When I look back over a year ago, to college, I tend to sometimes wonder if and how different my life would be had my plans worked out, without being interrupted by a frightening pandemic world take over. If you were to ask me when I was a senior in undergrad, where I would be today- you would get a different answer. Before Covid-19 destroyed what was left of those graduating college in 2020, leaving us in limbo between still being last semester college students and real adults, I had different plans for myself. Way different. Let me preface my previous statements by clarifying that I am not disappointed that the predictions of my adult life that I envisioned for myself in college are not what they are today. I am a strong believer that everything happens for a reason- the good, the bad, and the ugly. And just because I thought I had a different path in my direction of post-grad life, it doesn’t mean it was the right one.
Anyways- back to the story. Let’s travel back in time to 2020:
It’s senior year of college, you just drive yourself up to the apartment you’ve been living in for the last 3 years with your closest friends, excited for syllabus week to start, and a slight feeling of senioritis brewing in the back of your mind increasing by the day (lol). All jokes aside, these are the days where job applications are filled out daily, where you have to finally make the extra effort to befriend your professors for those stellar recommendation letters, and where you apply for last-minute internships with the hope of adding any extra information to your new, beautifully crafted LinkedIn page.
My roommates and my best friends
(Elana, Rachel, Ali, Me Lizzy)
In my case, and having been scrambling for all the aforementioned real-world preparations listed above, I was specifically applying to jobs in Nashville to work behind the scenes in the music/entertainment industry for companies like IHeartRadio, The Grand Ole Opry, etc. Basically, I saw myself working in a big city for a big company- with, well, no relevant experience. Being unaware of what was coming for me next, I was ready to receive my degree and finally move out of the State of Florida for the first time. Alone, on my own, in a new city.That would’ve been my answer a year ago if you asked me where I would be post-undergrad. Looking back, that was a very confident answer for someone who was inexperienced in both living alone and the entertainment industry as a whole.
Me in Nashville
No one could have predicted that the announcement from our college President about a virus breakout on campus would really be a worldwide pandemic that just will not end. But Covid came into town and sent us packing our bags back to our hometowns to quarantine for a really long time. Clearly, the predictions I had regarding my post-college life would not turn into a reality for me. I mean with businesses going bankrupt and the majority of employees losing their jobs, why would someone hire a recent college grad for a non-entry level job? Now as I said before, I am a true believer that everything happens for a reason, and what is meant to be will be. So instead of ending up where I thought I’d end up, this was my reality…
I moved home, finished my last semester of college on Zoom, graduated on Youtube, and applied for any job hiring within 45 miles of my house. I waited for days, weeks, months, and finally, I accepted an offer to be a hostess at a small Italian restaurant located in Fort Lauderdale. Not only had I never had any restaurant experience before, but I was also upset that I graduated college with Honors, only to be working in a position where a Bachelor’s Degree wasn’t necessary. However, I was humbled pretty quickly when I realized that the Restaurant Business is NOT as easy as it seems. I worked there six days a week and gained better people skills than I could ever imagine. (It’s not every day that people scream at you and threaten your job for a reservation when you’re fully booked). Yes, I was still applying for jobs more suited to my interests and career goals, but I was grateful for the opportunity to better my skills, build my savings, and to just have a job in the middle of a worldwide pandemic, especially one that served DELICIOUS food. It wasn’t until six months later I received a message to schedule an interview for a marketing position I had applied for located in Delray. Three interviews later (the most important one taking place on my 23rd birthday), I was offered the position. I wish I could recall all the details, but I think I blacked out from the excitement of getting my life back on track. The next thing I knew it was my first day at my first “big girl job”.
Me, clearly OVERJOYED at my hostessing job
Fast forward to today, August 30th, as I sit at my desk with the best job I could have asked for. This month marked 6 months at my job, and I am weirdly so thankful that it took me a year to find a job during Covid. Imagine if I accepted another position, or my original plans worked out? It’s like I manifested this perfect life for me in Nashville as a post-grad, but instead, the perfect life ended up just 1 hour north of my home!
I now have a boss beyond comparison, that doubles as a mentor, who teaches me the secrets of success in the world of business, encourages me to have a business on my own and to always be the hardest worker in the room. He has also taught me that work doesn’t just have to be work. If you do what you love and you love who you work with, then work can be a lot of fun and very rewarding. That is why I’m not only grateful for my boss, but also so grateful for my coworker who was put into my life exactly when I needed her to be. She has the kindest soul and cares deeply for others, including myself, and although we may giggle too much at times, she truly brightens my workdays and inspires me to just be my happy self.
My coworker, Dom, and I
I have no choice but to believe that all of the ups and downs that have defined this past year were for the best because it put an important job and very important people in my life.
I’m now starting the process of moving out of my childhood home for good. I have lived with my parents my entire life, except the four short years at Florida State, and it is time I got a place of my own. It’s hard moving back home after four years of living on my own as a “fake” adult, but I must say I enjoyed every (well most) second of getting closer with my parents over the past year at home. I had more meaningful conversations about important topics, drank beers by the pool, and was just grateful to be surrounded by the people that love me the most. Although, I still think it’s time to make that important life step to move on- and move out. I know I will miss the visits from my sisters, mom’s cooking, dad’s lectures about important world issues, all of us watching TV on the couch together, and the endless supply of wine.
My family making the best of quarantine at my forever home <3
I’m hopeful, anxious, and a little nervous, but excited for this next step. I am filled with gratitude from the support and encouragement I have received since making this decision for this next step in my life. It’s not all rainbows and butterflies though, I have noticed some struggles regarding renting an apartment. I think these struggles are very common for people everywhere- especially when it is their first time moving. I am lucky though because I’m looking for places to live with my boyfriend, but even with two separate incomes splitting rent, it is STILL very expensive to live in an apartment in Fort Lauderdale. I guess it’s expensive to move anywhere right now, especially when you don’t want to give things certain amenities up like a balcony, walk-in closet, and a washer and dryer.
If this is something you can relate to at all, read along and join my move-out journey with me. I will be sure to share all the candid details of this scary, but exciting adventure: the headaches, the costs, and all the fun parts that come with it. I think this blog post will turn into a series with this being part one, that looks at how my life has turned out thus far and why its time to grow up, then I’ll continue part two with the actual move out process and the things I look forward to the most, and part three will be a look back on all of the things that I might miss or that I am currently unawarely taking for granted (like my pool I never swim in) and obviously, all of the positives that will come from living on my own. So, join me in my quest as I pack my MANY bags and move out of my childhood home, with that infamous navy blue door, to live in a place with my incredibly funny, caring, and handsome boyfriend, Matt, to a cute one-bedroom apartment in a city that is very close to home: Fort Lauderdale!
Bridget received her BS degree in Media Communication Studies, with a Hospitality minor, at Florida State University. Other than growing up as a performer, it was at Florida State where Bridget discovered her passion for arts and entertainment. Holding multiple jobs throughout her college career, Bridget gained the confidence and skills needed to succeed in the entertainment industry, especially within the theatre realm.