I am proud to say I spent four years working hard at a reputable university and I walked away with an Honors B.A. in English. You may ask, “What job do you have now?”
Um…well…I’m a former student?
Are we really supposed to walk right out of college and straight into a stable and lucrative career? Because that is the myth I had believed up until graduation, before I realized that not only would it be hard to find a job I love that also pays well, but that it would be hard to even decide what direction I want to go. I didn’t major in something like nursing or commerce, where at least the path I was headed down was relatively clear. No, I was the ‘creative’ type, who had to major in English, easily the broadest and most vague degree of them all.
What do you major in when you have no idea what to major in? English. (And no, I don’t want to be a teacher, thanks for asking, Everyone I’ve Ever Spoken To.)
After spending a couple of months floundering in this new job search world, I realized I had no true sense of direction and felt I was wasting my time searching for something in the dark. I decided to take some time working a part-time job and saving up some money while living with my parents, just until I had made some definitive decisions about my future. This all sounded so great and rational to me at the time. However, the reality of moving back in with your parents after you’ve been living on your own for four years is far more difficult to deal with. Every time my mom asks me where I’m going or reminds me to take a coat, I want to curl up in a ball and rock back and forth muttering, “I’m not a child, I’m not a child, I’m not a child.”
Sure, having someone make you dinner is wonderful. Not having to eat cereal for all three meals because you’re too busy, broke, or lazy to go to the grocery store is a luxury. And I am trying to enjoy this because I know it won’t last too much longer. But running into someone you knew from high school and having to update them on your life by telling them you’re working at a coffee shop and living with your parents again? Not fun. I think I’ve used the phrase, “It’s just temporary” so often and so desperately lately, it’s lost all meaning.
Can all the recent grads band together and take a collective deep breath? This is a weird time. We are trying to figure out what we should have figured out during the past four years while we were sleeping until 2 PM and drinking wine through eyeglasses made of a straw.
No? Just me?
There is no timeline for success and happiness. You do not need to be married by 23, settled into a career by 25, and stop drinking a bottle of wine in one sitting by 28. If we peel back the Instagram filter of the image our peers present to us, we will see that they are struggling just as much. Everyone has their own stresses and anxieties, regardless of what they have accomplished on the surface. Be kind to yourself and be patient with your journey. Everything will be okay.
Featured Image via Don’t trust the B— in Apartment 23.