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"Life tips/words of wisdom for new college grads? *freaks out about the world and the future*"

- Question submitted by Anonymous

Dannielle Says:

A few things I’ve learned in my 15,000 years on earth.

(1) Middle school does not prepare you for high school
(2) High school does not prepare you for college
(3) College does not prepare you for real life
(4) Nothing prepares you for anything, ever.

Knowing those things might help a little bit, or maybe they’ll add to your freak out WHO KNOWS. Also, I can nearly guarantee that your internal freak outs will continue to happen regardless of how helpful we are… so…

I think you should do what you want to do. Not what you think you’ll want to do in 5 years or 10 years or 25 years. What you want right now. Legitimately, actually, really, truly follow your heart. YOLO, you know? You LITERALLY OLO. I know it sounds cliche and stupid to scream ‘follow your heart’ over and over. But you won’t regret going after the things and people you love. Even if you fail, you didn’t fail. You tried, you fought for what you believed in, you did what was best for you. Now is a great time to travel, try out jobs you don’t know that you’re qualified for, flirt with baristas, eat doritos, and, in general, live life in a way that makes you genuinely happy. Fun tip: being happy now will help you understand what you need to be happy later.

Also, save money. Because something WILL happen that will blow up your shit and you will need at least a tiny savings to fall back on.

Kristin Says:

“You LITERALLY OLO.” – Dannielle Owens-Reid

Goddamn, you guys… when I read this question I got all goose-bumpy thinking about all of your heads out there in the world who are just about to leave the land of college forever and ever. IT’S SUCH A BIG DEAL AND MOMENT AND ALL THE OTHER TYPES OF THINGS. I AM SO PROUD OF ALL OF YOU. HOLY CRAP.

My words o’ wisdom are in three parts (some of which echo Dannielle):

1. Jesus H Christ, Please Save Money. I don’t have many regrets about my life, and in all honesty who can really say what ‘woulda, coulda, shoulda’ been… but I do know that I was very, very careless with my dollars. I waited tables for a long time out of college, and then got an incredibly well paying job at a hedge fund (LOLOL) and in both scenarios I barely saved a dime. I was like “WHEEEE GROWN UP LIFE IS SO GREAT LET’S BUY NICE WINE AND GO ON VACATIONS.” Sure, I had a ton of fun, and I am not telling you to not spend some money on wine and travel if you can… but make a promise to yourself to budget in a savings if it’s possible. Now, those of you who are in the position I was in when I wasn’t waiting tables / at a hedge fund are like HAHA funny joke I won’t even be able to pay for soup let alone save money. That brings me to my next point:

2. Have Patience. There were many years in my post-college life where I would look around me at people who were able to take their creative passions and make money doing what they loved. I knew I was smart and I knew I had good ideas, and I would get SO ANGRY because I wanted to focus on all of those energies and was stuck working jobs that weren’t fulfilling. I wanted to get to a place where I was established IMMEDIATELY, without putting in some of the work that was needed for me to get there. This is why I caution you to have patience. You have no idea how the jobs you have right out of college are going to impact your overall future. Many of the people I worked with through the years helped advise and support the very initial days of Everyone Is Gay. My hedge fund job allowed me to have the funds to get my MA in Gender Studies, which fueled the beginning of this whole organization. My frustration WITH MY JOB is what inspired me to go back to school in the first place. Patience. Patience. Patience.

3. Work Hard. I am going to let you in on a little secret from the other side of post-college life. Many (many) of your peers are not going to put in 100%, and when employers or colleagues or whomever come across a human (hopefully you) who are willing to put in 110%, you become irreplaceable, valuable, and necessary. It seems too easy, but I can promise you that, as someone who has worked alongside a bunch of humans over the past few decades, I consistently find that people are dumbfounded by my work ethic (which is simply, ‘do the work’) and then, because of that, continue to give me better and bigger opportunities. Reach out to organizations and volunteer your time where you can; get as much on the ground experience in the things that you love; work as hard as you can and be consistent. You’ll be amazed at where it gets you over time.

3 1/2. Maintain Balance. I can’t leave you with the note to work hard without underlining the importance of always, always finding time for yourself, for your brain, and for your balance. Find the things and the places that let you re-center, whether that be a spiritual practice, running outdoors, or reading the newspaper for 15 minutes each morning, keep them as a constant in your life.

<3<3 *screams* <3<3


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