Thursday, October 6, 2011

change your hair, change your life

UH. So this was supposed to post like, a week ago. I don't know what happened. So consider this an easier versions time-traveling. This blog will serve as the DeLorean.


I had been feeling pretty good. My classes, though difficult, will be manageable if I stick to a strict schedule. If I work as much as possible, I won't be in too much debt. And other kids in my classes average 5 hours of sleep a night, right? There is a guy in my class who tutors 20 hours a week, is taking 27 credit hours, is in a movie, and still has a great GPA. If he can do it, I can too, right?

But then I had a mini-crisis.

So I survive all of that. I graduate, and move into the real world.
Then what?
Yesterday was the BYU career fair. You know, the one that I guess I was supposed to be preparing for these past few weeks. Competing with all those other students, trying to stand out, talking to gave me anxiety thinking about it.
I finally mustered up the courage to just go in and take a look around. I wouldn't have to talk to anybody.

But even that was too much.

Let's get this straight.

I've never taken a class in the Tanner Building.
I haven't had any internships.
I'm not published.
I've never done research in my field(s).
I've never been awarded any grants or scholarships.

I don't own a suit.

I don't even have an up-to-date resume. Attempting to list my skills and accomplishments is embarrassing. What would my future employers think if they saw the truth? Work experience? I assume working as a nanny/ baker/custodian/grounds crew/waitress/shop girl/census enumerator is not what they would have in mind. Skills? Uh. I speak spanish. That's about all I'm qualified to do with my major. No teaching, no translating.

I felt very out of place.
Very far behind.

I left the wilkinson center in near hyper-ventilation mode. I needed to schedule an appointment with a counselor. I needed to redo my resume. I needed to take an extra certification test so my spanish is considered more "professional". My whole course of direction had to change.

I couldn't just think about making it work till graduation, I needed to think about making it in the real world.

By the time I got to my apartment, I was a nervous wreck.

I immediately started checking classes and schedules and certifications and workshops and resume builders and job postings and internships and grants and GRE test prep courses and and and and...

and then I saw something about "Dressing for success".
and then there was a link about changing your hairstyle.
and then I thought, "Hm. Maybe I should part my hair on the other side of my head?"
and then I went to the mirror and changed my hair.

and then I felt a bit better.

How did I find this video? It is golden.

Anyway. I feel better now.

Our home teacher came over to visit with us. We talked about things we have learned by listening to the prophets, going to General Conference, etc. A lot of the talks I've heard lately have been about being charitable (to others AND yourself), and being patient. We need to be anxiously engaged, but also, not run ourselves ragged. President Uchtdorf's talk at the General Relief Society broadcast definitely struck a chord. Our home teacher told us how he has to do all of this code writing and computer stuff, for hours at a time. It can be tedious and stressful. Sometimes, we just want to be done and know what's next. But then he was walking around campus, and realized that he is in a great place, BYU. He fought so hard to get here; he had to take time to enjoy the small things.

I know I have to do all these things eventually, but it's ok to just change little by little.

I think I'm going to try parting my hair on the opposite side from now on. Even if it does feel REALLY weird.


  1. Gretchen, I laughed out loud when I watched that video. I love that she enters and exits the screen to turn the camera on and off. I also enjoyed the quick look in the mirror at the end. Still looks like her hair is giving her a bit of "resistance" doesn't it? And by the way, I feel like all the positions you've held totally qualify you for anything. If you can survive nannying and Census work, you can do anything.

  2. Isn't that video the best? You should check out the other ones she's uploaded. The have a certain je ne se quoi, I think. Thanks for the job encouragement. I think I will add that to my resume, "probably qualified for anything".