How Your Life Should Look After Graduation (Or How It Shouldn’t)

Lindsey Washington
Lindsey Washington aka lindsanity to her friends can either be found roaming the city looking for shade or out with friends throwing shade. She is currently trying to work on her obsession with Lil Wayne and accepting the fact that they will probably never get married, also Drake.

The day finally arrives — after four long years of studying, partying, power napping, binge drinking Four Lokos and surviving cafeteria food, you’ve made it. It’s finally graduation day, time for you to get your diploma, get a job and move into a sick apartment with your friends, right?

Think again.

Many, many moons ago when I graduated, I thought all these things would happen for me. In reality I did get my diploma (barely, thank you to my communication professor who threw me that extra credit). In addition to the diploma, I also ended up moving home, jobless and with a hangover that lasted about a month and a half, it was brutal. Sure, there were a few lucky friends of mine that immediately found jobs, apartments and what I could call “immediate happiness,” but was it really?

The same friends are now three or four years out of college, tired, looking for a break, something that can only come with time and reflection.

While those friends took new jobs, I was unemployed, broke, sad and tired, very, very tired. After going to school for your entire life, following a schedule, doing what your professors, parents and counselors told you to do, you need a second. A second to figure out what you want to do. You need a break, a break from structure, schedules and everybody telling you what to do.

No matter what your friends are doing or your family is asking you, or what you read about is supposed to happen after graduation, you have to just “do you.” Such a new age expression, I know. You want to travel the world? Do it. You want to go back to school and get your masters? Apply to grad school. Want to bum around and do nothing? As long as you can afford it, why not? Maybe be a bartender for a while, babysit, volunteer, it really doesn’t matter! There’s no right or wrong.

I don’t know who told everyone that in order to be a functional person you had to:

  • Have your first boyfriend in high school, break up with him in college for a few years of partying…
  • Finally meet someone your junior year, fall madly in love only to break up again after graduation…
  • Have a few more years of craziness…
  • Find a 9-5 job and go to happy hour on Thursdays.
  • Get shitty on Saturdays and spend your Sundays recovering…
  • Hate your job…
  • Struggle continuously until your late twenties when you finally stable out…
  • And advance in your job to make a stable salary.

Finally, you’ll meet the man of your dreams, fall in love, have kids and at last find your happiness in your husband, your family and your stability.

The point is — don’t follow a schedule for your life, don’t think just because you’re not doing certain things you’re not on the right track.

Some of us are on the express train in life, with limited stops while other are on the local train with delays. Either way, we all get to the same place, some of us just have a little more time to enjoy the view than others.

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