I recently learned some things.

  1. Nonprofit organizations are not my scene. I appreciate all they do for the community, and I love the earnest camaraderie and loving hearts of all involved for the people under their care. I love knowing we have made a difference, because here is the tangible proof: a new house for a family, a safe haven for children, a support group for new parents. I love being able to see with my own two eyes the result of my work – good, pure results, that really do make the world better.
    Except nonprofits worry about money all the time. I mean, they have to. No matter how pure the motives or positive the impact, every nonprofit has to fight tooth and nail for grants and donations, or disappear. Money is the biggest stressor in my personal life, and I can’t be worried about it at work, too.
    But I still want to be a part of something good. At my internship, I get to sit at a desk and hear children laughing from the lobby. I get to visit summer camps and hear admins offer scholarships and bus passes so low-income kids can have fun during the week. I get to hang out with men and women who fight for the defenseless every day of their lives. I get to design things and write things that important people see and utilize to make a difference. I don’t want to give this up.
  2. I miss the freedom of academic social media. At this new job, we have to count every letter and weigh every phrase to be as rhetorically poignant as possible. Everything we do on social media peacocks to potential corporate partners. “Look at us! Look at the friends we have! Don’t you want to be our friend and give us money?” One of our partners signed up because one of their competitors was featured in a Tweet, and God forbid they get more attention than them! We got much-needed funds out of the drama, but, you know, it feels dirty. Especially after the family-feel of @bsuenglish. It is the first time I’ve written for corporate social media, and most of it is culture shock to be sure.
  3. Hell hath frozen over. I, Lauren Birkey, introverted ambivert and great avoider of public speaking, wish that I was in a management position. My mom would be so relieved.
    There’s no problem with management at my internship. In fact – and this will sound like crap, but it is so true – I love my bosses. The entire Communications and Development department is just good. My immediate boss, especially. She’s a great designer (so, so creative, and so good at translating design into common language) and always knows exactly what and how to write for any medium, for any person. She can shave characters off a Tweet in her sleep. Every graphic and paragraph I make goes through her, and then she has the agency to change it to match her official vision. I want my work to be as rhetorically effective as possible, and I appreciate her feedback and guidance, but I miss having the agency to make my vision the official vision. One day I shall be the head of some communications department, and my intern will complain about me altering their work to match my expectations, and I will understand. A good designer knows how to stand out, and how to blend in. It’s my time to blend in.
  4. I want a Wiacom tablet so badly that I can feel a ghost stylus in my hand.
  5. My first ever bachelorette party is this weekend – tonight, actually – and while I’m super pumped to celebrate with my girlfriends, I’m also a little sad. Once my girlfriend gets married, the whole group dynamic is going to change. It’s the kind of bittersweet realization most people get when they graduate high school and everyone splits to different colleges. I didn’t get a true group until college, so I’m feeling it now. Late mourner, I suppose. (Speaking of weddings, there has been much talk of engagement with my boyfriend. God help us all.)
  6. I am officially graduating in December and boy oh boy am I terrified. The job search is basically a full-time job in itself, and somehow I have to find a real job while making enough money at a low-tier job to afford living wherever I live during the job search not to mention possibly being engaged and making plans for a life with Noah and all the plans he’s making and holy crap why did I ever decide to do this I’m not prepared…

Things I Know For Sure:

  1. Sometimes it’s okay to just ask someone for money.
  2. I need to make a personal website so people can know how awesome I am and hire me.
  3. Wedding Pinterest boards are very underrated.