My mother recently emailed me asking the annual question, “What do you want for Christmas?”
I sat there, staring out the window at the dead trees, thinking. Some friends had mentioned the iPhone 6. Some girls in class had been talking about Michael Kors’ new line of purses. My sister already asked for a new guitar. But none of these items appealed to me.
With the curser blinking on the email I was to send back to my mother, I typed, “Wool socks.” Then I wrote, “A furry bathrobe.” This was all I could come up with. I thought hard later that night, and then added, “a flash drive.” It was just pathetic.
The problem is I am finally reaching that awkward age where no thing will bring me joy. I no longer need nice jewelry to feel special. I no longer want a $500 leather jacket that will probably get beer spilled all over it at a party. My ideal Christmas list simply consists of one intangible item that certainly cannot fit in Santa’s bag: future employment.
When people ask, “What do you want to do when you graduate?” I usually just stare at them with a blank look on my face for five minutes, as I envision myself strutting down Fifth Avenue in my awesome, business-casual attired with a latte in my hand, heading into some fancy glass building where I pitch and awesome screenplay for some awesome future television show.
Then I reply, “Uhm, maybe grad school.”
Let’s be real. No one actually wants to go to grad school. Just right when you finish your undergraduate career and think you’re finished writing theses and spending thousands of dollars to get no sleep and read boring books, you realize no one will actually hire you until you have a freakin’ Ph.D.
For Christmas, can we please just skip those dreadful future years and get hired right out of college?
Even Santa knows the answer is most likely no. Unless Mrs. Claus can contact the producers of Netflix Original Series and beg them to offer me a job as a writer, it looks like I will continue to spend my holiday season tending to the needs of wet, whiny kids at the laser tag arena and scanning college websites for the cheapest graduate programs.
Will we forever be working our high school jobs? What if our MFAs don’t even land us jobs? What if I never become the talented screenwriter I have envisioned in my head time and time again? What if you live at with your parents until you are 40? Should I just enroll in a masters program for education and become a teacher willingly, before I am forced into it after living as a hobo on the streets of New York City for a year? All I want is for these questions to be answered this holiday season. All I want is some security.
Of course, I am well aware that this gift is in high demand. With our luck, jobs are probably all sold out by now. This holiday seasons, the jobs are on back order, and we may be waiting longer than a few weeks after Christmas. Perhaps, instead, we should just ask for a small gift of patience.
At least patience would help us remember that things are not handed to college kids on a silver platter. Maybe it’s easy for some rich bitches, whose dads are the co-founders and presidents of Fortune 500 Companies, but for everyone else, the struggle is real.
By this point we have done what we have needed to do. We have had internships. Some of us will graduate with Honors. We get good grades. We may not be too socially awkward.
We do just need some patience. If we care this much about our futures, we certainly will not let it fall to shambles.
Image from Flickr by Leslie R Adams.