and enjoying this period of rest and time off, and the next I feel like such a failure for not having found a job yet. Plus a variety of other feelings in between. Through it all, I'm just trying to stay optimistic!

Over the holidays, it was nice to kind of kick back and not worry about not having a job because I was enjoying time at home with my family. But now that I'm back in Iowa City, Ik now I need to stay focused and productive. I spend my Mondays and Wednesdays at my internship for the Iowa City UNESCO City of Literature and the other three weekdays browsing jobs online and following up with previous applications I've submitted. I try to give myself a break on the weekends, but I still find my mind wandering and uneasy, my fingers itching for my laptop to look for more jobs to apply. No matter how much I search or how long I look, I still feel like I'm not being productive enough, and nothing will be enough until I actually find a job.

Plus, it doesn't necessarily help that everyone's favorite question to ask me right now is if I've found a job / what my plan is now / where I'm moving / etc. I know, I know: people ask because they care and want to know! But when people ask, I can't help but feel like they're disappointed that I haven't found anything yet. And the more I'm asked about it, the less I feel like answering. BUT! That doesn't mean I'm upset with you if you've asked or that I'm upset that people do ask. It's all a part of the process — I get it! So please keep asking because I know it means you care.

According to The Balance, it takes the average college graduate six months to find a job after graduation. Six months?! I might have to do this for six more months, maybe even longer? I really don't think I can do that. Hopefully I find something much sooner than that; the sooner, the better!

As eager as I am to find a job, I'm also nervous about it. Finding a job would mean learning how to do the job, meeting new people and learning how to fit in at work, and possibly moving to a new place. How scary! But as much as it scares me, it also excites me. Adventure! I'm just so anxious and ready to start the next chapter of my life! Bring it on!

I'd also just like to say that stress relievers have been keeping me sane! Working out every morning, cooking dinner, reading, watching movies with friends, cuddling my furry roommate, and just getting outside on days it's not frigid have really helped. It's the little things, people!

Oof! In conclusion, I'm just feeling pretty stressed and frustrated and anxious and just so unsure about everything. I appreciate your love and support (and would appreciate any help you could offer!). So thank you to everyone in my life who has been there for me through all of this. I'll definitely keep you all updated and let you know as soon as I land a job. I promise!

What was your post-grad job search like? Any tips or advice for me?

Lots of love,

Emily Henry, "The Love That Split the World"