You are showered in praise, gifts, and affection on that sunny, mid-spring day. You revel in the fact that all the long hours of studying are over and you will never see a final exam again. You thank your favorite professors for positively shaping your life and silently curse at the ones who almost failed you. You cry and celebrate that college is finally over. You ride out the euphoric high and sleep in your graduation cap.
About one month later, after the commotion settles, you begin having spurts of anxiety. Words bubble up into your mind: jobs, loans, bills. But you toss them aside because it’s time to celebrate four years of hard work! But another few months pass and summer quickly comes to a close. The service light of your savings account starts flashing red. That pile of bills on the kitchen table has doubled since you last looked. Anxiety grows and you soon realize you can’t avoid responsibility for much longer.
After graduating, it is easy to use your new degree as a crutch.
Recent grads are supposed to be lost with no direction. It’s normal.
It is also very easy to ignore your unemployment and diminishing funds. Nonetheless, there comes a time when the novelty of graduating wears off and reality sinks in. Your resumé is not updated, your suit no longer fits, and you don’t have any idea how job applications work. The curtain is finally raised on your post-graduate life.
Stressful interviews, rejection letters, ramen noodles, and late rent payments are all part of this nuevo adult life.There is so much pressure in today’s society to become “successful” that quarter-life crises are occurring earlier and earlier. The transition from academia to career is a breeding ground for angst and confusion. It is terrifying, uncertain, and thrilling all at once. These feelings are normal. I repeat: feeling uneasy, nervous, and frustrated by your own life is completely normal.
From the outside, it might seem like other people have their entire life figured out and you’re the abnormal one. But I can promise you that everyone has some facet of their life that has room for growth. You will always feel a longing for something different or something new. That is okay. This drive for improvement is what makes us learn, grow, and thrive as individuals. Do not let your uncertainty become a weakness. Let it motivate you. You do not need to have everything figured out. You do not need a five-year plan written in stone.
All you need is to. . .
Know your own personal values. Stick to your morals.
Be kind to everyone. Try new things. Stay positive. Set the bar high.
Figure out what makes you happy and do it.
Try not to get discouraged by the changes occurring in your life. Take life day by day and make each day special. Sometimes you have to embrace the chaos in order to gain control in your life. Enjoy the ride.
Oftentimes, your actions and words do not align.
Your actions roll out like a 35mm film, sputtering a black and white romance. You are the perfect protagonist to a story of amour. However, these glamorous scenes are silent for the viewers and when words are added, your grand facade begins to fade. Your sweet affections are coupled with doubting discourse. You admit your uncertainty about me. Five of the worst words:
I don’t want anything serious.
It is incredibly hard not to take your apprehension personally.
Is it my fault? You want casual and simple. But I am neither of those.
Did I lead you to believe I could be? My past wounds allow me to be blasé and bury all emotional tendencies. I can come across easy and freelance if that is what you want. But the truth will eventually come to the surface. I will start to tire of the superficiality, the lack of communication.
I am waiting for you to decide. What do you from me? I fear you will say nothing. Nothing serious. All this anticipation leaves me paralyzed. My feelings for you prevent me from moving on. But moving forward with you is still a pending option. This game that we are playing is neither fair, nor reasonable. I can handle the rejection, if that is what you fear. I am not some fragile soul that needs your validation to be happy. I simply know what I want and it is you. But not if it means having to wait. I know that your doubt stems from something personal and is not necessarily a reflection of me. But I will not, can not, stand to wait on you.
If this whole time you knew your own restrictions and incapabilities, than why let it get this far? You should have stopped me earlier on, instead of leading me to believe you wanted commitment. I know it is easy to get swept away. I know it is easy to avoid important conversations. But while we were living in this alternate universe, you were lying to both me and yourself. We could have avoided this mess had you just communicated.
So now, I propose, let us end this while I still have my strength and you your sanity. I know you will say “maybe in the future”, but I will not put my life on hold for you. I am taking the reins and crafting my own future. A future full of certitude. Full of people who value me and actively choose to stick around. I will commit to myself and let that drive me. However, I am positive you will find someone worth the risk of commitment. Be honest, be kind, have faith.