Friday, September 10, 2010

notes on a post graduate, one year later.

Considering it is now September, many familiar feelings seem to seep back in when the blistering heat of a DC summer finally starts to fade: A sense of relief that you no longer feel like your body is entirely suffocating, simply from having skin. An urgency to cram as many last-minute barbeques and blithe summery activities into each of your weekends before they are smothered out by mean Father Winter. A dominant inclination to wear earth tones. A pressing desire to consume harvesty food and drink. A resolute quest for coziness.

As the school year starts up again, and old memories of shopping for college essentials (and probably a multicolored octopus-armed lamp for your dorm room) start to surface, many of us are abruptly shaken out of these reflections only to realize that it has now been a full year (and few months) since we ended our happy, somewhat careless, and very drunk stints as co-eds.

Some of us got real jobs, and sold our souls to the professional world right away. Maybe you went to an Ivy League, and got recruited to a top consulting firm that ensured your financial stability and simultaneous crushing of your soul. Maybe one of your parents had a friend that slipped you in the door of a company, where you will constantly be aware you could have never gotten a job there based on your actual qualifications. Or maybe, just maybe, you're one of the rest of us.

We are stragglers, drifters, nomads. We work at spas, gyms, restaurants, bars, and boutiques. We are still the nightlife and the glory of youth, because we are searching for meaning and having fun. And we still live with our parents, who are starting to get pissed, and really sick of us eating their food and chilling on their couch.

The idea of moving home after college until we got settled seemed fine for a time. We didn't have to pay rent and we had the comforts of home and stability of family while we peddled ourselves to the work world. But after we realized LinkedIn was just boring Facebook, or our internships never turned into real jobs, we scoured Craig's List looking for service industry positions and inevitably got them. Why wouldn't we? We have degrees and personalities prepped for success! We have energy and spirit! Work didn't start until 5 pm! And it was fun! We got to work with cool people, just like us, and our money went right into our pockets... for like a second before we whipped it out again at the bar and got hammered on a Tuesday.

Now, as I approach the anniversary of pouring iced tea and not having done anything truly productive in a full year, I have started to form some thoughts and ask myself some big questions, and I will list them here for general consideration:

Questions
  • Why haven't my parents kicked me out yet?
  • Why do I still think it's alright to sleep until 11:30 on a week day?
  • WHY is my bank account empty when I have no real financial obligations other than my student loan payment and going out to eat daily?
  • What is the average time frame for "making something of yourself"? Is that even a real thing?
  • How long can I avoid health insurance before something small becomes really life-threatening?
  • Am I ever going to the dentist again?
  • Will I ever wear a suit to work?
  • Can someone please reboost the job-seeking confidence I had when I graduated?
  • Is blogging a conceivable potential career?

Thoughts and Theories of 2010
  • THE TIPPING STANDARD IS 20%.
  • Restaurant beverage lemons are disgusting, germ-ridden wedges of filth.
  • Please do not let your child talk to me that way.
  • No, I don't know why your food is taking so long. That is why I'm waiting on you and not in the back cooking it, you jackass.
  • When you ask for ranch dressing to drown your food in, I think less of you. Much less.
  • Not paying your parking tickets is a bad, bad, progressively money-losing idea.
  • I should have gone to a less expensive college.
  • Making out with your coworker at happy hour and having to face him/her at work the next day is SO much more awkward than just having to see them across the room in class.

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