Every few months or so, I like to reflect on the past.
My friend Lisa (check out her blog here) inspired me to do a reflection on the first half of 2018. So I'll start with the beginning of 2018, as I finished my last semester at the University of Southern California.
These, I felt were the biggest milestones of my life in 2018.
Closing a Chapter of My Life: Graduating From College (January-May)
If you've never read my blog, you might think "But Evan, on your homepage, it says you don't need to college to succeed. What?"
Don't take this as a turn on my own philosophy: I still don't think college is the best way for most people to get a job (or prepare to get a job). Many colleges still inadequately prepare 18-22 year olds for the real professional world and charge exorbitant amounts of money for outwardly spa-like facilities. The evolution of education is moving towards cheaper, flexible solutions with more practical project-based learning techniques. These alternatives will eventually drive colleges into the dust, as they will be more affordable, more flexible, and more effective at getting people the experience they need to build a career.
So no, I didn't go back to college to get a job.
I did it for the moment.
My parents worked hard, for this artificial moment, that wasn't real to me, but it was 100% real to them. The moment when I walked across that stage and got that piece of paper, was something that while meaningless to me, meant something special for those two.
And the power of moments is undeniable, just ask Chip Heath and Dan Heath, NYT bestselling authors of the book "The Power of Moments".
That being said, I would not recommend going to an expensive 4-year college without understanding what you're paying for and why you're doing it. I believe in the power of moments, but I also believe in the power of student debt. Avoid that shit.
Post-Graduation: Adopting a Dog (May)
After graduation, I pulled the trigger on something I've always wanted, but never had the time to do: I adopted my first dog.
I rescued Ember, a German Shepherd/Chow mix from a shelter and she's been one of the most joyous parts of my life these past few months.
Owning a dog has taught me a few things:
- You are directly responsible for something else's life. You used to be able to be irresponsible with your life, but now it directly impacts another life.
- Happiness comes in combinations of intense stress and intense appreciation. When your dog is annoying, it's REALLY annoying. But when they're the best... they're awesome.
- Sometimes, more responsibility and time used will help you see how much time you don't have. When you realize how much time you're wasting, you will spend the extra time you used to dawdle doing actually cool shit.
Getting a dog (especially a working breed like Ember) is not for the faint of heart, but doing the job and doing it well can teach you so many positive life lessons that you have to experience before you understand. That's what taking care of another life does to you.
Finding A Job (June-July)
Having a dog and looking to live in Los Angeles, I thought "man, I should really be making some income right now". I couldn't live off my cryptocurrency earnings anymore. I had to take care of myself and also Ember.
It was time to get back to the workforce after taking a break from freelancing in February.
So I started looking for jobs in June while I was wrapping up some last minute summer courses for my degree. I tried applying everywhere. To no avail.
No one was biting for a while.
But I started narrowing down my interests. Narrowing down the locations of where I wanted to work. And I spent a good amount of time preparing good cover letters, a convincing resume, and good interviewing skills.
That's when in the span of 1.5 weeks, I applied to a job, went in for an interview, and got a job offer onsite. I was ecstatic because this company was one of my top choices.
I believe that the best things happen at the last possible moment for you... but when they do happen, they happen a lot faster than you think.
For instance, you could be applying to jobs for a 29 straight days and feel the torture of it all. But on that 30th day, you might hear back from one of the companies, and before you know it, you've interviewed, gotten an offer, and expected to start the next week.
What you need for all things is patience and faith.
Know that if you keep working hard and improving your process, you will benefit from your actions.
Where We Go From Now in the 2nd Half of 2018
I'm super optimistic about the future.
I have a kickass new job with ambitious and smart people to work with, I have a brand new apartment, and I have a great dog to raise.
I plan to do these 3 things in the next half of 2018:
- Work really hard at my new job to receive a promotion within 6 months (which I'll be announcing on Monday).
- Start incorporating weekly micro-adventures into my life, so that I never forget about the importance of rest from work and technology.
- Build a YouTube project that gets my creative juices flowing weekly.
Alright, no more talking.
Time to get shit done.
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Evan's Goal Update - Day 14/56
- Reading + Writing: Writing for the 14th day in a row. I've decided to stop reading for a bit, and maybe try an app like Blinkist or simply listen to podcasts.
- Coding: Trying to re-create the Google homepage in HTML and CSS. Not had much time recently... I had an ambitious goal to complete The Odin Project curriculum in 6 months, but I may put it lower on the priority list and make it 1 year.
- Fitness: Rest day. (8/32 sessions completed this cycle)
- YouTube: Late on uploading but will finish by EOD!