Life After College: Freelancing and Finding Friends

Hello dear loved ones! If you are reading this, I very much suspect you are someone I care for. Because I haven't been good at keeping in touch with people (I'm generally quite bad with long-distance communication), I thought it would be good to write an update! 

I miss college dearly but am adjusting to the swing of adult life. After graduating, I did a design bootcamp, moved to Seattle where my parents currently are, and launched an online magazine called Quirk! Though working on the magazine has been an arduous task, I'm passionate about it and am so proud of my fellow editors, grateful towards the contributors, and thankful for every single reader. 

Let's have a little heart-to-heart. We can pretend it's just you and me, sitting across from each other with a cup of minty green tea in my hands and a cup of coffee/tea/IPA/your preferred beverage in your hands. While we're at it, let's throw in a few pretend scones and macarons so we feel fancy.

I do believe job searching can be quite damaging for the soul. I worry about the future and am constantly face-to-face with my inadequacies. I worry if I'm good enough. I have the audacity to dream big dreams but am also burdened by the anxiety that my dreams won't come true because life isn't always so kind. 

As I've been transitioning into a fully-fledged working adult, I'm happy that I'll soon be earning enough money to support myself. Yet, I'm also feeling somewhat empty as I've been stripped of my identity as a student and am embarking into an unknown chapter of life.

I've been applying for User Interface design (web/mobile design) jobs online and hope to move to California because of the warmer weather. Four years of Chi-beria was more than enough for me! So far in my interviews, I've gotten feedback such as: "Your portfolio was in the top 3 of over a 100 applicants, but unfortunately we chose a candidate with more experience" or "We really like your portfolio and it was refreshing seeing it after sifting through so many applications, but we're looking for someone with a bit more experience." 

So, in order to gain more experience, I've started freelancing! I'm designing an app - basically making the very first prototype. I think it's a really exciting project, and I'm grateful for the opportunity. The great thing about freelancing is that I can work from home and set my own schedule. When I'm a mom, I think freelancing would definitely be a good route to go so that I can still spend time with my kids. I'm enjoying freelancing for now and I have grown affectionate towards Seattle, but will still be on the lookout for a job in Cali. I'm interviewing for a job in LA right now, so we shall see how that goes.

As I've talked to other recent graduates, I've come to realize that there are actually many of us who are floundering about. There are some of us who are at jobs we love and feel good about the direction our careers are going. There are some of us taking a gap year. There are some of us at the crossroads of making a major career decision, such as whether to go to med school or pursue the arts. There are some of us waiting at restaurants, there are some of us doing internships, there are some of us trying out something new for the first time, there are some of us at jobs we hate, there are some of us going back to school because we don't know what else to do. If you are a recent graduate and feel uncertain, confused, or perhaps even like a failure, I just wanted to let you know that you're not alone. I hope you can find comfort in knowing there are other recent graduates who can relate to your situation and with whom you can mutually encourage and support. I know it's hard when people ask what you're doing with your life after spending thousands on a college degree, but keep your chin up and don't be ashamed. Don't give up!!! You got this!!!

Throughout all of this, my faith has played an integral role in the way I've dealt with the situation. Because I trust that God is in control of my life, I can have peace. Because I know God loves me as His daughter, I know I have value. Because I believe God has perfect timing, I can enjoy the moment I'm currently in and am filled with joy.

I may not be able to control my circumstance, but I can control my attitude.

If you're a senior about to graduate, you might be wondering about the social aspects of life after college. Making friends is definitely harder post-graduation. I moved to Seattle and barely knew anyone. My parents had a more active social life than I did, and I was dragged along to their dinners and was so tired of small talk. However, through church and friends of friends, I've found people whose company I genuinely enjoy. Yesterday, I went to a board game cafe, which is basically a cafe where you play board games. It was the most fun I'd had since moving to Seattle! It was great hanging out with people my age instead of my parent's friends HAH. So slowly but surely, I am happy to report that I am making friends here.

Thank you for powering through this - these thoughts have been weighing heavily on my heart for the past few months. Your pretend cup of beverage is probably finished by now. I hope this was encouraging for at least some of you who read this post. Thank you so much to those who have been a constant source of support. I really appreciate it. Thank you to those who have been so vulnerable with me. I'm humbled and floored by the love you guys have poured into me. Here's a big hug from me to you before you go! HUUUUUUUUUG! I miss you all so much.