postgradlife

4 ex-students dealing with the real world

interracialinterfaithlove asked: I miss my girls

We’re around… wading around in more real life than postgrad life, I’d say.

I’ve had my monthly paycheck for about a week, and I’ve already spent well over 1/2 of it. Bills, bills, bills… and toilet paper. #wanttofindamoneytree #adultlife

- Jen

LinkedIn wants to know my areas of expertise. I don’t think drinking tea and avoiding marriage proposals qualifies. Sigh.

—my friend Tegan in the Peace Corps in Africa

Tas came and visited for a couple days in January, I meant to tell you guys. I was holding off for a photo, and we finally got it!
It was very nice to see her, as it had been about a year since I saw her last. But it is strange when your friend lives a completely separate life from your own, in a drastically different time zone. You recognize certain rhythms in your relationship — ways of talking and being together, but then there are the things you don’t recognize. The new clothes, the slight reserve of a working girl who’s head is in another space, trying to absorb something that was once familiar to her but is now more distant. I found myself chattering about myself and my problems while she visited because I was so filled with the need to get advice from a good friend in person, that I was not as attentive to what was going on in her life. At the end of the trip, I knew two days wasn’t enough time to catch up, and that the only way to get a more accurate picture of her day-to-day would be to, well, visit. Which I’m doing. And to try and check in more with her — to draw out the everyday, ongoing problems she may be having.
It all really sounds simple on paper, maintaining a friendship from afar, but it’s hard to water a plant that is not right next to you.
-Malia
P.S. On that note, a little birdie told me Tas is visiting Jen in a couple weeks in London. So much jet-setting!

Tas came and visited for a couple days in January, I meant to tell you guys. I was holding off for a photo, and we finally got it!

It was very nice to see her, as it had been about a year since I saw her last. But it is strange when your friend lives a completely separate life from your own, in a drastically different time zone. You recognize certain rhythms in your relationship — ways of talking and being together, but then there are the things you don’t recognize. The new clothes, the slight reserve of a working girl who’s head is in another space, trying to absorb something that was once familiar to her but is now more distant. I found myself chattering about myself and my problems while she visited because I was so filled with the need to get advice from a good friend in person, that I was not as attentive to what was going on in her life. At the end of the trip, I knew two days wasn’t enough time to catch up, and that the only way to get a more accurate picture of her day-to-day would be to, well, visit. Which I’m doing. And to try and check in more with her — to draw out the everyday, ongoing problems she may be having.

It all really sounds simple on paper, maintaining a friendship from afar, but it’s hard to water a plant that is not right next to you.

-Malia

P.S. On that note, a little birdie told me Tas is visiting Jen in a couple weeks in London. So much jet-setting!

My daily attempts to constantly fight off homesickness:

  • Joined a choir: I’ve missed singing SO much in the past 3ish years that I couldn’t take it anymore. The choir is super laid back and we sing Fleetwood Mac. I can’t really complain.  https://www.facebook.com/somevoicessing
  • Started a book club: Yea I am that girl. I started a book club at work and it’s awesome. We drink wine, eat cheese, talk books and gossip every month. This past month’s book is Kafka on the Shore by Murakami. Read it.
  • Started Mandolin lessons: I bought the mandolin about a year ago (a YEAR? Shit) and now I’m finally doing something about it. I need to learn how to devote more practice time to the instrument. I get frustrated and put it off, but I know if I was to really learn it I would be so happy. I’ve wanted to do it since I was 8 years old. So, I gotta crack down on that.
  • Stop sleeping: I mean…when else will I have time to do all of this?
  • Be constantly on Skype and social media: My best friends and family are far away from me. I have to do it. It’s still never enough, and I always seem to be having technological difficulties. I suppose it’s better than nothing? How did people function before Skype?
  • Watch comforting comedies late at night and in the mornings: I now constantly keep on comedies that remind me of home and make me feel better 24/7. I like the noise.

I still get homesick ALL THE TIME, but these little things help. London is so big that you can feel quite small at times. It’s nice to be a part of some things.

- Jen

Anonymous asked: We can submit now? Or has that always been an option?

We’re always open to thoughts/submissions! Fire away.

My name is Nicole.  25 year old UNM grad.  I spend 40 hours a week in a cubicle.  The best part of my job is the free coffee.  My days are monotonous consisting of traffic, stacks of paperwork, meetings, and scheduling my work life/personal life on my icalender. These days I love filing my own taxes, seeing how much money is deducted from my paycheck for medical insurance, and paying off my student loans.
-This is a submission (our first!). We are open to more, if you have some wisdom or stories you want to share. Thanks, followers! xoxo pgl

My name is Nicole.  25 year old UNM grad.  I spend 40 hours a week in a cubicle.  The best part of my job is the free coffee.  My days are monotonous consisting of traffic, stacks of paperwork, meetings, and scheduling my work life/personal life on my icalender. These days I love filing my own taxes, seeing how much money is deducted from my paycheck for medical insurance, and paying off my student loans.

-This is a submission (our first!). We are open to more, if you have some wisdom or stories you want to share. Thanks, followers! xoxo pgl

As I sat down to write the post that I meant to write months ago, the song ‘Pick up the Pieces’ by Average White Band came on my radio stream. Man, talk about loaded symbolism. I’ve got your average, white Jen right here! Let’s not even talk about all those broken bits I’ve been dropping around life lately. I’m not going to go on a rampage on how spectacularly I do or don’t have things figured out. I think by now we can all agree that 20-somethings never really have things figured out.  We just go on day by day.  There is nothing wrong with that. I am also not going to spend my time complaining, because most of you would stop reading. All things considered, I am extremely lucky in life. I currently have a job, I live in London and I am in a (mostly :P) functioning relationship. Do I still find things to complain and worry about? Daily. Hourly. That’s just how life goes.  On the surface it looks like I have my life together, but on the inside I always feel like I’m falling apart. This is again another product of my age and our world’s design.

I’m writing mostly to say that moving to far flung places, other countries or big cities does not necessarily mean all your problems are going to be solved. When I say ‘problems’, I used the term liberally because I know it mostly concerns the 1st world type. Regardless, I think all four of us can tell stories revolving around feeling alone, being uncertain about EVERYTHING, suffocating homesickness, etc. Just because I am in London does not mean that life is suddenly a Harry Potter film (I wish…minus the death and stuff). I wanted to make this point before I began writing other posts about by day to day blunders in the UK. It is mostly my fault that in the past my posts have read more like a ‘This is all the awesome stuff I’ve done’ post rather than reality. It’s easy to get caught up in that when you are living in a place quite a ways outside the norm. London is lovely, but at the end of the day, it is just another city and a city that is very far away from almost everyone I love. I still have the same problems that everyone back in South Carolina does. I still am not doing the job I want to be doing, in the field I want to be doing it in. I still don’t have enough money to own a good computer or phone. Once I did finally get a good Smartphone, it broke within a week. This makes life extreme difficult when you have no other way to get in contact with your family across the Atlantic. All of these little things add up and you come to realise that life finds you no matter where you are. Most days, I just want a hug from my mom and for her to tell me it’s going to be alright. I’m looking forward to when Skype can make virtual hugs happen….in the next few hours? Thanks!

I just want to be real with you guys, and I hope you appreciate any future posts that evolve from that.  Keep safe in the blizzard, South Carolina.

Love, Jen

** And the worst of it all is that I’ve started to automatically write ‘z’ as ‘s’ in words. WHAT HAS MY LIFE COME TO?!!!!