Why I Decided To Stop Stressing About Life After Graduation

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Since I began my final year at university, the question, “Do you know what you’re doing when you graduate,” has haunted my nightmares. For seven months now, I’ve been constantly stressed, meticulously sending out my resume and various cover letters to any job posting that might resonate with my experience. So far, no luck.

Every time an email beginning with a “We’re sorry, Lydia,” or “Thanks for applying, but….” landed in my inbox, my faith in my future, and myself took a little hit, if just for a second. Most of these rejections don’t hurt. By the next day, I’d probably forgotten about them. The fear of “failure,” overpowered any rejection. I just kept on researching, revising, and applying.

This process repeated itself until a few weeks ago. I got a “no” from a company that I felt confident about. An internship that I was banking on. A job that would have allowed me to live my dream of working in London, if only for a few months. I didn’t cry. I didn’t feel necessarily bad. I was just disappointed.

So I put off my constant job search for a while.

During my “time off,” I ended up putting things into perspective. I realized that this rejection was no different than any of the other ones I had received. I just need to keep doing what I had been doing, and something would come along. And everyday, I needed to remind myself of a few things:

It’s early. March 14, to be exact. The types of jobs I’m applying for want applicants who are available now. I wont be available until I’m handed my diploma on May 11th.

It’s pointless to compare myself to the success of others around me. No, I will not be spending a summer traveling, starting a full-time job in August, or depositing a signing bonus in my bank account. But my whole life has not been about following in other people’s footsteps. I do my own thing. Why should this change now?

There are other things to worry about. Like finishing a two-page paper that is due in an hour. Or finding my retainer that I seem to have misplaced.

I just need one yes. One yes cancels out fifty-seven “nos.”

It’s important to live in the “now.” In two months, I might have a job, I might not. I don’t know. But I do know that in two months, I’ll no longer be free to drive to the beach with my best friend in the middle of the day. I won’t be able to walk into a bar, and know 90% of the people there. The life I’m living now is something I’ll never be able to replicate.

There are pros to not having a job right away. If I don’t have a job, I’ll get to go on vacation with my family, something I haven’t done in four years. I’ll get to help my older sister make the big move from Washington, D.C, to New Orleans.

Moving back home isn’t the worse thing in the world. Yes, I would be bored out of my mind, but at least I have a home to move back to. A home where I would be welcomed back, supported, fed, and loved.

Most importantly, I’m lucky to have a lifetime of possibilities ahead of me. I’m healthy. I’ll be college-educated. I’m not ENTIRELY broke (well, depends on how you define “broke”). I’ll be okay. TC mark

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