I graduated from college a little bit over a year ago and I thought it was this great thing that would lead to success! Make that money, have a gazillion opportunities, and more.
“All you need to do is graduate with your BA Marti, everything will be fine!” -Me to me.
Boy, was I wrong. I mean sure, it has its benefits: I can apply to jobs that require a BA, I can make more money (a whopping $3 more on average), and it’s earned a tiny bit of respect from my grandpa… who doesn’t acknowledge much. BUT all of the noise about going to college, getting your career started, and working a 9-5 job Monday-Friday is just not what I’m interested in.
For my particular degree, psychology, my options are also pretty limited. Throughout college I was into sports and basically just glided through class earning average grades with no particular direction. This also allowed me to dismiss all opportunity for internships, which I later found out are extremely important for when you graduate with psychology. Why? Let me tell you, everything requires experience… I kid you not I spent hours on end looking for jobs, applying to the ones that maybe would let me learn on the job, and never once received a phone call back. It could be due to a terrible resume as well, but in the end I just didn’t feel interested.
I was trying for these specific jobs, with little to no actual interest in them because I had just spend four years studying psych, of course I needed to work in that field. And if I don’t, then what a waste of time… and right here ladies and gentlemen was and still sometimes is my dilemma. Nobody wants to feel like they wasted their time, I sure as hell don’t. I struggled with this hard the first six months after graduating. I would even say I dabbled with a little bit of depression, feeling like I no longer had direction or purpose. I just completed 16 years of school, and all 16 years I had purpose, “go to school”. But, what a lot of people don’t tell you is when this direction is gone, the school life, and you don’t have all your shit together right after, it really sucks.
What really upsets me though is how we are all funneled into this path. And, it all starts from when we are children, always having in the back of our minds that we need to find out what we want to do with our lives. How do we find out? Through school! So, lucky for me, I was in the funnel and I went from high school straight to college. Thinking at 18 I had an idea of what I wanted to study for the next four years and that it would ultimately lead to my great future.
Here I am on the other side, 1 year post graduation, and have been on and off struggling with the fact that I “wasted” my time. I think it’s about perspective though… yes, I am mad I rushed into college, yes, I don’t particularly see myself doing anything with my degree, BUT I have learned so much. For one, I learned I don’t want to be a psychologist, I know I don’t want to work an office job, and I know when I have kids I want them to take their time and not be funneled if they don’t want to be funneled. And for some, I know it’s a good path, particularly for those who know they want a career that requires education. That’s just not the case for me. The waves of sadness are almost completely gone, thanks to a change in perspective and appreciation for the positives, but the struggle to find out what I want to do is still there.
Overall, college has taken me the long route to learn that school isn’t for me. Luckily I’m figuring that out now, before any graduate school and all the money that goes along with that (don’t get me started). And I know I’m not the only one struggling withe this. What’s helped me most is trying to see the positives, and knowing that there is still so much time to learn and find out what I can do. So, for now I will blog, make bomb vegan food, read, travel, and who knows what else. Hopefully I can find something that I am passionate about on the way because a piece of paper ultimately won’t.