Still having trouble letting it sink in. And it’s been almost 6 months.
I miss Clemson.
A Taste of the Real World
Months before graduation even happens, the question “So, what are you doing after you graduate?” gets thrown at you relentlessly. And of course, like any real college graduate, I didn’t have an answer. Sure, I made up a lot of things that sounded great…
I’ll be heading to graduate school on the West Coast, probably at Stanford.
But if I was being real, there wasn’t much ahead other than some really fuzzy dreams and even fuzzier plans. The only thing I knew for sure was that I was heading back to my parents house and taking a break.
Ideally, I wanted my Spring to be spent investing in a church. I wanted to move out West for 6 months and intern on a production team. And I was serious about it. I never counted, but I must have contacted at least 30 churches. All I wanted was enough money to cover food and housing. I know churches are typically tight on money, but nothing panned out. Absolutely nothing.
Haha. There was no Plan B. I was now graduated with no job, unsure if I had even made it into graduate school for the Fall, and staring at a bunch of dead ends. I definitely needed a break, but not like this. Now, I wasn’t sitting around watching Netflix all day – I actually got a lot of small projects and a ton of reading done in the first month after graduation – but I knew this wasn’t going to be good long term.
Around late January, I stumbled across an email put out by two startup founders in the Atlanta area looking for a developer to join their team. The startup centered around an app they were looking to build and launch. I was not qualified.
But, I put my name out there and drove into Atlanta to grab coffee with them to discuss their idea. Nothing magical happened and seeing the prototype confirmed my lack of skills needed to pull this off. But, I couldn’t stop thinking about this opportunity. I have always wanted to get into software development and this was my chance – and bonus, it was a startup. At the very least, I knew this would be a once in a lifetime learning experience.
It took me a long time, but at the end of January, I finally made my decision. I’m game.
Keeping Up With Friends
Working for a startup required a lot from me, yes, but it also allowed me some flexibility with my working schedule. With all of my friends still at Clemson and yet to graduate, I made sure to visit to see them as often as I could.
Now that it’s summer I’ve had the chance to catch up with other friends – from playing absurd amounts of FIFA with my best friend through elementary school to hosting old Clemson roommates at my house to going out on the lake with one of my really good friends from high school. It’s been great.
In the Fall, I’ll be heading to Georgia Tech to pursue a Master’s in HCI. I’m stoked to be able to combine my passion for design and passion for development into one career. For now, I have a plan.
We’ll see how long this lasts…