Drifting Away From The Safety Of Academia

image by Sal Ramirez
image by Sal Ramirez

It has been a slow descent, this whole heinous process phasing out of grad school I mean.

Flights have been booked and stale goodbyes in email form have been drafted, ready to be sent out the day after commencement. The playlist I made on my soundcloud for the after party has been polished off thrice now. All is in order, except for the most important thing: a job.

Why I haven’t been as proactive about securing gainful employment after graduation baffles me. And of course, I have the one question I do not want to hear to look forward to, “So, do you have any jobs lined up?” No, bitch…I don’t, thanks for asking.

Every possible distraction has been executed…and yet, this anxious seed inside my subconscious has been slow to sprout. Here comes that feeling of being pushed up against a window again. I desperately need a kick in the butt, or at least some figurative fertilizer, to get me going.

Thing is, this time around is different though. Graduating from undergrad definitely did not feel like this. I was aimless, lost, and freaking out trying to do anything as the next step because I didn’t want to be failure living at home. In a way, those feelings are still there, only multiplied by the fact that there is much more debt now.

There is no status in a master’s degree; it’s more of a personal accolade than anything. And, all the jobs seem to be in shitty cities that no one wants to live in.

Plus, I feel like all of this work might not be worth it, that I will only be able to get a job that a recent undergrad can get. I am not hating on undergrads at all by saying that. All I mean is that it sucks when all your life you’ve done everything that looks good on paper, only to realize no matter what else you tack on, it’s at this point you have to make that ratty piece of paper look like a million bucks.

Obviously all this procrastinating real life part has to come to an end…but I just don’t know where to start or what to believe anymore. Recently on NPR, I heard the commentators say the longer you stay in school, the longer you will stay alive, which I guess might be true…if you make it through the process without dying from the stress. I mean, for the most part, I’d say grad school was a breeze, save for the acute anxiety disorder I’m sure I developed and the loss of major friendships. Small potatoes really.

TBH though, I’m definitely going to miss the summer conferences…they were like camp for adults, especially when the food gets rolled out…and, I get super sad just thinking about the days when I was able to drink with my girls like we were parched sailors on new year’s eve in Time Square during y2k…well, I guess we could still do that part.

But, even still, the feeling that an eminent wave of boring is coming is something I can’t shake. Take yesterday for example…the most exciting thing that happened to me was overhearing a granny at whole foods whisper that adding baby spinach to any dish makes it gothic (this is how new England grammas go HAM I guess). I feel like I’m going to become so boring that now I might as well get a boring job and curl into a boring adulthood and die a boring way…I guess I just feel gross and want to O.D. on diet water; instead I’ll plan another surprise graduation for myself and kill time on LinkedIn adding randos I don’t know. TC mark

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