Career: A Talk at Smith College: How to Adult in the Real World | March 2017

“For Smithies and 5-college students only! Please share with your fellow Smithies 🙂

HOW TO ADULT: Are you graduating this year and want some insight on the real world before you jump in head on? Or are you curious about what post-grad life could be like and would like to prepare for it? Either way, you should join us in the CDO on Tuesday, March 28th, 2017. 

We (Jessica Nguyen ’16 and Linh Le ’15) will be hosting an informal talk to share our post-Smith experiences and 10 things you can start doing right now to be more ready after graduation.”

 

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Dear Blog,

Dear public blog of mine,

2016 has been one hell of a rocky year. It’s been filled with more ups and downs than the several years before that combined, and I know that this is just the beginning so better off getting myself used to being on this roller coaster for a while!

While I have no idea what 2017 will bring for me, 2016 has brought clarity for me in more than one way in terms of what I want to do, who I want to be, who I want to be with, and where I want to go.

A beautiful insight that I’ve gained from living life is realizing how much power I truly have over how I live for myself. I am no longer living in the same paradigm as I was before; I am now in a place where every aspect of my life routine is something that I have actively chosen to let myself continue being a part of, where every action I take is intentional and conducive to my personal growth. I make my own world.

I am not being lived, I am living life.

However, as sure as I sound now, 2016 has been a very humbling year for me. It has brought upon many challenges for me, constantly forcing me to check my ego and reevaluate my actions every now and then.

As a result, the most valuable feeling I took away this year is the self-validation behind acknowledging and being completely open to my insecurities and vulnerabilities. It’s only taken me these past several weeks to fully come to accept the truths that used to be so often hidden behind my walls of denial. Because in order to heal and grow, I must let these walls down and recognize that I, too, need to see myself for who I really am and what I need to work on. Because I have not been honest with myself, I’ve hurt others, too, which in turn has hurt me.

Lastly, people come and go. We all grow in and out of friendships and our older selves become untouchable. This is a fact that I am steadily accepting over time, and although it hurts coming to realize that I’m in that chapter in life where you can’t make others stay with you, it’s necessary for the sake of happiness and growth for both sides. In order to grow and become the best self that I can be, I need to accept, move on, and continue loving. Because when any form of love comes into your life, hold onto it as long as you can before it has to leave. And when love -either platonic or romantic – leaves, thank it for its time.

So, blog, thank you so much for being there for me throughout periods of inspiration, my high and low times, and my moments of confusion and clarity.

I really appreciate you always being able to provide a space for me not only when I needed to create and express myself, but also to vent, reflect, and grow from my struggles.

But I think I need to take a break from you for a while, and when I come back, I promise you that I’ll be a different person – a better, wiser, stronger, more confident, more balanced, more open, and more loving Jessica Nguyen.

I’ll be writing and focusing the rest of my energy somewhere else so don’t worry about that part.

I know what I want do now and I am doing it.

I’ll see you around, okay?

With much love and light,

Jess

Redirecting My Energy

Do you know what’s funny?

Despite having decided to stay and live in one place for a year, I never felt like I was “in one place.” There’s always something that I need to work on or somewhere to tend to every single day.

My attempts at establishing complete stability in my life have been futile, but it would be ridiculous to say that that’s something bad to admit. Yes, there have been many ups and downs – as how life should be – but constantly experiencing changes in my life means that I am growing (which is great since that’s the basic minimum of living here).

I have lived in Boston for almost half a year now and am very grateful for all of the lessons I’ve gotten out of my experiences, both personal and professional. 3 months in Boston and I already got a new job, internship, apartment, roommates, friends, routine, etc. The real world really isn’t that hard to survive in and I don’t know how much I would credit my college degree for this accomplishment. There might have been a little bit of luck (or good karma, ha-ha) involved but I am f******* proud to say that I am able to take care of myself and live on my own. #strongindependentwoman

The next step is really taking care of myself.

I’ve been working on and finishing projects that I’ve started since the beginning of summer. FINALLY. When your girl says that she’s going to work on them, she’s going to work on them.

However, several recent events have made me feel constantly disappointed and overall inadequate. A lot of trust in others has been lost as a result as well – is this what being jaded by the real world feels like?

It finally took me one conversation with a friend of mine to really get to the root of why I’ve been feeling inadequate, though. Actually, it took one question from her for me realize what I’ve been doing wrong, “Have you been taking care of yourself?” (My mom was the first person who kept pounding this question at me but I didn’t really got around to processing it until now, oops.)

And as much as I’d like to say that I am, I could do so much better than how I’ve been treating myself lately.

Being at a low point in March, I started seeking outside sources for comfort and self-fulfillment, anything that would keep my mind distracted from the daily stressors  (i.e. volunteering, freelancing, dating, etcetera). This “constant seeking” hasn’t stopped since then. Over time, I lost sight of my own self worth that I thought that investing even more energy into pleasing others would help make me feel better about myself. It actually hurt me more than helped because I was expending more energy for others than they did for me.  Lesson one: people can be so self-interested to the point that they are unaware of the consequences that they put on others.

Another lesson I learned is that I feel so much better when I am focused on the things I want to do for my own benefit (no brainer, right?). From taking exercise classes to trying new receipts to making art to blogging to even preparing for my future travels, I feel empowered through accomplishing these small activities. I’ve had had to relearn to see value in myself by investing in my own physical, mental, and emotional health.

So, new goal: be selfish. Begin to gradually cut down on projects and redirect my energy to myself so that I am no longer feeling tired for the sake of the others. Because I miss the me before March, and I am tired of being tired (more sleep would help, too).