April 29, 2014 - 6:53 AM
On Thursday afternoon at 4 p.m. on the dot I handed in my last university paper. It only had to be 1,250 words, so — naturally — I wrote 1,000 and included a 300 word title. That’s just the way I do.
The first thing I did after handing it in was cry tears into six Coronas because that’s obvious. I don’t even remember what came next because six Coronas is a lot when you weigh 110 pounds.
But then I woke up — and, all of a sudden, I was a graduate.
I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s dealing with this right now, but honestly... what do you even do when you graduate. Because people are all like “Whoo, get a job,” and I’m all like “Uh, no.”
When I don’t have classes to attend and papers to finish and mandatory books to read I don’t know what to do with myself. I’m one of those people who spent eight years completing a four-year BA, so I’ve been dealing with this student lifestyle for an incredibly long time. This dramatic change of pace has me spinning in circles — and, no, it’s not the Coronas.
I had a severely guilty conscience back when I was a student — like, four days ago — and it disabled me from ever enjoying anything that wasn’t an item on my to-do list. I once tried to read Malcom Gladwell’s Outliers for pleasure and even though it was totally smart and whatever, I couldn’t enjoy it knowing it wasn’t mandatory. Now that I’m finished — forever, if I so choose — I have the same conscience.
There was no wave of relief when I shoved that final paper under the office door at 30 seconds to the deadline, I simply asked myself what I had to do next.
And there was NOTHING.
I’ve tried a couple different things to fill the void. I wrote my first blog post in ages and painted my nails four times until I got them just right. I Googled “how to be a millionaire tomorrow” and realized that’s not a thing and then, finally, I threw all caution to the wind and registered for courses at online Hogwarts.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I am thrilled to have completed school. I am elated, and over-excited to be out of those doors and finished those papers on critical theory and on my way to ….
But, you see, that’s the problem with us kids these days, isn’t it? We don’t have any clue where we’re off to next.
You say, “What are you going to do now?” And we give you a well-sculpted answer that will shut you up because we know the truth isn’t nearly as tidy.
Jobs in our studied industries (i.e. communications) are scarce, and the thought of trading-day drinking for a desk job is just plain depressing. We do not want to grow up.
I — I do not want to grow up.
So, four days after completing my degree, I signed up for a freaking online Herbology course and that’s where I’m at right now — writing fake papers to obtain a fake degree in Witchcraft and Wizardry.
No one ever talks about how to transition from being a full-time student to being in the real world. Parents and mentors do their best to tell us that there are plenty of options when it comes to working, but that’s neither here nor there. It’s not options we want — it’s comfort. We want to continue asking for extensions. We want to go out for dinner with that look on our faces that says “you got this, right?” We want to feel like we’re working towards something as opposed to floundering in the deep end.
How does one go from having excuses for everything — from being poor to being unemployed — to being accountable for everything in the same week?
People are all “Are you excited you graduated?!” And I’m all, “Uh, I’m actually getting a degree from Hogwarts, so... ask me in a couple months.”
— Andria is a twenty-something blogger living in Kamloops with her 100 pairs of heels and 200 paperback Penguin Classics.
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