When I decided to re-launch this blog a few months ago, I had to figure out what its purpose was. Young, Gifted, & Broke is a name that has edified me for a long time, especially now as a recent graduate. I realized that it was important for me to document this confusing time in my life, as well as my journey through art and culture. But I wanted a broader view of what it means to be young and gifted (and sometimes broke…most of the time.) What is post graduate life like for others who look like me and don’t look like?
So I decided that I would write about my thoughts and experiences, as well as interview others who are going through or have gone through what I am living right now. I’m extremly excited to introduce the first interview in the series. Its with my internet cousin Evelyn Ngugi of Evelyn From The Internets.
I know you’ve gone over this on your Youtube channel, but for those of us who are new here, how’d you get into making videos and media journalism in general? How long have you been on Youtube? Do you have any specific goals for Youtube that you haven’t reached yet?
I got into media journalism because I went to school for it, though I’ve been interested in storytelling since I was a child (which is why I went to college for it). I’ve always made videos it just so happened that YouTube was created as yet another place to upload and share them. It’s blossomed into a community more than a medium for me now! My main goal is for YouTube to continue to give me what I need therapy, laughs, education, and internet cousins.
What were the best parts of your alma mater and your major?
Best part of UT is the size. Fifty thousand students in the capital city of Texas means there’s always something to do and someone to talk to. Best part of my major was the practicality of the course work. The best way to learn about journalism is to DO IT. They really throw you into the world and expect you to figure it all out. That’s valuable!
What did a typical day in post grad life look like for you, and what does a typical day look like now?
I was unemployed, so a typical day involved sitting on the couch, running errands for my parents, a little freelancing, and a lot of Tumblr. Now a typical day involves a ton of copywriting, customer service, and figuring out whether someone’s an internet troll or just having a bad day. #socialmedia
Did you find that your friends were having similar experiences during that time? I graduated before my friends, so I have anybody who understood what I was going through. Since everyone’s graduation, we’ve all had very unique post grad experiences, but this sentiment is the same for everyone nobody knows what they’re doing, but just keep doing stuff until you figure it out.
Did you ever get discouraged during your days of being an unemployed post grad? Of course :(
Were there any defining moments during your early post grad life (regarding anything from friendship, grad school, romance, family life, job search, being broke?) I realized that it must be scary to be a parent. You have the power to make or break another spirit. My parents never made me feel bad for being unemployed, they never pressured me to compromise or settle for something just to make money. They know I’m an artist and I’m sensitive about my sh*t. It must be tough to know when to be a cheerleader and when to be a coach. They aced it.
How did you meet your best friend(s)? We were all freshmen forcing ourselves to go to social functions and we gravitated towards each other because we’re magical.
Whats your favorite social media platform and why? A tie between Twitter and Tumblr. My People are inspiring, hilarious, and so multifaceted. Black Twitter has the power to make me get up and turn on the television just to follow along with my dash. Black Tumblr makes me cackle at memes and ogle at all the #magicalblackgirls.
Has social media/the internet had any effect on how you interact with, and as apart of the Diaspora? We can be part of the same conversations from across the ocean. I’m also able to maintain somewhat of a relationship with my family through social media. It doesn’t beat physical touch, but it’s something.
Do you have any specific hopes/goals regarding your journey as a brown girl and 1st generation American in the media world, and how your path will effect those who come after you? There are so many different ways to be human. I have a different set of lenses to see the world through, so my goal is to form tangible creations based from my interpretation of the world.
What does being a “magical black girl” mean to you? It’s an internal realization of your beauty, confidence, and power in the midst of a world that thinks otherwise. And it’s working on making your outside match your inside. In that way, #magicalblackgirl isn’t an aesthetic, because there are many ways to be a MBG. Real recognize real and when you spot another magical black girl, let her know you see her!
Whats your advice to other post grads on finding work, networking, saving money, reaching their goals, etc?
You won’t find a job by applying for one online. You just won’t. It’s a statistical improbability. You get jobs by knowing people and telling them what you’re into. Networking STOP trying to network with CEOs. Network with your equals so you can rise together. Assistants, folks in jr. positions these are the people who are adjacent to the Big Kids. Saving money after you pay your bills, pay yourself. Treat your savings account like another bill. Just put it away without thinking about it. Reaching your goals understand that everything is relevant. Your career is cumulative, and you’ll only be able to see it come together when you’ve already moved on to the next thing.
Hindsight is 20/20, so just keep doing†things. Also, stop calling yourself an ASPIRING such and such. You’re either a writer or you’re not. You may be a beginner, sure, but “aspiring” makes it seem like you haven’t started yet.
Any advice for those who want to break into social media management, blogging, or media journalism? Social media management is marketing, so it helps to learn about that field. For blogging and journalism, you can’t expect to break into the field if you haven’t done†any blogging or any journalism. Don’t wait for an assignment or a job create your own projects.
Do you have any experience with coding? What are your thoughts on the recent focus on getting minorities more involved in coding? I forgot all the Java I learned in high school! For a field that controls our online experience, it’s not widely talked about, so of course it’s awesome to encourage brown kiddos to code.
I currently intern for a natural hair website, so naturally I have to ask whats your favorite thing about your natural hair now? What products, tools, or hair care methods are you currently using? What hair colors should we be looking forward to? Currently love the SheaMoisture Superfruit shampoo & conditioner. Obia Natural Haircare and Oyin Handmade are my staple brands. I’ll big chop by the end o the year, and maybe go purple!
I love Podcast, so I’d like to ask what Podcast are you currently listening to, if any? The Read, Snap Judgment, The Moth, Black Girls Talking, This American Life…ya know, all the greats.
What are your plans for the future, socially and career wise? Basically to have everything make sense. I want to tell stories for the rest of my life.
Do you want to share any thoughts on Ferguson and Michael Brown? I had to disengage from it all because it was affecting my work. I wasn’t focusing, I was going to bed at 4am, just reading/watching/feeling. It was scary because I live in Texas of all places, and I envisioned what would happen in my community. Watching it unfold on social media first and then on professional media outlets continues to shape the way I move through the world as a Black storyteller.
You get to choose: Whats a question your tired of being asked or whats a common misconception about you?
Common misconceptions are that I’m (1) always happy and (2) an extrovert. I choose to be funny and lighthearted
Where can the people find you? I have a website that I never update www.evelynfromtheinternets.com. I’m @evelynfromtheinternets on FB and IG. @eveeeeezy on Twitter. Just search Evelyn From The Internets on YouTube and I’ll pop up!