“I graduated 365-something days ago;
Twelve months ago, I walked across the Moody church stage;
One year ago, I finished my last finals.”
Sound familiar? Yes, every single person I graduated with is probably saying versions of these things right about now, just as the 2012 graduates did last year and this year’s graduates will do a year from now.
Then you add one more line to the graduation nostalgia:
“This first year out, it’s hard.”
It’s rendered near cliche when you’re in this age group (or listening to this age group), isn’t it? And, quite honestly, it’s why I’ve had such a hard time justifying writing about some of the things I might otherwise write about in this pie slice of twenty-somethingness: like learning to manage time when classwork isn’t a constant priority, figuring out how to cook for one, budgeting (kind of), and dealing with the deep shift in how our social circles function — and the loneliness that shift sometimes brings.
Because it’s already been said. All of it, every possible iteration, has been said, hasn’t it?. Or maybe it’s just that, no one wants to hear how life is just really hard right after you graduate.
If they’ve already heard it, people don’t want to read about it again, right? After all, life isn’t supposed to be easy. You shouldn’t complain after you already complained about how stressful the last year of college was. You just sound lazy and unmotivated and whiny and unaware of your privilege and why aren’t you better at being an adult yet?
Suck it up, Jenna.
The voices in my head keep telling me if no one wants to read it (according to me), then there’s no use writing it.
But every so often I come to the point, finally, where I might be able to say: screw that. I want to write about it.
I want to tell you how hard I’m finding a lot of this. I want to say it because I need to say it, because it’s true, and because I need to find ways to talk about some of the harder points where it doesn’t deteriorate into a stream of whining. And then, I also want to have acknowledged the rough so that I have a context to write about how wonderful it also is… sometimes.
But that every so often hasn’t always coincided with times when I’m actually keeping the blog more like a blog — and less like a yearly update spot.
In fact, this is probably the first.
So maybe I will. I should, right? I should write. And, while I’m sure that it’s problematic how often I discuss what I’m going to write about (instead of writing it), these are my concessions to myself. Writing about how hard I find it to write, about writer’s block, about the things I tell myself that keep me from it — this is my allowance to the part of me that wants to apologize to you. My gift to the people-pleaser in me.
So I’m going to try to write about all of this wild post-graduation world. I’m going to let myself admit why I find it hard, which will unfortunately mean admitting to some of my main failings. Like, how I’m absolutely terrible at routine. And how one of the biggest (but annoyingly subtle and hard to pinpoint) challenges was transitioning from a college life that was, by the end, largely about just getting through (and passing).
I might then be able to tell you about what scares me sometimes: that they say your twenties are about laying foundations. And how I really hope that’s a REALLY poor analogy because I do NOT feel prepared to be laying down what will support the rest of my life.
If I tell you ahead of time that I might sometimes dwell on these hard bits and pieces of my admittedly pretty decent life, then maybe I can feel less guilty indulging once in awhile.
And if I warn you that I might go there, might get a little bit cliche, then maybe I can let let myself write about how I just can’t seem to figure out how to keep my apartment clean.