May 13, 2019, was a great day of my life: I finally was done with my collegiate career after going to school since I was 5. I was ready to finally be free. I graduated with a Master’s in Higher Education in Student Affairs. This is a fancy way to say a degree for working with college students.
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I started applying for jobs back in February. I felt like I’d applied for 100 jobs so as excited as I was, in the back of my head I was nervous. Everyone was posting their job announcements and I was still applying. I didn’t let that discourage me because that summer I traveled to Trinidad & Tobago, Memphis, Tennessee, Birmingham, and Montgomery, Alabama, and even snuck down to Gulf Shores, Alabama. I went to the Essence Festival in New Orleans and Caribana in Toronto. I also went on an 8-day cruise to the Eastern Caribbean. I was living my best travel life with no worries in the world. In the back of my head, I didn’t know what to do because I didn’t have an adult job. Earlier that year I had a part-time job that luckily became full-time in the summer because I worked with kids my whole undergrad career, so it was easy to be able to do that as a part-time job. Then my lease ended so I ended up moving in with my parents and that was something.
Moving back in with your parents is so underrated: it’s great to save money but may not be great for your peace of mind. While living with my parents, I was applying for jobs and working little jobs just to get by. During this time is when the post-grad depression kicked in. No way I was making $9 an hour teaching kids. I have a master’s degree! I was like, I am doing something wrong. I wondered what else was there to do? That is when I started really going hard with my podcast and even harder with my YouTube channel. I knew I had a knack for content creation but never really knew where it could go. I would do more podcast interviews and record YouTube videos. I really enjoyed it and started putting more time into it.
On my podcast, I was interviewing travelers about where they have been and how they travel so much, and some interviews really led me to research how I could take my travels to the next level. This is when I learned about teaching English abroad. This is when you go to another country and either teach at schools or English centers to teach English as a foreign language. When I heard about it, I started looking more into it and that is when I learned I had some friends teaching in Korea, Japan, and even China. After much research on my pay, quality of living, and the job I would be doing, I chose China. They had the best pay, cheapest living, and more opportunity.
I started applying for jobs. I downloaded WeChat, Skype, and Whatsapp to contact the recruiters. After a long rigorous process of about 3 months, I finally got a contract and was ready to sign. I was preparing my documents: you have to get your degree certified, passport pictures, and a whole bunch of doctors’ appointments. It was really a process, and the time difference was a challenge as they are about 12 hours ahead of us. For some time reference, I started this process in October 2019. I was supposed to leave in December 2019, but my documents weren’t finished, then January 2020 came, and everything went downhill. This is when COVID was just coming about in China and then I had to make the decision not to go because everything was up in the air. The crazy thing is I quit my job and was preparing to uproot my life to move to a new country and to start my new life. I was very nervous, but I finally mustered up the courage to go, and then it fell through.
Even though it wasn’t my fault I couldn’t go, now I was at home with no job and no plan. I had savings but I didn’t want it to dwindle, so I started doing virtual assistant tasks & Doordash to make some extra money. I was doing this for a while and then that stimulus hit so ya girl was excited, but then I was like I need to get a job. I started applying but of course, no one was hiring so then I had to create a different strategy. I lived in a small town where they only had one community college and they also didn’t have any community centers. I just felt like I wouldn’t be able to progress in that city and I was ready to work and get my adult life popping! Or so I thought.
After some consideration, I decided on moving to Atlanta, GA (why did I do that?). I felt that it had more opportunities and more jobs in Atlanta (little did I know). That process took another 3 months. The moral of the story is your post-grad life may not be what you think it will be. I shared this because this is the reality of my post-grad life, why I didn’t get to go to China, and how I ended up in Atlanta, GA. The reality of post-grad is very different from the expectation. Let me hear your story.
You can listen to more of my life updates on my podcast called Millennial Thoughts!
Thanks for coming to internet home! My name is Alieshia and I am a millennial travel blogger. I encourage millennials to travel no matter what and provide resources for adulting.