In a few days I will be walking down the aisle…not that aisle…the one that congratulates me on becoming an official adult not a college adult.
I don’t know whether not to jump up and down with elation, or cry or take on the challenge with a sense of pride and determination…I think they want you to feel a little bit of it all. Right now, I feel a little ambivalent.
Thinking back to high school, I remember walking out onto my school’s huge football field in my royal blue cap and gown throwing my fists in the air with a huge cheesy smile on my face when I managed to see my parents in the sea of people in the bleachers. The local paper caught a shot of this enthusiasm:
…yup. I always thought that a college degree meant instant job and stability. Let me clarify: I do value my college degree and worked hard to graduate Magna Cum Laude. Yet, now after some maturing and experiences, I realize that nothing EVER comes easy. My degree will open a lot of doors, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have to work to get through those doors.
I graduated in December…
I graduated in December after I finished student teaching (and decided not to be a teacher—something I still go back and forth about…but I love writing, that will never go away and so here I am =)).
Going to my graduation ceremony in May after being out of college for three months, almost four is…well, strange. A part of me would have even contemplated not attending the ceremony if it wasn’t for my family. My mom is over the moon about my graduation.
“Hey, what are you doing?”
“Just at school. Picked up my cap and gown and now I’m getting some ice coffee before heading into the city—“
“You got your cap and gown?!”
“…yes…omg, mom. Are you really crying?”
“Yes…I’m so happy…”
“Can you save those tears for that day, please? You know you always make me cry. Jeez, ma. I’m not even there yet…”
That’s my mother. So, you can imagine what she was like when I got home and tried on my cap and gown to make sure that everything fits…
I am the first in my immediate family to graduate from college. My cousin, who is a year older than me, if the first in our family to finish. It’s a pretty big deal, so I can understand the importance of the ceremony.
My question is… what now?
I spent four years of my life moving, working, studying and getting through each semester like a bulldozer with graduation in mind. Now that I’m here and I’ve been applying for jobs without even receiving a letter stating I didn’t get a job, it can be discouraging. I’m practically doing what I did in college, working three part-time jobs and hoping I’ll find something stable eventually.
Then again, I have no room to complain. It has only been three months. I have a friend who worked at a restaurant for three years until finding a full time job. That’s okay. I also know that I’m very fortunate to have a degree and have the job market at my fingertips. What makes it a little more difficult is the fact that I switched careers. I have to build experience and expertise as a writer. That is something I am willing to do! Who said things came easily? After it’s all said and done, I’ll be working my dream job and this will all be a memory of the past.
Still, it is worth the celebration. This will be the last cap and gown I’ll don and the last big celebration…until marriage (but I’m sure I’ll find something to celebrate).
Yes, I worked hard. No, I don’t know where I am going, but who does?
Are you graduating soon? LMK how you’re feeling as you get closer to that day =)