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The Post Grad Diaries

First Day of Fall: Expectations vs. Reality

September 23, 2015

day 139

In May, back when the post grad day count was in the single digits, I was in the car with my future roomie talking about our big plans of jobs and apartments and eating ramen for far more consecutive nights than socially acceptable. It was then that we decided fall was our target. By the time the leaves started to change and vests reemerged, we would be searching for our little part of the big city.

Well, fall’s here kids. Fall’s here and my future roomie is tapping her proverbial foot requesting that I please get on with finding a job to pay for said little space in the big city. What I tossed around so easily, “September. October at the latest,” reminds me that my active imagination doesn’t always come to fruition. So, on this first day of fall and the end of the grace period, here’s my expectations vs. my reality.

expectation v. reality




Interview Prep, A Schedule

September 15, 2015

day 129/130

for all those that use this as reference for the length of time we have been ‘real people,’ today is in fact, day 131, yesterday was 130 and the day before was 129. Ya dig? 

Day 130 was the day of my most recent phone interview. Sort of.

day 129.75

2:58pm: meet my parents in the most architecturally inspiring mcdonalds somewhere in western, va. we are close to west virginia, I can feel it in my bones. buy h20, say goodbye to dc (for the 10th time since day 1) and hop in the car.

4:42pm: stop in md for chex mix. think that I should reach in the back and get my laptop to start interview prep and then remember car wifi is not a thing, but car sickness is. try to sleep, mom is telling me about a ballet documentary she watched on a plane.

6:47pm: head bob so hard that I smack said head on the window. a nap is now out of the picture.

7:30pm: tell my grandma for the sixth time that no, I do not want tortellini soup, I have just come to retrieve the dog. somehow she knows about the interview. yes, its at 11:30 tomorrow, grandma.

8:00pm: pull out my laptop and special notebook reserved for interview notes. On the cover it says “chase your dreams, you might catch one.”  could I be more heart wrenchingly literal?

8:30pm: carbo load.

9:45pm: exit a dark tunnel lined with case studies, an open office floor plan and a really healthy sized vimeo account via the whistling of the tea kettle. meditate on how not to get my hopes up while drinking from a mug my mother has had since she was 22.

11:00pm: get into long philosophical conversation about ‘the kind of writing I want to do,’ as if I have any choice. then spend at least 5 minutes explaining how I can still be excited without getting my hopes up. I get my hopes up in doing so.

day 130//day of

8:30am: wake up. it is christopher robbins blustery which makes me happy because: flannels.

8:42am: dad thinks I should work out to ‘get pumped.’ I agree (sort of). I go on a brisk walk because I am a soccer mom who lives in suburbia.

9:00am: my brisk walk is short. as in I walked back and my dad said, “are you kidding me?” I was not, sir, kidding.

9:55am: open my email to confirm that my phone call is at 11:30 (in which case I will be sitting in front of my computer, phone poised at the ready by no later than 11:12). all I really confirm is that my interview was at 11:30 but is in fact no longer at 11:30.

9:55:13am: I throw my hands to the ceiling (mom gives me a look like lord help the man..) because dammit my hopes were up again. I reread the email. My interviewer is sick, BUT they want to reschedule!! Reschedule!!

9:55:53am: Email them back saying that I am “so flexible in my schedule. I can talk at anytime.” This would have at one point in my life hurt my ego; I now use it as my mating dance for future employers.

10:11am: She thanks me for my flexibility (!!) and asks if Wednesday will work. It works.

Rinse & Repeat.




My Job Hunt Skinny (& Some Made Up Stats)

September 8, 2015

day 124

I sat down and asked myself some questions that I  already know the answers to. I articulated them in hyperlinks and sarcasm for all of you:

What I’m Looking For: editorial assistant position for magazines, books or digital content (orsomething that will prep me for editorial like a closet job)

Where I’m Looking: new york city & san francisco (but don’t tell my mom)Cartwheel 1

Cartwheel 2

Cartwheel 3

What I’m Using: job boards like ed2010, indeed, media bistro, muse, linkedin etc. 

How Positive I’m Feeling On a Scale of Shamwow Salesman to Debbie Downer: nicki minaj after not getting a vma nod (read: snarling)

How My Expectations Have Changed: getting an email response feels like Christmas morningnow after getting ghosted so many times. Actual words addressed to yours truly means my resumé didn’t fall into a black abyss, like most (of mine) do

How Many Times I’ve Edited My Resume Since May: No more than 1,234 and no less than 967 times

What’s Important In a Job: Not that I can be picky, but in any role I land, I want to be pushed creatively on a regular basis

How Many Times Have You Gotten Dry Mouth In An Interview: how many interviews have I had?

Who Tells You To Enjoy Your Free Time: those people whose credit cards are not subtly hidden in my wallet (**for emergencies and gas and sometimes pizza only**) and also my mom

What You Actually Do With Your Free Time: complain about having writer’s block until no one listens anymore and so I talk to my blank word doc, stalk my one friend in stalking distance, stand on my father’s office desk and stomp my feet

How Boredom And Aggression Are Manifesting: road rage & rosé

How Close Have You Come To Landing A Gig: contents-of-this-mirror-are-closer-than-they-appear close. like me v. interviewee #2. #2 won

How You Took It: I revamped this blog. 


What the F is up with P&S?

September 1, 2015

day 117What the F is up with PS

Here are things that I know: it is September, I am not at school, it has been 117 days since GW threw me out, I’ve never felt sorry for myself so many days in a row and the salad I had today for lunch had cilantro on it, even though I asked for it without.

Here are things you, as readers, do not know: what the f is up with p&s, what I’ve been doing besides not getting a job, where #thefirstyears went for the whole month of august, and why I didn’t send my salad back, even though I asked for no cilantro.

Well, kids, I’m here to shed some light on some of the things you don’t knowWhen people ask me why there haven’t been any posts (which to my surprise actually happens) I usually rotate through a list of five excuses. Or five lies. Which I will share with you now:

  1. “I’ve been really struggling to find inspiration out here in the burbs.”
  2. “Applying to jobs is honestly a full time job in itself. But literally.”
  3. “I’m really focusing on other writing… No, I can’t tell you what kind.”
  4. “I have to pick my grandpa up from dialysis… No, not every morning, but a lot, ok?”
  5. “My mom’s home for the summer and I’m spending as much time as I can with her!!!!!!”

Sure, I did want to spend time with my mom, but more often than not she was asking me to stop poking her and parodying this Family Guy clip. No, the truth of why I was ghosting p&s had everything to do with my big cloud of can’t-find-a-job-feel-bad-for-myself stink that has been following me around everywhere.

So, here’s the plan. I’m approaching this with a work through the pain attitude. I’m going to  put some paddles on this little blog and shock it right back to semi-existence on the inter-webs. We’ll start by bringing back the four ladies we’ve come to know and love with a September #thefirstyears focused on not going back to school for the first time. Then I’ll amp up The Post Grad Diaries to actually do what its name suggests; I’ll  be chronicling what it is I’m doing, saying, thinking and panicking about. And if I have an interview, you’ll get to see what I wear.

Next, under the umbrella of #thepostgraddiaries, I’ll be sharing with you my tips and stories (or just what not to do’s) on personal finance. As I learn, you’ll learn. As I budget, you will laugh at me. Like sry, why did no one ever teach me about important things like cosigners and credit and HOW NOT TO BE A DEBTOR.

Then, you’ll read this post I wrote in second person (because why not) on day 73 about withdrawal because its still applicable at day 117. And it just so happens that it was a Tuesday, so it works out.

And if you’re feeling interested, check out my summer according to photos here.

Photos is courtesy of Cameron Lancaster, check him out here.


September 1, 2015

DAY 73


with•draw•al                                                                                                                                                                                                        noun
: an act of moving something away or taking something away

: an act of ending your involvement in something

: the act of taking money out of the bank

There are a lot of things people tell you about leaving college. In the days leading up to graduation you hear, enjoy it while it lasts, these are the best years of your life (!), don’t rush getting a job! And then there are a lot of things that people say after you graduate: don’t worry, you’ll find something, you’re a smart girl any company would be lucky to have you (!!!), and things only get better from here.

It’s not that you don’t believe that all of the above are genuine sentiments. Perhaps the nurse at your pediatrician’s office, after telling you that you’re too old to be there anymore, really does think that you’ll find something and that your life will turn out as perfectly as  you’ve imagined it. And yet, something falls flat each time your unemployed ears receive those stock signals.

Because, what about the withdrawal? Why doesn’t anyone say anything about that?

It could be that most people that you’re coming into contact with are too far removed to remember to say the other important things that should follow the niceties, like acknowledging that graduates have just ended our involvement in something that defined us and shaped us and made us grow and shrink and cut our hair and fall in and out of friendships and love with people and the place that we called home for 4 years.

In some moments this act of moving away feels like it could crush you, because it feels much more like moving backwards than just away. There are times at 2:30 pm on a Tuesday when you’re sitting home alone because most everyone is working (including your little sister) that the crushing feeling turns into this intense need to sit on the horrible Ikea couch from your first semi-real apartment eating chocolate pudding with your best friend just like you did (too much) when you were back at school.

And sometimes, when waiting for the yay/nay response from a company that you’d kill to work at is reaching the ominous you did not get the job timing territory, you feel like the only correct thing to do is get in the car and drive south on 95, pretending that there aren’t new people living in your apartment and that most of your friends don’t live in Chinatown or New York or Philly, anywhere besides the place that brought you together.

You feel weird about having these feelings because no one told you that all of this missing could affect your mood or your day. You’ve never felt directionless in your life and you’re unaccustomed to the unmoored thing that suggests floating and flitting and maybe going a little stir crazy that no one wants you to dock your boat alongside their’s. You wonder if you will ever make enough money to cover what you withdrew during a post-grad-denial romp in New York. You think that someone should at least tell you, at more than one point during this whole thing, that you’ll miss the comfort of all the old things. You hope that some time soon something exciting and new falls into place and it forces you to grow and fall in love and cut your hair and learn things that you couldn’t back when you were the old you.

And then you think that you may want to stop feeling bad for yourself because maybe the negative mojo is effecting your  job applications.

Feature image was taken by Cam Lancaster, check out his stuff here.

Friends Help Friends Move (and other concerns)

June 11, 2015

DAY 25

Ok, I should probably be more specific: friends help friends move when they have nothing better to do as a way to get out of their house and project what it may look and feel like when they eventually get a job and move into the city they’ve been striving towards for the last 10 years. 

Now that we have that succinct theme for this piece, I’ll tell you how this all came together.

My cousin (well my father’s best friend/frat brother’s son to be exact. You met him for the first time here) got a job in the city roughly around the same time as one of my best guy friends from college (you met him here, when I promised to push him down the Exorcist steps). They were both looking for a roommate and both text me about it on the same day. Serendipitous, right? Right. So, I got them in contact with one another and the next thing I know they’re signing a lease and setting their move in date for June 10th.

The first thing I did was call the couch.

And because I figured that there would be a lot of nights that I somehow finagled my staying at their apartment in the East Village, I thought that I would help do move-in. And by help, I mean solidify my connection to this apartment by witnessing its birth, give my opinion on if the rug was centered or not, laugh at Matt and his Ikea furniture, find the best place for phone service in their dead-zone apartment and locate the taco place for dinner.

I washed some dishes too. And then I made them take pictures against their will for this blog post.

But somewhere in the middle of the day, while I was watching Matt pull a dolly of every single one his dress shirts through their new apartment complex, I realized that these boys are starting their lives. They are employed apartment holders. I was excited for them and I was unabashedly jealous of them because no matter how many weekend nights or random Tuesdays I crawl onto their couch, there will be a lot of nights that I can’t be there because, well, I don’t pay rent. And then I had this realization that right now, I’m Mindy Kaling; people are having an employment/living on their own party without me.

But, I bought the boys a twelve-pack in hopes that they won’t realize that I’m already coming back tonight.

Matt and Greg



The Post Grad Diaries

June 5, 2015

DAY 19

Its been 13 days since I moved back to the burbs. Those 13 days feel like an eternity, not because I hate living in my childhood home where my the average light’s out is around 11:30 pm, but because I’ve (surprisingly) done so many things since getting here. Almost all of those things have to do with my attempt to turn in my post-grad identity, newly minted as it is, for a yopro identity.

I had a meeting at Condé Nast (swoon), an interview, I got my online portfolio up and running, I’ve tweaked my resumé no less than 27 times, spent too many hours on NJ Transit, sent in a handful of applications, read at least 976 magazines that I didn’t have time for during the school year, had dinner with a freelancer (and a fellow Villa gorilla) who’s showing me the ropes, and made a couple coffee dates for next week. Oh, and I went out one night and was home by 10, and also maybe got a little tipsy on a glass and a half of red wine at dinner the other night, but who’s judging?

Undoubtedly though, the most stress-inducing, nerve-wracking part of last week’s to-do list was: picking the interview outfit.

The Outfit

It was the first thing I thought about after getting an email asking me to come in for an interview. What was I going to wear? Would my penchant for leather have a home in my interview wardrobe? Could I pull off chic, sophisticated and savvy with the wardrobe I have- the one that hasn’t evolved as quickly as my personal style has?

Luckily, I’m living at home because when I went to my mother with these grievances she was the first to agree that my personal style had taken new form and we had a little shopping to do if it was going to be presented in all the right ways.

And since J Crew, as Jenna Lyon’s androgynous yet chic baby has evolved too, I went back to where my personal style began.


After much vacillation between navy pull-ons with a a racer stripe down the side and a pink silk blouse, it was decided that the silk jumpsuit and white linen blazer was the pairing to beat.  Not only because it looked good, but it made me feel good. It was the perfect power suit; I was ready for the interview because the navy silk on my skin made me feel ready for anything.



The Shoes

I’ve always found shoes to be the hardest part of any outfit. It may have a lot to do with my feeling most comfortable in my Tory Burch Black Patent Leather Sneakers, but it also may have a lot to do with never taking myself seriously enough to be a heel wearer. Because let’s be honest, who doesn’t want to strut down Madison Ave in high heels? Its just about getting to the point of thinking you belong to the heel wearing class walking through Midtown Manhattan.

For this outfit and this industry, the heels were a necessity that I couldn’t afford to chicken out on. So, I jumped right in. Instead of playing it safe with a classic nude pump I found a shoe with an open back and an accent.




When I left the interview, I walked through Koreatown past tourists groups holding flags, menu stands promising crab legs and fresh fish, but I didn’t stop to throw on the sandals that I had come into the city wearing. Instead, I left my shoes on and thought about how someday it wouldn’t feel like I was faking.

Welcome to the Post Grad Diaries.