Life After College
Not everyone chalks it up to what it really is.
I knew at 13 that I wanted to be a writer, an author, or whatever you call it. I knew that I wanted to write.
However, going to school for writing was a little close to pointless. "Going to school for writing" was something that I'd done for the past however many years I went to school, right? That was what I was getting up early for?
It was four years of padding my time with useless knowledge just to advance to classes that were mainly common sense. Do you know how to spell? Good, you're halfway there. Do you know the point of visual imagery? Alright, write me an entire story without it.
The closest I got to following my dream in academic form was Communications. A quite cheery physician I once had joked that it was one of the two majors from college that could never find a job. The other was Psychology.
Months later, I was taking a final online class, unrelated to my major once again. Days after that, I was walking across a stage to receive an empty tube with my school's emblem etched onto it.
My friend can attest to the same treatment moments after the pictures and proud family fades to the background. A sense of haze lulls over the situation, you enjoy the cake with your graduation date on it, you wear the cap and gown like it's your signature hero outfit (hands on hips!), and you live up the rest of the day like a bit of royalty.
That is until you wake up the next morning, about to get ready for classes, only to realize you can sleep in late. But for how long? For me, it was two whole weeks.
My responsibilities fell to the wind, my pets ate at odder times in the day than usual. My parents only recognized me by the matted bedhead I refused to wash or brush.
This could all be accounted to the hefty weight of depression and uselessness that came after taking off the cap, but I believe it to be a mixture of all of it.
The moment after I crossed the stage I realized I had no clue what I was going to do with my life. My writing skill had fallen through and was replaced with theses and article writing that were not in my wheelhouse.
My creativity took a backseat to my academic repetition. Learning something new was not useful in this case, all it did was put duct tape over my real want and tell it to chill out.
Life after college moved slowly, then all too fast. Days were lost on me before I looked at the clock and vacations were wasted because time flies when you're having fun.
My father had to give me a deadline, to find a job by the end of September. An easy enough feat if you're not picky, or worse, a college graduate. My worst nightmare was donning the green apron at Starbucks.
I once had to deal with Starbucks recipes at a summer job and I was not about to go back to that again. I knew the customer service business too well.
I was once called "incompetent" and "careless" for not noting a frail shirt in a series of senior pictures. But I digress.
I was adamant to stay away from customer service if I could help it. But that was all that fared in job websites. Needless to say, I was unhappy with my progress.
My father told me that it was okay, it was hard to find something that I could fit into. Everyone assumed that because I was in Communications that I wanted to journey out into journalism and the like. But I had only chosen it because "writing to my own content" is not a major offered where I went to school. And Liberal Arts was not something I was ready to be ragged about for the rest of my life.
He only set the deadline for me to look around in that time frame. He wasn't going to kick me out or make me pay an obnoxious amount of rent to stay in his home.
But I knew that I wanted to venture out for myself, just try at something because debt just doesn't go away if you turn a blind eye to it.
I decided that it was time to go for broke and pack up my things to work in the labor field. The goodbye from my parents was like I was going to work in the coal mines as a six-year-old.
They acted like they'd never see me again. My father made a few too many jokes about cleaning my room and renting it out as an Airbnb. My mother tried to sleep through my goodbye [I'm guessing] as to not cry the entire time.
It was too late, I cried the entire way to Louisville for the both of us. I stopped halfway to Kentucky to splash some cold water on my face and assure myself that I could do this.
Long story short, I can not. Currently, my job has been cutting my hours to the point that I'm losing money not working.
Too often I've made the joke that I could make better money as a stripper, because it's not false.
Life after college is nothing like the movies. There is not always that internship or fellowship that you've dreamed of. There's barely an internship that doesn't pay you in experience.
College students require more than the hope of a job in the future. Going to college shouldn't put people more into the fear that they could never find a decent paying job that will let them move out from their parents.
These things shouldn't happen to younger generations because then they'll steer the course so that their children will become something without school.
Actually, let them do that.
I'm tired of having to stare at my credit score dip more and more because I'm lacking the money to pay them off. The thought of another loan is driving me up a wall.
I've had to double down on my Prozac prescription to keep the unsteady breathing from making me pass out everyday.
Something seems like it has to change, and I don't know what but, to be quite honest, life after college sucks.
Your social life declines, your debt increases and the stress of still capturing the magic as a young adult (at least, my stress anyways) weighs on me every weekend.