I graduated college two years ago, and as part of FTS’s post-grad series, I’m going to tell you about some of the things I’ve accomplished in those two years.
When I sat down to write this, I felt pathetic. And here’s why: I’m twenty-four years old, I don’t have a “real job,” I still live at home with my parents, I sleep in bunk beds that I share with my little sister when she’s home from college, and I just finished my M.A. degree. One of these things is not like the others…
But then I got to thinking, and I realized that while I may still be mooching off of the parentals and avoiding what I call the “proverbial real world,” I’ve done a lot of important and life-changing things in those two years.
Most importantly, I’ve finished my Master’s degree in English. They were two grueling years of hard work, dedication, blood, sweat, and tears, but I made it. And I finished with my first 4.0 semester ever, graduating with a 3.9. I’d say that’s a pretty great accomplishment. I wrote a 50-page thesis that took me an entire year. During those two years, I jumped around on deciding a career path: publishing, editor, teaching, copywriting, starving artist. They were all possibilities. As of a few weeks ago, I’ve finally decided that teaching (on the college level) is where I belong. I’ll be teaching a composition class in the fall at community college. (Okay, so I have a real job lined up, but I still don’t have it).
Second most important thing? I traveled abroad for the first time in my life over NYE this past year. My European excursion changed my life. I was totally outside of my comfort zone (also known as the hobbit hole I call my bedroom) and had to really be myself and meet new people and find my way around. I fell in love with new cities and made life-long friends. I learned more about myself in those eleven days than I have in my twenty-four years of life.
I got a new (albeit temporary) job for the first time. This job (working as a writing tutor at my school) showed me that I do have a talent and passion for education, that I am happiest when I see students with whom I’ve worked make improvements. I also met new people and made new friends there, and I had to learn to be a professional. This experience literally led me to my teaching job for the fall.
The day I graduated from college, I decided to overhaul my life and get healthy: no more binge drinking, no more mindless snacking, no more laziness. I joined a gym, learned how to eat healthy, and always offered to be DD so I wouldn’t drink. I lost 25 pounds in six months, hit a plateau, hired a personal trainer, lost about 10 more pounds. Since my year contract with training has run out, I’ve struggled with getting to the gym, but I’m getting back into it. I still don’t particularly like eating healthy and exercising, but I feel so much better when I do.
Even though I haven’t actually become a real adult yet, I must say that these two years have really let me become a person. I created the person I want and need to be for the future. It’s hard when I see friends with their “real jobs” and apartments and relationships and engagements and what have you, but I know that I needed to take this journey. I needed to become who I am today, and I couldn’t have done any of the above if I had jumped right into adulting. So if you’re graduating this year and don’t have it all figured out, don’t sweat it. Everything will work itself out eventually. I know those are hard words to swallow, but believe me, it will ha