You’re fresh out of college, ready to conquer the world, get your own place, and find a kickass job. This is the American dream that we all worked our asses off for, right?!
Remember when adults would tell us to stop wanting to grow up so fast, and enjoy being a kid? Yeah, me too. Why didn’t we take their advice?! Being an adult seemed so fun and the freedom seemed so exciting. Well, newsflash, being an adult is not fun, or exciting.
I felt so accomplished and ready for adult life after graduating from Penn State, but I was under the assumption that I would get a good, decent paying job that I really enjoyed! I mean, that is why I went to college in the first place, right?
Over the last two years, I was working my first full-time job, post college, while living paycheck to paycheck. You would think that the full-time job that I needed a college degree for would suffice and allow me to live comfortably, but it didn’t. As I am getting older, and trying to not fail at this adult thing, I am realizing that you have to start at the very bottom of the career ladder before making any kind of decent money. Turns out, you need a degree AND experience in order to advance in life.
My job was not the worst, but my job was definitely not the best. I was working as a child case manager and though the job was rewarding at times, it was slowly crushing my soul. It is very disheartening and deflating to work your ass off in college for four+ years, just to work at a job where your hard work is not appreciated, and you’re being paid next to nothing.
To be honest, I quit this job twice. I quit October of 2016 and in September of 2017. Twice, I let the feelings of disappointment and anger get in the way of focusing on my career goals. I loathed my job so much, that I began to explore other career options that I didn’t even go to school for. However, I do not regret quitting either time. Yes, I left because of my unhappiness, but I needed to take the time for myself to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. It helped me realize that I am on the career path that I want to be on, and that I need to work hard and climb the career ladder, step by step, to become the therapist that I want to be.
Did I hate waking up every morning to go to a job that I did not love? Absolutely. Will I love waking up every morning to go counsel active military/military families/veterans? ABSOLUTELY. We have to make it happen for ourselves. I have discovered that no one is going to apply to their dream job and get it before working very hard for it.
Some words of wisdom for college students and soon-to-be grads:
1. Do not get discouraged by a job, like I did.
2. Do not give up on a job because it sucks, like I did. (There seems to be a trend here.)
3. Remember that your education is only the beginning.
4. You don’t deserve anything. You need to work hard for what you want.
5. Nothing worth having comes easy.
6. Keep your eye on the prize.
For those of you who can relate or are not happy with your current job situation, just remember these three words: This is temporary.
By keeping our heads up and focusing on where we want to end up in our lives, rather than letting our current situations deflate us, we can only be successful. Eventually, I will get where I want to be, and so will you!