I always thought graduating college was going to be the beginning of my adult life. Technically it has been, but since graduating back in December, I feel like my life has actually taken a standstill.
I haven’t gotten a job yet, I don’t have my own car (I still share one with my sister, and it doesn’t even have a working speedometer so I drive it as infrequently as I can manage), and I’ve moved back in with my parents.
None of this is the ideal post college life, but it isn’t an uncommon situation either. I still have an apartment back in the town I went to school, but it’s a true college town and wouldn’t have done me any good to stay there looking for work. So while that lease is running out I’ve been back in Texas living at home. It’s crowded and I feel like I’m back in high school, or spending my summer break at home, not like a college graduate.
I’ll admit I’ve only applied to roughly 20 jobs since graduating, so I can’t really complain about how long it’s taking, or that I haven’t even gotten an interview anywhere. I’m not putting my all into it, and the current state I’m in reflects that. I’ve considered just applying to a graduate program or figuring something else out, but all of this lackluster energy stems from the fact that even with a degree under my belt I still don’t really know what I want to do with my life.
I want to ultimately be an author, but I know that won’t pay the bills anytime soon or in large enough amounts to be what I live on. Starting last week I have been making a little money, though it involves working at my mom’s preschool, which is what I did during summers in college and isn’t a long-term option.
Overall, I’m beginning to worry that my friends will be graduating in May and getting jobs before I do, and it doesn’t help that I have a friend with the same major who also graduated with me in December and had a job lined up and has been working since January.
I have to remind myself, and others should remind themselves, too, that everyone operates at a different pace. Am I happy with my pace? No. Are my parents happy with it? Absolutely not. I have to navigate my mom’s frustrations with me and my dad’s complaining about three of his children still living at home when one is 27 and the other two are 21 with college degrees.
But I also understand the importance of not making a mistake with my life, of not pushing myself into a miserable career because I applied to every random job that popped up. My major was Strategic Communications, I have seen a lot of jobs and heard a lot of horror stories to know I don’t want to stumble into a “communications” job that is actually sales or telemarketing, I’d be miserable.
Another post grad limitation? The indecisiveness on whether to relocate or not. I’m terrified of living on my own nowhere near family or friends. That same fear affected by college decisions and it’s affecting my post college decisions, too. But even in a place like Dallas it’s limited on job opportunities, so I go back and forth on whether or not to apply to jobs in other states.
I just wanted to write this all out this week, not because it really makes a difference, but because writing it down helps eliminate some of the stress, and even though nothing I’ve written will help someone else deal with post grad struggles, hopefully it’ll help to know it’s not just one person’s experience.