Greetings from Post-Graduate Life!

HELLO SAINT ROSE BLOG! I know you’ve missed me! 🙂

If you do not know who I am or remember who I am, check out my blog page and read some of my past work. Up until May 2014, I was an avid blogger who loved to do nothing more but to write about music, this College, and my dreams of becoming a successful music teacher. Unbeknownst to me, this dream was going to come true a lot sooner than expected!

So, today, I answer the following questions – What happened after graduating? How is your life going? Where are you going next? Any advise for when we graduate and also have to become an adult?

 

My Senior Portrait, May 2014! Photo taken by The College of Saint Rose.

My Senior Portrait, May 2014!
Photo taken by The College of Saint Rose.

What Happened After Graduating?

After graduating from Saint Rose in May 2014, I thought I had it all figured out – I was going to be a full time Curriculum and Instruction Masters Degree student at Saint Rose, be the RA of Centennial Hall, and be a Graduate Assistant. If I had time, maybe I would try to be a substitute teacher on the side. That’s a pretty solid plan, right? Well, my life took a turn that I never expected – I got a job. Not just any job, mind you, the DREAM job. Through some work of God or some miracle of the heavens, I had been able to get a job for Albany City School District as a full time music teacher. The best part was that it was as a general music teacher in elementary school AND as an elementary orchestra teacher.

Naturally, when this happened, I didn’t believe it. I thought, “I’m only 23, I just got my bachelor’s degree, and I am a baby. Why on Earth would they hire me to take care of 800+ students?” I don’t know what it was, but the people who hired me saw something in me that they liked and wanted for their schools. So, before I knew it, I was moving out of my home on Long Island to an apartment all on my own, lesson planning for my own classroom, and becoming a real life adult (and to answer your question, yes, it was as hard and stressful as it sounds). I did not expect to move out on my own so young or to have a full time job at this point in my life. It was a very overwhelming time, but I am so grateful for all of these opportunities and have been trying to do the very best I can to be the best I can at being a music teacher, a single young woman out on her own, and (let us not forget) a graduate student!

The view of one of my classrooms from my piano! Being a music teacher sure is a ton of fun! Photo taken by Genevieve Diller.

The view of one of my classrooms from my piano! Being a music teacher sure is a ton of fun!
Photo taken by Genevieve Diller.

How is Your Life Going?

To be honest, I love it! As I mentioned before, moving away from home and establishing myself here as an “adult” was very stressful. Now that I’m six months into living by myself and being a full time employee for a school district, I can say that I handled my transition into adulthood pretty well. If you know me well, you know that I am very close with my mom, whose house I moved out of (physically, not emotionally). This process was devastating for myself and for her; we have been so close my entire life, and with such little notice, I had to pick up my entire life and move 200 miles away from her. I’m not going to lie – at first, it was very hard. I chose to live by myself because I knew it was best for me, but the first month or two I felt very lonely. After I figured out how to successfully manage my time and be a proper adult, it got easier; I socialized more with my friends and made time to do things that were fun. My mom and I talk every day, which has made this transition a little easier.

Me and my Mama in October. We're still close despite the far distance between us!

Me and my Mama in October. We’re still close despite the far distance between us! Photo taken by Genevieve Diller.

The other thing that was difficult about this entire transition was how it would affect my social life, more specifically my friends. As I had mentioned, I had just graduated with my bachelor’s from Saint Rose, which meant that my friends either A) moved away from Albany to go to grad school or to work, or B) were still full time students, which made seeing them difficult, as I had a very packed schedule. I am still extremely close with two friends of mine and see them almost every week (you know who you are, ladies), but it was still a big culture shock for me. I was a big social butterfly at Saint Rose, and going from that to interacting with people who were half my size more than people my own age was difficult. But, like I said, as I began to manage my time better, I was able to fit in more time for my friends and for myself to actually enjoy life.

As far as managing my job is concerned, I will say this – take advantage of the fact that you are new and know nothing. I went into this job with the catch phrase “I know nothing!” and used it whenever applicable. I made it very clear that I was a newcomer who had never done this before, and would need lots of help along the way. With the help of my amazing mentor and the entire music department of Albany CSD, as well as the communities at my two elementary schools, I have begun to fit in and really feel like I know what I am doing. My students present their own different variations of complications, but one thing remains the same – I love my job and love teaching them. No matter what struggles I have, I always have moments throughout the week that make me remember why I do this and why I love it. I am truly lucky.

A Shout Out from my colleagues! They are so helpful and welcoming. Photo taken by Genevieve Diller.

A Shout Out from my colleagues! They are so helpful and welcoming.
Photo taken by Genevieve Diller.

What are you Going to do Next??

As a 23-year-old, I can appreciate the concept of a quarter life crisis – where am I going, is this what my life is, and am I settling too soon? To be honest, I don’t have a clue where I’m going next. I just got here! I will say that I do want to continue my education after I receive my Master’s degree from Saint Rose and work towards a Doctorate degree in Music Education. Other than that, I have no clue where my life will take me. Is that a bad thing? No, not necessarily. As someone who has been constantly planning for the future, it is refreshing to be able to truly live in the here and now and take in everything that is happening to me now. I am extremely lucky to be where I am, and plan on taking advantage of that for as long as I can.

My other classroom that I am so lucky to teach in! Photo taken by Genevieve Diller.

My other classroom that I am so lucky to teach in!
Photo taken by Genevieve Diller.

In regards to the immediate future, I am currently working on attaining my Curriculum and Instruction degree at Saint Rose with a concentration in music curriculum. I am also planning on doing a thesis, which requires lots of research and conducting my own study. As it stands now, I plan on researching the social benefits of music education on elementary aged students.

Some of my students from one elementary school singing at a Tree Lighting event in December. Photo taken by Albany City School District.

Some of my students from one elementary school singing at a Tree Lighting event in December.
Photo taken by Albany City School District.

Any Advice for when we Graduate and also have to become an Adult?

YES.

  1. Enjoy college. Oh God, enjoy college. Because once you leave the little bubble that Saint Rose (or any institution) encompasses you in, you see how different the world actually is. You have to start caring about bills and buying food and gas and being a truly responsible person. As a teacher, if I slack off a little bit in my work, it doesn’t just affect me – it affects 800 children. So enjoy the Saint Rose bubble. It’s an amazing experience.
  2. SAVE YOUR MONEY. If you don’t already live off campus on your own, you’re going to need to save money for A) your apartment fees, B) down payment on a car, C) food, and most importantly, D) LOANS! I am lucky that I can defer my loans as a graduate student, but if you graduate and have to begin to pay your loans, start saving up to pay them off as quickly as possible! It’s like ripping off a band aid – the faster you do it, the less painful it is.
  3. Wise up and listen up. You know the cliche about how, as you get older, you realize that your parents are right about everything? Yeah, it’s true. Listen to any adult with more life experience than you, because 9.5 times out of 10, they’re right. In my case, my mom and my mentor are right about literally everything!!!!!!
  4. Believe in yourself. When I went on my interviews (which were terrifying but amazing), I had to convince the people hiring me that I was good enough for them. Part of doing that is believing that you are good enough for them. Did I think I was a good music teacher? Yes. Did I believe that they would actually hire me over many different candidates who had more experience? HELL NO. But it happened, and I am so grateful. Don’t sell yourself short. You did after all go to an amazing college and get a great education. Use it!

Thank you to all of my readers who have continued to support me throughout this entire transition! I love and appreciate you all, and hope that I can make you proud!

Best Wishes! 🙂

What do you think?