Graduation season has finally come to a close, and I‘m reflecting on the time that I spent three years ago after I walked across that stage as a college graduate. It was a moment filled with satisfaction, joy, confusion, anxiety, and fear. Those emotions, over the course of living the alumni life, can either turn into flourishing feelings of independence and self-worth, or they can manifest into sinful sentiments and actions. And sure, of course I wasn’t the only young person having a hard time after hanging up the cap and gown, I’m sure everyone has had their issues in finding their place in the real world. I wish I was writing this to share how we can battle these seven deadly demons within us, but I’m honestly still grappling with them.
1. Anger; “Are you fucking serious?!” — Filling out those redundant and overly extensive job applications, moving back home with your family, no more meal plan – these are all things that make any recent college graduate filled with annoyance and fury. Anger, though it can manifest itself through any of the other six deadly sins, is the ultimate result of most millennial graduates. We begin to realize that this world is actually pretty fucked, and we have no idea where to start to make things right for ourselves. It’s so easy to lose ourselves to anger and wrath, that it becomes difficult to remain optimistic and hopeful for the future.
2. Envy; “I deserve that” – Social media is the root of all envy. Constant news notifications and posts about this new job, that new apartment, this engagement ring, and that sonogram are enough to make the recent college graduate go green, and not for the sake of the environment. We’re all guilty of this. We want to share our good news with the ones that we want close to us, and that’s all fun and sincerest congratulations until it’s something we want for ourselves that we can’t have. Envy comes into play when we find ourselves wanting the things that other people have, for the sole sake of our own sense of entitlement.
3. Gluttony; “Lose yourself” – Watch, the excessive partying will spill over from graduation celebrations to summertime shenanigans to “let’s get wasted because it’s Friday, we ain’t got no job, and we ain’t got shit to do”, to simply buying a bottle because “fuck everything”. We find ourselves to be insatiable slaves to ill-fitting masters of our fate that help us forget our trials and troubles – be it food, shopping, drugs or whatever sort of pleasures we may be privy to. Gluttony is the excessive indulgence of our vices with little-to-no remorse.
4. Greed; “We want more!” – You want it all: in addition to that nice piece of paper from your beloved alma mater, you want the promotion, the apartment to call your own, the salary, the vacations, the seemingly amazing job that it seems like people only have in film and TV. You want to enhance yourself and your life, and it seems like you can’t do unless you’re one of the lucky ones. Greed is the burning desire to possess money, power and respect for your own personal gain.
5. Lust; “I want you” – Everything just looks so attractive. Him. Her. That Master’s degree, even. Everything other than what you have now. Whether you can have it or not isn’t the issue at hand more than the fact that you want it right now, by any means. Lust is the intense bodily desire for someone or something. The desire for that job in your field of study, the yearning for the one that got away (or that you threw away and sort of want back), the need for something different, and better than what is before you now – lust for a better life.
6. Pride; “I don’t need this shit” – After months of putting in countless applications for full-time employment, how many calls have you received about those pending applications? How many calls have you made about that job that seemed perfect for you, without any sort of silver lining in sight? You want to start working and establishing your career (whatever that may be), but you and your polished resume don’t seem to be getting much luck. People suggest that you try working “somewhere like Target, or Trader Joe’s, just to have a little something”; but you think to yourself “I have a BA in (insert major here), I worked too hard for (however long you were actually in college) so I won’t have to be some part time retail monkey”. Admit it; you’re too proud to work a job you think you’re too good for. This inflated sense of self and status is really common among new college alumni.
7. Sloth; “I just need some time” – Netflix and your big comfy couch are your kryptonite. After so many days of trying to get your shit together, you find yourself in some bleach-stained pajama pants and unkempt hair, binge watching It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia for the fourth day in a row. “I just need some time to do nothing”, we’ve told ourselves. Sloth is the deadliest sin of them all. To fall victim to sloth is a small, yet detrimental defeat in the life of a college graduate because it’s where a false sense of complacency dwells, and tries to get you to go half on the rent.