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What They Don't Tell You About Post Grad Life

It's almost been a year since I graduated college, but it's really only been about six months since I moved home. I spent the technical first five months of post-grad life (and what would have been my final semester of college) working at my same two jobs and just enjoying my first moment of time without school since I was a small child. Then, I moved home, ready to enjoy my old summer job and just finally relax and spend time with family while also prepping my resume and cover letter writing skills and all those good things that come along with graduating and wanting to move to a new city and get right into work. 

It sounds silly because really, who wouldn't want free time? I don't know what to do with insane amounts of free time. I start to go a little stir crazy. I need projects and deadlines and something to do to keep me busy for a solid chunk of the day, something to give me purpose. 

It's not that I thought the process would be easy. I know there are jobs, but there are also a lot of people looking for jobs and specific qualifications and that places like to hire internally and that sometimes it's not what you know, but who you know. I know the importance of experience and good interviews and follow-up e-mails and thank you notes and all that jazz.

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Despite knowing this, every day that I'm "unemployed" feels like this tiny little defeat. It starts to make you question literally every decision you've ever made in your entire life. Did I choose the right college? The right major? Did I write enough in my time at school? Why did I focus so much on this and not this? Should I be applying to just retail? Am I even qualified? Do I even really want to move? What am I even good at? Why am I even trying? 

But what I also know is that a ton of people are going through the same exact struggle, and yet it still feels like it's a singular issue, one only unique to you. I feel like there's so much focus on doing something immediately after post grad that it seems absurd that someone doesn't have a job lined up right away. And because of this weird societal pressure, those soul-crushing moments pile up and make you feel guilty for not knowing what you want to do or where you're going to be next month or knowing anything besides maybe what you might be having for dinner tonight (takeout, probably).

Who wants to talk about their struggle though? It's not glamorous. It's frustrating and feels embarrassing even if it's the slightest thing from it. Truth be told, not knowing kind of sucks, but not knowing is also completely normal, even if it's not outwardly boasted as the normal. I mean, hell, I barely talk about this stuff to people that aren't close friends. I'm sure there are friends that I haven't even mentioned this to out of my own frustration. I'm a planner and these six months at home weren't planned. 

I don't want to complain though, at all. Because I got to spend time with family, the most important thing in my life, besides my dogs. I got the freedom to make my own money and build up the beginnings of a savings (that I will, no doubt, drain when my moment to move finally comes). I was able to travel back and forth to New York City for weeks at a time, spend some time in LA visiting old friends, and got to spend to spend November, arguably the hardest month for my family, surrounded by a great support system. Would I have gotten that had I followed my initial "plan?" Absolutely not. 

Sometimes things don't work out in the way you wanted them. You might not get those jobs you interviewed for. Sometimes three months turns into over six months. You might be thrust into adulthood immediately, or perhaps it's a slower process. 

No two paths are similar and things just take time. I had a friend who had said this when I mentioned how frustrating this entire process was: "This post-grad struggle is literally not discussed enough in modern media it is painful, but it ends eventually I promise!"

So this is me, being candid about the post-grad struggle. Every day is a new day to try to make something happen. It's not going to stop me from trying. It's just going to make me cry a little more along the way, probably. And maybe spend a little too much money on Starbucks and Tim Hortons to help me along the way. But to all of my fellow post-grad strugglers, I gotchu pals. Our time will come!

Cardigan: W by Worth
Sweater: Target (similar)
Jeans: Paige
Boots: Stuart Weitzman (similar)
Sunglasses: Prada (same, but without the browbar)

P.S. Y'all, I cannot remember the last time I wore skinny jeans. And damn, those things are tight. How were these all that I used to wear? Paige jeans are comfy as hell, but oooh, did I feel like a sausage. A furry sausage, the kind that you would find on the floor at a diner. That was a gross mental image, I'm sorry you had to read that.



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