I write this because writing heals my heart and because I hope that through being honest, I can reach out to other recent college graduates that might connect with what I have to say.
Looking back, I’m not sure what I expected in the weeks following my college graduation, but whatever I might have anticipated, it sure wasn’t this.
Life after college was supposed to be different. It was supposed to be enlightening and thrilling and exciting and only a little bit scary. I guess somewhere in the back of my head I thought the weeks following my college graduation would be a calm, peaceful transition into the real world. Just like all my other summers were a chance for me to get a feel for adulthood, the weeks that followed my anticipated walk across the stage to get my diploma were supposed to ease me into reality.
Oh, how the universe must have laughed its fool head off at this grand idea of mine, because these last few weeks have been unbearable.
I wasn’t expecting such acute depression and unbearable anxiety to follow receiving my degree at last. I knew I would have to apply for jobs, but no one ever told me how applying for jobs for which you qualify fresh out of college absolutely crushes your soul. No one ever told me how tweaking resumes to fit companies’ requirements or typing up the perfect combination of words to express interest would make you feel so empty and impassive. And soul-crushing job hunting may be, but what hurts even more is to pour your blood, sweat, and tears into applications and interviews only to get a cold email response stating someone else had been selected for the position, or, even worse, no response at all.
True story. Mere days after my graduation I had a phone interview (two phone interviews, actually) with my dream company, and I do mean my dream company. It was in Washington D.C. and I feel that both interviews went so, so well. I was told to expect a response within one to two weeks.
Nothing ever came.
I finally called after three weeks to inquire about the position and my results and got a voicemail. I left a message, asking the interviewers to please return my call at their earliest convenience.
I left them that voicemail nearly two weeks ago. And still I got nothing.
And after spending the better part of a year learning as much as I could about the company and inquiring about positions and asking for advice from personnel there about applying for jobs and studying for an exam for four months that would give me a better shot of working for them some day… that hurt. Oh, how I wasn’t expecting that kind of pain.
Another thing I wasn’t expecting? I wasn’t expecting to suddenly hate, no, loathe living at home. I wasn’t expecting to want to be an adult but get so frustrated when financially, I just can’t yet.
Maybe soon, but not yet. More on that in later blogposts.
And I wasn’t expecting to suddenly have no income to pay for the most basic of expenses. If there’s anything more painful in the post-grad world than applying for jobs and getting denied said jobs, it is not having enough funds to buy things that you need, let alone want.
Needless to say, these past few weeks I’ve felt weighed down by my own fears and nerves and sadness and doubts – doubts in the world I’m living in where it is close to impossible to get a decent job upon graduation and doubts in myself and my skills and my qualifications. I have quite honestly felt heavy. Like someone dropped weights into my chest.
I’ve wanted to talk to no one. I’ve wanted nothing more than to just get in my car with my kitty and just drive away into the sunset and never look back.
In college we are always told to follow our dreams and to do whatever makes us happy and that we were free to do what we wanted and that the world is our oyster.
No one ever told me how that is a bunch of crap.
I can’t follow my dreams. I have student loan debt to face.
I can’t do what makes me happy. Right now what makes me happy doesn’t make me any money.
I am not free to do whatever I want. I have bills to pay.
The world is not my oyster. The world is an unforgiving place where those without a paycheck can do nothing and have nothing and are nothing.
So here I am now, fighting steadily out of this trench into which I have fallen, trying to see the light in my situation and hope for the best. I’m not out of it yet. I don’t know if I’ll climb out of it tomorrow or when I get a job or move out into my own apartment at long last or am finally financially independent or get my dream job.
I don’t know.
But to try to end this on a decently positive note, I have spent the past few weeks working on a few projects that are making me happy, if only for a few hours an afternoon when I work on them. I’d rather not announce them now. But you, dear anonymous reader of mine, will hear about them soon if you choose to stick around.
Regardless, these past few weeks have been an awful, rude awakening. And I
hope know I can’t be the only one going through this.
Reality sucks. These weights aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.