One Year Ago Today

Today—May 13, 2013—marks one year since I graduated from college.  How is this possible?

Graduation

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.

bestfriendsIt’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.

graduation-parents

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.

nyc-half-full-throttle-endurance

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.

escape-to-the-palisades-5-k-full-throttle-endurance

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!

12:10-jackrabbit-sports

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?

32 responses to “One Year Ago Today

  1. oh geez I graduated one year ago today, too! i completely forgot. haha. i agree CRAZY how a year went by so quickly! also agree that the transition from college to real world is a hard one. so glad for you that you found a niche with triathalons and FTE! i’m still working on that part of post-grad life.

    • carriestevens

      That’s something no one warned me about–how difficult the transition would be. I figured it would be similar to the high school to college one, but not exactly. It takes time to find that balance and develop a routine, so don’t worry!

  2. It’s hard growing up sometimes, but you seem to have had an awesome year in so many ways and I’ve loved following your adventures!

    • carriestevens

      No one told me how tough it is to be an adult! 😉 That’s the thing about life, though–you live, learn, and work your way through it.

  3. Hasn’t time flown by?! I cannot believe that we graduated a year ago and so much has changed. Wow, I’m glad you are truly enjoying NYC though. More power to you.

    • carriestevens

      Isn’t it crazy?! This year totally flew by–and I still can’t believe we’re technically adults!

  4. SO CRAZY how time flies!

  5. gah don’t get me knowing. Next week will be one year from my graduation. Crazy. Just crazy

    • carriestevens

      Yesterday was the one-year mark for me, and this year, my alma mater’s graduation is next weekend too. So crazy.

  6. So many accomplishments in just a short year! And the best part is that I don’t think you’ve even begun to scratch the surface of what you’re capable of. You, my friend, are destined for great things!

    • carriestevens

      I can’t believe how quickly this year passed–it’s crazy! Hopefully this year brings some big, important things too. 🙂

  7. There have been some big changes for you this year! I’m so glad you feel like you’re starting to find your place. The first year after college was super tough for me as well. Here’s the good news-in my experience, life just keeps getting better!

    • carriestevens

      That’s what I like to hear! No one warned me how tough the transition would be, but what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right? 😉

  8. Wow I love this post. I graduated a year ago too (A year from this upcoming Sunday to be exact!) and I’m amazed at how much I’ve changed. Seriously though, where did this year go? It’s weird because I live in my college town still and I always say “I just graduated.” Well, not so true anymore! Do you feel like you are changing every week? I do and while it’s kind of crazy, it’s also incredibly exciting!

    • carriestevens

      It’s so crazy! This pat year, whenever someone asked me when I graduated, I’d always say, “Oh, this past May.” And we can’t say that anymore–yikes! And yes, I feel like I’m a completely different person than I was one year ago. And even six months ago. It’s definitely a time of change.

  9. It’s really interesting how we adapt to such big changes. I also adapted to college pretty easily, despite it being across the country. I had a harder time adapting to being in DC for my first internship.

    A year ago today, I was just starting at the law firm that I’ll be returning to in September! I loved the firm and am so excited/nervous to start this fall.

    • carriestevens

      Maybe it was easier to adapt to college because everyone around us (er, at least in our dorms) was going through the same thing? This past year was tough, but I’ve definitely gotten to know myself better. I just wish someone told me it would be challenging!

  10. I was also graduating a year ago! I still miss college too, and I really miss my friends. It’s such a tough transition. Still, I love seeing where we’ve all gone to and what we’re doing. It’s wonderful.

    And I’m so glad FTE helped with your transition! I know running and blogging helped me a lot too.

    • carriestevens

      Yeah, I definitely took living with my closest girlfriends–and living literally two minutes from my guy friends–for granted. I really miss popping into their rooms, gossiping instead of doing work, and watching “Say Yes To The Dress” on Friday nights. You know, the little things. 🙂

  11. Hi Carrie!

    Sounds like you had an amazing year! It’s crazy how time flies. This year, makes 5 years since I graduated from college! It feels like yesterday. I can’t believe it. But I guess it’s true that we are only as old as we feel, right?!

    Last year around this time, I was gearing up for a summer down the shore. I used to get a beach house every year (at least for the past 3). I was so excited. This year, is my first year that I do not have one. Honestly, I’m excited to experience different things this summer and go to different places. A lot can change in one year, but my mentality is different somehow.

    – Jenna

    • carriestevens

      Thanks for dropping by, Jenna! Isn’t it crazy how time flies? And it just goes by faster as we get older! It’s definitely been a “make it or break it” year for me, and I’m excited to see what the next one brings.

  12. One year ago today, I was getting SUPER nervous about my first ever half marathon!! The older you get the FASTER time goes by!! I felt like high school and college lasted so long, but now its been 7 years since I graduated college and I have NO IDEA where that time went! I’m glad to hear you found such a great group of people at Jack Rabbit! You should come work at my company! Everyone is super active and my co-worker qualified for Worlds as a triathlete!

    • carriestevens

      That’s what I’ve heard–time passes faster as we get older. And you’re right about high school and college passing relatively slowly. High school especially seemed *so* long. Wow, major congrats to your coworker! That’s a huge accomplishment!

  13. Isn’t it AMAZING how quickly a year can go by? Here’s something to think about: I graduated FOUR years ago and I still can’t believe it.

    I’m glad that you have a lot to show for your time! That’s a big goal of mine – I never want to look back at my life and wonder what I was doing. I want lots of cool things to show!

  14. Great flashback. I hope I feel like you do one year after I graduate college– satisfied, fulfilled… and happy! 🙂 Of course, I still have a few years to go. Lol.

    Um. One year ago I was getting ready to graduate high school and preparing for a summer of babysitting!

    • carriestevens

      It’s so nice to finally have everything somewhat established and balanced–family, job, training, social life, you name it. I do wish someone told me the transition would be challenging, but that’s life, right?

  15. I read this post on my phone ages ago and can finally comment now haha. Congrats on being a year out of college! The first year out is definitely one that requires a lot of adjustment, you’ve done so much! I’m so excited for your new job and for the fact that you’re making a life for yourself in NYC!

    • carriestevens

      Yes–SO much adjustment! I wish someone told me how challenging it would be. It feels great to have things somewhat figured out, though. 🙂

  16. I’m glad you are starting to figure things out! Sometimes it takes awhile, I was lucky to have my job that I have now before I even graduated with my Bachelor’s degree, but I know that for Mike it took awhile to find a job that suited him.

    A year ago today I was getting ready to do my first multi-sport event, a duathlon!

    • carriestevens

      You totally lucked out–what a great set up! Can you believe we’ve been endurance athletes for one year? 🙂

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