Ugh. Look how HAPPY I look - thinking graduation was the end to all my worries, the beginning of the next chapter in the book titled: 'Taylor's Life'. Okay, I'm being a little dramatic here. I will admit, though, this post is hard for me to write. A part of it is because I've been hit with post-grad blues the past week, and also I've been in moderate denial about it for a good majority of the summer. It also doesn't help that while I'm seeing everyone go back to school this week, I'm grappling with the fact that I am not.
So here's the thing. Monmouth University was an amazing school. I made some of the best friends I've ever had there, experienced the most unreal memories, and developed an affection for an institution I truly did not know could exist. The tough thing though: I was only at Monmouth for two years. I transferred after getting my Associate's at our local community college, so what little time I had at Monmouth f l e w .
My dad always told me at a very young age, "The older you get, the faster time flies". I always thought that was kind of silly, but I think we all are really starting to realize how true this saying is. I mean, I am still in disbelief that I'm not going back to school. After EIGHTEEN years of education, this fall I'm.... not sure... what I... am... doing - and it is so much more anxiety-provoking than I anticipated. As much as we complained about school, especially college, it was still our little bubble from the real world (but still gave us the chance to practice our autonomy). Now, that's gone. And it puts a pit in my stomach.
I know a lot of people experience the, "You don't know what you had until it's gone" once they leave college. That's not exactly the case for me. I was fully aware of what I had. It was just hard to enjoy with a lot of the stuff I was dealing with at school. When you're busy, time goes by super quickly, and that's precisely what happened. I emerged myself into my studies, my social life, and my extracurriculars, and the next thing I knew, I was walking up to shake President Brown's hand and receiving my diploma. It was exciting, and it was sad. My friends knew what it meant, but I think we were all truthfully more relieved to be graduating, than to worry or care about what that really entailed.
So, here I am now, the end of August - boring you with my sappy nostolgia. And also jobless. Okay, I'm not giving myself enough credit here. I'm working two jobs, however, I am salaryless. (Yes, I just made up a word.) The absolute hardest part of being a graduate is constantly being reminded so by every single person you encounter. "What's the next step?" "How's the job search going?" "What are you looking to do?" "Any word back from the places you applied?" Honestly, even typing these questions is making me feel anxious. As if it wasn't hard enough to find your ground again, you have everyone around you bringing it up every time you try and think about something else. I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy!
All this aside, I know I'm going to be successful. I've gotten this far, and that's saying a lot. It's just hard when your future is so uncertain. I don't have the structure that school used to provide, and that's tough for me. I like routine, I like composure. Now, it feels like that is all gone. However, I am aware that this is a also a very important self-discovery period of my life. I now don't have to define myself by my major or my school - I can truly show people what I want them to see. I also am aware that you don't have to have the same job for the rest of your life. I feel like my generation is so plagued by this extremely untrue belief, and I just want to tell you all - you can be so many different people in one lifetime!
A part of me is also calmed by the fact that I have not been trying that hard. So, it's not like I've been getting my fullest attempts rejected. In your head, you're probably saying, "Why on Earth is this calming to you?! Why wouldn't you be trying?" When I graduated Monmouth, I needed a break. If you read my 'Finding Strength Through Suffering' post, you will get a good idea as to why this time for myself was so crucial... especially after the essential hell I had put myself through this past year. I haven't become a bum, I haven't let myself go. I've just been putting the job search on pause so I can enjoy the last true summer of freedom I have. It's also so tedious to search for jobs, which is an essentially full-time job, while you're working two other jobs!
That being said, I am cracking down on the job search come September. I will be working only once or twice a day at the salon I reception at and working at my aunt's law firm here and there. This gives me so much more free time to put toward career-searching. Until I know that I've tried my hardest, I won't be okay with where I am at. I also have my impending loans that dispurse in November as a reminder to GET. A. JOB., so it's not like it isn't in the back of my mind. As frightened as I am about the unknown, I do have faith that my education, experience, and personality will get me to where I want and need to be. Like all things in life, I just need to give it some time. If you're in the same boat as I am, you're going to be okay, too. Don't worry.