One of my proudest moments of 2015 was being selected as a member of University of Central Florida‘s inaugural class of 30 under 30. I wanted this so badly, mainly because when I graduated college, I had a whole lot of nothing and I’ve worked (almost obsessively) ever since to figure out how to change that.
I’ve had success, but i’ve also smooched hello more failure than I ever expected…rejections, almosts, unexpected goodbyes from jobs and opportunities.
But one thing I have tirelessly learned in my 5 years since graduating college is that nobody is going to ever give you the kind of opportunities you deserve in this world. You must make them yourself. You must vow, promise, pinky swear to never give up.
More than anything so far, I am the most excited to tell you that I have been selected as part of #UCF’s #30under30. I left college with nothing. I moved back home to the upper east side of my parent’s house. I didn’t have a resume and I couldn’t get a job because I had no idea what I wanted to do. Everything since then, every success, every failure, every left turn that I wish went right, has been the heartbeat to my journey. Has been the reason I’ve worked (perhaps sometimes obsessively) toward figuring it all out. Toward creating my own version of happiness. Toward finding a way to give myself an opportunity nobody else would. I love you so much, UCF. Thank you for this.
A photo posted by @jenglantz on Oct 25, 2015 at 3:40pm PDT
It was such a proud moment going back to college this past week and shaking hands with a place that gave me so much when I had so little. Here’s a recap of my adventure, back home, at UCF:
They had to kick me out of this place, crying and screaming in May of 2010. My time was up but I didn’t have anywhere else to go. I didn’t have a resume that made sense. I didn’t have a career that made my heart tickle. I had 6 garbage of clothes and a whole lot of nothing. Year 1, I moved to LA to work a job that had me living on floors, out of suitcases. Year 2, I moved back to the upper east side of my parents house to work part time as an assistant to a lady who made cruella deville look nice. Year 3, I emptied my savings account and bought a one way ticket to New York City. Year 4, I begged someone to let me write a book and after 43 rejections, I got one yes. Year 5, I had a crazy little idea called @bridesmaidforhire and believed in it so much that I shared it with any ears that would listen. I’m back. I’m finally back. And all I can say is I’m grateful to you, #UCF for giving me everything at age 18, for letting me go at age 22, and for this gigantic honor at age 27. I love you with every black and gold sparkle forever on my heart. #30under30 #ucf30under30
A photo posted by @jenglantz on Nov 20, 2015 at 6:48pm PST
A photo posted by @jenglantz on Nov 20, 2015 at 3:41pm PST
5 years ago momma dropped me off at this adult playground and said find out what it is you want and never give up. Now we’re back, because I (kind of) found it. But no matter what happened, I didn’t give up. #30under30
A photo posted by @jenglantz on Nov 20, 2015 at 3:39pm PST