Looking back to this time last year, I remember feeling anxiety from the unknown of the future after graduating college–when I was going to find a job, what was going to happen with my relationship at the time, and where I was going to live. It was somewhat of a whirlwind, but I learned quite a few things throughout 2016.
6 Things That 2016 Taught Me
- The real world comes fast and sometimes it’s not the prettiest. 2016 was my first year in the real world. When I started my job, most of my paycheck went towards bills–college loans, cable, water, National Grid, etc. And there are some things you just can’t always plan for, like when your maintenance required light comes on in your car and you end up with a $500 charge or you have a trip to urgent care. I realized just how important it is to have money in your savings account, or at least a credit card that can help you pay bills over time without interest (such as the Chase Freedom Unlimited credit card, which gives you the first 15 months to pay everything off interest-free).
- Your college major doesn’t have to cause boundaries. I graduated with a degree in public relations and accepting a job in digital marketing/search engine optimization was a big transition. However, I’m glad that I decided to take a job that was in a slightly different direction than I had imagined. It’s allowed me to see what other career paths are out there and to learn a whole new industry.
- Relationships don’t always work out how you want them to. I met someone in the most unexpected of times and the first night we met felt like something out of a movie. But I was so excited about a possible future together that I came on too strong and things didn’t turn out how I expected them to. I also learned that even though it’s hard, it’s better to move on from your ex instead of keeping them around when you’re lonely.
- Getting a job is a lot harder than I thought. I worked immensely hard in college to gain as much experience as possible, telling myself that the more experience I had on my resume, the closer my resume would be to the top of the application pile. Sadly, I realized that there were slim to none entry level positions in Albany and Syracuse. I was competing with other applicants who had two years of experience, which is what most of the positions I applied for wanted. Many PR graduates are so excited with the thought of moving to New York City, but I was not ready to live with multiple people I didn’t know, pay an outrageous amount of money in rent, and ask my parents to support me.
- Friendships can fade faster than they were formed. This year I found new friends and said goodbye to old ones. I fell into a period of anxiety and stress, which thankfully, transitioned into a period of light and new beginnings. I identified the friends that only brought me down and removed them from my life. Life is too short to surround yourself with people that are a negative influence and don’t treat you with respect.
- Dogs have a larger impact on my life than I realized. This year, I lost two dogs I had grown up with for the past eight years, and they were put down within four months of each other. The second wasn’t a surprise, but the first dog to go, who was more “my dog,” was supposed to have 5 more years (or so I thought). It wasn’t until she was gone that I realized I had truly lost a best friend. It also solidified my decision to start saving for my own dog now in the hopes of rescuing one in a year or two.
With 2016 coming to an end, I am excited to look forward to all the adventures 2017 holds for me–backpacking Europe, skiing for the first time, possibly spending my birthday in Vegas, event planning for Make-A-Wish Central New York, and growing my blog. Let the fun begin!
Author: Lauren Taylar
Lauren Taylar is a digital marketer and blogger. She is a graduate of the State University of New York at Oswego, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in public relations. When she’s not volunteering her time with Make-A-Wish, you can find her reading a travel magazine and sipping a glass of hard cider or wine.