On Public Words of Lessons Learned and Private Lose Your Shit Moments

A couple of weeks ago—two days after sitting on cactus-covered mountains in Phoenix and journaling words of life and growth in the desert—I lost my shit. You know these type of lose-your-shit moments: the one where Truth and Reason go on an overnight trip without you, leaving you alone at home with all these crazy, irrational thoughts—thoughts that you KNOW aren’t true, but thoughts that you decide to throw a rager with anyways.

This Is Temporary

I felt so accomplished and ready for adult life after graduating from Penn State, but I was under the assumption that I would get a good, decent paying job that I really enjoyed! I mean, that is why I went to college in the first place, right?

Returning to the Desert: When Life Feels Dry and Despairing

I have friends who are in the desert right now. Life feels dry; hope feels impossible. Every day is the same, wandering through an endless stretch of sand and rocks without a clear sense of direction, the sun beating down without reprieve. As the infinitely-wise sociologist and author Brené Brown writes, “Despair is a spiritual condition. It’s the belief that tomorrow will be just like today.” The desert feels so much like a place of despair, a place of death.

What You Can Learn from Chance Encounters

Despite my desire to be productive and quiet, I allowed myself a moment to listen. Several minutes later, and I was able to gain a few nuggets of wisdom from this man. His genuine need to be heard was warranted, as I walked away with new insights. Though nothing was entirely new, hearing simple reminders from an older person made them somewhat fresh. I was reminded that life flies by, that stressing out about things out of your control only lengthens the misery, and that being there for other people is a mutually beneficial practice.

So, Tell Me About Yourself: A 3 Point Strategy to Answering This Interview Question

What I wasn’t prepared for, and one that I had only partially thought about, was talking about just me. Or at least, that’s what I thought I was supposed to do. It really is something that most of us tend to gloss over when prepping for an interview when so many companies are looking at your personality, or sales numbers, or what internship you did last summer (and yes, you should have an internship under your belt by the time you graduate).

After a multitude of interviews, reading several LinkedIn articles, and consulting with some former professors and bosses, here is a solid way to answer the question, “Tell me about yourself?”

FROM THE ARCHIVES: When It's the New Year and Everything Is Different

I couldn’t bind up other people’s problems and make everything okay. I just couldn’t. I learned that I am not superman; I can’t save people. I learned that sometimes people choose to be unhealthy, that they choose to be in dangerous situations, but that I don’t have to support bad choices. I learned that I can walk away. Sometimes walking away means that you lose a friend, but it often means that you gain some clarity and peace. I learned that I can’t please everyone because in the words of Brené Brown I’m not “the jackass whisperer.”

You Knelt Beside My Hope Torn Apart

“It’s called real life, and it’s cracked and fragile.”

Real life seems to be awfully cracked and fragile lately.

I have friends who are hurting—friends mourning the unexpected death of family, friends grieving the loss of friendships, friends fearing potential layoffs, friends aching from loneliness or a feeling of not measuring up to their peers. So many people in my life seem to be carrying with them their own fanny pack of hurts these days.

When You Feel Everything

We’ve all made it through the not so good days, no matter the cost. Some of us cope with hard times better than others. Although we’d all like to say we can “just get over it” in a snap, sometimes that isn’t possible. That’s when we put on a brave face and take on the world as if nothing happened in the first place.

BOOK OF THE MONTH: The Power of Habit

If you were to do the math, I have probably lost countless hours of my life to scrolling through social media; this is troubling. So one of my hopes for this year is to read more and scroll less. If you’re on the same page as me (pun very much intended!!!) with the goal to read more, I thought a Book of the Month series might be a good addition to That First Year. My hope for this series is that we, as a community, could come together and read good books and then suggest good books to others. Here's why you need to read January's Book of the Month, The Power of Habit.

Learning to Appreciate the Gift of Singleness

The cynic in me wanted to believe that singleness meant that I was lonely, a failure, and unworthy of love. Especially after so many guys had come and gone throughout the years. I would ask myself things like,

Why am I single?

Why are were my friends able to find love, and I was not?

Is there a sign on my forehead that says, "Dateable, but only to the uncommitted?"

On Eating Queso and Failing to Reach My New Year's Goals

Honestly, I haven’t been immune to the feelings of shame that come when you look at your goals and see how much you didn’t accomplish, the unchecked boxes on your to-do list nagging you for the inability to keep up. I’ve carried much of this shame through December, and especially through last week, when I had so much I wanted to get done that did not, at all, get done.