Reality never knocks on your door lightly. It’s more of a brick-to-the-face feeling.
This past week, one of my handy-dandy countdown apps let me know that I only have six more months before I walk the stage and “start” my so-called endeavor into my career. Granted, I’ll be stuck in the classroom until July because I’ll be just 6 hours shy of actually having my degree. Nevertheless, my time as a college student is winding down.
I’ve already spent the past few weeks, with the company of all of the people I care about most, in a state of panic about this semester/school year/general happenstance of graduating a year early and what that actually means for all of us. (The friends that have emotional breakdowns together, stay together.)
For all of us, there’s one common truth: We do not know what the hell we are doing.
This fun little fact may come as a shocker to many but that’s just because either A) you’ve been graduated so long you’ve chosen to block those memories from your mind or B) we’ve all just mastered the art of grinning and bearing it.
“Oh yes, when I graduate, I’m going to get this job and live in this city and marry this person and we’re going to get a white picket fence and it will all be beautiful!” See? Lies roll off a 20-something tongue way too easily.
And yes, maybe we shouldn’t be scared. After all, we all have worked hard to learn what we can and build our resumes and we’re all probably (hopefully!) going to end up with a decent entry-level job when May rolls around.
That’s not really where the issue comes in. The biggest problem is fielding all of the questions and comments that are constantly being thrown at our faces about our future. While we’ve all crafted the answers that people want to hear, this post is devoted to what we actually want to say, slightly modified for my personal outlook.
1. ”So what are you going to do with your degree?”
I have not a clue. I write stuff so I’ll probably get a job, I dunno, writing? Or maybe I’ll just be a dog walker because dogs are cool and I’d get to spend a lot of time petting them.
2. ”You know that job pays terribly, right?”
It’s fine. Studio apartments are quaint and artsy and I won’t be miserable in a career that I hate like you hate yours. Also ramen tastes pretty good.
3. ”Are you seeing anyone serious right now?”
Oh yeah, for sure. Ha, ha, no. I’m sad and alone. And the numbers show that people are starting to get married later and later in life so don’t encourage me to buy all of those cats just yet.
4. ”How’s senior year going?”
Fantastic! My professors are all so nice and they all assigned a huge group project or presentation all due on the exact same day. Also, I spend all my free time cuddled in bed eating ice cream and watching Netflix. The senior 15 is more real than the freshman.
5. ”Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” (This is an interview fave.)
Well, in 5 years I’ll be 25. I hope to stop only eating Kraft instant mac & cheese for dinner and maybe I’ll remember to wash my hair every day. I’ve got my goals set high.
6. ”Make sure your social media presence is clean.”
As an advertising major, I hear this comment A LOT. I can assure you many hours have been spent reading through old tweets and checking our ancient Instagram posts and tagged Facebook pictures for any inappropriate posts and I’m sure one day all of this blogging nonsense is going to cause me grief (plz hire me, I’m funny) but honestly sometimes we all just slip up and post things that we shouldn’t. P.S you should really clean up your social media presence and get rid of all of your politically incorrect posts.
7. ”Have you thought about your loans?”
Have you thought about not being emotionally abusive?
8. ”Don’t be in such a rush to graduate!”
I don’t know if you know this but college is no longer just $800 a semester so I think I actually will rush to finish and maybe not be up to my eyeballs in debt before the age of 23.
9. ”Just wait until you get in the real world.”
But wait…where am I now?
10. ”What’s your GPA?” (Another interview fave.)
Um, y’know…can we just…well you see…I got a 4.0 one semester…and then it was a tiny bit of a downhill slide. Let’s not dwell on negative things. My number is not my worth.
11. ”Can I give you some advice?”
I mean, you can but it doesn’t mean I’m going to listen.
12. ”So what are you going to do if you don’t get a job?”
You don’t honestly expect us to go through the job hunting process just assuming that not a single place we interview will like us enough to give us a job, do you? Oh! You do. Ok, thanks for the support.
13. ”What do you mean you’re going to take some time off after you graduate?”
I mean, I’m going to sit my butt on a couch for a month and relax and sleep, or maybe backpack through Europe, or go to the beach, or I dunno, just something that’s not school or work or responsibility. It’s called personal TLC and also not settling for the first mediocre offer that comes our way because we know that we’re better than minimum wage and we feel like we’ve earned it.
14. ”Are you sad it’s almost over?”
My emotions are very mixed on this matter because on one hand, no, I’m not sad at all. I will be dancing in circles around the room in joyous celebration because I will never ever have to deal with school again. On the other hand, yes, it’s a big bummer. I’ll miss all of my friends and staying up late because you can just skip class the next day. College is a roller coaster of emotions ok? Don’t make me pinpoint any one of them.
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