How do you get a fulfilling job after college?
What if you're still living with your parents?
What's it like navigating hook-ups, dating, and new friendships outside campus life?
Millions of books, blog posts, personal essays, and advice columns are written about college, but what about after college? Those first few years of finding your footing in the real world are filled with transitional crises and fraught introspection. You’re a freshman all over again.
The thirty-eight stories in Freshman Year of Life tell the truth about life beyond college graduation from the voices of people a few years out. Some of their experiences are funny, some heartwarming; some are about their successes, and others reflect their failures. There are stories about going from a committed college relationship to casual dating in an unfamiliar city, navigating a toxic work environment, learning how to stay patient in a part of your life that isn’t defined by semesters and finals, and tackling the task of making new friends, something you may not have had to do since college orientation.
The stories in Freshman Year of Life are just the beginning. There are a multitude of different experiences out there, and one of them will be your own. It’s not the end of the conversation; it’s the start.
Find out how these writers survived their freshman year of life:
Aaron Gilbreath • Aileen Garcia • Alana Massey • Alexandra Molotkow • Alison Gilbert • Ashley Ford • Bijan Stephen • Cameron Summers • Carvell Wallace • Chloe Angyal • Emily Gould • Eric Anthony Glover • Gala Mukomolova • Jamie Lauren Keiles • Jason Diamond • Jenny Zhang • Justin Warner • Kevin Nguyen • Kristin Russo • Lane Moore • Laura Willcox • Lauren Wachenfeld • Lincoln Blades • Lori Adelman • Mara Wilson • Mira Gonzalez • Molly Soda • Myisha Battle • Nia King • Nisha Bhat • Paulette Perhach • Sam Zabell • Sarah Mirk • Scaachi Koul • Shannon Keating • Skylar Kergil • Whitney Mixter
This book came about through a collaboration with MindSumo.com, an online forum that reaches out to college students to solve business, tech, and design challenges. We asked MindSumo’s community of students what book they wanted most upon graduating, and this is it.
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About the Author
The essays in this book are written by bloggers, social media gurus, journalists, TV personalities, and podcast hosts, with a total Twitter following of over 2 million. Contributors include Ashley Ford, Emily Gould, Bijan Stephen, and Mara Wilson. Others have written for The New York Times, The New Yorker, BuzzFeed, The Washington Post, Elle, The Guardian, Feministing, appeared on Showtime and VH1, started their own successful businesses and websites, and hosted popular podcasts.
The idea for this book was conceived of by Mindsumo, Inc., a community of today’s brightest college students. Founded in 2011, the MindSumo community harnesses the creativity and analytical skills of students to produce some of the most innovative and forward thinking solutions to the challenges businesses face today. The company was launched at the Stanford Student Startup Association in February 2012 and is backed by some of the top investors in Silicon Valley, including Voyager Capital, Google Ventures, Data Collective, and StartFund. Clients include Target, Microsoft, Coca-Cola, Yahoo, Kayak, and IBM to name a few.
Table of Contents
Work and Money
The Extra Mile(s) by Alana Massey
Stepping-Stones by Alison Gilbert
A Story of a Fuck Off Fund by Paulette Perhach
The Ass-Whooping of a Lifetime by Lincoln Blades
Wait for It by Chloe Angyal
Not Just a Hobby by Molly Soda
Useful by Mara Wilson
Back-Pocket Feminism by Lori Adelman
Thongs Are a Bad Idea and Other Advice by Laura Willcox
What to Look for in a Workplace by Nia King
Not for Me by Whitney Mixter
Doing the Dishes by Emily Gould
High Fives for Trying by Eric Anthony Glover
Home and Belonging
Locked Out by Bijan Stephen
Moving Back Is Not a Step Back by Nisha Bhat
One-Way Ticket to Paris by Shannon Keating
Walking Up Walking Up the Hill by Lane Moore
Paper Maps by Kristin Russo
Getting Things Going by Aaron Gilbreath
Domesticity 101 by Justin Warner
Graduate School in Nebraska by Aileen Garcia
You’ll Go by Kevin Nguyen
Down and Out in Boca Raton by Jason Diamond
Walk-In Closet by Alexandra Molotkow
Outsider/Insider by Jenny Zhang
Homebody by Mira Gonzalez
Love and Relationships
Staying in Touch by Sam Zabell
Somewhere Between Mountains by Skylar Kergil
Dude of the Year by Sarah Mirk
Angels at Get Us from Here to There by Gala Mukomolova
Everything Is Fine by Jamie Lauren Keiles
I’d Rather Die an Ask for Help by Carvell Wallace
L Is For . . . by Lauren Wachenfeld
Why I Want to Live Like I’m Forty in My Twenties by Ashley Ford
Not Just Four Walls and a Roof by Cameron Summers
How to Make New Friends as an Adult and Why by Puja Patel
I Moved Cross-Country for a Guy by Myisha Battle
You Don’t Need More Friends by Scaachi Koul
Afterword by Trent Hazy, founder and CEO of MindSumo, Inc.