Finding freedom Post-Graduation

grads i nair

Hi everyone. Do you like the photo I found on google images? It’s pretty good for the topic I’m writing about! I wanted to write about how my life is going three weeks after graduation. Am I still happy? Am suffering from a career crisis? Will I contribute positively to society?

My response to all those questions is… I think yes. But a different type of yes than one might think.

Here’s how it’s going differently.

THE DAY after graduation I scoured the bookstores in my area to apply for a temporary summer job. The atmosphere of old books, and working with bookworms appealed to me. So I went to two Half Price Books stores and a Barnes and Noble. I basically annoyed these stores, returning 3 times to each place to check on my applications; I felt I needed a job fast.

Along with a retail job, I wanted to start teaching piano on the side. While I worked full or part time, I could build up students and have about 10-20 students a week, charging $25 a lesson 30 minute lesson. Not bad! But it definitely takes time!

One day I went to Barnes and Noble and in the business section found a book called “Ditch your average job and start an epic business, and score the life you want”, it was geared towards millennials in their 20s. This was without a doubt the book I needed at this point in my life. I wanted to start freelancing-  teaching piano was my first thought. So I picked it up and read it in three days. I wrote a book review about it on here, it is my first blog post. I really recommend it, millennial or not!

A few days later I got a call from Half Price Books. Finally! My interview was in two days. I always wanted to work at a bookstore. The idea was romantic to me, the thought of discovering a fantastic book hidden somewhere in the isles of towering books appealed to me. But, it turned out that being a bookstore employee wouldn’t be as romantic as I imagined. I learned in my interview I would be working at the cash register checking people out for seven hours. No opening and counting books, no stacking the shelves, only standing at the register. On the emotional car ride home, I gave myself a pep-talk. I literally said to myself impassioned, stubborn, embarrassing things like:

” I didn’t go to four years of college to not use the skills I paid to learn,”

“You have so much more to offer the world than standing at a cash register, even if it is for the summer.”

“You deserve better than this.”

My shifts at Half Price Books would change day-to-day, making it impossible to have a consistent piano teaching schedule if I were to have students. I had to make a decision: teach piano and start out making less, or get a solid paycheck and delay my vision of having adorable students to share my passion of music with.

It wasn’t a difficult decision, I knew I had to teach piano. First, I wanted to share my passion of music, and helping children develop a love for music would be priceless. I knew I would get more students over time, and it would eventually even out to what I would be making full time. If I taught 15 students, I would actually be making the equivalent of one shift at HPBs.  So that same day I created an advertisement, and posted on nextdoor.com, a website that connects neighbors. I had my first responses two days later.

Marketing my service is the biggest and most empowering challenge. I needed to get the word out that I teach piano! So far I visited a daycare center, emailed several dance studios, visited several churches (which I found out are closed in the afternoons), and the post office to ask if they can post ads for me. There’s been some no’s, and two yes’s so far. But I have a LOT of more marketing to do.

In between my time of roaming around suburban street blocks for places to put ads, I like to read (obviously) and go to meetup groups in the area. I will be learning tai-chi soon, and am looking forward to joining a women’s running group to run with in the early mornings. And of course, playing piano. So three weeks after graduating college, I have my first two piano students, am getting to know the area slowly and gradually by visiting churches and montesorri schools, and going to meetups. And I started a new blog!

I guess the moral of life post-grad (with the help of the awesome book) is that you have the steering wheel now. You can turn it in any direction, and you don’t have to do the things that you’re expected to do. We are in a digital age now, there’s a lot of possibilities out there. If you have an idea that you think can benefit society, go for it, even if it is on the side…cause we got our student loans to pay. yuck.

To digress about student loans, I think loans are actually a good thing. Here’s why:

  1. It’s an investment on our education. I wouldn’t be as good as a writer if I didn’t take upper-level writing courses, and would’nt be as good as a communicator because those leadership skills. And college is just full of experiences that make you.. well.. experienced.
  2. For me, student loans are a challenge that motivates me. I want to show myself that I can pay them off. Think about it, life would be boring and easy if we didn’t have debts to pay off, and it’s fun to think of unique ways to have an income.

 

Yeah, that is what’s been going on recently. I digressed a little bit, but I think I got my point across. I will update how things are going soon! Wish me luck in finding more students!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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