The Secret Life of Post-Grad

If there is one thing you don’t learn in school it’s how to be unsuccessful. Starting as early as high-school, we are taught that success is paramount and there are certain things we need to do in order to achieve it. A couple of these things include, but are not limited to: going to college, doing an internship, making connections. But here’s my question, what if none of that works?

If you want to grow-up, have an exciting job, make tons of money, and live happily ever after, you must go to college. WRONG! Going to an institution that prides itself on academics, integrity, and blah blah blah does not insure that you will go anywhere in life. Just because you have a degree does not mean you are guaranteed a job after graduation. This is a personal struggle for me. After devoting four-years to studying and striving for greatness, I am no where.  No really, when someone says, “Well you graduated! That is a huge accomplishment” it doesn’t make the fact that I still sit at home contemplating which Netflix series to binge on a regular basis any better. Will my degree get me somewhere eventually,  yes. Or at least that’s the goal. But I did everything my professors, guidance counselors, and parents told me to do. I went to college, a pretty great one. I got a stellar internship the summer before  graduation, which should have been my ticket in. And I made connections, here-there and everywhere. So why am I still sitting here?

I am still out of a full-time job, or a career as I like to put it, because I never learned how to fail. Well, sure I’ve failed an exam, does the running test in high-school count? I’ve gotten D’s before. I know what it is like to do poorly and to be so far down that ice cream and pizza can’t make anything better. It’s a struggle to reach the top again. But college didn’t teach me how to fail–how to be truly unsuccessful at something you’ve worked so hard to get. My degree can’t help me cope with my self-doubt, or assure me that something will come along. What I’m learning now can’t be taught in a classroom (well it could be, I could teach it. Failure 1000). I’m learning that things take time–that not everything happens immediately. As frustrating as it is to have strayed from the traditional path of post-grad, I understand that not everything can be easy.  I guess you could say this is my “come to Jesus” moment, where I accept the reality of my situation.

I am normally an optimistic person, but after receiving 200+ emails saying, “We regret to inform you” or “Unfortunately, we’ve decided to go with a different candidate”, I’ve become more of a pessimist. It is truly discouraging getting emails that say you’re not good enough. I wish someone would have told me that finding a job would be so demoralizing. I only hope that someone in college reads this and understands what might happen to them–or someone in my current situations finds ease knowing they are not alone. I can’t say this happens to everyone because it doesn’t. But for me, life is like the claw game at an arcade, even when you’ve got everything lined up, you still might lose. BUT like any normal person, you keep playing until you win the prize–or you run out of coins. 🙂

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