I am currently at that awkward stage graduates know all too well, between finishing college and finding a proper job in my field of study. I still feel like a student who wants to lie in till stupid o clock, binge watch “Pretty Little Liars” all evening and hit up Dicey’s, Coppers and DTwo all in the same week, but at the same time I want to start establishing myself career-wise and begin building my empire. Why did adulthood think it was ok to creep up on me like this? I mean, thanks for the opportunity, but no thanks. I would rather stay in college forever, spending my days strolling nonchalantly around campus eating chicken fillet rolls and downing cheap pints in the Nubar between classes. I always thought I would graduate and walk straight into a job in the legal profession or further my studies at Kings Inn’s but having decided to stay in San Francisco on my J1 for as long as I could (which I don’t regret for a second) I came home in October and felt like I missed the deadlines and was pipped at the post by my peers. Its almost inevitable, looking at your old classmates Facebook pages to see did they manage to snag one of those gold-dust graduate jobs and end up feeling disheartened, chalking yourself up as a deadbeat disappointment for not “making it.” It doesn’t help when Facebook keeps shoving memories of “this time last year” down your throat which for me, includes photos of my best friend and I at Pride in San Francisco having the best craic ever, drinking a bottle of cognac while posing for a picture with some man dressed up as the pope and two police officers. Its hard not to beat yourself up and think wow, what have I actually done in the past year?
It was while I was having one of my weekly rants in work about how its not what I want to be doing and I’m not where I wanted to be at this age blah blah that one of the ladies I work with gave me a sound snippet of advice. “This is just your work, its not your life. It simply enables you to go and live.” And she is absolutely right. So your in that weird “kidulthood” stage before taking the leap and becoming a fully fledged adult, and your working in a job that may not be what you envisioned during your sambuca saturated days at college but thats ok because without the experience your gaining now you probably wouldn’t be able to succeed later in that renowned role anyway. And when is anything worth doing ever easy to achieve? We’ll all appreciate our success much more if we accept that the journey is just as important as achieving the end result.
If I had never worked in retail then I wouldn’t know how to handle the perplexing, persnickety public and I never would have realised that I can somehow tap into this secret pot of patience and perseverance when I need to. I have also developed a good work ethic, I’m reliable and able to work on my own initiative and I know now when I do finally reach my end goal and bag the job of my dreams, I’ll be well able for it because of the experiences I have attained along the way. I still miss being able to walk outside the door of my little apartment and bump into five people I know on my way down to the shop, then end up being dragged to a house party on a rival college’s campus. It feels very alien at first, realising everyone has gone back to live in the counties they’re all from and you cant just conjugate out on the square for a chat but it also allows you to see which friendships are the real deal and who was just along for the ride. Whenever I do get the chance to meet up with my college mates we all act like big fairies anyway and I think we always will, kidult’s adults, whatever. And if we can all survive it anyone can.
By simply googling “life after college” your confronted with pages and pages of results, packed with opinions of people just like us who are trying to navigate this whole “should I eat this entire tub of Ben and Jerrys caramel chew chew for dinner or actually chop up vegetables and cook meat and shit” stage. Its always comforting to know that your not the only one.
And anyway, if you haven’t started from the bottom, then how can you properly appreciate the view at the top? 😉