Life after college: there is one?

Chris Slattery

If you haven’t read any of my columns in the past few months or talked to me recently (consider yourself lucky), I’m supposed to graduate in about a month. My parents are very proud, my friends are already toasting to getting me out of here and I feel a personal sense of accomplishment.

I mean, holy cow, I’m graduating from COLLEGE! According to the Education Connection commercials, that means I’ll earn a higher salary! So why isn’t that enough for people? It seems as though every person has to ask, “So what are you doing after you graduate?”

Are you kidding me? You’re saying after all of this, I have to do something else?!

I don’t know. I really don’t, and from the sound of it, no one else does either. Unless you’re planning on going to grad school or have one of those “yeah, I sent in applications to potential employers months ago” personalities, graduation simply means that you have no more homework. And, if you’re like me — a person with two student jobs — no more employment.

To a certain degree (pun…), I kind of understand the question of what I’m doing. People are naturally inquisitive and graduating is a huge milestone in a person’s life (which is why important events aren’t called inchstones). But at the same time, I have to ask, “Honestly, what do you care? Are you expecting some interesting job prospect as a response? Because I totally got that assistant editor position at Rolling Stone.”

Not really, though, because I am greatly underqualified.

“I don’t know” doesn’t seem to satisfy anyone though. Yeah, I wish I had this all figured out by now, but is it really the worst thing in the world that I don’t have employment straight out of university? I would have gone with war or famine as the “worst thing,” but what do I know, right? I don’t even have a job.

Jeez, maybe I don’t even know what exactly I want to do. However, the answer is “No, not a novel” because that amount of dedication freaks me out, and “No, not journalism” because interviewing people gives me the willies.

That fact is also hard for people to swallow: I’m pretty much directionless after graduation. It seems a bit trite, like I’ve walked into some low-budget 20-something film that’s popular in Facebook statuses for years to come, but I don’t see what’s wrong with finding my footing after college ends. Really, school is all I’ve know for my conscious life, and — call me selfish — I’m not sure how much I want to jump into a “career” immediately. If you knew me in gym class, you’d know that jumping is not one of my skills. And, knowing me now, a career probably wouldn’t be one either. Self-deprecation, however, is like a second major to me.

I’ll look towards the future with a lazy eye (I could phrase that better, but won’t), and until then, I’ll be happy with one achievement. That’s all the Education Connection commercials wanted from me, anyway.

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