Thought Catalog

10 Things I Have Learned As An Unemployed College Grad

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I graduated last month from college and moved back to my sleepy New England town where I have all the time in the world to surf the internet figure out the meaning of life. Here are a few revelations I’ve had.
  1. Facebook is only fun and interesting if you are procrastinating on writing a term paper or studying for a neuroscience final. Facebook’s incredible inanity is only revealed to you when you have hours of free time to stare at your newsfeed, waiting for someone to update their status or listen to another song on Spotify.
  2. “Entry level” actually means you need a Bachelors degree plus two to three years of experience. Ironically, the only way you can get two to three years of experience is by doing an entry-level job.
  3. It is possible to StumbleUpon until the end of the internet, and have to start back at the beginning.
  4. Symptoms of the discouraged worker include: wearing your pajamas all day and watching clips from the Ellen Degeneres YouTube channel, rereading the Harry Potter series until you start quoting Dumbledore in your cover letter, and online window shopping. The only known antidote is watching a “feel-good social and cultural documentary” on Netflix and avowing to change the world (until you realize that online window shopping is way easier).
  5. Storage Wars is the best show on television today. Yuuuuuuuuuup. (And if Brandi and Jarrod can make a living, so can you.)
  6. As you watch your checking account diminish from lack of income, things like recycling cans for change and selling Perler bead coasters on Etsy start looking like attractive options to make some petty cash.
  7. Babysitting salaries are not “commensurate with experience.” You will get paid the same amount as a 15-year-old One Direction fan who has no idea what a Giffen good is. Also, babysitting employers do not offer 401ks.
  8. Some days your greatest achievements will be getting three stars in your Angry Birds level or doing laundry and not losing a sock. It is okay to celebrate these achievements.
  9. It only takes three weeks of living at home to tear down the drinking tolerance you built up during your four years of college. On the flip side, one six pack of beer can last you a week, and you no longer have to drink Natty Light.
  10. The meaning of life really is 42! TC mark
image – Chris Atkinson
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  • http://leoniecumiskey.wordpress.com leoniecumiskey

    Chill out, it’s only been a month. If you thought you were miserable now, wait until you have to work several unpaid internships while doing shitty odd jobs for cash – then you’re allowed to whine.

    • Michael Koh

      Exactly. I wish I had a month to dick around.

    • suzzyh

      Yup. After I graduated I had a period of 5 month unemployment. I enjoyed the post but just wait til month 3 rolls around and you get delusional and start to think you didn’t even get a B.A.

  • sawah

    NUMBER 2!! ARGH!

    • http://www.facebook.com/michellerows Michelle Garcia

      Entry level means ignoring the job description and proving that you’re competent enough to take on the work load.

      I was unemployed (well, technically I worked part-time at a doggie day care) for 6 months before I got my first (omgz) “real job”. It sucked, but I had to move to a city that was not really my first choice (now it’s not too bad — although it’s not NY, San Fran, Chicago, or any young professional’s dream city).

      ps. Storage Wars is definitely the sh*t.

  • http://nhanfiction.wordpress.com/ Nhan-Fiction

    Haha, my post-grad experience was so bad initially. It took a long time just for things to improve. :/

  • http://gravatar.com/nishantjn nishantjn

    What did you study in college? Is it something unemployable?

    • http://gravatar.com/cuinnyc cuinnyc

      She had some econ since she referenced Giffen goods…though in an entirely irrelevant manner…

    • N

      Ugh, shut up.

  • Will

    KEEP CALM and REFRESH CRAIGSLIST NOW

  • Michael Koh

    Here’s the one thing you need to know after post-grad: MONEY IS SCARCE. Enough said.

  • http://jnanahodson.wordpress.com Jnana Hodson

    I think we’re headed for an alternate economy. Just wish I knew where it is.

    • http://wonderwomendotnet.wordpress.com aeryn21

      Haha couldn’t agree more.

  • http://verbalbanter.wordpress.com verbalbanter

    Window Shopping and Storage Wars Life doesn’t get much better. Wait! Is that an empty soda can on your table? Can I have it?

  • Mari L

    Sooo spot on about alcohol tolerance

  • http://www.itmakesmestronger.com/2012/06/10-things-i-have-learned-as-an-unemployed-college-grad/ Only L<3Ve @ ItMakesMeStronger.com

    […] Thought Catalog » Life Add a comment […]

  • Lee Andrews

    Post master’s degree I decided to make my own job. I advertised myself as a “weeding specialist” on craigslist and made $25/hr pulling up weeds in lazy/rich people’s gardens. Granted I could only manage a few hours a day after my back gave out but it was decent money nonetheless that held me over until I found a regular paying job; just got to find a niche and you’d be surprise at how much people are willing to pay.

  • http://Daerin Nova

    omigawd. I totally identify with the list, except for storage wars. >< it's been almost 2 months now. argh!!

  • http://scrawleddownpaperedges.blogspot.co.uk/ Henry

    As well as the Ellen Youtube channel I think I also re-watched every four minute long episode of Seven Minutes in Heaven about six times. Particularly the Kristen Wiig one, which must have been into double figures. Oh, post college years… Maybe try what I’m trying – apply for every possible masters and then consider a PHD. Next decade sorted!

  • http://wonderwomendotnet.wordpress.com aeryn21

    hahahah this post actually made my day. It sort of feels good to know you’re not alone. So true about Number 1, fuckin 2, 4, 8, 9..!! Watching absolutely everything YouTube has to offer. Oprah Winfrey masterclasses on getting what you want in life are actually kind of addictive..SNL clips, trailers of upcoming movies, anything really…It’s a roller coaster some days you feel like you can conquer the world and (most) days like you should just stay in bed.
    But Craigslist jobs will save your life for petty cash and also to start making connections thru the dreaded unpaid internships!!
    Here’s a post about being unemployed and single:) http://wonder-girls.org/2012/04/06/how-to-not-end-up-jobless-single-fat-soon-to-be-homeless/

  • eitac

    Reblogged this on Eitac.

  • http://julwilson83.wordpress.com Julia

    I’m glad the rest of the world is also watching Ellen YouTube clips

  • Guest

    Took me two years to find a job after graduating in 2009. I mean, I do sympathize because I’ve been there, but a month isn’t really long enough to justify “What I’ve learned as an unemployed college graduate.” This article would be better after 6 or 12 months when it reeks of desperation and depression. I do still watch a lot of Ellen clips, though.

  • nommish

    Hey, I’m a writer working on a piece about being young & unemployed . (“Freelance” may be a bit liberal term — I’m a ’12 grad, found a job in publishing but enjoy writing too much not to freelance too). Would you be interested in being interviewed about the Internet as a tool for the unemployed? I’m really interested in telling stories from the bottom-up, rather than the removed commentary there only seems to be on the subject. My email is jljohnso89 [at] gmail [dot] com.

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