I don’t know how to start this.
I also don’t know how this will end.
But I do know this:
I am really confused, and I’m going to try to write about why.
Next Wednesday I turn 22 years old, and for the first time in my entire life, I’m not overly excited for my birthday.
I’m in a post-grad funk.
I know people say that the older you get, the less fun it is to turn another year older… “Another year closer to death”. But, I’m not THAT dramatic…I’m still young, still fit, still able, and still new- to this whole being a “real-adult-person” thing.
I’ve recently graduated University, interned abroad in Europe this summer, am currently applying to a bunch of cool jobs, and I’ve got my whole life ahead of me.
And I should be excited right?
Everyone keeps telling me that I’m in the perfect position to do anything in the world that I want to do…
However, not having a job right now has been tough on me. Not having any money has been hard on me. Living back in my mother’s house, even if it is rent free, has been hard for me. Not knowing what the hell I’m doing with my life has been hard for me.
I’ve been out of school for four months, and I already feel like I’m failing.
I miss being at University. I miss knowing I have class from 2-5pm then another from 6-8pm today. I miss learning. I miss knowing what I have in MY fridge, because I bought it. I miss renting a room in a house that I pay for. I miss living with my friends. I miss feeling like there was a plan. I miss everything about it.
I am completely aware of my privilege, and the fact that this may all come off spoiled… (and please believe me when I say that I know how blessed and fortunate I am)… But being a millennial, who really does have a lot of passion and drive/but is currently at a complete loss in terms of her life’s direction, is honestly very painful.
It’s been hard to describe to my friends and family, but I’ve worked my ass off for four years to graduate on time and with honours… I’ve even taken internships, was the President of my University’s chapter of an online magazine, I’ve headed fundraisers, I’ve volunteered, I’ve won awards… and yet in the one month that I’ve been job hunting in my field, this all, so far, has not been enough… And I’m scared of not having control over my future.
The craziest thing is, that I’ve only been applying for jobs for ONE MONTH, and I already feel defeated… which is kind of embarrassing.
Throughout my entire life, I have always kind of gotten what I wanted in terms of jobs and education. So, to face the reality of just how hard this next step in my life may be… has been a huge wake up call… which feels more like a punch to the stomach, nose, and cheek.
My parents have told me to just take any job, even if it’s not in my field, “Just until you find something else”. But, in keeping honest, I’m finding it so hard to bring myself to “settle” for just anything.
I know that to many people, money is money (no matter what job), but I’m scared that if I take a job I’m not passionate about, I am wasting my talent, and also wasting the time of that company…
I’d like to think that I could find the silver lining in any job position, at any company… but I’m scared to let myself down, to not live up to my potential, to accept less than I deserve… I want so badly to actually use the skills I love and have worked so hard to build, and do something I’m proud of.
But I’m being a bit crazy…
After all the mental health battles I’ve faced, loving my career, the thing I’ll be doing every single day, is very important thing to me… and because of that, I have VERY high expectations for my first “real” job.
In high school I got straight A’s, was Student Council President, volunteered like crazy, and won almost every award at graduation… and then in University, that over-achiever attitude just continued on.
I’ve always put so much pressure on myself to just succeed and do things right – the first time. Even throughout my scary battle with Depression, I still tried to be perfect – the perfect advocate for wellness, who rose above, and handled it.
It’s then no surprise, that not getting the first job I interviewed for post-grad, felt kind of earth shattering… I had thought I killed it, but I wasn’t enough, and that was hard to swallow.
All this stress of needing to succeed right away has pushed me into a not so great place lately… but I don’t want to feel like this. I want to feel inspired, confident, and driven again, but on my own terms, and not because I think I have to. I think I finally do need to take the advice of my mentors and parents and just get out there, and find something new, even if it’s not in my field, to fill my time, and boost my resume, even more. Maybe retail or restaurant experience will end up paying off…
All I do know is, I want to stop waiting for some perfect job to just fall in my lap, and I want to stop criticizing myself for hours when a job prospect doesn’t turn out.
Because at 22, I don’t want to be this stressed about establishing my perfect future ASAP.
At 22, I don’t have to just settle into a job that I dislike forever… I can always build more skills, I can always keep applying elsewhere.
So, my 22nd Birthday gift to myself is that I’m telling you, (ok, technically I’m telling me), to chill the f out.
What’s meant to be will be, you’re doing just fine.
Ps. If you’re reading this, please hire me.