emmasheehy. Powered by Blogger.

A Little Post Grad Update

I am not going to lie, this was a post that I originally wrote for another publication that was not published. Oh well- the work was put in, so this is going to be on my blog here. Additionally, I really miss the listicle type writing (shoutout to Her Campus Bucknell). I would also like to say that the photo below may be one of my favorites from last May.

Things I Wish I Knew Before College Graduation

I remember being overwhelmed the second day of my first real job. It wasnt my boss, job or anything particular. Overwhelmed with change, I couldnt help but feel lost in navigating the thing that had been looming over my head … the real world. Call it understandable, call it being a snowflake, but there was one phrase I wish someone had told me about what life would mean after receiving my diploma: welcome to real life! There are a lot of things I wish I had appreciated last May, but I wanted to break it down into the categories of life, and what I have learned since:

Habits | I did not realize I would have a life that requires waking up at 5:45 AM five days a week. Utilizing organization, reading and cooking regular meals are not only solid skills to have, but are pretty essential to live successfully. Coming home to a made bed, fridge full of groceries purchased on the weekend and organized living area make all of the difference, and save tons of time/stress. Forced to become a semi-morning person due to my schedule means that the weekends are treasured now, and that sleeping in is now 9 A.M. Coming home to a frat house isnt cute anymore.

Time | I wish I had taken greater advantage of my free time in college than I did, especially the first couple of years. Living in New York City, there are an endless number of things to do, people to see and money to spend (well, if I had money). While those opportunities may seem more heightened to me in NYC, I suspect the feeling is the same in most places people live postgrad. College students squander time, and then realize how precious an afternoon without work/class/chores can be. Having the time off between college and starting a job was critical for me. I worked last summer as a camp counselor, enjoying the sun thirteen hours a day and feeling like a kid. Even so, I should have savored it more!

Money | One common criticism of the modern education system is the lack of preparation for one of the most important skills to have as an adult: financial management. I wish I had gotten into the practice of saving more, instead of draining my bank account shortly after my monthly allowance from my parents hit.  On the flip side, I never truly knew the value of my money until I was financially independent and on my own. I have learned quickly that I am responsible for every expense, and I am trying to embrace the power that comes of saying no to a purchase.

Friends | There is more of an even playing field in high school and college. Because there is a sense of commonality between peers- living in the same dorms, with the same schedule in the same town, it is easier to now feel like you are falling behind as much- everyone goes from one grade to the next. Following graduation, there is an initial divide of jobs, values and experiences. Some are volunteering across the globe, others are living downtown and grinding on Wall Street. Between parents helping out, fancy words that disguise entry level jobs and social media, everything can be a fa├žade.

Alcohol | Graduating from a fairly known party school, drinking heavily was something of a norm. Thursdays my senior year was a pretty popular night for my class to go to the bars. Though I love to go out for a drink or indulge in some wine on a Friday night, the reality is between the cost, time, energy and calories, the heavy drinking of college usually outweighs the pros. (This is also coming from someone who has told all of her junior classmates to live up their last year of this bliss, so take it with a grain of salt.) The real world, especially in a big city isn’t the kind of place that will walk you home and help find your keys. Going to school in rural Pennsylvania meant a lot less opportunity cost for drinking, but now in New York, there are so many things to do on the weekends (even if it’s catching up on sleep). Bottom line? Drinking like I did in college now is generally not worth it.

Weekend Links

Happy Friday! After a busy week, I am looking forward to hanging out in the city and checking out as many cold weather activities as possible. I hope you are enjoying the end of January! Here are some of the things that caught my eye this week. {Image}

I am embarrassed to admit that I just started watching Black Mirror. Since then, I've been reading everything about the series, including this NY Times piece. (Additionally, I would kill to be in a college class about the series, if there are any drop in's in New York, I will be enrolling.)

Weekend Links

I would like to thank everyone who responded so well to my piece on Thursday. It was very helpful for me in my grieving process and was so wonderful to hear how it touched others- who knew my grandfather and who didn't. It has been a good weekend with family, and between winter subway delays and train rides, these are my picks of the week. {Image}

Purely a selfish post, but for any New England fan, but this video is great.

One of my favorite flower companies just did a collaboration with Vogue. They have free delivery and the bouquets are gorgeous.

Thursday Thoughts: Grief

Today, I wanted to bring back a series that has been a long time coming. I have taken up journaling every night as part of my New Year's resolution. As much discipline as it takes to unplug and write for 15- 20 minutes, I know that the product will be invaluable. I wish I could say it was a wonderful experience that inspired me to make time in my full time working life to write again. 

Apart from my mother, we have not really put this on social media, but on Monday, we lost my grandfather. I'm incredibly fortunate to have lived to the age of 22 with four living grandparents, now in their 80's. This is the first death of a close family member, and it is proving to be more overwhelming than I could ever have imagined. I distinctly remember a Lemony Snicket quote that I could never truly relate to until this week:

“If you have ever lost someone very important to you, then you already know how it feels; and if you haven’t, you cannot possibly imagine it.”

I knew what the call from my dad was about before I answered it. My grandfather had been in and out of the hospital a lot for the past year. I have only seen my dad cry twice in my life- when I left for college and that moment in my office on the other end of the phone- it killed me. 

I remember one of the last times I saw my grandfather last year. My brother T.R. and I took a red eye flight on New Year's Eve from Seattle to Boston. It's hard to see someone you love sick- T.R. was particularly nervous of needles and medical equiptment. It was a Sunday afternoon and the only thing that he wanted to do with us was watch the Patriots game. For a few hours, we sat and watched them beat the Dolphins, talking occasionally to tell him about school or our younger brother, Jackson. Our whole lives he had been the one who instilled our love of sports, particularly the Red Sox. The year they won, in 2004, T.R. was gifted practically the entire gift shop. Other years, after a devastating football or baseball playoffs loss, we would ring up his usual 508 number to be on the receiving end of a "we'll get 'em next year." He was the kind of guy who was always a little too tan in the winter and was rarely seen without his aviators. 

Last summer, when I lived with them, my grandmother always reminded me to adjust the driver's seat the way he liked- with the seat and recliner back all the way, the way no person should ever drive. I hope to one day display his "TS1" Massachusetts license plate that he had to retire after a few years because it was too easy for the cops to pull him over in the 70's. We had time to prepare for his death, but nothing can really prepare you. What chokes me up is thinking about him not being there at our small Sheehy family events, quietly watching with his magnifying glass, reading a newspaper or whatever book was on the coffee table. Every Christmas, he and Gramma would make the 9 hour drive down to D.C., and they would celebrate Christmas with us before we would leave to celebrate Christmas Day on the West Coast. This Christmas, we went to Cape Cod, hoping he would be able to make the journey down. He couldn't come, but even still his presence was there. I remember one of the last things I said to him on the phone Christmas night a few weeks ago to his hospital room: "I love you, and I'll talk to you soon." Even after this week, I will always be talking to him. Death doesn't change that. 

I expect that grief will come and go in points. There are many things that will forever remind me of him- every time I pass through Saratoga and think of the early mornings in August we would drive up to see the races, smelling a cigar or wonder how he ever met Whitey Bulger (even in the early years). Seeing his seat at the hockey rink at Trinity College or the beautiful view of Fenway Park. The peeling stickers of our colleges on the back of his car. His thick Boston accent that could never locate an "R." I will miss asking about him on the phone when I call my grandma, or addressing letters to the two of them at 79 Pine. 

This weekend, I will be taking a train up to the familiar station of Route 128 to be with my family, and I will meet them at the end of the long escalator as always. 

At 3:05 PM on Sunday, we will be watching the Patriots kick off against the Jaguars at Gillette, together in Natick. Be it at a local bar or in the family room with the terrible red carpet, where he has watched Lord knows how many AFC championships, I know he will be with us. (Image)

I would like to dedicate this post to my wonderful, beloved grandfather, 
Thomas Mago Sheehy 

Weekend Links

Happy Saturday! As it currently feels like -2 outside, I am spending the day in my apartment writing, which is honestly my perfect day. After a week of getting back to the grind, here are some of the things that have been on my mind. {Image}

Since watching Master of None, the scene of Dev making homemade Spaghetti Carbonara has made it an easy go-to at any Italian Restaurant. I am hoping to try this recipe in the upcoming week.

The photo above is from a friend's criminally underrated Instagram account. I wish I had the eye that Marisa does!