Looking for a way to make my day? Tip: Comment on a post or fill out my Contact Form (assuming you're not a spammer). I love it when people get in touch with me to talk about this blog. For starters, it reminds me that someone out there (other than my mom, who I forced to subscribe) is reading this thing! Second, it encourages me because I feel like maybe, just maybe, I've got something useful to say. So you can imagine my excitement when Nicole, a journalist at Quinnipiac University in Connecticut, asked if I would answer a few questions for her school paper. WUHOOO! As a former journalist myself, I couldn't be more excited. Thought it would be fun to share the Q&A with you:
1) What inspired you to created LifeAfterCollege.org? I was inspired to create Life After College after leaving school a year early to enter the workplace. It was a start-up company, so I was by far the youngest employee with the least amount of work experience. I fumbled through choosing a health plan, setting up a retirement account and trying to create a new social network while all of my friends were still in school. I found a lot of incredibly helpful resources that I wanted to share with other recent grads like me, and felt the need to aggregate them all in one place so people could have a central starting point for navigating life after college.
2) What do you hope people will experience from the site? I hope people will find resources (books, articles, links, blog posts, etc) that are interesting and useful for them. I hope that no matter what position young professionals are in or how many years since they've graduated that they'll be able to learn more about how to navigate life after college and create their own roadmap for pursuing their dreams. I hope people will gain some clarity and direction about their own life after college, and realize that they're not alone out there! Finally, I hope people will find bite-sized pieces of information that can help move them forward in very practical, simple ways.
3) What is one piece of advice that you wish you were given when you were a senior in college getting ready to graduate? Start saving money immediately, especially if you move back home with your parents. Stretch yourself to save more than you think you can - shoot for 50% of your paycheck and see what happens. Set up one account for short-term savings (1-5 years) and one account for retirement, and as soon as you get your first job set-up a direct deposit from your paycheck to each of those accounts. Getting in the habit of saving money early and often will fund your dreams for the rest of your life.
4) How do you keep yourself motivated to pursue what you are passionate about?
I love this question! I make time for myself to sit alone and reflect about what I truly want in life - for me, its usually in a coffee shop with a great book and my journal. I think about who I want to be a year from now and five years from now, and I work backwards to brainstorm ways of integrating those passions into my everyday life. In my experience, there is nothing more refreshing that the feeling of doing something I am truly passionate about. Start by making a list of 20 things that make you happy and work from there.
5) How do you like your peanut butter and jelly sandwich? Jelly on top or bottom? Cut diagonally or straight across? Super crunchy organic peanut butter (no sugar added!) on whole wheat toast. Jelly on one piece, peanut butter on the other. Cut straight across and in a ziplock bag (for good measure :).