My Post-Grad Life: How I Maintain Optimism After College

My Post-Grad Life: How I Maintain Optimism After College



Life after college can bring a rollercoaster of emotions. And if you’re anything like me, you were completely terrified to graduate. And that’s okay. Here are my tips for maintaining an optimistic attitude even after you leave the happiest place on Earth (yes, I mean college).

1. Apply, apply, apply

Months before I graduated, I aggressively applied for jobs. This may be because I had friends who graduated years prior to me, and I know that they had a hard time finding work. Being the planner and go-getter that I am, I wanted to make sure that I left college with a next step firmly in place. I may not know where I will be five years from now, but I wanted to know where I would be five months from graduation. I stuck to Indeed and LinkedIn for my two online job boards, and I ended up finding my now-job after six months of applications.

I applied to hundreds of jobs before landing this one last April. It wasn’t a walk in the park finding it, but I am so grateful that I started applications in October. It allowed me to get used to the idea of rejection early on.

Even if you don’t have a job by the time you graduate, keep applying. Filling out apps will allow you to always have an end goal in mind: get the job. You could find one sooner than you think!

2. Always have something to look forward to

When Chris and I were planning out Walt Disney World trip, we wanted to pick dates that would be months after we graduated college. This trip is a celebration for us, and we wanted to make sure that as we began working our post-grad jobs, we had something to look forward to. And after we get back from this trip, we plan to pick our next trip ASAP (in our case, it will hopefully be a springtime trip with our college friends!!).

I realize that traveling is not accessible to everyone, but you don’t have to have an expensive trip in mind in order to be looking forward to your future. A weekend brunch date, a new podcast, or even a delicious breakfast every morning can give you the same sense of optimism. Making sure you always have something to look forward to will help you get over the fact that you won’t be returning to your undergrad life.

3. Work toward a goal every day

I am a very goal-oriented individual, and I believe that you should have at least one goal that you are working toward every day. This can be a goal at your job, in your home, within your hobbies, or anything that you can think of that makes your heart beat. It is highly important that you work to achieve something, big or small.

Because I am planning on attending grad school within the next three years, the new goal I will be working toward is studying to retake the GRE. But every day I work toward a goal of booking more meetings at work. Every week I strive to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Every month I aim to learn something new, whether it is from a book or a podcast.

We learn and grow so much during our undergraduate years. Why can’t we continue to do so post-grad?


These are just a few tips that I use to make sure I am optimistic during this weird and emotional time of my life. I still miss college—I just barely graduated!!—but keeping these things in mind really helps me understand how wonderful life can be. Hey, if you’re like me, we’re just getting started.

Taking Life Slowly

Taking Life Slowly

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I have officially been working at my first full-time job for two months. Two months! When I first started, I could hardly imagine what it would feel like to say that I had been working for a couple months. I know that is a silly thing to say, but it’s true: full-time work straight out of college is a swan dive into the unknown. But it’s been grand, to say the least.

There are ups and downs, whirlygigs and flipper-floppers. Some days feel like a monotonous routine of traffic-work-traffic-sleep, while others feel exciting (such as when I book a few meetings for some AEs or I eat at a new restaurant). But today I was reminded of how amazing and blessed it is for me to even have these days at all. How thankful I am to have ups and downs, because they signify that I’m alive.

Today, I told myself I would take life slowly. During shavasana at our weekly Yoga in the Park (I know, it’s amazing that we do this at work now…my job rocks), I focused on being completely present. I set the intention that I would become more present in everything I do, from something as simple as chewing my food and paying attention to how it tastes, to something as complex as truly focusing on my productivity in the office. I have written about intentional living a lot on this blog, but I think living in the present is a big part of that. And I believe wholeheartedly that being 100% present in everything I do really helps me thrive as an individual. I am more productive, happier, and healthier when I practice presence.

So this evening, as Chris was hard at work in the ED, I took myself on a dinner date. I ate at a vegan cafe that I’ve been dying to try but Chris hasn’t been interested in. I brought my book and my headphones. I ordered an avocado roll and dou hua and a latte (and I even spoke to the owner in Chinese!!). I chewed my food. I tasted my dessert. I burnt my tongue on my coffee. And I read. I fell in love again and again with every breath I took because this experience of solitude amid the busyness of my days felt truly magical.

Take a breath. Realize that you’re here. It’s okay if you don’t know why yet, but you’re here. So be present.

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On Being Humble

On Being Humble

Humility is one of the most important qualities for us to have. Understanding when we are wrong, not being prideful, respecting others—these are all things that we should be aware of and doing on a daily basis. But like a lot of other “we should”s, it is easier said than done.

I will not always be the first to admit when I am wrong, and that is something I am completely aware of. I love being right! Don’t we all? It can be so satisfying sometimes to say “I told you so!” or snicker in our heads about that one question we definitely know the answer to. But admitting when we are wrong is way more important than feeling satisfied when we are right. Even more so, knowing when to be humble is an even greater quality.

Humility does not mean never getting recognized for good work, nor is it equivalent to passivity or meekness. Humility as a personal quality, rather, means refraining from boastfulness, from pride and arrogance. Humility, in my book, means knowing when we are right and when we are wrong, and making the conscious decision to abide by the idea that how we feel about ourselves on the inside—how we treat others)—is far more important than outward pride and boasting about our accomplishments.

At the same time, being humble does not have to mean we never recognize our own good qualities or actions. We can be proud of ourselves without never admitting we are at fault. We can uplift ourselves without bringing others down.

Day 167

Day 167

I have been so caught up in the whirlwind of life lately: graduation is fast approaching, I am anxiously interviewing for jobs and biting my nails to hear back, my birthday is coming, people are moving away soon, and everything seems to be going a mile a minute.

So today I slowed down. I didn’t realize until minutes ago, but that’s what I did. I slept through my alarm, I took work slowly, I read slowly, I took a nap and took a sunset drive to In-n-Out with Chris and David. I lived life slowly and truly tasted it.

And you know what? It was a great day. Sure, I got turned down for an internship and I truly am putting all my energy into getting this one job that I think might be the best thing ever. And I didn’t take my schoolwork too seriously today—I didn’t buckle down or hustle. But that was the beauty of it all. In taking today slowly, I was able to taste every moment. Working this morning took a lot of thinking. Cooking my lunch was so enjoyable. Reading for my fairy tales class was so much fun and albeit relaxing. And driving to get a quick dinner with my boyfriend and roommate was a perfect moment.

I don’t know what life will be like in a year or two. But I do know that I am grateful for the life I lived today. And I want to make sure that even after I am in a full-time job in the real world, I want to always make time to take life a little slower.

Living Intentionally: 2017 Goals

Living Intentionally: 2017 Goals

I have been thinking a lot about goals for this year, some of which I began last year and will continue to carry through, and others that I want to start. So here is a list of my 2017 goals. I am posting it in this “Living Intentionally” section of the blog so that I can hold myself accountable, as these are my intentions for living in this new year and beyond. 🙂 I will probably continue to add to this list and plan to create posts throughout the year in this section updating you on my progress. Here we go! 

  1. Live every moment with intention: make it a habit to make decisions that align with my life and goals. This is number one because if I do not aim to do this, I can’t really accomplish anything else on this list.
  2. Aim to not react to things so quickly. Take a deep breath, relax, and think about my words and my emotions before reacting to anything so suddenly.
  3. Make an effort to feel beautiful, inside and out. I don’t think there is anything wrong with wanting to put an effort into my appearance. Wearing makeup that flatters me and creating a wardrobe that inspires me will help me to feel confident in my own skin.
  4. Spend wisely and intentionally. Keep track of all my purchases, specifically those that are not necessities for living, and fully think through what I want to spend my money on. I am a college student on a budget–I have to act like it!
  5. Continue to make an effort to be kind and thoughtful to everyone around me. Treat others, even those who do not show me kindness, with kindness and warmth. We attract to us what we put out into the world.
  6. Have a clear divide between my work space and my sleep space. Spend more time working at my desk and table and less time sitting in my bed. This is a simple one, but it is so important to have these boundaries. Even with something like blogging: this is still work! Not doing it in bed will allow me to fully consider my sleep space as relaxing and my desk space as productive.
  7. Spend more time spiritually. Whether it is praying in the morning or before bed, reading spiritual books or texts, meditating, or just thinking and manifesting. This is something I began in 2016 and want to spend more time on in this new year.
  8. For every time I put myself down, I must give myself a compliment right after.
  9. Continue my morning weekend walks with Christopher. We started this last year and it is such a lovely time for us. Quiet time outside with my partner truly helps us recenter and enjoy the little things together as a couple. I love this.
  10. Fully embrace the Law of Attraction to create my dream life. Graduation is coming and I do not want to let the fear of the unknown keep me from my dreams. If I want something, I must attract it into my life and work to get it.
  11. Travel to Oregon and Maine. These are two places that I have been wanting to go for a while now. Chris and I keep bringing up the idea of visiting Maine, and he seems on board for Oregon as well. While traveling is always a goal, I wanted to write these two specific places on here because I truly believe I can save and manifest these places into my life this year.


Living Intentionally: Patience

Living Intentionally: Patience

Within an hour after I woke up today, I felt such an urge to write this blog post. I have been reading and following SheIsCaptivating on Instagram for the past few weeks, and today while catching up on her words and captions I felt so inspired and compelled to write about the subject of patience.

I truly believe that we notice so much more in life when we are patient, we wait, and we slow down. There is something so magical about living life moment by moment and truly appreciating what we have in front of us. I think this appreciation can get lost sometimes, when we are so focused on what we want and we are so antsy about what we are waiting for that we lose sight of what we already have: the joy that comes with waiting for something wonderful, and the already-wonderful sights and sounds and moments that are already surrounding us constantly.

My entire life, I have always known the value of patience–and believe me when I say that I can be a very impatient person. But I think sometimes my impatience keeps me in check: it allows me to slow down, stop myself, and think, Wait a minute: I have such amazing things around me, let’s just take a breath and appreciate waiting. The saying “patience is a virtue” couldn’t be more true here.

I could give many examples to illustrate this point, but I will stick with one that I think a lot of readers could relate to. Let’s say you are very excited about an event or a trip coming up: you are so preoccupied with leaving where you are to get to where you want to be, you can’t stop thinking about what you are going to do when you get there, and nothing else in the present matters because you are so fixated on going-going-going.

Do you see anything wrong with this picture?

If we are so focused on getting somewhere else then what happens to the moments occurring daily up until the time we leave? They are still here, happening right in front of us, only we are too busy to notice or appreciate them. But just because you do not appreciate something, that doesn’t mean it goes away. It continues existing, you just don’t notice it.

Life is full of situations like these. If you’re like me, you can get so caught up in the idea of your future that you can forget how wonderful the present truly is. Or maybe you are impatient with little things, such as receiving a package in the mail or waiting on purchasing an awesome present for a loved one. If we wait for things and we enjoy the moments in between the present and what we are waiting for, life moves slower and we can learn to not take for granted every breath and song and sight the world has to offer.

Be patient: learn to love moments, the feeling of waiting, and the in-between. Because sometimes there is nothing sweeter than the beautiful rays of light shining through your window…only you may be too worried or preoccupied to notice them.

Living Intentionally: It’s All About the Morning

Living Intentionally: It’s All About the Morning

Ahh…mornings. For some people, these are the worst times of the day: waking up early and having to start a long day of work. But for others, the morning is quite positive. It’s all about your mindset and intentions.

I begin almost every morning largely the same way. I wake up–on weekdays, usually around 7-7:30, on weekends, usually around 9-9:30–make myself a warm drink, and head to my bedroom to enjoy myself.

In the past, my mornings would consist of coffeecoffeecoffee (Any Gilmore fans out there?) and I found this to end the same way. By the afternoon, I would feel groggy, as though I needed a nap, and I would end up fueling my body with even more coffee. This wasn’t good, and ended up leading to indigestion issues, which is why I switched to tea.

This is my first tip for the morning: begin your day with the body’s best fuel–water!–before starting with your preferred fuel. And you have to choose what is best for you.

So after drinking my water and my tea, usually water before and then alternating, I will do some light reading or video watching. And I do this because it is what truly makes me happy. For the first 30-45 minutes after I wake up, I take my time doing the things that I know I enjoy, the things that make me happy. And this is absolutely imperative to having a good morning, in my books. By starting the day with what you love, the rest of you day can only be positive. Trust me.

My second tip is to go into your day knowing what you will be doing. For me, using a planner works best. I look at my to-do list and add some more items to it, and I sort out in my head exactly where I will be during large breaks in my schedule. By planning out my day, all my stresses become on the paper instead of in my head, and they largely disappear. It’s all about going into situations with a plan: this doesn’t have to be a rigid plan that you stick to. But if you have a general idea about how your day will look, then you eliminate the questioning of where you will be when, and you will be able to accomplish your tasks easier.

My third tip is to use this time to do something productive, if need be. I like to get some light studying done, read for a class, or start a homework assignment. By doing these things, I eliminate even more tasks from the day, even if it is just 30 minutes of work.

And that’s it! As you can see, I like to wake up and allow myself enough time to do these things before I get ready, do my makeup, and walk out the door on my day’s adventure. Having a morning like this is all about intention: what you put into the beginning of your day will impact the rest of it, so you should make intentional choices that reflect the attitude, productivity, and happiness you want to feel for the rest of the day. One more step to living intentionally and crafting your wonderful mindset.

I hope you gained some insight from this post, and I would love to hear your thoughts. 🙂

Living Intentionally: Why?

Living Intentionally: Why?

Why do you do what you do–every. single. day?

This may sound like a broad question to some and a far-too-specific one to others. But to me, we must answer this question before we can begin to understand living with intention. Here’s what I mean.

Every day we are confronted with numerous choices: from the moment we decide to get out of bed to what we eat to where we go to how we spend our time, we must choose, choose, choose. And there is something to be said that is very significant about those choices: we must choose wisely.

If you live your life without paying attention to the choices you make, then the consequences of those choices may come as a surprise to you. You may not understand why your stomach aches in the evening, why you got a bad grade on your exam even though you studied, why you find yourself so tired after spending time with certain people. Every choice we make leads to an outcome, and in a perfect, ideal world, these outcomes would be good…right?

Well, everything depends on choice. And one of the ways in which we can come close to determining positive outcomes–and, consequently, positive days–is by making the decisions that will get us there. In order to do this, we need to be aware and make conscious choices in our daily lives.

So ask yourself–why am I hitting snooze on my alarm? Why do I feel so tired today? Why am I feeling bitter and annoyed? Once you figure out the reasons behind these thoughts and feelings, you can make decisions that will lead to more positive outcomes.

Living intentionally in our daily lives means making the decisions that are right for our individual selves, decisions that will lead to happier, positive, successful futures, in our own eyes. With living intentionally comes being conscious of every choice we make, being aware of how our choices impact our personal wellbeing, and continually striving to make the choices that work with our heads, our bodies, and our hearts.

One exercise that I have begun to do every evening is reflecting on the day I just had and laying out a general plan and hope for the day to come. Every time I set my alarm for the next morning, I make the choice to wake up early enough to give myself a lovely, self-serving morning routine. And every time (well….almost. I am human, just like you) I wake up in the morning, I make the choice to get out of bed without consistently snoozing my alarm.

These are just two examples of the choices I make on a daily basis–the choices I make to live intentionally. And I have come to understand these choices by asking myself why I make them; it is that simple.

I hope you gained some insight from this post and I would love feedback, questions, comments, and tips from you! We are all in this journey together–let’s make it happen.


Living Intentionally: A New Chapter

Living Intentionally: A New Chapter

Lately I have been so interested in the concept of living intentionally that I decided to dedicate a new category/series on my blog about it. So here it goes.

To me, living intentionally means living as though your actions in the present align with, benefit, and work toward your long-term goals. And as a student, hearing about this concept was enlightening and automatically so resonant with me. I am going to graduate soon and embark on the next chapter of my real-world life. So why wouldn’t I want to make sure I was doing everything I could to get there?

Well, it is easier said than done…and even easier thought than said. So when I heard of this idea, I did some research. I read articles, listen to podcasts, watch videos–I do what I can to learn about these concepts and ideas that will help me thrive and become the best me I can, living my best life. And through this constant process of learning, I feel the need to share it with you all. So that is what I am doing here: sharing as I go.

I believe that it is never too late for a fresh start and never too early to close a door. And the door that I am closing is this:

I will not commit my life to anything that does not benefit my soul. 

Doesn’t seem that hard, does it? Well believe me, it’s not easy. But it is worth it. Living intentionally means living your best life for you–and I have no time to commit to things that do not allow me to live my best life.

Here’s to a new chapter: to new beginnings, new adventures, and new bumps along the road. Some people say that they don’t know where they are going, but they are on their way somewhere. That may work for them. But I believe that I know where I am going, and I am going to do whatever I can do get there. And I will live with my best intentions to do so.

Sending you love and light on your journey to live intentionally. Let’s do this together.