Hello Real World,
This is a graduating college senior calling. We have 16 days till we meet. Yeah, I’m pretty scared too.
I’m graduating in May, and I’m kind of looking at this whole next chapter of my life as a new Tinder match. I was just in a 4-year-long relationship with college, and man was it great. Now I have a new relationship to start, and that relationship is with the real (grown-up) world. And I’m completely filled with fear for May 7th, my first date with my new match.
The other day, I found myself in the envelope aisle of Walmart, debating over which envelopes would be the best to mail out job applications in. I was completely flustered and didn’t even know that there was such a huge selection of envelopes. Did I need the ones that made sure someone couldn’t see through it? After all, I was putting personal information on my application. Did I need to get full paper-sized envelopes, so that I didn’t have to fold my resume? How many stamps would I have to put on it then? I was debating asking a store employee for advice when a woman looking to be in her mid 50s turned into the aisle. I must not have been hiding my confusion very well because I received an extended glance from her. Then without much thought, I said “Um, I need guidance (pause) from an older adult on these envelopes.”
After I had checked out with a few different types of envelopes, I thought “Am I going to be that older adult soon? Am I even grown up? What if in May of 2017 a college student asks ME for envelope advice?”
This day was when it set in that I was graduating and society now expects me to have my life in order, a salary job and have good credit to buy a house. Who even has credit at 22? I feel like I have just gotten started on planning what I want to do ‘when I grow up’ but now I am feeling that I will have to be that grown up in 16 days when I walk across the graduation stage.
That was about two weeks ago, since then I have applied to 19 teaching jobs. I know what I want to do, be a elementary teacher, but the wheres, whens and hows of it all are just starting to form.
I feel that it is extremely rare for anyone graduating on May 7th to have their lives completely in order. To those who do, great job! You might know which grad school you are going to be starting at in August, or you might have gotten a job at the place you did an internship with. Also a great job! But for everyone who feels a little empty because they didn’t have to meet with their advisor to schedule for next semester and who hasn’t heard back from any jobs, you also deserve a pat on the back. Just because you might not have your whole life figured out on May 7, 2016 doesn’t mean you didn’t just spend four years working hard in college! We did it, Class of 2016!