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i found my voice…again

The only truly bad thing about getting paid to write is that something I have always enjoyed has turned into something I have to do. Budgeting time to turn everything in on time, following style rules of different publications, and being as professional as possible via email to make sure I get paid. I started tackling assignments with a mentality of “getting it over with,” a significant switch in mindset since I used to savor the time I spent working on this blog.

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My blog has always been a creative outlet. I can use as many Oxford commas and semi-colons as I want. And it’s gif galore up in here! The only opinion on this website is my own–though that sounds a lot more egotistic than I mean. For the second half of my American educational experience, my teachers consistently complimented my voice as a writer. I didn’t fully grasp what they meant at the time, but as I started peer-editing my classmates’ work and copy editing for the school paper, I started to understand. I want my writing to feel like a conversation. It is unpretentious, it should hopefully make you crack a smile. I like to think that if we met in person, my voice IRL would sound like the one that comes through here.

In churning out as much work as possible to make that $$$, I realized that I started cutting corners on authenticity, and my voice wasn’t as bright as it used to be. Thanks to some recent job changes on my part, I’ve had time to think about the kind of writer I want to be. And I sure as hell better be one with her own voice.

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interning 101

I’ve previously talked about how important my internship experiences were—I learned so much, and in addition to beefing up my resume, the jobs themselves were invaluable.

I got my first internship after my first year of college, when I still thought I was going to major in Art History. I emailed a local gallery in my hometown essentially offering to be their intern/provide free labor, and they took me on one day a week. Looking back, this was not a valuable use of my time—this position isn’t even listed on my resume because aside from being irrelevant to my career field, I didn’t learn or do much.

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One of the biggest things I’ve learned from my experience as an intern is that the quality of your experience largely depends on your supervisor—how willing are they to give you work? Are they going to teach you how to do new things? Will they trust you to do more than stick stamps on 400 postcards? Regardless, from my various internship experiences I’ve picked up several tips and learned a few unspoken rules that all interns should follow.

Take notes.

If a co-worker asks if you can help them with something, write down what they’re asking you. Try to ask all of your questions while they’re showing you how to do something or giving you instructions for a task so you’re not emailing them from the Duane Reade to confirm what size bottle of liquigel Advil they want. This is especially important if you have an editorial internship—why would you ever not have a pen and notepad in your hands at all times?!

That being said, don’t be afraid to ask questions.

I’ve always naturally been a bit introverted and shy, but I can guarantee that your boss would rather you ask five questions and do a perfect job than ask no questions and make five mistakes.

Be confident.

If you wrote a cover letter, had an interview (or two or three), and did an edit test or some equivalent to prove your worth, you deserve to be there. It’s kind of crazy how many people are fighting for the same unpaid internship, so when you get that offer you should feel pretty proud of yourself and know that you have a right to be there, and your boss clearly thinks highly enough of you to want to see you everyday.

Be on time.

I think this goes without saying.

Ask for what you want.

At the end of my final college internship, I didn’t want to leave. I spoke with my boss about the possibility of getting a real, grown-up job there, but unfortunately, the timing just wasn’t right. Even though I didn’t get what I asked for, I expressed how much I loved working there and I think it strengthened my relationships with my supervisors and coworkers long after I left.

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everything i’ve ever wanted to be

I’m 22, and I’m still pretty unsure about what I want to do with the rest of my life. There are lots of things I thought I’d always do–volunteer as a teacher, work abroad, write a book, start a greeting card company (and become a famous blogger) are a few that come to mind. But in terms of my actual “dream job,” that idea has changed a lot.

In kindergarten, my dream job was an archaeologist. I’m not sure why (maybe my dad’s passion for old Indiana Jones movies?), but I still think that would be a pretty cool job.

In middle school, I wanted to be an actress. I even made my parents take me to an audition at a fancy private performing arts high school, which I didn’t get in to.

When I started high school, I got the idea in my head that I didn’t want (or need) to go to college…don’t remember what my career plans were, but I’m glad that phase ended. I’m not sure if I had a dream job in mind during this time, but over the course of high school I remember wanting to be everything from a social worker to a teacher to a diplomat to a nutritionist.

When I began college, I wanted to be an art historian, with an ultimate goal of being a gallery director (read: the Charlotte York-Goldenblatt career path, ending up with a rich husband). I minored in Art History instead, and realized during my last semester that I actually hated it and am not sure why I studied it at all.

Just two years ago, I thought I wanted to be a dentist–read more about that disaster here.

And last year, I decided I wanted to work in media and follow an editorial career path. So here I am–pursuing the one thing I’ve been consistently told I’m good at (writing).

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what to do while you’re waiting to hear back about a job

Waiting to hear back from prospective employers is bringing me back big time to senior year of high school, anxiously waiting for college decision letters. I remember checking my email as soon as I got home everyday (this was pre-iPhone, people), keeping my family on high alert for any mail addressed to me, and stress-biting my nails. This is kind of like that…x100. How the f*** am I going to pay rent?! I knew at least one college would have to accept me–what are safety schools for, amirite? But how do you apply for a safety career?? Anyway, I’ve been checking my email every 1.7 seconds, and it’s becoming a problem for my mental health. So here is a very helpful list of things to do instead of tearing your hair out 24/7, inspired by the show I’ve been binge watching for the past week.

1. Get your zen on at yoga. Save a couple bucks and try Yoga to the People for a “suggested donation.”

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2. Try out that amazing makeup tutorial on YouTube! #EyebrowsOnFleek #ContourGameStrong

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3. Go grocery shopping! Nothing will take your mind off of real life more than a stroll down the produce aisle at your local, grimy bodega.

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4. Try to pick up a guy. Why not, right? It’s 2016, be the boss betch you are.

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5. Hit the gym! That beach bod isn’t gonna sculpt itself.

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6. Have fun on Snapchat. So many filters, so little AT&T data.

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7. Hit da club. Get your grind on & turn off your email updates.

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All gifs from GIPHY.

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congrad-ulations, your future is still uncertain

Midterms are approaching, and I still feel like this semester hasn’t even started. I only have class two days a week, and am taking just three courses, so the majority of my non-free time is no longer spent in a classroom. Instead, it’s spent in an office. I’m super grateful to have the opportunity to intern at a popular publication, but it’s definitely made me feel that my college experience has ended a little early.

Going to a university in a major city is an unconventional college choice to begin with. While Fordham’s campus has all the perks of a quintessentially beautiful, ivy-covered college, and even a couple of nearby student-only bars, the past four years have not been a conventional college experience. I am in no way sad about this: I intentionally chose a school that didn’t have Greek life, stadium-sized lecture halls, or a small-town location. Instead, I have multiple semesters of professional experience, close relationships with faculty members, and a total adjustment to living and navigating NYC. (And I had a pretty great time while doing it.)

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Since it’s my last semester, I’ve started hunting for full time jobs, realizing that in just a few months, I’ll have to make another huge decision. Do I stay in New York? Should I take a job I’m passionate about, even though the salary is lower? Should I move in with my parents and save money? If you feel this way too, I’m sorry, because I literally have no advice to give you. I was low-key hoping that my blog would have been paying my bills by now, but I guess I’ll have to hold out a little longer.

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