Some Birthday Words and a Gift
This weekend, That First Year celebrates two years of existence, which also means I’ve now been out of college for two years. I feel like I should have some sort of grasp on this “adulthood” thing, but despite what idealistic-dreamy-girl-college-me thought, I still have no real idea of what I’m doing with my life. They don’t really tell you in college that you never actually “figure life out,” do they? Turns out life isn’t a problem to be solved or a puzzle to be figured out after all, it’s just a string of days—good ones and bad ones and meh ones—to be lived in wild abundance. These two years have definitely been a lesson in this.
And I’m learning along with y’all, and that’s been my favorite part of running That First Year these last two years—creating community through stories shared of the heartbreaks and the hopes and the lessons learned that come along with life outside of the educational walls we’ve lived within for 22 years.
"Nothing happens, and nothing happens, and then everything happens." I read this quote from writer Fay Weldon this year and I don't think I've ever read a string of words that more accurately captures this stage of life than this one. As a birthday gift from us to you, we’re offering this quote as a free print created by Agatha Tutia, a talented designer who also created our web banner and logo. You can download it here!
In two years, 72 of you have shared your stories on That First Year and I am honored to be a steward of your stories, so thank you for trusting this li’l website to feature your writing. We have writers and readers from all over the world, and this is very, very cool to me to think something that was once just a readership of friends and family has grown to have an international presence (lolol “international presence” sounds way more official than applies to this situation).
In April, we released an e-book featuring essays on tidbits & tales from that first year after college from 11 talented writers. These writers wrote draft on draft on draft to create the best collection of essays possible, and it was so fun to be able to work with these lovely people to create this communal project. You can read it here if you haven’t already.
We also recently launched The Creative Exchange, a marketplace featuring artwork and more created exclusively for That First Year. Your purchase supports your peers and their creative work, and also allows That First Year to pay writers, pay more writers, and pay writers more. I’m looking forward to featuring more artists and seeing this grow in the coming year. Read our first post with Lane if you haven’t yet already. Or re-read it because she is a cool gal who makes fantastic art!
I have lot of excitement for what’s coming this next year; my friend and TFY co-creator Kendall has had to endure many a-text and phone call and coffee date to listen to my ideas. Bless her. Also, my friend and fellow One Direction concert goer Juliette has helped us have an aesthetically-pleasing Instagram and website for the last two years, and she deserves a million dollars for that. Follow her on Instagram (@jkibz15) because she takes some dope pics.
HBD 2 TFY and here’s to another year of stories!