Looking Back to Look Forward

College for me was a lifetime of growth distilled into four glittery years. When I look back, it’s wrapped up in this shimmery glow of laughter, hurt, studies, travel, fun, struggle and truly living my best life. It’s safe to say I’ve placed The Ohio State University on a pedestal. I dream of going back to grad school because I crave the predictable structure of a collegiate atmosphere. I long to be back in the library for hours at a time cranking out assignments and studying for finals. I miss trudging through the week, motivated by the Friday or Saturday night parties. I’d give my right thumb to get lit with my girls one more time, to get dressed up and take pictures of each other in that special corner with the good lighting in their house.

But I can’t. Undergrad is over, Kylee. Time to let it go.

I wasn’t going to college simply to have fun or make friends. I came with very specific goals in mind: I wanted to make something of my time there. I wanted to leave with a living and tangible network of peers and mentors that would be of use to me for a long time after I received my diploma. I accomplished that. Through my relationships with my professors, supervisors and peers through a variety of student organizations and activities, I can confidently say that I’m connected.

Now, I need to learn how to use those connections. I learned a lot about who I am as an artist and creative voice in school, and now I am faced with the difficult process of channeling those things into tangible, payable results. How do I make a living on my passion(s)?

Everyone I admire on seems to be making it, seems to have made it when they were freshly 22 like me, but no one seems to have advice on how to make it through the unemployed and uninspired, 12-straight-hours-of-Netflix-a-day part of the struggle.

I’m trying to parse through what I’ve learned to be true about myself to find a solution that works for me. I don’t exactly have it all figured out, but I know that I thrive in structure. All the interviews that I’ve gone to for callbacks I haven’t gotten have asked me, “Are you a task-oriented person?” to which I excitedly respond, “YES!” I need to put structure back into my days – a task or activity a day keeps my insanity away. I need to find meaningful ways to spend my time; I’ve been thinking about volunteering a lot. And now’s the time finally read those books that have been in my Amazon list forever. Now’s the time to plan: write the vision and make it plain.

By no means do I know what I’m doing right now, but I just take it day by day.

*cue SZA’s “Broken Clocks”*

“I just do it my way.”

That education was expensive. It’s time to get off the couch and put it to use. 

Whole SelfKylee SmithComment