Posts Tagged ‘graduation’

Around this time of year, it’s customary for many bloggers to do a post reflecting on the last year and their hopes for the coming year. I decided to wait a few days to do mine because I posted a lot of stuff during the first couple of days of the New Year, and I didn’t want you guys to get sick of me (especially since a lot of what I posted was advertisement). And I won’t be doing the sort of post with the odd comparisons to famous venues and the listing stats, because I dislike doing those sorts of posts. Instead, I think I’ll just do what writers and bloggers do best, and write.

So, how was 2015? Well, I was surprised by how many people found 2015 to be a really bad year for them. So many people on Facebook and in daily conversation went so far to call 2015 “shitty”. Even my sister, who accomplished so much this past year, including getting her driver’s license and car and becoming a certified professional baker (so proud of her on that). This is especially odd when you think about how these people don’t live in war zones or aren’t homeless or anything, but then again we can’t always be expected to compare ourselves to those who have it worse, can we?

Personally, I feel that 2015 was a bit of a roller coaster with all sorts of ups and downs. I had a pretty mellow final semester with only three classes and a thesis to do, but at the same time I had a job search that sometimes felt like it wasn’t going anywhere. During graduation and the two-three weeks surrounding it, I felt like the prom queen, with all the attention on me, showering praise and good wishes. Not too long afterward I got to go see some of my favorite metal bands in concert, and got the chance to intern in Germany. Of course, the trip to Germany got delayed, and one set of tickets I couldn’t fully refund, so that was money wasted.

Life’s a rollercoaster, is it not?

When I finally did get to Germany, it was a great experience. I learned a lot working with the US Army, explored as much of Germany as I could in the four months I was there, and made some memories and friendships that I hope will stay with me for a long time. On the other hand, I could get very tired, and if things didn’t go as planned, that stressed me out. I didn’t get to stay, and even when you’re making a good living and have a place to stay on base, which is much cheaper than getting your own apartment, living abroad is expensive. I came back to the States with about the same amount of money in my bank account as when I left.

And finally, when I got back home, I found a lot a lot of people wanting to know how I did in Germany and what it was like. I also got a lot of support as I started up the job search again, and I finished editing one novel and made significant progress on another. And I even got a narrator for that audio book for Reborn City I’ve been trying to get off the ground! On the other hand…still jobless for the moment, and until I have some income, I can’t get an editor to look at Video Rage for one final touch-up before publication.

All in all, I felt this year reflected life in general. There are things that don’t always go your way and you could live without, but there are plenty of good things to even it out, and in the end you wouldn’t give up the experiences you’ve had for the world. That’s certainly been my experience. While I would’ve loved to not have those delays with Germany and still have some more money in my bank account, and I had hoped to be employed by this point, I am very happy that I’ve had the experiences and learned the lessons that I did this year.

As for this coming year…well, I have my hopes. I want to get a job, obviously, and without getting into specifics, I’ve had some luck with that, thanks in part to the help I’ve gotten from numerous sources. I want to publish at least one book this year, though I’m aiming for two, plus some short stories here and there. And I would definitely like to move out into my own place (preferably a one-bedroom apartment that allows pets, like cute little kitty cats).

Oh, and I would definitely like to finish editing a few more stories, make some more progress on my new collection of short stories Teenage Wasteland, and get that audio book of Reborn City released.

Will any of this happen? I can’t say, because the future is not certain. However, a lot of stuff is very likely, including the stuff listed above. And I’m hoping that along with those, a lot of other stuff happens this year. While I had a pretty good 2015, I know that on a global scale things were, to say the least, messed up. Gun violence, terrorism, refugees not given the treatment they deserve, continued abuse of the environment. There was plenty of good–gay marriage is now legal all throughout the nation, thank God–but I feel we need to see a lot more of that sort of good to outweigh the bad. Already I’ve seen what I feel is good action from the President, but it’s going to take a lot more than that before I’m satisfied.

Cheers to a fresh start.

Well, I’ve rambled on enough for one evening. I’ll finish off with a reminder that all of my books are on sale through January 14th from Amazon, Createspace, and Smashwords, and that I hope we all accomplish the goals we set ourselves this year. And I guess that includes new year’s resolutions, though I know those rarely last long. Oh well, good luck with those too I guess.

Happy 2016, my Followers of Fear!

Me, my grandfather Seymour Ungar, and my dad Rabbi Michael Ungar at the English Graduation Breakfast.

Me, my grandfather Seymour Ungar, and my dad Rabbi Michael Ungar at the English Graduation Breakfast.

In Tarot, the World card represents the end of one life cycle and the beginning of a new one, or the pause before the new cycle begins. Great changes come, and one has to adjust to the new changes. Yesterday one of my life cycles came to a close, and today a new one is either set to begin or has already begun. Yesterday I graduated from The Ohio State University.

I’m telling you, the week and a half leading up to graduation has been incredibly busy and crazy. And the day of graduation was the most tiring of all. I woke up around 6:30, about a half hour earlier than I normally do on weekdays, got myself dressed up in a dress shirt and tie, and headed to the Union for a graduation breakfast put on by the English Department. Almost all of my family was there, which was fun and slightly terrifying (if you know me well, you can guess why). I introduced them to some of my professors who were there, and took some photos, one of which you can see here.

After breakfast I headed back to my apartment because it was really hot out and I wanted to change into something I wouldn’t boil to death in. I then went to where the Arts & Sciences grads were assembling, in one of the gyms in the RPAC (the school’s main building for exercise and playing sports with your friends), and then we headed out to the Ohio Stadium. We then waited outside the Stadium for about ten, fifteen minutes before going in and sitting in the stands. In total, there were over eleven thousand students, the biggest graduating class Ohio State has ever had the pleasure of producing. I can only imagine the work that must go into making sure that many students walk in, are seated, get their diplomas, and then get out of the stadium without causing chaos. Must be a nightmare.

Anyway, we had our commencement address from Archie Griffin, a former OSU football player and head of our Alumni Association (note to self, sign up for the Alumni Association). He actually gave a really good speech. He spoke about how his family had worked hard all through his young life, how he’d gotten to OSU on an athletic scholarship, and how despite fumbling the ball his first game in his freshman year, he still somehow got to play the next game and did spectacularly. The message we got from his speech was, sometimes you fumble and stumble and fall. Don’t let it get you down or hold you back, though. Instead, keep going forward and keep pushing, and you’ll do amazing things.

Our commencement speaker, Archie Griffin.


After that, they conferred honorary degrees and distinguished awards to people who had accomplished much in life or did amazing things for the university (one of the honorary degrees went to Kathleen Sebellius, the former Secretary of Health and Human Services. I thought that was pretty cool). Then the doctorate students went up and got their diplomas on stage, the only group to do so. Because nearly two hundred people were going up to get their doctorates and it took time for each to come up and get their diploma, a lot of grads took that time to go and grab something to eat from the food stands in the stadium (I was among them). After that we sang the school song Carmen Ohio and then began the long process of giving students their diplomas by having them walk down from the stands and getting their diplomas from the dean of their school at little tables set up on the field.

It took a while to get to my section of the stands, let me tell you. Even though the process is designed so that several different colleges can go up at once and get their diplomas, the College of Arts & Sciences had nearly two-thousands grads yesterday, and they get their degrees in alphabetical order. I was among the last five-hundred. But I eventually got down there, got my degree, and headed out of the stadium to meet with my folks, take some more pictures, and then go home to shower before going out for a celebratory dinner.

All told, that graduation ceremony took about three hours from the time it began to the time I got out of the stadium. It was not only long, it was very hot, and even though I mostly just stood and sat, I was exhausted by the end of it. Thank God I brought in two large water bottles with me, or I might’ve overheated or passed out from dehydration sitting there.

And still, it was wonderful. I’m glad that, after four years of hard work and a lot of tuition paid, I got to attend my graduation and get my diploma.

My sister Adi and I after I've gotten my diploma.

My sister Adi and I after I’ve gotten my diploma.

Today, things feel very different. The feeling that I’ve had since around exam time, like I’m the prom queen and all adore me, is dissipating pretty quickly. What’s left is this wonderful zen feeling that’s been going on since I woke up and has lasted pretty much the whole day. I also feel like I could make any changes to my life right now and they’d stick. I’ve already noticed a few just today: I’m talking to myself much less (something I do on a daily basis) and I’m not craving chocolate at work (which happens every time I step into the office!).

A new cycle begins. What’s in store for me, we will soon find out.


I think that might be because, for the first time since I was small, I’m no longer enrolled in any sort of education. I’m now past education! It’s a weird feeling, meaning a major change to my identity, so I’m adjusting and finding my new self. Maybe that’s part of the beginning of the new cycle I mentioned above. And perhaps, with a new job and everything else that comes with that, I’ll figure out my new self fairly quickly.

In the meantime, it’s back to business as usual. But first, I want to thank everyone reading this blog. Since I entered college, this blog and the people reading it have been with me, guiding and supporting me through exams and publishing and Europe and everything else in between. I hope that you, the Followers of Fear, will continue to support me as I figure out what comes next for me and work my hardest to accomplish that.

Until next time, my Followers of Fear. Have a nice day.

Oh, and if you get a chance, check out my About page. I just updated it to reflect my new circumstances. Tell me what you think of it.

It’s coming soon.

It’s coming.

Well actually at the time I started writing this post it’s six days, eighteen hours, and 18 minutes till graduation. But who’s counting?

Still, it’s amazing that this milestone in my life is coming so quickly. I’ve been looking forward to it for nearly a year, and by he time I turn around, it’s probably going to be here. I’ll see my whole family (and I mean my whole family, around ten or so people are showing up for this), I’ll walk down that aisle for my diploma, my mother will cry her eyes out and then be grateful that for mother’s day she’s got one kid graduated and three to go. There will be tears, photos, selfies galore. I’ll get my diploma and meet President Drake for the first and possibly only time. Afterwards there will be more photos and congratulations, I might have time to change my clothes, and then we’ll go out to dinner.

Oh, and alcohol. Pleeeenty of alcohol will be consumed. It’s graduation, it’s to be expected.

You know, I’m really going to miss Ohio State. So much happened here. I took so many fun classes, a few ones I wish I could do over or never took at all. I made great friends, some of whom I’ll stay friends with for life. I met so many great professors and learned so many awesome things from them. I published my first three books and wrote two or three more while I was here. I published some articles and short stories, started working for Self-Published Authors Helping Other Authors. I went to Europe on a study abroad trip. I worked in a really wonderful office with really awesome people. I got my first apartment and started to really become an adult (paying bills, creating a credit history, etc.). And while I was here, I grew an audience of readers who enjoy my posts, love giving me feedback, and even read my books from time to time.

I think what I’m going to miss the most though, more than the excitement and surprises of learning something new each and every semester, is the challenge. Each and every year, and each and every semester, I’ve had new challenges to overcome, new obstacles to tackle and fight against. This has ranged from getting used to college, to getting used to semesters, living in my first apartment with a new friend, going abroad, doing a thesis, and a million other things. I like to think I met and beat challenge successfully.

Well, depending where I get my next job, there will definitely be new challenges to deal with, so that won’t be a problem. Hopefully I’ll know where I’m going soon (still working on my first job, but hopefully I’ll have more news soon). And you know what? As much as I love OSU, I feel it’s time to move on and see what’s next for me. I can’t remain as a student forever, and I don’t think I’d want to, even if I could and it cost me next to nothing. College is meant to be temporary anyway, so why stick around?

And I’m actually looking forward to getting away from a few things. Classes I hate, huge reading assignments, that sort of thing. Enough with that. And I’ll definitely be glad to see the last of those preachers on the Oval who keep telling us we have to become proper Christians (whatever that means) or we’ll go to hell. Honestly, I heard one of those guys claim the Girl Scouts are going to turn us into hedonists. I was like, “Whuuuuuuut?”

Well, I’ll make sure to post about graduation after it happens in one week. Or as a certain ghost I know likes to say:

Sorry, could not resist. You know, I once joked on Facebook that I’d married the ghost in that movie and that one post got so many likes and hilarious comments. And then some people thought it was true. Yeah, that was the awkward icing on the cake. Still, hilarious story. Might post about it some day.

Anyway, I’d like to thank everyone for sticking with me through all of my undergraduate career. I hope you guys continue to stick with me as I take on whatever comes next and as I continue to work on becoming the next big horror writer.

Until the next time, my Followers of Fear. Hope you’re not as busy as I am.

It probably won’t surprise many of you that I am looking for a job for after graduation. In fact, I’ve been applying left, right and center since around October or November, applying for writing and editing jobs, as well as government posts, entertainment positions, a few political gigs, some nonprofit work, and many office jobs. How’s it gone so far?

Well, I’ve had some rejections, and I haven’t heard back from more than one place. I treat it a lot like getting published in magazines. You have to keep trying, and you’ll eventually get a hit among those many, many misses. That’s why I keep applying everywhere I can, and why I don’t get discouraged. But I have to admit, looking for a job is difficult, especially when you consider that I’m still four-and-a-half months from graduating (one place told me that while my resume looked good, they needed someone now, so I was out of the running). Can’t blame them for that. And a lot of jobs that seem right up my alley are looking for people with more real-world experience. I guess even with three-and-a-half years in the financial aid office, you’re not automatically the best fit for these many jobs, huh?

Still, there’s reason to hope. As it gets closer to graduation, I think more places might see me as a good candidate given that I’ll be available sooner. And I applied for a program that helps people with disabilities get jobs in the federal government, and the interviewer I talked to said I seemed like a good candidate, so when I hear back from them next month I think I might get some good news. There’s reasons to hope.

I just hope wherever I end up that I enjoy the work I do to some extent and, if I have to move for work, that I can afford the job. Columbus is pretty affordable, but places like New York, California, Washington DC, they can cost a lot of money. Hopefully I won’t go bankrupt trying to live if I get placed there!

Well, we’ll deal with that when I find a job. In the meantime, I’m just doing what I’ve been doing these past couple of months: writing and blogging, studying, working, and when I have a moment, applying. My dream job would be to write full-time (plenty of authors who want that, am I right?), but until that’s more feasible, I’m looking for good alternatives. I’m sure there’s a good fit out there for me, I just have to keep looking and someday I’m sure I’ll find it.

What was your job search like for you?

What tips do you have for looking for a job?

Also, if you hear of any jobs out in your area that you think might be a good fit for me, I’d really appreciate it if you told me. It’d mean a lot to me.

Also, there’s only one week left of the holiday sale of all of my books going on right now. If you want to buy or download my books for a good price, now is the time to do it before price go up again. And if you like what you read, please let me know, either in a comment or in a review. Positive or negative, I love feedback, so I’d be happy to hear from you.

That’s all for now. I’m dividing my day up between working on my various projects and binge-watching shows I have to catch up on. Have a good day, my Followers of Fear.