post grad feels w claire

Hi friends,Hope everyone is doing great at home with their fam or friends. I hope you are doing okay. I wanted to talk about something I find really important today and asked my friend Claire to write about it. Recently, most of my best friends have graduated from university or are graduating soon and I'm slowly but surely almost at the finish line as well. Higher education is not only expensive, hard work but a privilege we often overlook. I feel incredibly lucky to get the chance to go to university, learn, grow and transition to the job market. University/college itself is a whole world of complexities, experiences, lessons learned and self-development. We study for four years and are thrown into the world expected to have it all together and find a job...
Claire is one of my oldest childhood friends. She is hands down one of my favourite people and one of the smartest and most hard working I know. We call her the dad of our group, she is witty, she is determined and has some badass goals. She wants to be a pharmacist and just graduated from McGill university!! I love her to death and trust her mindset on things. This is exactly what she had to say on post grad feels.

Describe yourself. What are your interests and inspirations?
I’m 23 years old and recently graduated from McGill university with a degree in pharmacology. I’m now working as a clinical research assistant at the Ottawa Hospital, where I’ve done a lot of work studying medical marijuana and opioids for the management of pain. Aside from studying drugs, I love film and photography. I have a collection of cameras (35mm, DSLR, and a couple of polaroids) that I like to play around with whenever I have free time. I tend to draw inspiration from a lot of different places. When it comes to work, my hardworking parents are definitely my role-models. My friends are also inspirations, especially in a more creative sense.

Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
This one is tough, I hope to be happy, healthy and genuinely enjoying life. I don’t know exactly what I’ll be doing but I hope to be helping people in some way.  

What are a couple favourite things you can't live without?
I wouldn’t be able to live without my family and friends who have supported me through everything. Their positive energies are what keep me sane. On a more material level, I run on espresso and always have my Spotify playing music or podcasts (especially true crime).

Where is the best place you have traveled? And why?
There are still so many places I’d still love to see, but New York holds a special place in my heart. I love the architecture, the art and the people. It’s never the same, no matter how many times I go back.

How does it feel to be a fresh new grad?
I pretty much started working right after graduating so I still have a lot of the same routine that comes with being a student, but there’s definitely a scary sense of freedom. Knowing that there are so many opportunities and different paths I can take makes it feel a lot like starting from square one again, but in the same breath it’s very empowering. Graduating definitely reminded me how small I am in the grand scheme of things.

What are your 3 pieces of advice for someone who just finished their bachelor’s degree?
  • Pursue your passions, not what you think will bring in the highest salary or impress others.
  • Take a break because you deserve it. I graduated in the winter and extended my Christmas break an extra few weeks before starting work to give my mind the rest it needed. I think with the way the world operates today there are very few times in life where you have the opportunity to pause and reflect, and at this transition stage it’s really important to do so, not only to figure out what’s next but also as a form of self-care. 
  • Take chances, apply for every opportunity that interests you even if you’re only half qualified. You never know what can happen.

What do you think is the best thing to do when you feel overwhelmed after finishing your degree?

For me it’s been helpful to remind myself not to compare myself to others. I think it’s easy to look at other people around you sharing all the positive moments and highs of their lives (especially through social media) and think that you need to have everything figured out right away. In reality, there is no time limit for achieving whatever you are working towards and you don’t need to have landed your dream job the second you get your degree. Taking the time to remind myself that success and happiness isn’t defined the same way for everyone has really helped me gain perspective.  

Tips on acing interviews?
In my humble opinion:
1. Reflect on your past experiences (especially what’s listed on your resume) and figure out what you learned from them.
2. Be confident in your abilities and accomplishments. As cliché as it sounds, sell yourself because everyone else they interview will be doing the same.
3. Be yourself. Treat your interview as if you’re having a conversation with any other individual rather than a daunting performance.

Love Dove + Claire <3

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