Now What?: A Post-Grad Journey of Self-Discovery and All That Cheesy Stuff

I graduated college two years ago, and as part of FTS’s post-grad series, I’m going to tell you about some of the things I’ve accomplished in those two years.

When I sat down to write this, I felt pathetic. And here’s why: I’m twenty-four years old, I don’t have a “real job,” I still live at home with my parents, I sleep in bunk beds that I share with my little sister when she’s home from college, and I just finished my M.A. degree. One of these things is not like the others…

But then I got to thinking, and I realized that while I may still be mooching off of the parentals and avoiding what I call the “proverbial real world,” I’ve done a lot of important and life-changing things in those two years.

Most importantly, I’ve finished my Master’s degree in English. They were two grueling years of hard work, dedication, blood, sweat, and tears, but I made it. And I finished with my first 4.0 semester ever, graduating with a 3.9. I’d say that’s a pretty great accomplishment. I wrote a 50-page thesis that took me an entire year. During those two years, I jumped around on deciding a career path: publishing, editor, teaching, copywriting, starving artist. They were all possibilities. As of a few weeks ago, I’ve finally decided that teaching (on the college level) is where I belong. I’ll be teaching a composition class in the fall at community college. (Okay, so I have a real job lined up, but I still don’t have it).

cover page of my thesis
cover page of my thesis

Second most important thing? I traveled abroad for the first time in my life over NYE this past year. My European excursion changed my life. I was totally outside of my comfort zone (also known as the hobbit hole I call my bedroom) and had to really be myself and meet new people and find my way around. I fell in love with new cities and made life-long friends. I learned more about myself in those eleven days than I have in my twenty-four years of life.

me in London. someday I'll live there. maybe.
me in London. someday I’ll live there. maybe.

I got a new (albeit temporary) job for the first time. This job (working as a writing tutor at my school) showed me that I do have a talent and passion for education, that I am happiest when I see students with whom I’ve worked make improvements. I also met new people and made new friends there, and I had to learn to be a professional. This experience literally led me to my teaching job for the fall.

my employee picture!
my employee picture!

The day I graduated from college, I decided to overhaul my life and get healthy: no more binge drinking, no more mindless snacking, no more laziness. I joined a gym, learned how to eat healthy, and always offered to be DD so I wouldn’t drink. I lost 25 pounds in six months, hit a plateau, hired a personal trainer, lost about 10 more pounds. Since my year contract with training has run out, I’ve struggled with getting to the gym, but I’m getting back into it. I still don’t particularly like eating healthy and exercising, but I feel so much better when I do.

me before and after 30 lb weight loss
me before and after 30 lb weight loss

Even though I haven’t actually become a real adult yet, I must say that these two years have really let me become a person. I created the person I want and need to be for the future. It’s hard when I see friends with their “real jobs” and apartments and relationships and engagements and what have you, but I know that I needed to take this journey. I needed to become who I am today, and I couldn’t have done any of the above if I had jumped right into adulting. So if you’re graduating this year and don’t have it all figured out, don’t sweat it. Everything will work itself out eventually. I know those are hard words to swallow, but believe me, it will ha

Samantha Glassford

A born-and-raised Jersey girl with a chronic case of wanderlust, Samantha spends her days reading, writing, and planning adventures. She currently teaches classes at the community college while living at home with her parents, trying and failing to become a part of the proverbial real world. Her dream is for someone to pay her for writing and traveling, but in reality she'll probably be teaching forever. Follow her mundane musings on Twitter @SamanthaG2012, and check out her personal blog, wanderlustingmillenial.blog.com

3 Comments
  1. What you share and your insights are always the best Samantha. Would love to get you on the show sometime this summer, like before you start at the community college.

    1. Thank you so much! I would love to be on the show; just let me know when and what I should prepare!!!! 🙂

  2. You and I share a lot in common, sam. The living-at-home after graduation, not knowing what to do, always being a hermit, mindless snacker habits, etc. It’s nice to hear you’ve committed to something you like though. It sounds like you’ve found your niche 🙂

    Hope I find mine soon!

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