Five years ago I was graduating college without a job, or an internship, or any real idea of what to do with my life. It was 2009, pretty much the worst time economically to get a potentially useless degree. In my defense, I had never wanted to go to school. It was either go to college or stay home and find a job nearby.
Lots of things happened my senior year. I got caught up with my friends, making bad decisions about boys and ignoring the fact that I’d soon be in the real world, far away from my familiar college life. I blew off the GRE and grad school, settling on an internship in England. That, of course, fell through before school ended, leaving me with even fewer options than before.
I remember sitting through my graduation, thinking about how fun the weekend had been, and how excited I was for my graduation party. I wasn’t thinking about finding a career, or even a job to get me through the summer. I wasn’t really thinking at all.
I made too many mistakes right after college. I couldn’t find a job, and ended up spending most of my graduation money trying to figure out what to do next. I Finally found a job in September, not exactly one I wanted, but it was the first offer I had so I took it. That job took me out of my parents house and into Indianapolis, which was my first real experience on my own. It was horrible and terrifying. I cried my first night in my own apartment, regretting the move already.
As scary as it was, my independence was just starting to form in that old apartment building. I had forgotten what I loved, and what I had always wanted to do with my life. I spent a couple years working, moving out of the stressful city into a smaller one. I slowly got back into writing. I worked on a few short stories while my novel floated around in my head.
It wasn’t until last year, about this time actually, when I decided that my writing had to stop sitting on the back burner. I started this blog, and my Twitter to force myself to keep writing, even when I wanted to just be lazy. So far, it’s been great. I’ve encountered so many other writers which encourages me to keep going. I finally feel good again, for the first time in a long time.
I was thinking about my own college experience after hearing the struggles of the recent graduates. It reminded me how my class was the start of the economic decline, and how my parents still can’t understand how being a 23 year old in 2009 was very different from being one in the 1970s.
I know I should have made better decisions in college. I should have gotten an internship my sophomore year, or traveled abroad, or gone to grad school sooner. But I didn’t. I screwed around, probably putting myself behind, but I’m ok with it now. Mostly. Right now I feel good about what I’m doing. I’m getting more writing done, writing that I actually can feel proud of. I have a steady job, even if it’s one that my parents don’t like.
So, I’m thinking that it’s ok that things didn’t turn out as they usually do for a college graduate. I think things are going to be ok from here on out.
Hope everyone is enjoying this beautiful weather! Summer is almost here!