Volunteering

It’s funny how fast time flies by. I haven’t done too much this summer since I’ve been trying to figure out what my plans are for this year. I decided to work as close to full-time as I can get from my retail job to save money for possibly going to London next September for an internship abroad. On Wednesday I also had a few meetings with volunteering opportunities, and now I am officially doing three regularly and one on an event basis. One of the meetings I had was a legit interview, which was a bit nerve-wracking since I haven’t had one of those since 2012 for the retail job.

I got the position, which is mainly being responsible for posting social media updates one day a week on campus about upcoming events. There’s a lot I need to learn first though, since I am pretty new with the whole Twitter thing. So I’ve been practicing with my own personal account but am having a hard time gaining followers. I’m also not too sure what to post, but I might just treat it like Facebook for now and see what happens. Hopefully I don’t manage to screw up my University’s account, there are a few thousand followers so my grammar and punctuation must be carefully edited.

I’m also responsible for fundraising for an animal shelter, which again, is a lot to prepare. We don’t plan on having an auction until November, but I need to start calling stores and businesses to see if any are willing to donate a small amount worth of products. In exchange, we provide some local promotion on our social media pages (the animal shelter’s, not my personal ones). I’ve never made cold calls before, so there’s that to look forward to. I’m hoping to start an online fundraiser as well, just to add to that since I have no idea how successful I will be at these calls.

I also volunteered to help out twice a week at this other organization which hosts events for local artists and musicians, which requires more work with social media. This one is really fun, and the atmosphere is extremely chill. I was able to be myself right away which is rare for me, considering my introverted nature. I’m usually more of a silent observer for a while, but here I felt quite excited from the start. It helps that everyone there is close to my age. I’m hoping that I will be able to keep volunteering there every once in a while, even after the events are done for September.

Lastly, there’s this event-by-event opportunity with the Ottawa Hospital Foundation, requiring volunteer work with set up and support for members participating in events to raise awareness for Cancer. This one isn’t as tied in to social media as the others, but I really just liked the idea of helping out for such a cause. Now that I’m not in school, I really think I need to get more involved with the community. It’s crazy though. You’d think that since I am now out of school I would have more free time on my hands, but now I work 5 days a week and volunteer on my days off. I feel happier now, though.

From the Beginning

I suppose it’s probably best to give a kind of outline as to some of the things I’ve been up to since graduating from a four-year program. Almost four months have passed since the big day, yet I didn’t do too much this summer, mainly from not knowing what direction I was heading towards in the fall. It’s crazy how you can have a good ten years planned out from high school, yet many things change as you become more independent from your friends and family and really try to understand what YOU enjoy separate from what others think you would be good at, if that makes sense.

I don’t know about you, but I went through high school having an okay, but not spectacular, time. All throughout those years I was told of how much fun I would have during my university experience, and although I did have many good times, these were significantly less than the constant anxiety I experienced over my grades and trying to balance work with my studies. One thing I did really enjoy, however, was meeting many different kinds of people that I would have never had the opportunity to have met outside of class.

Keeping this in mind, I didn’t feel as excited as I thought I would after graduation. It took these past few months to process that I am at a different stage in my life, and I did feel quite adrift dreading the ‘so what are you going to do now?’ conversation. I feel like I am now passed that period of worry, though, as I think I have a plan established that just seems right. Maybe I’ll go into greater detail another day, but I’d like anyone who is unsure of the future and who is panicking to know that you will figure it out at your own speed. Comparing your progress to someone else, even to your friends, does more harm than good. If something doesn’t work out, breathe and take a step back. Focus on something else that is productive. For me, this was saving money from working part-time. I wasn’t really sure what I was saving for, but now starting to plan for an internship abroad gives me something to look forward to!