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I Graduated, Turned 23, What Now?

24 January 2010 4,693 views No Comment

This post is a long over due. It’s 2:00 a.m. and I can’t sleep so I decided to write about my graduation and post graduation thoughts.

The graduation ceremony/commencement was at 9:00 a.m. on December 12, 2009. We [business majors] and engineers were bundled together for the first morning slot of graduation in Mott Gym. I was a little bummed that our graduation was in Mott Gym and not on the football field like the Spring commencements are, but it actually turned out quite well. I can understand since it was raining and not as many students graduate in the Fall.

The whole experience was surreal. It was real, but didn’t feel real…I made it through 4 years and 1 quarter of college and I was finally graduating. It’s weird to think back to the first days of college–WoW (Week of Welcome) week, moving into the dorms, meeting my roommate, saying goodbye to my parents, and struggling to find my classes. It was definitely a great 4 years of my life that I’ll look back on one day and be able to smile and laugh about the things I went through and did.

It’s weird to be an official graduate. I remember thinking after my high school graduation “maaan I have 4 more years of school,” and I dreaded having to take more classes! It’s crazy how fast time goes by, literally. Moving into the dorms feels like yesterday. I’ve learned a lot, changed for the better, matured, and became a young adult that I’m even proud of. My character was tested time and time again. I can’t count how many times I’ve been completely exhausted, but kept on studying and working hard–working 40 hours a week for most of my last quarter while taking my last 12 units. Blah.

Life after graduation has been a little tough. I had a part-time job, but lost it (I could write a lot about this, but maybe later…I’m literally biting my tongue). I’m working for a local company as an intern (unpaid), but absolutely love it since it’s exactly what I enjoy doing, it’s stuff I know how to do, and I’m good at it. I’m also applying for a job to teach English in South Korea. There’s a lot of paperwork and I hope I can get it all in time. They’re looking for applicants to leave end of February or beginning of March for this wave of teachers. I just hope things work out and that I have made the right decisions thus far. I’ll admit to being worried, but I know things will work out. They always do.

There’s a part of me that says to myself that all my degree got me was a piece of paper that I haven’t received yet, I’m referring to my degree, and a boat load of debt. In many ways it’s absolutely true. However, I did learn how to work in group environments, better prepare myself for stressful situations and strict deadlines, research, collect data, and write strategies, plans, and reports.
And also how to present all of that stuff well in a professional manner. My degree also allowed me to connect with a lot of people I otherwise would not have met if I stayed in Bakersfield.. Not just connections, but friends that I’ve made, will cherish for the rest of my life, and never forget (hopefully!).

I look at myself now and laugh a little bit because I think it’s kind of funny that I don’t mind staying in on a Thursday, Friday, and/or Saturday night watching a movie or reading. I would have never guessed that I could enjoy a night in on the weekend!

Plans for the Future
Yeah, I’ve been working on Internet stuff. It amazes me how much my brother and I have taught ourselves in 3 years. Basically all the simple, but not-so-simple steps to getting a website up and managing it, Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising, article marketing, building keyword lists for campaigns, creating effective ad copies that convert, optimizing websites and campaigns after analyzing traffic with analytics, a little bit about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and much more. It’s overwhelming really, but also a challenge–one that I like and enjoy. Why? Because, I know I’ve probably said this in another post, the possibilities online are endless. Heck, you can make millions of dollars in your sleep!

One thing that pursuing the “make money online” train is that you can slap up websites and run campaigns for a quick buck, but it won’t last very long. Build something that creates value for potential customers or visitors. You will be rewarded with customer loyalty and a long-term business model that works. I’ve learned from many trial and errors on the Internet. It’s very and I mean VERY frustrating.

I have a few business ideas that I’m going to start conducting my own primary research on, write a business plan, forecasts, and revenue models for. One in particular I’m pretty excited about and eager to get started on. I’ve told myself that I’ll start collecting data and conducting research this next week starting on Monday (the 25th). Now that I’ve made it public I better actually do it!

All in all I’m not completely satisfied where I am now. Two more years until I hit my quarter-life crisis, oh my! I just hope that my hard work, motivation, and dedication to succeed will eventually pay off in the near future.

Sorry for the lengthy post. I know most of you (whoever reads my site anymore) don’t care. I just had to type up my thoughts. It helps me relax and also do more reflecting on my life.

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