How to Build a Resume–Or a Life

Photo by Li Yang on Unsplash

In the past week and a half, I’ve found myself re-working my resume and cover letters for what seems like the millionth time throughout college. Every time I go through it, I find little things here and there that have changed since the last time I did; this time I’m looking a little farther than I used to.

Now I’m a junior, no longer an underclassman. I am also officially an English major with my own concentration and minor/certificate. I am also about 6 classes away from graduating if I wanted to.

Each time I go back through it, I am reminded of where I’ve come from. I am also reminded that I truly have no idea who Karina Williams will be in the next two years. After all, if I guessed my own progress two years ago as of now, I would have been completely wrong.

Two years ago, all I really had to go off of was what we were told in high school—join anything and everything in high school that would make you stand out in college and go from there.

They told us how to get into college, they never told us how to pick one, let alone who to be once we got in there. And I can definitely say I had no idea.

Coming in, I kept my head down and did my work, joining a few clubs but just trying to keep my head above water. The idea was to survive, thriving would come later.

Photo by Li Yang on Unsplash

But you know, surviving doesn’t get you anything to put on your resume. And it definitely doesn’t give you the kind of experience that’ll make things any fun. All that does is put pressure on what you’re already trying to do—survive.

The way I see my old resume, that was me trying to figure out who I wanted to be in the middle of figuring out who I was allowed to be without slipping on what I was supposed to be doing. Get the grades, hold a job, graduate and stand out enough to get a job.

What do we do after we get a job? Keep working every day and never find a new one, just stay on the same timeline for the rest of our lives? Or do we take another road sometimes, make a left or a right and change careers somewhere along the way? Maybe we have kids way sooner than we were planning (I‘m only joking mom and dad), or maybe we never quite take the time to settle down because that just isn’t who we turn out to be.

Our resume can’t tell us what that is supposed to look like and they definitely don’t tell us who we’re going to be in two years. The major may change, the amount of words you realize is appropriate for a cover letter and the absence of a high school GPA that really doesn’t matter anymore.

Did it ever?

Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

I can’t tell you who I’ll be by the time I turn 23, nor the city I’ll live in or the people who will know my name.

But I can tell you that I’m kind of excited to see where we go together. Whatever happens this summer, I think it’ll have a lot to say about what 23 is going to look like on me. All of this matters, everything affects everything.

Even what we do to fill our resumes and lives and hearts up in the process.

So we may as well make it look good. I can promise at least I’ll try.

All the Little Big Things

jian-xhin-281513After a week of working, balancing (or not balancing), studying, and stressing, congratulations everyone; we’ve made it through another week. For the quarter system students, this is the hard part to get through— midterms started weeks ago and from now on they don’t really stop. We are all trying to just hold on until Thanksgiving break. Good thing is, that is now about a month away. Bad thing? It’s a month away.

Ever wonder how you are possibly going to get through it all in one piece?

I am sure I’m not the only one in saying that these weeks get hard. There’s a lot of stress in finding a balance between classes or working or studying or socializing or… You see, there’s a lot to fit into the daily lifestyle of being a functional human being. Notice the word functional.

I’m not even a part of the 9 to 5 working world yet and life already has its struggles. As I get older, it seems things are added to my list of responsibilities, little by little, and I have to adjust to that. Sure, life does get in the way of that adjustment sometimes, throwing new burdens on top of the old, that happens. But there is always a way to get through it all, to keep looking forward. Whether you love what you do every day, or you’re working towards the time in your life that you can, I’m beginning to understand that it isn’t always about that one test grade or that wrong thing you said that keeps replaying in your head…

You have to see the little big things.

Do you remember the last time you got a really good hug? I mean the kind where you’re holding on to that person, they’re holding on to you, and in that moment, nothing has ever felt so comfortable.david-o-andersen-201881

Do you remember the last good sleep you had? The kind where you you wake up slowly, your body stretches out, and your eyes open to a morning that you actually feel ready for; you feel good.

And do you remember the last time someone said “I love you” without those three little words? Maybe they said to “drive safe” or “call me tonight”, or even asked how your day was and meant it or just gave you the attention you deserve— these are the unspoken I love you’s.

Yet none of these are big things. In the midst of all that goes on in our lives and whatever hardship might come your way, looking at the hard parts only makes them harder. It makes them bigger. I know that sometimes it’s unavoidable, the bigger it is in your life more times you think about it.

But for just a moment, I only ask for one, stop and think about the little things that happened today.

Did someone hold a door open for you, even though they didn’t have to?

Did you talk to someone you care about and remember that you have people in your life who care for you too?

And did you wake up this morning, after a good sleep or not, and remember to smell the roses, smell the rain— did you experience life today?

Right now, I am doing my best not to take things for granted, to see all sides of something and take whatever comes to me in stride. Just like my parents always taught me, I’m trying to be better. Not just for my friends, or my career, or my future. I’m trying to be better for me.

michael-fertig-2429That includes a full appreciation of what this life has brought me.

Every week has brought its own challenge, sometimes adding to the last that I wasn’t quite over yet. That doesn’t mean this isn’t a good life, that the little things don’t matter.

In this life it all matters, every little bit. And I hope you were reminded of that today.