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  • Writer's pictureLaine G

Where's my diploma?

Updated: Jun 20, 2023


Dear reader,

Yep! You read that right. I finally graduated university. I did promised you all for some info about my story, so grab yourself a cup of coffee, let me spill you the tea.

I graduated high school in May 2015... almost 8 years ago... oh dear...

That same year, I started university with Industrial Design degree, two years in and I realized it wasn't much of my thing. I did enjoyed doing all the computer designs, all the rendering, but oh my goooosh making sure the sizes are correct and and everything works and the computer doesn't shut off was so exhausting, I don't know how my friends do it. They have my respect.

It was during 2016 that I started to enjoy writing. I have been reading books since I was little, my dad would bring me different types and authors to read in both English and Spanish, and the one that always has stick into my mind and I always mention is "En el Reino de la Fantasía" or "The Kingdom of Fantasy" by Geronimo Stilton.

Simply thinking of this book makes me smile. It's a book so creative, so full of imagination. the moment Geronimo enters a new realm (7 or 8 in general) there's a door that he has to go through, you rub your finger in that "portal" and it has different scents! From salty water, to "sulfate" or "stinky feet", it simply prepared my mind for a great adventure, making me excited to read more and more.

Thanks dad, for bringing me all those books making my mind creative and excited for adventures.

Going back to the topic. In 2017 was the time I started to get into a big change. As I mentioned before, I started to enjoy writing so much that I spent time of my sleeping schedule in order to write. My mind was filled with ideas the more I read Young Adult books or romance novels, I wanted to be part of that world, I wanted to express what I my mind was creating. And so my research began.

While living in Mexico, it wasn't easy to find a degree that focused mostly on writing but only journalism, and while even though I do enjoy talking to people, I did not wanted to become a journalist, you see, it's kind of different from what I wanted to what the degree would provide me. I decided to take advantage of being an American citizen and I broaden my horizons and searched for a writing degree in the US, and just as I asked, I found it.

It was all so fast that I didn't even had the time to say goodbye to my friends and family and my parents were completely on board in my decision, supporting me in any way that they could and helping me with some documents as well as plane tickets. But you know what? The moment I moved to the US I found out that the degree didn't opened up and suggested for me to do another degree. I mean, I was already there with a bunch of luggage, might as well take the opportunity, right? And I tried to look at the positive side and try to combine animation with my writing, making books with some drawing or do something similar as Stilton and make art and scented pages.

Moving to the US was a biiig change, and so many things have happened since then. The school closed a year later. I lived in a hotel for a month because a roommate left and the rest of us couldn't afford the rent of the place. Spent a year in community college that kinda didn't helped me much and then... pandemic hit.

Thankfully, a couple of months before lock down started I enrolled to a university for Creative Writing. It was a rough start though. The school didn't helped me or guided me about financial services and I had to pay pocket money, or well, I had to ask for student loans an outsider provider from the government (more like a bank). But I made it! I went through it, though, I think something that does get to me even to this day is that I didn't fully experienced the "university life" that everyone talks about and loves it. I couldn't make many friends or connections through my first two years, everything was online and many people were having a harder time than others with the lockdown. I personally love being at home but I have to admit that it even got to me a bit not being able to go out often, make friends, connections, talk one on one with professors. I even failed a class, my GPA was really low and I was barely making it.

It was tough.

But... I made it. My last day was December 11th 2022. The moment I submitted my last assignment, I cried. Out of joy and relief as well as sadness. It was over. Finally over. I was so happy I gave myself a good pat in the back.

But here we are, April 2023. Diploma in hand, fingers ready to type away in my keyboard, my mind ready to do some writing... but no one told me it was going to be so hard to get a job. My goodness. 4 months into the new year and still nothing. Even for entry-level you need experience. Like, hello?? Can't you give me that experience?? Sigh.

It makes you wonder "What could I have done during this time to gain that said experience?" I can't help but beat myself a little as I say, "I should've lost some sleep and get an internship." from 2018 to 2020 and 2021 to the end of 2022 I was a full time student as well as worked full time. Never had a day off, never called off work, didn't skipped classes. Had the evening "free"? Nope, it was homework time. No one could pay the bills but myself. The only time off I had was in December when visiting my parents. So I can't help but overthink that I could've done better. I should had applied for an internship and gain the experience everyone is looking for. I guess now I'm paying what I sow.

But I also try to cheer myself up. I keep applying to jobs, I don't lose hope. And for all of those jobs that have rejected me, maybe they're not ready for my greatness.

I know I will be great and that I will achieve my dreams. In the meantime, I enjoy my time off writing (now I finally have two days off and it feels so nice and yet so weird). The weather is getting better here where I live! Some days of sun and temperature is getting nicer! At least now I can go to sleep without the heater on.

Self reminder: Always bring a notebook with you when you go out. You'll never know when inspiration might hit you, and believe me, it's not the same feeling from writing on the phone than on a notebook.


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