Let’s go for a little walk-through, shall we, of the trying emotions one might encounter after the stage has been walked, and the booze have stopped pouring.
Fantastic question, graduate! It isn’t every lucky student in your shoes that walks away from Never Never Land with the promise of a position to catch them as they fall into the world of the unknown, better known as “The Real World.” They are the lucky ones. Okay, maybe “lucky” isn’t giving them enough credit. Perhaps I’m just bitter.
You see, I graduated once.
Undergrad is a lot like your childhood, in that you’re told you can pretty much do anything you set your mind to. Opportunity is so readily available on a college campus, you’d be downright stupid not to take advantage of it. The world is at your feet, the world is your oyster, etc.
But as soon as you get out there, your expectations run a little high of what’s to come. Having moved to a new city after college with but an internship and a restaurant job to hold me over, trust me when I say that I know that feeling.
“It’s official! I will be moving to NYC to begin working for XYZ Advertising Agency. My dream job! Can you believe it?!”
“Officially moving to WhateverCountry to work one on one with exotic animals and get paid to write about my experiences!”
“Just married the CEO of the Internet’s son. Will be out living the life of your most lavish board on Pinterest! XOXO”
And to make FOMO even worse, Facebook is there to slap you across the face. *Insert GIF of Justin Bieber crying*
You’ll probably take to different weight loss programs when you realize that everyone else has a job, and all you can Instagram about is your new running shoes and sudden obsession with things like Pure Barre and/or bullshit juice cleanses. Let’s be real, what you’re actually doing is trying not to top last week’s Chipotle intake. *God, that was two pit stops too many*
Somehow, though, you’ll manage to come back to homecoming twenty pounds lighter, though with a 100% incapability of making it past the first two rounds, regardless of whether or not you think “you’ve still go it.” You don’t.
You’ll avoid Facebook like the plague. When you’re home on a Friday night job hunting or knitting, or whatever it is you do these days, the last thing you want to see is all of your friends in bedazzled bras and tutus with captions like “Disco Partyyyy – I can’t even!” No. You know what? I can’t even.
The group texts you once let sit at the bottom of your text messages without even glancing once will now be your saving grace at the end of every week. And when that one sorority listserv e-mail accidentally slips through the cracks and into our inbox, you fight every urge to tell at least five people about it. GUYS! I WAS IN A SORORITY – LOOK!
Your parents will ask you where you’re going. You will respond back with something along the lines of “You know, just out to find some hookers. Don’t wait up.” They will think you’re serious. And they will demand an estimated time of arrival.
You go back to having to “set an example” for younger siblings. That means: limited late nights out, no talking about the fun part of college, wearing pearls, etc.
Your most dreaded question will be “So what do you do?” I job search. I work part-time at the same job I’ve had since I was sixteen. I cry myself to sleep at night. Anymore brain busters?
Regardless, you will save money. You will save so much money that moving out when you land a job, you have no hesitation about the “willing to relocate” question. Mom and Dad don’t have to fund your first month’s rent to get you on your way. You can do bad all by yourself! That time between college and your first job is going to be tough. I won’t sugar coat it. But trust me when I say that when you do land your first gig, you will appreciate it that much more — having worked so hard to get there. There is no freedom quite like financial freedom, and those first moments on your own, waking up in that swanky new apartment that costs less than your paycheck, will be worth it. You might not land your dream job right away, but you’re well on your way. If you need a pep talk, someone that’s been there, feel free to e-mail me email@example.com