Pomp and Circumstance

Hello, dear readers. I’m going to get serious with you for a minute, okay? I know this post will stand in stark contrast to my last post where I showed you pictures of my new outfits. Hope that’s okay. At this time last year I was graduating from college, and I’m feeling a little emotional. In some ways it literally feels like my graduation was last weekend, and in other ways it feels like it happened decades ago.

So much has happened since graduation: I got a full-time job, got my own apartment, moved in with my boyfriend, got a new car, started this website, starting writing for other great websites (Love Twenty and College Crush) and now pay my own my bills. My friends and I went from seeing each other every day to seeing each other every few months. Life has changed a lot in a year. It feels so good to be independent. I can take care of myself. I am confident enough to make my own decisions. I have a much better understanding of how things work than I did at this time last year. At the same time, sometimes I stop and think “Wait…what am I doing? What do I do next?”

When I was graduating high school, I just assumed that by the time you graduated college you had everything figured out. Turns out that when you graduate college you probably have everything less figured out than ever before. And I think that’s okay. In fact, it’s probably good.

Throughout high school I was absolutely sure I wanted to have my own TV show. I may have changed my mind about everything else but I knew that was my ultimate goal. When I got to college I either wanted to have a TV show or to be an entertainment reporter. But I was positive I wanted to be on TV. Now I’m a year out of college and I either want to be on TV or just be Bethenny Frankel. These are all achievable goals, right? So why do people smile when I mention what I’d like to do with my life? Haters. The point I’m trying to make is that your life is not set in stone or sealed in an envelope after you collect your diploma. It actually becomes more unsettled. I wasn’t expecting this, and it’s taking me a while to accept this fact.

I just had a long conversation with one of my best friends about the gritty details of post-college life. We both agreed that the first year (and probably the first few years) after college come with a lot of instability and transition, and that can be hard. In the movies and books, you graduate college and jump right into real life and everything is peachy. Well in case you haven’t noticed, books and movies lie. A lot. The other thing that lies is Facebook. It may seem like these people on your newsfeed have their lives together and are having a grand ole time. I think that, in actuality, everyone is struggling with something after graduating. Maybe they don’t have a real job (or any job), or they live far from family. Maybe they don’t have friends in their city, or they’re looking for love. Basically, no one’s life is perfect and no one’s life is completely settled.

From the time we are born to the time we graduate college, our lives are mapped out for us. You go to elementary school then middle school then high school then college. This is the first time in our lives that we don’t have anyone saying, “Okay. Now do this.” This probably explains why it can be confusing. And also pretty kick-ass.

This is a long, insane, rant but what I’m getting at is this: it’s normal to be unsettled right now. It’s normal to not know what you want to do next year, next month, next week. If you think everyone else knows what they are doing, you’re WRONG. Facebook lies. Twitter lies. Books and movies about post-college life lie. I talk to too many people who feel like he/she is the only one who has no idea what he/she wants to do in terms of a career, or who has no idea how to find a good boyfriend/girlfriend, or who is not making any money and still relying on parents. I just want someone to embrace our entire generation in a warm hug and tell us “IT’S OKAY!” because it is. We deal with so much pressure on a daily basis, we need to give ourselves a break. So, give yourself a break. And if you DO have all those aspects of your life together then I hate you.

Hope this helped. That is the speech I would give if I were selected to be a commencement speaker at a university or college. I would also request one of those funny hats and robes that professors wear at commencement (pictured below), and I would need lots of pyro. It would be pretty awesome.

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