Sunday, August 19, 2012

{reflect} thought of the week

When I left home to head up to FSU four years ago, I was so excited. I couldn't wait to get out of my high school bubble and experience college life. There was minimal fear of the unknown. All I knew was that I was going to have a great summer semester and was preparing myself to go through sorority recruitment. I had friends, old and new, to fall back on. If I got homesick it wasn't a problem. Tampa was just 4 hours away after all.

Nobody can prepare you for what you will feel post-college graduation. The unknown is a black hole. Your friends who turned into family? Well they are now in North Carolina, London, and all over the state of Florida. You start to realize that you need to figure out who YOU are. You are no longer "an FSU student, Phi Mu collegiate member, or after school teacher." You are a 20-something woman with limitless possibilities and potential.

Two of my best friends were busy our entire senior fall semester attending interview after interview with graduate schools. Meanwhile, I didn't know what exactly it was that I wanted to do after graduation. I knew that I loved the field of psychology (which I now have a degree in) and working with children. "Should I be a school counselor or a school psychologist?" I frantically wondered. "But elementary education sounds like a good idea, too." I contemplated rushing in applications to begin lesser known schools in August 2012. Then I considered maybe just applying to bigger name schools and starting in January 2013. 

I am so glad that I did neither.

I decided {quite spontaneously} that I was going to look into teaching English abroad. There were so many options! South Korea, China, Italy, Spain, France, etc., etc. I found out about a program an old co-worker and friend of mine completed in Madrid, Spain. My friend had nothing but good things to say about her experience in Madrid. I knew that I needed to take this gap year in between my college life and adult life to learn how to be independent and to experience the world.

It's going to be a HUGE life change. I am going to get homesick. I will be there for an entire year with one friend from the United States. But you know what? We are going to have the time of our lives. I just know it! When else will I be able to get paid in euros? When else will I have the chance to completely immerse myself in a new language and culture?

Grad school can wait. Just a year. I am happy to report that I will be {hopefully} getting my masters in elementary education after. Time to start those applications now!

Finally, remember this:

Post-college life is scary. End of story. This is the time that you need to make it count. Going to grad school? Give it all you've got. Taking a year off? TRAVEL. Starting your first "big girl" job? Impress the hell out of everyone. Be selfish for once. Think about what you want and what you need. Love and believe in yourself.

It will all be okay.

xo, Jen


  1. I'm also from Tampa & I'm also majoring in Elementary Education. FSU is my second choice for University when I transfer. So much in common :))) I really enjoyed reading this post. Being abroad for a year is going to be so amazing & fun. Go for it! I especially love the "twenties" quote. It's so true. I might do something similar once I graduate from the University :D

  2. That is SO exciting! I don't think I'm brave enough to do that, but you will have a blast! I'm an Elementary Ed major and starting my student teaching on Wednesday. You will love the kids!

  3. This was so freakin' inspiring! You are SO RIGHT. Life after college is seriously a huge black hole! I just graduated, too, and I'm STILL trying to figure out what I should be doing right now. I'm so excited for you and your life in Madrid to begin - you really are going to have the life of your life!!!

  4. Preach it sister! I still have a year or so before graduation, but I'm already freakin' out about the future. What you're going to do sounds SO awesome!! From what I've heard, spending time abroad changes your life forever in the best way! I'm excited to hear about your adventures and hoping that I'll be as brave as you post-graduation! xo

  5. love this! I am so excited for you and I can't wait to hear all about Spain!!!!


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