Ah, post-grad life. The summer (or whatever period of time) after graduating from college is such a weird time. You are thrust into the adult world. You might have an idea of what to expect, but once you’re out in the real world, you realize you couldn’t have anticpiated all of this. Once the joy of never having to do homework again wears off, where are you left?
Our whole lives, a huge part of our identity included being a student. Now, suddenly, that title has been stripped away, and your major doesn’t seem to matter anymore either. Finding a job after graduation can be downright disheartening, and you can’t help but wonder if going to college at all was the best idea.
Being an adult seems like freedom but having freedom taken away at the same time. I want stability but also flexibility and adventure out of a job, which seems difficult to find. There’s a worry of not being able to make enough money to pay my student loan once the monthly payments start in December, but there is also the fear that one day I’ll wake up twenty years later, having worked the same nine to five schedule five days a week, with nothing to show for it and miserable. I want to get to a place where I feel confident in what I do but I also don’t want time to move too fast at the same time.
The most frustrating thing has been realizing how society or whatever has tricked us all into thinking we need certain things. I started getting myself into debt at eighteen before I understood what it meant or what that would mean for the future. We all work eight hours a day, despite not really having to–what are we all doing that takes eight hours a day? There’s a mountain of money out there being guarded by a very small group of people while the rest of us struggle to make money and find some sort of meaning in what we’re doing.
Of course, there is joy in this uncertainty, too. There’s the confidence in becoming more independent and even when it doesn’t feel like it, the world is always open to what you want, as long as you know where to look. It’s a time where we’re not really chained by anything (except our student loan debt, of course!) such as kids, pets or a mortgage. We still have our twenties stretching out in front of us, plenty of time to mold ourselves into the person we’ve always wanted to be.
What I’ve learned in the last few months is that you have to stay true to what you want out of life and take risks here and there. Because the cards already seem stacked against us–most of us won’t be able to retire and forget about social security benefits (lol). We may be facing another recession soon, and buying a house seems nearly impossible. Not like I want to buy a house, I think I rather go buy an RV and live out of it at the moment, but a lot of people out there want a home. And I haven’t even touched on the climate crisis.
It’s a lot. Being an adult can suck, but we have to make the most out of it, and help where we can. We feel uncomfortable in this place because we haven’t been this person yet, and it’ll take time to grow into this part of our lives.