Life After College

It’s my first week in this place we call “life after college” and I’ve already learned a handful of things. They’re more like observations of this whole new world I am learning to be part of.

First, I found out very quickly what a strange phenomenon it is to go from being a Student to Unemployed. Yikes, that’s a scary one. It was easy in the past to say, “I’m a student.” And now, for the first time in my life, I’m not. I’m an aspiring writer. I’m a graduate. But, I’m unemployed.

Which leads to my next observation: The Question. “What are you doing now?” I mean, it’s a fair question to ask, but as I said before, I can no longer jump past the question with a simple – if not honorable – answer. Sure, I am in the 34 percent of the U.S. population with a college degree, but what am I doing now? “It’s complicated,” and we can leave it at that.

Next, I have now heard more than a few people say, “Well, get a job!” And with all my might, I suppress the response I most want to say. “Oh, get a job? Just get a job? Why don’t I strap on my job helmet and squeeze down into a job cannon and fire off into job land, where jobs grow on little jobbies?!” – Courtesy of Charlie from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

Instead, I smile nicely and mutter something about trying.

Another observation I’ve had is the amount of mom’s I now see on a daily basis. I used to live in a college town with college students shopping at crazy college times. We could order pizza at 3 a.m. or walk into Walmart 10 minutes before it closed and still get all our groceries. Now, I go into any store (and not to stereotype) and the people around me are all stay-at-home moms. And I’m over here like, “Nope, no baby here.” It’s a whole new world out there at mid-day.

The plus side is that I now have the option to go shopping in the middle of the day! It’s great. I know it won’t last for long, but a girl can still bask in the sun or take a two-hour Target run if she wants, post-college.

And lastly, job hunting is exhausting. After reading the first hundred or so job entries, I almost want to nap and regroup later. I have this degree, yet oddly enough, I don’t seem qualified for most of the postings out there.

So, in the meantime, I can enjoy this period of Rest – knowing it might not come around again soon.

Do I Believe in Myself?

You can only fake it for so long before you either have to give up, or start believing in yourself. 

I’m graduating from college in several months, and it’s time I stop faking it

I started college with the intentions I would have my undergrad degree in four years, and immediately begin graduate school to pursue counseling. Sure, psychology was interesting to me, but I never actually pictured myself counseling people. It was a nice idea though. Helping people using psychology was a passion of mine, but a career? Not so much. I found the classes exhilarating to say the least, so it wasn’t a matter of whether I enjoyed the subject or not. I loved hearing how to analyze people and find out why people do the things they do. Nevertheless, I had good intentions without thinking realistically. 

For someone who isn’t too fond of going to classes ever, seven (plus) years of college shouldn’t have even been on the table. What was I to do, switch my major to something more practical like business or education – two careers I am not cut out to work in? No. 

Instead, I coasted along within psychology, fascinated with the classes and the theories rather than the actuality of a future.

Writing, however, was just a hobby. I never believed I was talented enough to make it. Journalism is a competitive field, being revolutionized as we speak. It’s difficult to work towards a career you don’t think you’re fit for. And the more I wrote statistical research papers in psych, the more I despised them. This isn’t me, I would think. These papers cannot be my life. Rather, I liked the creative, somewhat-opinionated form of writing.

What doesn’t fly in writing though, is thinking you can’t write. Sure, I can whip out a great theological or investigative paper for a class, but do I have a vocation to be a writer? I won’t know until I start believing in myself. No one wants to interview someone for a job who doesn’t think they belong. You have to want it, and think you deserve it. Whether its writing or teaching or leading, it’s what you want you to do – what you think you are great at.

So here ends the faking it, and here starts my future. And hopefully someone out there deems me worthy of a job in writing.