Monica Kalousek, a freshman in the ‘real world’. Went to University of Georgia, was a Digital and Broadcast News major, graduated in May of 2014 (Go Dawgs). Enjoys long walks to taco bell, a wide variety of live music, and procrastinating. Follow for sarcastic updates in the yopro world @monicakalousek.
I remember this week from last year like it was yesterday. It was the last week before my senior year Spring Break with all of my girlfriends, and I had recently stopped giving a shit about anything. All the months leading up to that moment had been so stressful.. Where and when am I going to get a job? Is my website ok? Do I need to redo my reporting reel? Why the hell do I have to take a media analytics course? Why do my parents keep talking about grad school? How can I stretch out $600 to last until graduation? Finally, I realized there is actually no use in worrying, and it really turned my semester around.
It kind of hit all of my close friends at the same time. We realized that we had already done all we could do up to this point: we worked our asses off at internships and co-ops each year, we had our resumes critiqued by at least half a dozen people AND each other, we had reached out to all of the contacts we had, and we had sent out our information to over 400 places combined. The constant stress of rejections or lack of responses, and the pull of just wanting to enjoy the rest of our time in a drunken state of bliss really started to take a toll on everybody. One afternoon I was stressing out about the future in the car on the way back from golf class with one of my friends, and it dawned on me that worrying about when I’m going to get a call or interview is not worth worrying and having stress dreams over!
I just want to impart a little bit of wisdom that you should have come across way before the last semester of college: you’re only here for a few years. Four, if you’re lucky maybe an extra semester or two. Needing good grades, totally understandable. Setting yourself up for success with internships and volunteer week, I’ve been there. But you also need to realize that you’re never going to be leading the life you’re leading right now, again! Read my previous paragraph. on my way home from golf class. Come on, does that even sound real? You have all of the opportunities to work hard and get the groundwork to build your empire, or whatever you want to do, but there is absolutely no reason for you to not get a drink with a friend on a Sunday night. There is no reason for you to not wake up, get picked up by your friends and go to brunch on Friday mornings before class. There is no reason to not grasp every opportunity for fun as well as for work!
Maybe it was on out-of-state thing for me, or maybe it’s just the type of person I am, but I had this mentality for four years before it finally dawned on most of my friends’ senior year. Say yes to everything! You’ll probably be poor, but you can get a few shifts at Grouchos or get a paid internship to get you through. Always be down for something, be it a free concert on a Tuesday or a picnic on a Saturday. Some of these random activities will mean the most to you when you’re reminiscing one day in your cubicle. You’ll never get these days back with a majority of your friends living within 2 miles from you, and you take it for granted until you’re all spread out and the only way to get to each other are $300 flights. Don’t think ‘oh I have to go out tonight because it’ll make a great story’, think ‘I want to hang out with my friends and make memories’, even if it’s doing some mundane task like grabbing Chic Fil A. Some of my favorite moments were the morning after giggles in my friends living rooms, the Sunday brunches, and the ‘please God pick me up from class and let’s get some food because I can’t be here one more minute’ days. The grades are important, but the real life moments you have make you a real human and allow you to succeed too.
What I want you to leave with is: don’t stress! My brother is a senior in college right now and all of his calls are ‘I didn’t hear back’ and ‘I don’t know what I’m going to do’. Yeah, it sucks sometimes, but that’s part of the experience. You can apply to 300 jobs, but you can’t force them to call you back. By then you’ve already done the most you can do, and that is get your resume together and prepare yourself for when you do get that call for an interview. In the mean time keep sending your stuff out, but don’t forget to live and enjoy the last few months you have living in your sacred little nook of your college town.