Surviving Life Post-Grad 101

As seen on Words As Palindromes!

Much like your post-grad adventures, soon the weekend will be here and you’ll be off making memories and enjoying every bit that your twenty-something years have to offer. But before you put down your textbooks and abandon your attention spans, I’d like to thank Hannah for having me guest post and to share with you what to expect when your post-grad expectations are high. Having graduated years ago, (Yikes! Has it really been that long?!) I feel that I have a pretty good grasp on what it’s like becoming a young professional in this day and age.

Keep reading to hear about my magical discoveries navigating life after college!

Meet Vanessa!
Rule #1: Keep calm and know that every little thing is gonna be alright.

I started my blog about a year after graduating. One thing I noticed after leaving school, was that while life with a Bachelor’s degree was very exciting and stimulating, I very much missed being challenged creatively. Outside of a 9-to-5, I found that I needed an outlet to stay motivated and inspired and I wanted to have a place where I could document all of the new things I was learning about life, learning to love and loving to wear. A couple years later I seem to have finally settled on my brand, A City Girl’s Guide To Life.

You survive your twenty-something years by drinking a lot of coffee, figuring out what your "look" is, and over makeshift dinner parties with friends.
You survive your twenty-something years by drinking a lot of coffee, figuring out what your “look” is, and celebrating milestones over makeshift dinner parties with friends.

Going to school in Boston, I was exposed to a variety of experiences, both purposeful and accidental, that helped to mold the young professional I am today. I studied in the Back Bay area and graduated with a degree in International Relations in the spring of 2011. My first job took me out of state for a couple of months and came to an end very quickly due to a lack of funding. It was a shock to be the first of my friends to get a job and then the first to lose one but it was my first real lesson in picking myself up after disappointment. I’m actually really grateful that I had an opportunity to learn that lesson so early because I was able to approach other setbacks with grace. As I like to say to my readers, “There’s nothing glamorous about your twenties…but I like to pretend there is.”

Twenty-something lesson: "Push the limits of your comfort zone. You won't regret it."
Twenty-something lesson: “Push the limits of your comfort zone. You most likely won’t regret it.”

The smallest thing can add a bit of glamour or chic-ness to your day. From sweeping your usually lowered locks into a topknot to changing the way you react to train delays, I’ve discovered that life is all about how you face your obstacles. I write a lot about fashion and city adventures I have because I have found that starting my day by feeling my best and knowing where to go at the end of a long day, can make all the difference when I feel like I’m missing the magic. Your twenties are some of the best years of your life and your ability to turn your own frown upside down is an invaluable skill.

Don't be afraid to be by yourself.
Don’t be afraid to be by yourself.

Since graduating, I’ve held a number of jobs. This is both due to my newly adopted openness to flexibility, curiosity and nature of my preferred line of work (see also: political operative). I seem to have finally settled in Boston, more or less where I started this journey of personal growth, and I am excited everyday by the prospect of what the day is going to bring. Even on the days when I’m feeling less chic or solid than the sophisticated city girl that I am, having a little blog to come home to and share my experiences with my readers has made all the difference.

Memories are the shoes of our life closets. You can never have too many!
Memories are the shoes of our life closets. You can never have too many!

So best of luck to your soon-to-be-graduates! It’s a fantastic time to figure out who you are and I hope my own experiences will help to de-mystify your journey ahead. No matter where you are in life, the misadventures are going to guide you to where you should be headed so enjoy every minute!

For more of my city girl adventures, check me out on Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr. And don’t forget to subscribe to my blog (on the right)! Thanks for reading!

xo, Vanessa

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Vanessa M. Gatlin

-Blogger, dancer, fashionista -Self proclaimed "political junkie" with a strong interest in international affairs -2011 graduate of Emmanuel College in Boston

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