Whenever I tell someone I just graduated college, the majority of the reactions I get are something like, “WOW! Congratulations! That’s amazing!” And my immediate reaction to this is, “haha. Good one.” As I die a little bit inside. But thankfully, I’ve been pretty preoccupied after graduating. I moved into my first big-girl apartment, started my first big-girl job, subsequently quit my big-girl job, and am now just flailing around, hoping one of my many limbs will point me in a direction.
A lot of people say this lovely little post-grad period is a “big transition,” and it’s “normal” to feel confused/anxious/terrified/resentful of that movie with Rory Gilmore and the guy who looks like the kid from Hocus Pocus, because why can’t everyone be blessed with eternal youth?? The grass is always greener, amirite.
All that I’ve gotten out of this “transition” time, though, is a consistent twinge of fear every time I see someone in a pantsuit, and a slight addiction to Xanax (just kidding! Sorry mom!). I know I’m not alone here in wondering why I didn’t just major in accounting and have my whole life (or at least the next few years) easily figured out for me, but then I remember I can’t add or subtract so I would probably do KPMG more harm than good.
What I want everyone to remember is we’re all in this together (like, Wildcats in the house), and there are a few things I wish someone had told me to guide me through this “journey of self-discovery.” Because honestly, I couldn’t find myself right now if I turned into Dora the Explorer.
1. You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to. Like, seriously, you don’t. Some people believe a job is a job and you get what you get and you don’t get upset. What I’ve realized though, is being 22 and having panic attacks every day and night doesn’t really justify a 401k.
2. On that note – you don’t have to do what everyone else is doing. When I left my job, my brain was basically screaming at me being like, “Hey dingus! Look at all your friends with their secure jobs and vacation days! What do you have? A lifetime supply of flaming hot Cheetos? You wish!” But hey! You want to hike across the country for 6 months and “live off the land?” That sounds horrible, but go for it, bring me back some granola and take some dope panoramas for your Instagram. There is no right or wrong right now.
3. You don’t need a plan. If someone asks you where you see yourself in five years and you don’t have a Blues Clue’s, don’t let them make you feel bad about it (unless you’re like, in a job interview and in that case you should probs have something real prepared). Just be like, “Where do YOU see yourself in five years, Cheryl?? What’s YOUR plan?” Roasted.
4. I’m unemployed right now and it’s easy to feel like I’m being lazy and wasting away without a job, but, and I know this is SHOCKING, jobs don’t define you! I left my job feeling like the most incompetent, incapable human being on the planet. But after a lot of soul searching and like, meditation and stuff like that, I’ve come to realize that if you don’t succeed at something you don’t automatically suck. It’s other things that make you suck, like not saying bless you when someone sneezes or being one of those people that leaves voicemails. Just text me.
5. We will eventually figure it out. Maybe not today or tomorrow, but at some point there will be something that speaks to us like that time Harry hears parseltongue and figures out where the Chamber of Secrets is. If nothing else, just be thankful that as lost as we feel right now, at least we don’t have to save the entire Wizarding World from destruction.
6. Also wine. We will always have wine.