10 Things I Wish I’d Realized Before I Graduated

7 Jul

A friend recently equated my blog to “ranting about things.” This, I feel, probably rings true when it comes to parts of some of my posts. Admittedly, I find a unique and deep pleasure in making fun of what I view as the hipster generation’s (or boomerang generation, or recession grads, etc. – myself included!) myriad of ubiquitous and ridiculous obsessions, convictions, and trends.

But I can’t help but feel a little tinge of frustration at the thought of his remark. I feel like cultural writing, along with the whole slew of other types of writing I’ve posted on this blog, merits a little more acknowledgment than ‘my ranting.’ His comment only reinforced a lesson I’m still (miraculously) learning over and over and over again: there will always be criticism.

Admittedly, being in your mid-twenties is not a super glamorous time. The life stage seems to be rife with hurdles and curve balls and any other sort of sports analogies you can muster. I had a lot of preconceived notions about what it would be like to graduate and begin the next stage of my adult life. All of these expectations were challenged, of course.

In the spirit of saving anyone who hasn’t yet graduated a lot of heartache (and providing a forum for the commiseration of the rest of us—we still have each other, man!), I’ve compiled a list of the things that my counselor actually should’ve told me before I entered the big, tough world.

10 Things I Wish I’d Realized Before I Graduated

  1. No one cares about your GPA.
  2. No one really cares about what school you attended (sorry buddies, but unless you attended an Ivy League where daddy has got a legacy, of course, no one really gives two shits about it).
  3. Don’t expect to find a real job anytime soon (now I’m not sayin’ that it’s not possible, I’m sayin’ it’s not probable).
  4. Everyone in your life is going to be assailing you with one question: “What do you want to do now?” It’s going to suck, big time. My advice: makes something up. That, or avoid people.
  5. Volunteering probably won’t help you get a real job, but it feels really good.
  6. Sometimes the only way to help yourself out of a depression is to drag your ass off the couch and go for a run.
  7. Almost everyone moves back home—what counts is whether or not you ever leave again.
  8. No matter what the new job or project is, just say “yes, I can do that.” You wouldn’t believe the things you can learn on the internet.
  9. Never say “no” to an opportunity to make an idiot of yourself.
  10. With progress comes criticism. Respect the advice of others, but respect your own vision more. Pursue your interests regardless of the naysayers.

When it all comes down to it, life should be about following your interests and helping others to do the same. Sure, there’s a lot of insecurity (on everyone’s part), but at the end of the day you just gotta say Ima do my thing and tell anyone who says you shouldn’t to SHUT UP.

If you’ve got your own slap-in-the-face, post-grad reality-check examples, by all means, do tell!

And for all of you that are still feeling ho-hum: check out this CNN article to learn how to Think Yourself out of a Temporary Depression

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One Response to “10 Things I Wish I’d Realized Before I Graduated”

  1. rebekahmeinecke July 7, 2011 at 4:21 pm #

    I love this list! My blog is totally all about unemployment and my frustrations so I can really relate. I try to add in a little humor every once in awhile and I really like how you also did that with this list! I’m subscribing :)

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