The Places I’ve Lived Post-Grad

About Me: After waddling off the stage at graduation, wearing heels a size too big and a smile a size too wide, I packed up everything that was not property of the University into my little red car, adjusted my rear-view mirrors to give me a snapshot of all the things I didn’t want to leave and I drove south. I had no game plan, no job, no permanent mailing address, no meal plan, no “first-year in the real world” advisor and no chance to claim a “grade forgiveness” if I messed up a semester of life.

Please see below a highlight of the who, what, where, why and when, of the places that I’ve established a residence at since I was handed a diploma, given an eviction notice to move out of my on-campus apartment, and demanded by my elders to get a stable source of income.

Los Angeles, CA 

September 2010-June 2011

  • Successfully organized and created an “I Schlepp for Johnny Depp” fan club meeting outside the back door entrance of his movie premiere for ”Rio” in Westwood. Provided loyal fans with poster-board, high-energy chants, and patience, as we waited for 3+ hours in the Santa Ana winds for Johnny to come out. Networked with a TMZ reporter and a large 300 lb body guard of Mr. Depp who complimented my persistence by briefly teasing me with the idea of receiving an autograph from JD in the form of a restraining order.
  • Taught myself proper LA lingo, which mainly consisted of street names and highways, since all conversations led to the incomprehensible and disgusting traffic one has to put up with on a daily basis. Became a highly regarded guru in identifying which roads to avoid, like never being caught on the 101 after 3pm or attempt to coast on San Vicente Boulevard, unless I wanted to waste my Friday nights bumping bumpers.

Boca Raton, FL

July 2011-December 2011

  • Represented my entire age bracket in taking part in nightly early bird specials. Was a key figure in determining which deli’s had the best deal on a pastrami and rye sandwich and which restaurants had a 2-4-1 special that lasted past 5:30pm.
  • Admitted, out loud, after running into an acquaintance I haven’t seen since before I got my braces off in the 8th grade, that no, I’m not back “home” for the holidays and “yes”, I’m 23 and living back home in my pink-flowered childhood bedroom, that’s filled with Beanie Babies and the sudden spotting of Pogs. Elegantly responded to her question of If I am doing okay by saying, “I’m just going through a phase”. Patiently watched her bat her chunky mascara eye lashes in my face, while simultaneously listened to her tell me how great living in some ridiculous place like Paris is, charging things on her credit card and eating so many baguettes she’s shocked she’s not fat yet. Kept my cool as she patted her freshly acrylic fingers on my shoulder and said, she’ll keep me in mind if she hears any job openings–which prompted a similar reaction that I give people when they tell me ”Honey, I’ll pray for you”.
  • Devoted every waking hour to applying for jobs in LA, NYC, Costa Rica and Mars. Familiarized myself with every job-posting site on the World Wide Web, including Craigslist. Attended countless phone, in person and Skype interviews where in the midst of trying to “woo” employers, was asked to answer oddball questions such as “what kind of Superhero would you be?” or “Why do you want to be a writer?” or “Where do you see yourself in 20 years?”, in which I grunted, snorted, let out a couple of pregnant pauses–followed by buzzing umms–and politely answered their nonsensical questions with, “Katniss Everdeen”.

New York City, NY

January 2012- present

  • Accomplished packing up 23 years of my life into two suitcases and exited off a plane on top of something I had never seen, smelt or touched before: snow. Discovered an apartment that was strategically located across the street from a library and a $1 pizza shop.
  • Mastered the art of wearing leg warmers, long underwear and a snuggie out in public to restrain from receiving frostbite or hypothermia on my extremities. Developed a skintight relationship with the three p’s: pants, parkas and public transportation.
  • Gained an established sense of direction by playing the age-old game of trial and error with the subway system. Rode the 6 to the F to the Q just to end up in Jamaica…Queens, and had to navigate my way back in to the city with a color coded, faded, map inside of a subway cart while steadfastly collapsing, from jolting movement,  on top of a homeless man, a small child in a stroller, and someone’s leftover Chinese food.


  • Expert at cramming an insane amount of clothes, shoes, and bedding into suitcases and then bribing TSA, by batting my eyelashes and claiming “I had no idea size mattered”, to let me check overweight suitcases.
  • Master at transforming nooks, crannys, floors, and tray tables on airplanes into comfortable environments to catch some zz’s
  • Well diversified in using the map app on my iPhone (well, before they changed it) allowing me to know where I am (unless I’m in Brooklyn) at all times.


Martha from TSA who gave me a recent full-body pat down and can confidently tell you about my up’s and down’s. TC Mark

image  – Shutterstock

Jen Glantz is the world’s first professional bridesmaid and founder of Bridesmaid for Hire. Her new book, Always a Bridesmaid (For Hire) [Atria Books] is available now.

Keep up with Jen on Twitter

More From Thought Catalog