Today—May 13, 2013—marks one year since I graduated from college. How is this possible?
What I really want to know is where the past 365 days have gone. Life at Camp Hoho—filled with classes, papers, and weekend shenanigans—seems like both yesterday and several years ago.
It’s so strange to look back on college as a past experience: During high school, the number one goal was to do well and get into a good institution; and during college, the number one goal was to do well and graduate with a degree.
Anyway, graduating from college marked a huge transition. This is when I started blogging and gave triathloning a shot, and I moved from my tiny hometown in Upstate New York to New York City in October. My big-girl internship started in January.
As I adjusted to these changes, I didn’t blog about what I was experiencing. Basically, going from college life to the real world was much more challenging than I anticipated. The high-school-to-college change wasn’t too difficult for me, so I expected a similar transition, but I really missed living with my best friends, having my support system of mentors at my fingertips, and being in an academic atmosphere.
And to further complicate things, my big-girl internship wasn’t what I expected either. After college, I envisioned myself working for a diet and fitness publication. However, things in the office didn’t click, and I came to the realization that the field wasn’t for me. This was a huge, somewhat scary discovery because it essentially took me back to the career drawing board. Where do I go from here?
Aside from the support of my family and friends, one constant throughout this journey has been triathloning. I gave it a tri try last summer, became totally hooked, and started training with Full Throttle Endurance in January. The sport has become a lifestyle, and I rediscovered how much I love being part of a team. Between training, traveling, and racing, you spend so much time with your teammates and coaches, and it’s like having a second family.
This sounds dramatic, but I have no idea how I would’ve coped with these changes without FTE. Waking up and getting after it in the pool, in the saddle, or on the track gave me a sense of purpose, and even though I struggled to figure things out work-wise, I could always count on my teammates to start my day off on the right foot. Having this excitement and positivity every morning during a time of change made a world of difference.
Anyway, moving away from the sappy stuff, if you told me that one year after graduation I’d be living in NYC, training for triathlons, and working at a baller running store, I would’ve given you a skeptical look. Big Apple life? Sure, that’s been part of the plan all along. But doing tris and fitting people for running sneakers? Not really on the agenda—but I absolutely love it!
I’ve been working at JackRabbit Sports for about one month, and I couldn’t ask for a better bunch of coworkers. Even though I’ve had several internships, this is the first group of colleagues I’ve really clicked with. Everyone lives an active lifestyle—running, cycling, triathloning, doing yoga, you name it—and we truly want to help others discover healthy living.
The little things have also made a huge difference. I’ve been given a lot of responsibility since day one, my training has been expedited, and after every shift, at least one of the floor mangers or assistant managers thanks me for coming in and doing a good job. Obviously, I don’t need this feedback, but it’s nice to know you’re valued and appreciated. My coworkers also treat everyone as a friend. After closing the store Saturday night, we hung out for a beer or two, and one of the floor managers invited me on a long bike ride. (She and a two others are training for the Musselman, a half-Ironman that takes place in my college’s town.) These things have never happened at any other job.
So one year after graduation, I feel like I’m finally starting to figure things out, and I’ve found “my people” in terms of my social life, work life, and triathlon life.
What were you doing one year ago today?