Ah. I remember like yesterday when I heard those words. It was a beautiful spring day in May of 2013. Now I sit in the audience (yet again) as an alumna. I always make it a priority to support the home team. It never fails. Chancellor Martin begins speaking from the podium. He speaks about being proud of the current graduates and encourages them to do great things with their lives. No matter how many Aggie graduations I attend, those words bring tears to my eyes every time. They force me to question, what more can I be doing with my life……….and it saddens me. I instantly reflect back to my graduation day.
That day I pushed myself to try to be as excited as everyone felt that I was supposed to be. But in all honesty, I was
OVER IT. My car was on the fritz yet again. My bank account was a ghost town. And a long time friendship had ended the night before. I was empty. The tassels had been turned and the undergraduate chapter of my life was closed. When I finally got a moment to myself, I cried. I cried. And I cried some more. I would have wished for a happy release but it wasn’t. It was the result of pent up anger and frustration with myself. For some like me, graduation is an “oh shit” moment. Oh shit, land a corporate job. Oh shit, time to get an apartment outside of student housing. Oh shit, what about health insurance. Life beyond graduation. I’ll make no apologies if this blog actually saddens you but it was my reality. Four years later, I’m still figuring it out.
But……what I will say is that I gained a little wisdom along the way that I’m willing to share for those willing to listen……
Life happens. Oftentimes at the worst times. The best thing you can do is try to be as prepared as possible. This is especially important if you’re prone to panic attacks, anxiety and depression. Oh yeah, and you may even come to find out that you actually suffer from one of the three or all three after graduation. Unexpected life events will certainly bring them to the surface if so.
Webbie told us that we should be I-N-D-E-P-E-N-D-E-N-T. Life will remind us otherwise. It is perfectly ok to ask for help. The worst thing we do as independent folk is struggle and suffer when we have willing and able support systems at our fingertips.
If I had a dollar for every time someone compared where I am in life to someone else they know, I’d have those student loans paid off by now. Seriously. Friends. Family. Cut the shit. We are aware. Comparison is the thief of joy. I was having a perfectly fine day until you reminded me that your homegirl’s daughter got ten offers from Fortune 500 companies as a freshman in college. Kudos to her. I’m not bitter folks, just rather annoyed. I’m already struggling to believe that I’m right where I’m supposed to be right now. You’re not helping.
The toughest part about post graduation for me was growing up and out of people, places and things. Southern Comfort turned into Amaretto Sours. Amaretto Sours have turned into Moscato D’Asti from Walmart. Club lines turned into bar hopping, barcades and karaoke with friends. Whack right? Hey, you may even become more “boring” and start a blog. Unfortunately all of your undergrad “day ones” don’t grow in the same direction as you. Either you will find a common ground or you’ll drift apart.
Alumni…..did I miss anything? Feel free to chime in.