Baking for yourself is fun but baking for others is even better. In this series, we create and share baked goods with somebody (or some-bodies) in exchange for their wisdom and /or advice. Sometimes we’ll talk about careers, a lot of times we’ll talk about life in general, and occasionally we’ll talk about something totally different. Be sure to check out the recipes we used via the links in the text.
In this edition of Delectable Discussions, we’ll hear from Emerald Smith, one of my classmates from the Columbia Women’s Crew team. (<3) Over a plant-based dinner consisting of “Mac ‘n Cheese” (not good), sesame broccoli salad (very good, recipe here, no notes needed), and monkey bread (even better, recipe here) we ended up talking about everything except careers and life advice (LOL), so we had to do it retroactively instead. After a brief conversation Emerald ended up sending me an essay with her thoughts, and it’s almost as beautiful as she is. Enjoy!
EMERALD SMITH, 24
Diversify Your Self-Worth Portfolio
“When you get out of school and you no longer have a prescribed path in front of you, it’s natural to latch onto something else to give you direction. After spending most of your time working towards an academic goal, it’s hard to be thrown into a world with so many possible paths. A lot of new grads latch onto a job, I know I did. I spent the majority of my time being at work or thinking about work, and I began to notice how much work was governing my life. If I had a good day at work, I’d be elated; and if I had a bad day at work, it would ruin my entire day. Even more than that, if I had a bad day at work, I would feel bad about myself. Because I wasn’t spending much time pursuing anything outside of work, I was gaining all of my self worth from my work performance.
I thought back to school, and I realized that even though I did spend a lot of time on my academics, I was involved in a lot of other pursuits. I was on a sports team, I was applying to jobs and internships, I was working on a portfolio. And although a bad test score would definitely upset me, I was able to go into practice and feel good about my athletic performance, or make progress on a job application and feel accomplished in that. I had a diversified self worth portfolio. If I experienced failure in any one of my pursuits, I didn’t dwell on it unnecessarily long because I had another pursuit that I was working towards and could experience success in.
As we move out into the world and have much more freedom to choose how we want to spend our time, it’s easy to pour our whole selves into one pursuit. I’ve found that having multiple pursuits has not only made my postgrad life more fun, but has given me a stronger sense of self. So whether it’s yoga classes, a musical instrument, signing up for a race, or volunteering in your local community, find something to work towards besides work.”
AS TOLD TO ELENA MARRON MCGAHEY
Elena Marron McGahey is the founder of Banking to Baking, a website for college students and recent grads who are concerned about finding a fulfilling career. This month she’s particularly excited about dogs :))