My Post-College Experience
There’s probably many articles on this subject. But as a writer, I felt compelled to share my story. So here it is…
It happens in phases. First, it’s a rush of excitement as the last few weeks of your college career come to a close. You are filled not only with a desire to finish, but also a sense of gratitude for all your experiences. You begin to remember all the people who have touched you and helped you become the person you are today.
Then comes the actual day of graduation. It’s here, it’s done. You did it. For the first time, you don’t see individuals; instead, you see a huge mass of eager young adults ready to advance to the next stage of their lives. We are all one collective entity. You realize that all along you were part of one big family. You look into their faces wondering where they might end up. You wonder what their experience looked like.
You then spend some time with your loved one. You’re sitting with your family eating dinner. They’re all excited for you. They tell you that they’re proud of you. But you feel a bit confused by everything. You’re feeling confident, yet have no idea what will happen next — and it scares you deep down. But then your pride begins to surface and you tell yourself that you’ll be fine and have nothing to worry about.
Once the excitement begins to fade, reality begins to settle. I call this the “transition” phase. It’s different for everyone. Some people have jobs already lined up, either through connections or diligently sending applications prior to their graduation. I wasn’t one of those people. I spent my time making playing basketball, going to the bars, and just trying to enjoy my youth. Could you blame me?
When you finally begin to send applications and go on a few interviews, you realize that adulthood is not as glamorous as you had once imagined it to be. Sure, there isn’t a syllabus that you have to read nor do you have to type up a 6 page essay and document your sources (hoping that it’s in correct format). But it’s like somehow all those assignments and projects have now simply taken new form. They are now called “tasks” and “responsibilities” and your livelihood depends on it.
I am now employed full-time with an entry-level position at a company that I have admired for many years. I’m thankful for this opportunity and know that with time I will grow professionally. But I’m also seeing the dark side of the corporate world.
Behind the polite smiles and warm handshakes, this company is another relentless money-pumping machine and it will chew you up and spit you right out if you don’t contribute to it’s monetary success. You also begin to notice how people who are in a position of authority abuse their power in subtle and discreet ways. They’ll casually break their own rules once in a while or say one thing and do the opposite. Who holds these people accountable?
Being exposed to the realities of adult society, I realize now that growing up is a tremendous responsibility. All the institutions, organizations, departments, schools, etc., are handled by “adults.” We all depend on the good faith, honesty, and moral dependability of these people.