employment, human interaction

Networking Tips

October 26, 2015

orphan survival guide - social media - networking tips

Two weeks ago, I hit the limit of my extroversion. In the span of three days I attended two networking events and a conference. I talked to a lot of people. I got two job offers out of them and learned a lot more in panels and three-minute conversations than I have in most of my semester-long classes.

When I say that I’m only in school for the connections, I’m not exaggerating. Much.

I would gladly do without the group project busywork and outdated lectures, but I’m milking every networking opportunity I can out of this program. From my department’s speed networking events to conferences to TA transcription circles, I’m there.

I’m not the world’s greatest networker. I talk too much and I’m still learning how to stop talking to someone. It’s hard for an ENFP to turn that off.

But there are some tricks to getting the most out of networking opportunities that I’ve learned through, well, networking. There are tons of blog posts and Pinterest infographics out there that cover Networking 101 so why not throw my hat into the ring?

I don’t follow all these tips all the time because it’s a lot of work and it can be exhausting (especially when you’ve been doing it for two days already), but even hitting just a few key points will make you more memorable to people who can help you Go Places.

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college, employment

My College Class Wishlist

October 22, 2015

orphan survival guide - social media - college class wishlist

The University of Iowa’s journalism school used to offer a class on freelancing.

The syllabus isn’t online and neither is the book list, but it still seemed like a pretty useful class. It also fulfilled a major requirement for me. But it hasn’t been offered since 2011, when the professor left the country. But given the direction of the industry I think someone needs to pick up the slack and teach this class.

Unfortunately, the school doesn’t agree. My adviser at the time (our department is a revolving door of advisors) told me to make alternate arrangements for my schedule. I picked up a class that’s been affectionately dubbed my out-of-touch publishing class on Facebook. I did not break even with these classes.

I registered for some entrepreneurship classes through the business school but quickly realized they were meant for people starting companies with employees and not just your freelance hustle or an Etsy shop in your second bedroom. I downloaded the syllabi and dropped the classes.

The most actionable things I’ve learned have been through my social media classes. Or secret Facebook groups and Pinterest boards and bloggers–which don’t cost me $8000 a year.

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free stuff, organization

Searching for Planner Peace

October 14, 2015

orphan survival guide - social media - finding planner peace

If you’ve followed my Instagram–or even my goals and organization posts–you’ll know how long I’ve been searching for my unicorn planner. From binders and printables to real pleather organizers and even planner apps, I’ve tried a lot of different things in my quest for planner peace.

There’s no point in hoarding all these old printables for myself, but maybe other people can get some use out of them! Keep reading to take a look at my process for finding planner peace, grab some FREE planner printables I have to share with you, and check out my new Etsy store, Little Orphan Plannie!

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feels, orphan problems, personal

Depression for Extroverts

October 8, 2015

orphan survival guide - depression and college - life is pointless and nothing matters

I have major depression.

The smallest thing can set it off–and there are a thousand smallest things when you’re in college. Professors who won’t make accommodations for your work schedule, bad feedback on a paper you worked really hard on, finding the sidewalk in front of your class blocked by homecoming stages, your crazy neighbor’s cats picking fights with your cats…

Depression isn’t rational.

Most of the time, the things that set it off don’t make sense or they’re not a “good enough” reason to be depressed.

Depression isn’t just being sad for no reason.

Irritability, apathy, hopelessness, exhaustion… it comes in so many forms. It’s anxiety and perfectionism over minute details that keep you from finishing anything. It’s wanting to do nothing but lay in bed all day. It’s composing dozens of angry emails to your asshole professor that you’ll never send.

It’s being sad and then getting frustrated because you don’t know why you’re sad.

It’s keeping everything bottled up inside because you’ve created a reliable, stable, happy persona. It’s people saying, “But you seem so happy!” and “Considering your childhood, I’m amazed that you’re so functional!” when you feel like setting up permanent residence in bed.

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