It’s been 43 days since I graduated college. Wow, sitting here and counting that out was a huge smack of reality.
I’ve been thinking a lot about what I want to say about being done with undergrad. (Honestly, there might have to be a few different posts about this topic…)
In many ways, I don’t think it’s really hit me yet.
When graduation came I just put on my cap and gown, walked across the stage, was handed my diploma…and all I could really think about was how damn hot it was outside.
I guess I just sort of floated through it, not really realizing what was happening around me. Now, a few weeks later (and halfway through my summer) I’m feeling more and more like August is this cliff edge that I’m driving toward at full speed, with no break pedal to stop me from falling into the abyss.
Wait, let me back up for a minute.
I’m unemployed. Yep, the big bad U-word. THERE I SAID IT.
In reality, being unemployed when you’re only a month out of college isn’t really that big of a deal (or really that surprising) but it’s a lot harder when you’re me.
In the past 43 days since I graduated, I made it through three long interview processes. One process resulted in an offer, which I declined, and the other two ended in rejection emails, the positions being offered to other candidates after I’d made it to the final round. This process left me feeling intensely pathless, as if I’m just a floating orb with no end goal.
For my whole life I’ve known where I’m going. (Except not literally because I’m an eternally lost driver and have an unhealthy connection to Maps).
But I mean, since kindergarten, everything was routine. You go to school from August til May/June and then it’s summer break and then you hit repeat. When senior year of high school rolled around, I knew where my arrow was pointing—college—that was a destination I was always certain of. Graduate high school, next stop Gettysburg. Easy enough. No need to panic; destination locked in the GPS.
But when college ended, there was no next step ready for me. No job, no plan, no foundation. That, my loyal readers, is the edge of the cliff; the deep, dark abyss.
For now, up until August 5th, I have a rough, bumpy cobblestone path to travel; but unless I find a detour to turn down before that date, I’m heading right over the edge.
And that is pretty much the scariest thing I can possibly imagine.
I’m ambitious, always have been. I loved pursuing my education. I loved doing newer and better internships. I love knowing exactly what I want to do and how to get it.
But now, for the first time in a long damn time, I’m faced with not knowing what and sure as hell not knowing how.
Just about a year ago I wrote a blog titled “I’m Not Ready for the Real World” discussing the struggle of not knowing what was in store for my future as I approached graduation. In that blog I wrote the following: “Sometimes it feels like everyone else knows exactly where they’re going while I’m just wandering around the intersection trying to read the signs.”
One year later and I still pretty much feel the exact same way. Just as lost, just as worried, just as stressed, just as much like I’m falling behind.
But I guess, at the end of it all, the elusive “edge of the cliff” is just one of those bits of life that will always be there. It won’t go away when I find a job, or goal, or some other form of stability. It won’t ever magically close up. Really, this abyss is just one of the abysses that will crop up along my way.
So, I guess I am driving full force into the pit, closing my eyes, wishing I could hit the breaks, but knowing that it’s not an option, all while trying to remind myself that maybe—just maybe—what lies at the bottom isn’t as big and scary as it looks right now from the driver’s seat.
From me for you,