It is an accomplishment in itself to graduate with a bachelors degree in 4 years. I remember fondly strutting across the stage diploma in hand, still reeking of tequila convinced the mere act of graduating on time was enough of an edge to propel me forward into a rewarding career with a smooth paved path. But I assure you, shortly after you wobble your hung over butt across that stage, reality will hit hard.
We are brought up to believe we are special, hard working and all we ‘deserve’ will be handed to us on a silver platter so shiny it puts our brand new MK watch to shame. In reality the majority of individuals spend 4 plus years pissing away 60,000, while drinking their calories and convincing themselves the cheating frat boy boyfriend didn’t mean to give them that black eye, it was only cause he took that last line of coke right?
The point being, you are not special. No interviewer will care how many bake sales you coordinated or how many times you received most creative costume at your weekly mixer. The reality is we spend our college years blindly average, skating by and assuming life, career and love will lay itself down and blossom in front of our very eyes.
Like yesterday I recall the grueling, humbling task of job hunting: the research, application and interview process -day after day – I smelled like rejection and weeped daily. Still I thanked my lucky stars, because there were too many in my position unable to even find a job to apply too. It became painfully clear, I was not special, no one cared that I went to NYSSMA a year early or that I passed all my required courses on the first try.
It did not matter that I worked through college to support myself or that I managed my time and always favored my responsibilities. These are expectations not accomplishments. No one will applaud you for doing what you are supposed to … How I wish I took that extra internship or spent more time searching for a career goal and less time searching for a good fake.
There was never a course offered that taught me business manners, or how organizational skills would boost my resume. No professor lectured me on the importance of attitude and positivity, because no one wants to work with a grump. No one warned me that after years and years of conforming, following trends and fitting in, that all a employer really wants is a unique individual to stand out amongst a sea of average. No one explained that even if I managed to find a solid full time job, the majority of my salary would be pumped into student loans enabling me to make any sort of advancement, relationship or life wise.
Start swallowing the idea now that you will have 10 plus years of aggressive monthly payments, which equals a extended stay at the hotel parentals featuring the twin size bed from your youth and the surrendering of your freedom.
Post grad is not easy, it is not full of blissful excitement and it does not offer the freedom to travel the world, explore yourself and enjoy your days. It is humbling, demanding, scary – but it doesn’t have to be. Stay in on Saturday to study for your test and take less fireball shots, don’t go back to your ex boyfriend and use condoms (HPV is scary and real and will affect your future), explore different courses, talk to professors and find what you love.
The best medication for Post Traumatic Grad Disorder is preparation.