Picture this: a bright eyed and bushy tailed college grad, brimming with excitement, drunk on opportunity, and ready to take on the world.
Cut to: a twenty-three year old woman living in her brother’s house, sobbing in a heap of dirty clothes stained with spaghetti sauce, stressing about rent and eating Cheez-its for dinner.
Okay, it’s not that bad. But I would just like to address any younger-person-than-me reading this and say that GROWING UP IS A TRAP. RUN AWAY AND NEVER COME BACK. No degree, amount of education, or courses in anthropology will ever prepare you for the world that awaits after college. I repeat: you are but a CHILD until they throw you off the stage at graduation with nothing more than a handshake, a blank piece of paper, and a “good luck!”.
The following is my account of how I got from aforementioned Point A to Point B. Follow along closely. I’m sure it’ll sound familiar. If it doesn’t, then you must be independently wealthy or continuing your education. If that is the case, then I am sorry to say this fate will befall you soon enough.
I graduated in May this past year with a Bachelor of Arts in Music. (Useful, I know!) I was extremely proud to not only have balanced several jobs throughout my education, but graduate with honors after having been homeschooled my entire life. And these were real life honors with latin names and everything, not just a superlative my Student Life boss gave me. I wrote a thesis, performed at my commencement ceremony, and actually managed to receive my housing deposit back.
Thankfully, life immediately after graduation wasn’t all too grim. I had a buffer: the highly coveted title of “intern”. Ah yes, this is laughable to anyone who’s actually been an intern. It is often brutally hard work and usually doesn’t pay that much, if anything at all. (I was fortunate enough to have a fabulous internship that provided housing AND a stipend, but I was lucky, I admit.) For some reason, post grads will fight to the DEATH to say that we have a “summer internship” after college. Because honestly, what else are we gonna do?? Never mind the fact that we just completed TWENTY TWO YEARS OF SCHOOLING. No, we certainly don’t deserve a break for that. We need MORE WORK.
After my two month internship in Colorado, I decided to move there. For the first time ever, I was free from obligation to live in a certain place, so I picked. I moved in with my brother and now currently share a bathroom with a six and an eight year old boy. Yes, I’ve truly moved up in the world.
Enter the painful yet necessary floundering stage of the narrative familiar to all. The stage which many of us reach eventually, no matter how many internships or jobs you’ve lined up. Up to this point, you’ve done everything you were supposed to do; you moved to the city you love, you found a temporary place to live, all that is left is to find a job! But not just any job. No, it has to be THE job. A magical position that culminates every single skill you’ve ever learned in school, pays decently, and offers benefits! Yes!
In all likelihood, this “dream” job ends up being a part-time gig. (And one that takes you months to find.) Something with angry customers who like to rip on the little guy, despite them knowing FULL WELL that you are merely there to make a buck. (And to climb the corporate ladder, but let’s not get too ahead of ourselves.)
So now, after a few months, you realize you need a second job because though you have actually started to like your first job, you absolutely need to make sure that you aren’t eating fruit snacks (or gelatinous globs shaped like fruit) as a meal every single night. You also need to find a place to live and pay a lovely invention called rent, or as I like to call it, the killer of all dreams. You get up, you work, you eat, you go to your second job, you sleep, and then you do it all over again. Suddenly, the closest thing you have to performing (though you have a degree in it) is singing to your steering wheel or entertaining your extremely reluctant co-workers. You know it won’t always be like this, but the very near future seems terribly monotonous.
This scenario is my life. Does this sound familiar to anyone? Don’t you lie, I know it does. It is practically a post grad cliché. Please, someone give me my own TV show or movie deal already so everyone can laugh at how extremely average my life has become. I’m almost positive my facial expressions alone are worth a slot on network television. Or at least TLC.
Truly, I know everything will be okay. I should also state that I am grateful for where I am. I mean, I get to see mountains EVERY DAY!! That’s pretty cool. And I know, eventually I’ll have my own place and eventually, I’ll be able to enjoy Netflix again! Maybe! For now, I continue on the grind each and every day. (What does that phrase even mean??) I am “paying my dues” even though I don’t think I’ve ever settled up a single library fine.
Yes. Growing up is indeed a trap and I’ve fallen right into it.