So I Graduated From College, Now What?

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On May 21st this year, I graduated from Elon University. Which means that it’s four years since I originally created this blog as a way to update family and friends on my life across the country.

It’s still setting in that I’ve graduated. What do you mean I’m not just going back in the fall? What do you mean that my academic career is over? What do you mean the structure that I have been so used to for so long is now going to be completely different and will never be the same again?

As you can see I’m handling it extremely well.

For those of you who don’t know, I am really excited though to be interning at a local Boise agency, DaviesMoore, for the summer. While I’ve enjoyed hanging out around the house, I’m reluctantly antsy. I’m getting restless and itching to just do something and to have a structure again. I loved my academic schedule. I’m an avid list-maker and these two weeks I’ve been at home have felt weird when I wake up and the whole day is ahead of me. Maybe I strive off of stress, which isn’t necessarily a good thing, but I do miss that feeling of purpose. So with that, I hope to kickstart working on more projects once my internship starts this Monday. Theoretically it doesn’t quite make sense to start more projects once I start working, but as it turns out that’s just how I function.

So what next then for my blog? This often forgotten blog that is the home of travel photography, literature analysis, and sometimes a life update (which of course, this entry is).

Now that I’m done with college, there’s not as much need for more personal updates. Knowing me, I’ll still post them so that I can make myself self-reflect, but I’m more interested in transferring more of my passions into my blog. This will mean that you can hopefully look forward to:

  • Book reviews (less analysis, more conversation)
  • Makeup and product reviews, swatches, etc.
  • Photography, and not just travel photography but sharing my work
  • Art and my process (digital and traditional)
  • And hopefully a variety of other things!

This isn’t a promise by any means, but by making this blog post I am making my first step back into being an online creator and having a place where I can look back and see my goals. I will also be spending the summer (and well life I guess) as a freelancer as well, and I will hopefully be able to share any type of work that I’m able to on here as well!

So here’s to a new beginning. I am now an alumni. I am nervous, anxious, and restless. So maybe I’m right where I need to be to kickstart myself into living life after school. I now have the rest of my life to pursue my passions.

Until next time,

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Struggling with Post-Europe Depression

It’s now been three full days since we returned from our two-week long trip to Italy. And while at the time I was excited to come home, now that I’m here I’ve fallen into my usual post-Europe depression.

I’ve been lucky enough to go to Europe a handful of times the past two years (and it will continue into a month-long trip in January), and I’ve loved every trip. The hard part is coming home and readjusting to everyday life again.

I took a grand total of 2600 photos in the two weeks, a number that has yet to surprise anyone that knows me at all. And it’s the process of going through them that has made me the most down. I get bogged down with “wow remember how beautiful these flowers were?” and “that was the best pasta dish of the whole trip” and “I had forgotten how surreal the Tuscany area was.” Soon I find myself just going through the photos rather than actually weeding through them. Soon it all just seems like a wonderful dream.

I kept a journal the entire trip (I’m actually still an entry or two behind so I’m still wrapping it up) in order to help myself remember the details. The different couples we met and ate with. The strangers that we connected with and separated, never learning their name but knowing their story. It’s filled with plane ticket stubs and museum passes, business cards and brochures. A recounting of the wine tasting we went to and stories about our Italian driver who plays in a cover band for Green Day. The little things that didn’t make the camera but will always remain an essential element to our Italian fairytale.

When you spend two weeks without a car, relying on only trains and buses, it’s rough to come back to the grid system of suburbia. Sitting in traffic in a car weighs you down even more than it used to. Walking everywhere, restaurants, museums, grocery stores, etc., seems so easy and active and then you find yourself sitting at home debating that fifteen minute drive to Target to pick up two things. Having simple meals (I’m ruined for American Italian food now) and stopping for a gelato to eat on the square seemed like the perfect relationship with food, and combined with the walking led to a personal five pound weight loss. Going from feeling content there to feeling stuffed here seems like chaos as my stomach mourns for fresh pasta and bread.

It was truly a different world over there. I’m so honored that my parents included me on their 25th anniversary trip because it was truly the trip of a lifetime. From hiking the Italian coast line in Cinque Terra to watching the sunset over the river in Florence, it was one of the best Europe trips I’ve been on. But now I’ve come home to work and prepping for my junior year of college and I find myself dreaming of escaping back to Italy. And I know that in time the feelings will fade and talking about it will be with excitement and not longing. But for now Italy will be on my mind as I continue the narrowing down process of the photos I took, and get ready to share them with family and friends.

Ciao Italia, until next time.

Personal Update : I am my own phoenix

It feels like a lifetime since I actually posted something other than just photographs or essays on here (most likely because it has been), and I figured it was time for an update.

I’m on the final countdown to the end of my sophomore year, which is crazy to think about. Wasn’t I just posting about my freshman year finishing? It’s absolutely terrifying how quickly college is going by and I find myself scrambling to figure out if I’m truly a responsible adult or just a child pretending to know what’s going on.

My classes have been amazing this semester. I’m only taking three: Cinema Aesthetics, Digital Art, and Corporate Publishing (a graphic design class). The best part about this semester hasn’t just been that I’m only taking three classes, but that these classes represent everything I want to do when I’m out of college. They’ve all connected with each other in different ways and I’ve been able to take skills from each one to the next. Thanks to these classes, I’m finally building up confidence that I’m not actually crazy and that I really could make a career out of my passions.

I recently had a conversation with one of my best friends about how scary the future is. What if I’m actually bad at what I choose to do? What if it actually doesn’t make me happy? What do I do then?

We live in a world where we are expected to have our life figured out when we graduate, and that’s a very scary realization, especially when you’re looking outside the norm of a typical nine to five type of job. What if what I love isn’t enough?

Amongst the anxiety of the future looming overhead, I’ve managed to have a great 2014 so far. I’ve made a lot of new friends and had many new experiences, all helping me grow and celebrate the life I’ve been blessed enough to have. I’ve been able to push myself in my interests and see what I’m able to create, proving myself to my peers, professors, and even myself.

But the biggest news of 2014 falls under the golf part of my life. The other week we were competing down in Jacksonville, FL. Surrounded by friends and family, we found ourselves in 3rd place after the first and second day. We were in a similar spot last year, and I’m sure close friends and families remember the tear-jerk/disaster of an ending. And of course, our final day brought winds up to 35mph. All morning we would catch ourselves changing “if we win” to “when we win.” It was all I could do to keep my nerves in check as I went up to the first tee, the memory of my quadruple-bogey all too clear from the previous year. Yet somehow I found myself on the course that day, calmer than I have ever been. Wind gusts brought me back to high school tournaments in Twin Falls and Pocatello, where you hit and pray and let the wind do its thing. There wasn’t a green I felt I couldn’t read and I found myself dropping putt after putt, burning edge after edge. Walking from the tee box on one whole, bag swung over my shoulder and the wind pushing into my face with the hot sun burning down, I felt the realization. We could do this. I only saw my coach twice that day (both times I drained a 12+ foot birdie putt), and I chose to not ask how my team was doing. I didn’t want to know. I didn’t add up my own score as much as I normally do. Four birdies later, I was even going into the last hole. And in true Kathryn fashion, I bogeyed it with a three putt. Heaven forbid I make this sport easy on myself.

I received nervous thumbs up and smiles from my teammates as I walked to the scorer’s tent. Somehow after everything, it looked like we might have pushed our way to the top. But it wasn’t until I heard the screams that we knew we had done it. I ran up the hill from the scoring table to my teammates and our families. My teammate Emily had been in the group behind me, and after watching me three-putt, my coach had turned to her and said, “Just put it in.” Like a good athlete, she listened to her coach and put it in from the fairway for an eagle.

From then on it was like the smiles couldn’t be erased. All of the wins in high school, the heartbreak from Florida last year, none of it could have prepared me for what it felt like to win a college tournament. Once we were all in and the deal was sealed, we couldn’t stop screaming, laughing, almost crying with joy. Even now I get goosebumps just thinking about it. To top it off they had an amazing burrito buffet in the clubhouse so it’s hard to get any better than that. We spent at least an hour taking photos afterwards, even running onto the 18th green to take a team photo.

It had been four years since the Elon women’s golf team had won a tournament.

With that now behind us, the trophy brought home, and the team championship flag hanging in my room, we move onto the rest of the season. The next three weekends are going to be filled with tournaments as we make that final stretch. Just two more tournaments and then we’ll be on our way to conference. And sadly, once these next three weekends are done, we’ll only have four weeks left of school and I’ll be an upperclassman.

2014 has taken on a life of its own, far surpassing 2013, a year I will gladly leave behind. So here’s to pushing through the struggles and finishing strong. If last year was a personal death, then this year is the rise from the ashes. I am my own phoenix.