Breaking in to the World After College

It’s been long overdue since I last posted anything on here. Now that things have begun settling down after the past few months I’m going to try to start updating this blog more often. I’m also in process of creating two other blogs: one about conflict resolution and one about news. We’ll see when those get off the ground but for now I’ll be more active on here.

The reason I’ve been so out of contact the last few months has everything to do with graduating back in May. It’s been a rough road to say the least, but at the same time it has been eye opening and exhilarating. I guess I’ll start by giving a short summary of what I’ve been doing, and then how I feel about it in terms of what I like and what I don’t like, for anyone who reads this that might care.

When you get closer to graduating from college you start to panic. Everyone tells you to panic and everyone tells you it’s going to be hard. About a year before graduation I did my best to circumvent this by looking in to every option I could think of that I’d like to do. I applied for the Peace Corps, but didn’t have enough experience. I did an internship, but that didn’t turn in to anything. I started job applications and informational interviews and whatever networking I could. The biggest problem was though that I didn’t know what I wanted to do. When you don’t have a goal you don’t really get a result.

So then I went in to temp work at the end of July/start of August. It was so stressful I can’t go in to words. It wasn’t necessarily the temp work, but I was in a rough situation since I didn’t really have savings since I used most of them in exchange for getting experience at the last job I was at. That meant that I needed to always be working, at least for a few months. That didn’t happen. It took me a little over a month going through the grinder to land an OK gig at a travel company. From there things got exponentially better, I started tutoring with good pay as well. Currently I’m in the process of accepting an offer at the company as a consultant.

Here’s the thing though, I hate the world I’m seeing after college. In many respects it is rough, unforgiving, competitive, conniving, and dreary. I am no stranger to hardship or hard work. I am not a “millennial who is living in a dreamworld.” I have worked a full-time job since I was in high school. I have lived on my own since I was 18 years old. Yet as time has progressed I have been exposed to different people, education, and workplaces that are real and living proof that there is another way to do things. You can have communication, cooperation, and happiness without sacrificing standard of living or livelihood. Yet most people I have met since temping at different companies don’t believe this. And that belief perpetuates the cycle of cruelty and inequality.

This brings me to my second point. While there are many things I see which I don’t like, it has helped me find what I’m passionate about and what I want to pursue as a career and as a person. In many ways it has always been my passion and interest yet now it is much more defined. I want to spread conflict resolution in the most effective ways possible. I want to train groups and organizations. I want to mediate disputes and facilitate dialogue.

I want to be a messenger of transformation.

Or in less figurative and narcissistic language I want to be involved in conflict resolution through training, mediation, facilitation, and outreach. I’m looking into consultancy and other avenues.

That’s only part of it though. I think the most important thing in life is to be happy. Life is too hard and full of grief for anything else. The arguments I have heard against this are to aid to the improvement of society. I think that’s a noble goal and I’ve been driven by that myself. At the same time I’ve become disillusioned to this end. Society is too unpredictable, too competitive, and filled with unintended misery for that to be someones whole purpose for life. I have a lot more thoughts on this but we’ll save that for another time.

Anyways, I am looking to spend my life doing what makes me happy. This includes helping others be happy and spending time with who I love. I’m planning on writing a post soon on how I’m looking to get there. I’m starting that pursuit right now.

-Dylan

Leaving Your Mark

What sparked this for me was a conversation during the last member meeting in Agora, but it’s something that I think not only me but most students think about. How do you make your mark in the world? How do you start a project, initiative, organization, that can actually succeed and be about your interest or passion?

That’s got to be the golden question. Starting out in college I had no idea what I wanted to do or how to do it. All I knew is that I had drive. I’ve worked hard and stumbled around a few majors like public administration, industrial design, social work, and finally conflict resolution. I had found my passion, and that made it easier to start devoting time on something worthwhile.

You know the old saying, 10% aspiration and 90% perspiration? That seems to be more and more true as I go. I love to create new projects and come up with new ideas. Though it has been a bit of luck, too. Take Agora for instance, I happened to be friends with the right people at the right time. Creating a new organization, project, or initiative takes a lot of work. Most importantly it takes a lot of group work, communication, consistency, being eager to learn, and just being creative. If I had to impart some portion of the knowledge I’ve learned the last couple of years it would be that leaving a mark on the world and on people takes a balance of raw passion and creativity, and hard work. You come up with better ideas, more consistently, on topics that you are passionate about. I love to come up with new ideas involving conflict resolution, but public policy or any STEM major, etc. count me out. When these ideas come out it gets me excited and I want them to be the best they possibly can be. The hard work doesn’t feel like work, it feels almost like play. Then it’s important to communicate these feelings with other people in the group so that you can judge what needs work and what great ideas they have to compliment it.

There’s still a lot to learn though, and something I’d like to learn most is the ability to instill passion in others. Bringing back to the Agora conversation was that people want action, want to create groups to go out after a discussion. That’s excellent! Yet, it takes a leader, or initiative to make that happen. How do you nurture that and keep it consistent rather than die off?

Anyways!

Agora Update

  • Next week is our guest speaker! Should be really excellent
  • All volunteers on deck for the Agora Conference! Here is a sneak peek of the logo we’ll be usingAgora Conference 2015 Logo 3
  • We want everyone involved! However you can help, you think of it it’ll happen. Especially outreach.
  • Officer elections are coming up! If you’d like to be an officer you should run! If you’re not sure or have questions any of the officers (myself included) are happy to answer them. Being an officer in Agora is what you make of it. There’s no hierarchy and it’s a loose organization. That’s how it’s designed and it makes it more fun, less stressful, and gives everyone the ability to create their own projects. Being an officer is being part of a close group where you help each other out and have loose roles. It’s a great opportunity to leave your mark, as I was talking about before.