By Tina Kasin
As I was trying to write this article on my father’s old computer, a surprising number popped up in front of my face when I opened up a new Word document. It said, “Microsoft Office Word 2007.” This version of Word is already 7 years old. I let that sink in. At the very same moment, I was also playing songs I used to listen to in 2007. What happened? How did those years fly by so fast? It feels like it was yesterday and we were all singing “Under my umbrella, ella, ella,” and Rihanna was still a good girl, not a good girl gone bad.
But then I started to walk down memory lane, and adding all those memories up to who I am and where I am today, helped me relax. A lot has happened since that version of Word was made. I’m not an insecure 15-year-old anymore. I’m a 22-year-old who is about to finish up her last semester of college. I’m more confident, but the thought of entering the adult life on my own scares me. I am trying to write both job applications and school applications, but they all ask me to define my
brand. What is my brand? I’ve had 22 years to figure it out, and I still don’t know. I know easier things like what my favorite food is or what music I like. But I don’t know where and who I want to be as far as a professional life goes. I’d like to think that I’m a carefree, “yolo”- practicing (I can’t believe I just used that word) 20-something girl who has it all figured out. I was a girl who moved across the Atlantic at the age of 19 to live the life of her dreams, a girl who likes to live through the clichés that every Hollywood-made movie portrays. I’m still that girl, or should I say young woman, the only difference is that I’m another step closer to getting old, and another step away from knowing what I want to do.
My sister laughs at me when I tell her about my worries. “You’re only 22 years old, honey,” she often says. Well, yes, but time runs away like sand between our fingers, and it’s amazing how one moment can change the path that you’re about to take. That is why I’m worried. I need to make sure that every decision I make will lead me to exciting moments that I can pull out of my memory drawers every time I’m feeling slightly depressed.
So, that leads me back to defining my brand. How do I explain to potential future employers and professors that I am, as one person once put it, a product of my memories, and that I make up my brand as I go? Do I tell them that my brand has a frenetic quality and one day I’m this, and the next day I’m that? Or do I simply state that I don’t have a brand because it’s impossible for me to place myself in just one branded box? I think I need to invest in a brand guide, if that even exists.