It Doesn’t Get Better: Life After Graduation

Hey kids. Congrats on making it through about 17 years of school. Now you’re being released into the real world. How does it feel? Awesome, yet awful at the same time. For most, you’re probably not going to ever have to write another paper or take another test ever again in your life. Now it’s time to figure out what you’re going to do with that degree, where you’re going to use it, and who’s going to be there when you figure all that out.

I remember I once had a co-worker who was 30-something when I was a Senior in college. She was having a discussion with our boss about her 20s, and she said something like, ‘Oh I would never want to live through my 20s again. My 30s are much better. I didn’t know what the hell I was doing back then. It was horrible.’

22-year-old Traci thought she was being ridiculous. 27-year-old Traci thinks she’s absolutely correct.

Sorry to rain on your graduation parade, but I’m just going to give you a heads up on what to prepare yourself for in the near future.

Your first job out of college probs won’t be the start of your career

Listen, in this economy (insert gag sound for using that annoying phrase) you’re just lucky if you can get hired. While it’s not liked there aren’t any jobs available, it’s just that more people are applying for the same jobs and it’s just that more difficult to stand out from a plethora of applicants.

I had to work retail for a few years before getting the job I have now. It was half not hearing back from the places I applied to and half me not knowing what I wanted to do with my life. I say, if you have a job that pays you money, but you’re still working towards your ultimate dream job, then it’s all good, homie.

Don’t be afraid to take chances

Not knowing what you’re doing in the future, or even in the next year can be scary. But you’re young. This is the right time to be an adult and be decisive. If a life changing opportunity comes up and you’re afraid to take it – don’t be. Now is a better time than any for trial and error.

In 2009, two of my best friends told me they were taking a road trip to LA and moving out west. I was in this place of ‘what do I really want to do career wise’ – and the only answer I could come up with was something entertainment related. I didn’t have the same resources in Boston so LA was the only logical choice. I went into it with a ‘fuck it who cares if I fail at least I tried attitude’. 3 months later, we hopped in a car and drove cross country and I haven’t looked back ever since.

Dorm life is over

Pack it up kids. Maybe one of the most heart wrenching things about graduating is that you won’t be able to see your BFFs every day like you’re used to. No more dining hall run ins, no more late night visits to the convenience store. Your clique as a whole will never be the same. There will be at least one person who moves away, or in some cases, everyone disperses back from whence they came. You’re never going to all live in the same place again ( of course I’m generalizing here, idk what your college life is life, but I’m gonna go ahead and make an ass out of you and me and say your friends are leaving you). It’s somehow different from high school, relationships and friendships have different dynamics when you’re in college, but it’s always up to you to make an effort to stay in touch. Good luck with that.

You’re going to fuck up

It’s inevitable. But get over it, learn from your mistake, don’t do it again and go on with your life. As the years go on, you also learn that there’s no time to waste on feeling sorry for yourself so point your energy to something more productive.

Be grateful

Okay, so life is confusing and overwhelming and annoying and you just want it all figured out already. But don’t get jaded. Think about what you can be thankful for. The fact that you’re even reading this blog post means you’re doing something right in your life. I know this post was originally intended to be cynical and depressing, but guess what, just like life, there’s always a silver lining. You just need to get through all the murky shit to see it.


One thought on “It Doesn’t Get Better: Life After Graduation

  1. THIS IS SO ACCURATE. I’m definitely still struggling to adjust two years later! I’m also mildly (or insanely) jealous that you had friends to make the journey to LA with! I’m definitely moving there soon (probably in the fall, unless I get some crazy amazing opportunity here in NY), and it’s totally possible that I’ll be jumping into this alone. So great that you had people who could take the leap with you!


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