On Getting a Job
Getting a job in your field these days can be one of the most frustrating things you experience in your post-grad life. Employers want someone with 2+ years of experience, internships don’t really count, so where are you getting this experience to have a job? It’s complicated. If you’re lucky and do get a job, you will at some point hate it, even if you like what you do. But now, now you can’t just quit your job because you have bills and responsibilities. Oh and this will be your life forever. You literally just get up every morning and work for 8+ hours. THIS is adulthood.
Dating is an entire different beast. The longer you are post-grad, the more you expect from dating. It’s not just about finding someone else attractive and you might have a few things in common, but now your expectations are a little higher. Do they have a job? Do they still live with their parents? Are they financially responsible? If you move away from your college-town, your big swimming pool just turned into a small puddle. The more you see your family, the more they’ll ask you when you’re going to settle down and find a nice girl or guy. Truth is, people our age would rather focus on a career first, but in case you’re over that, Tinder it is!
A word I’m sure you hear your parents using often. It’s something you have to have now. There’s bills and appointments and things you have to arrive on time for. Going to bed early is something you learn is a valuable choice to make, as you can’t take naps in the middle of the day. Man cannot live on coffee alone, believe me I’ve tried. You have to learn a few staple items you can cook that will keep you nourished. Ramen doesn’t count. Also, finding time to exercise is something you should also do regularly. You need to find a gym or something to keep your metabolism up—or you’ll start gaining that Post-Grad 30.
No one told me that the people I was close with in college would eventually all get married and move on with their lives. No one told me that the best friends I had a few years may in fact not be my best friends to date. And that’s okay. Now, my situation might be a little different, but most of the friends I had in my earlier 20’s I don’t keep in touch with, maybe on Facebook occasionally. Friends come and go and now it’s not about the amount of friends, but the quality of friends that I have.
You call your mom even more, asking questions about rent, what’s an appropriate amount of money to spend on clothes, how do you know a ripe watermelon from one that’s no good, do I take my clothes to the dry cleaners or just avoid buying those type of clothes to begin with…the list goes on. I’ve found that my parents have a more exciting life than mine, traveling all over. I still can never get ahold of them on the phone, but that doesn’t stop me from calling them and asking how their week was. Really I find myself calling to ask for more advice about how to deal with work situations and what car I should buy…
PTO time. Unpaid vacation. Sick days. Dreaded words that cramp my style so hard. In college, you could be spontaneous and take a road trip for a weekend somewhere fun, forgetting about your classes that happened that week and relax. Now, there is no time to be spontaneous. Every vacation is carefully planned according to how much vacation time—if you have any—to travel home to visit your family. That’s vacation. If you take a fun vacation without your family, you will hear them mention it at least six times. Your coworkers will also make lots of comments about how long you’ve been out of the office.
What I do know
I wasn’t prepared for a lot of how my life is now, but I’m a stronger person because of it. I have learned so much about myself that I didn’t have the opportunity to learn about myself in college—it wasn’t time yet to learn that part. Though, this part of my life, as Aziz Anzari, actor (Parks and Rec), comedian (check out his hilarious specials on Netflix), and author of the book Modern Romance calls an emerging adult, I’m excited to figure out more about who I really am, what I’m about, what I want to do with my life and who I want to share it with. There’s still time for plenty of adventures, there’s still time to make mistakes and learn from them.
The point is, no one has it all figured out. Even if we were given a manual along with our diploma, we probably wouldn’t have read it, we still wouldn’t have done it all “right.” That’s the thing you have to remember, everyone does life differently—you just have to figure out what works for you—and that in itself is its own adventure waiting only for you.