Hi, I’m a post grad student from a…well lets just say kind of fancy (on top school list) private university and this is my story. Through telling my story I want to first say this isn’t a bitter, self righteous, pity me type of story its just a truthful rant.
Graduating from college was one of my biggest achievements not only to me but it’s considered a big deal to my family. I had just returned back from completing my last semester in LA. It was a rocky road there at first which is another story but I ended up loving the experience overall. So anyway graduation had just concluded and I was on a complete high. I was so hopeful and optimistic and just overjoyed with life because I had just finished what seemed like forever years with piles of homework, exams, and the brutal group projects. Driving away from my university I had the equivalent feeling as a dog poking its head out the window with its tongue out and the saliva later proceeding. Everything was peachy key till uh lets say a month later. Things became really… REAL.
By that time I had received just about every inquiring question from past peers, nosy relatives, and my self consciousness on what would be my next move. Of course the main push was graduate school, but seeing as though I just completed rigorous work I wasn’t too eager to get back into that boat. My main concern is what everyone kept asking where am I working? That question came around in just about every single angle and my reply would either be silence, interviewing, or my favorite I’m still exploring my options. But the thing is what options?? In order to fully describe the following things to you I have to break them down in what I like to call, Post Grad Jobless Stages. The first stage I went through is called, “Panic.”
At this point I felt like I had applied to almost everything and I couldn’t understand why I wasn’t getting anything back! This is when I wondered this huge question: Why didn’t anyone tell me the truth about this? I know what you’re probably thinking by reading this, “yeah we know its hard, just keep applying”. But no one has ever sat me down and told me these list of things:
- Employers don’t care about your achievement of graduating…. Seriously they don’t
- Anything in your career field they want you to have a lifetime of experience
- Even experience wants experience
- It’s going to seem like everyone has a job but you
- You alter your resume and you hate cover letters….for real hate them
- Your bed and pillow and cell phone become your closet friends
- Social Media becomes your enemy
- You basically suffer from mood swings every single day
- People won’t stop asking you about where you’re working at? Like seriously stop people.
- That you would suffer from this threating emotion… BOREDOM!
After going through all of the things I listed I seriously pondered on why no one informed me that post grad life would be like this. Why didn’t friends who graduated before me tell me about this? Was this a set up? Was spending 4 years in college a whole prank? Was Ashton Kutcher going to pop out and end this madness? Sadly no this was and is definitely real.
Now many people would say hey why don’t you just get a regular job in say customer service, retail, uber, and or even become a janitor? My answer to this is simple… because I HAVE A DEGREE!!! No offense to those who do have jobs like those I listed but I desire so much more! This degree cost me a lot of sleepless nights, headaches, fluctuating weight, and tears. Don’t get me wrong my college experience was great at times but it doesn’t beat how I thought I would feel after it was over. Is it pride that I also have? Absolutely, and I’m not ashamed of that.
Fast forward to the present time, which is exactly two months since graduating and guess what? I feel the exact same way as last month but with just a smidge of an attitude adjustment/nonchalantness. At this very moment the whole getting myself worked up about not having a job has gone and I have this serene feeling towards the whole process. I’d like to call this the second stage of post grad jobless life, “It Is What It Is” stage.
I no longer yearn to complain and spend countless hours applying to jobs and watching sad movies like Bridget Jones Diary. Now I feel like I do the opposite! Don’t get it confused I still really want a job in my desired career field but nothing comes when you feel like pouting all day. I’m sure you’ve heard of the phrase, a pot of water doesn’t boil when you watch it. I started to look at this time of unemployment as a time of relaxation. Think about it! Great sleep, watch television, you’re always free to hang, and you get to wear your pajamas all day! In fact now that #TGIT (Shonda Rhime’s Thursdays) is back Thursdays are the highlight of my week. No, this isn’t sadness but this is me just taking the situation in. Oh and yes I still apply to jobs but the pressure of filling out a certain amount a day has came and gone. In addition, with all of the time available I get to do things I don’t normally spend a lot of time doing such as exercising, trying out DIY hacks, and even strengthening my relationship with GOD! Not to say that I wasn’t a big religious person I just could have been better and that’s what I’m taking my time to do.
Oh best believe I still get those questions here and there but there is this genius thing on my phone called “Do Not Disturb” that I put people on! Mean is it? Nope what’s mean is people’s sudden curiosity in my life like sheesh! In addition the obvious pressure from family is still constant and annoying as ever which leads me to my third stage called, “I need my own SPACE”.
See the biggest advantage of going away to college is that you’re on your own. You have no rules, obligations, or unnecessary stress that you go through at college. At home you can forget about all of that nice and lovely freedom because it is gone. In this stage the concept of please send me to the nearest apartment is a constant thought I have every other day. Give me back my cute, spacious, noise cancelling, peaceful apartment pronto! The glorious thing about graduating is being a complete adult. However, not having a job can become a setback to your whole master plan of getting a job, car, apartment, and a piece of mind with a side of happiness is pushed to the side. You can only imagine that this gives me one heck of a kick to keep applying.
In addition, it isn’t our parent’s fault that from time to time they irk you and unconsciously put even more pressure on you to have a job. You love them dearly and appreciate everything they did for you but… sheesh! No matter how much you tell them what type of effort, time, and energy you put into finding a job and telling them the number of applications you’ve put in, it won’t matter. It just doesn’t make sense because they aren’t in your shoes. Yes, give and take they probably were years ago but it doesn’t equate to the present, the now feeling of it all.
As I said before this isn’t a bitter, self-righteous, pity me type of story this is simply my rant turned story that I wanted to share to encourage others that they aren’t alone. It’s dead honest and it’s reality. As for the final two stages entitled “The Interview” and “Finally Getting A Job” that are still under construction. Stressing day to day about not having what you want won’t change anything; it will only make the journey depressing. Focus and remain in the now! Eventually you will find a wonderful job that will make the wait worth it. The biggest thing you can take away is a huge and invaluable lesson and that is to never give up. The grass maybe greener in other people’s yards but that doesn’t mean it’s real.