Going to school will be some of the best years of your life. They will most definitely be some of the easiest and most relaxed. I understand that you may have lived through a lot, dealt with a lot of drama and emotions and yada yada yada.
But you ain’t seen nothing yet. Back in those days, all that drama was just drama – you were basically reenacting one of your favorite TV shows. Once you reach adulthood after college, you will be introduced to real drama – things that will affect your life.
Things that actually matter. You will be forced to ask yourself questions you never thought you’d have to ask. You will look at yourself in a way you have never looked at yourself before. You will be on your own and more alone than you have ever been before. They don’t tell you the whole truth at graduation. Here’s what they left out:
1. You’re not going to land the job of your dreams out of college.
In fact, you’ll be lucky if you find a job at all. Depending on the source, the college graduate unemployment rate right now is about 50 percent. But wait, it gets better. Over 40 percent are said to underemployed – meaning they are working jobs they don’t even need a degree for.
If you do the math, you’ll notice that this leaves less than 10 percent, one out of 10, of college graduates who has a job that requires a college degree. I’d go even further to argue that a certain percentage of these graduates only landed the job they needed that degree for through either a friend or family member.
So, unless you have a hell of a network when you graduate from college, you’re not going to be using that degree for quite a while. Maybe at all even.
2. You don’t get a summer vacation.
Clearly they don’t need to tell you that, but they also don’t warn you about how much you’re going to wish you had one. Unless you’re part of that 50 percent that can’t find a job. Then technically you’re always on vacation. Some graduates will land a job with two weeks paid vacation, but most won’t.
Even those that do get those two weeks probably won’t use them right away in order to impress whatever clown they’re working for. Vacationing is important because it not only lets you shut off and get away from your regular life, which you probably don’t enjoy especially, it also allows you to feel like your living a little. A life without travel isn’t much of a life at all.
3. Being able to support yourself will be difficult and stressful.
Chances are that you’re living from home, with your parents. That’s because you know you can’t afford to live on your own – and you like being comfortable. When you do move out on your own, you’ll realize how incredibly hard it is to pay your rent and bills. It would be easier if you had a great paying job, but you probably don’t.
Let’s not forget that there is a very high likelihood that you have massive college debt to top it all off. And you’ve surely got at least two or three credit cards you’ve been using to keep you from sinking, which are now pulling you under. If the money collectors won’t kill you then the stress will.
4. You’re always being graded, you just don’t get a report card.
If you work for somebody, they’re going to constantly be evaluating your performance. It won’t be explicit or obvious – not unless they decide that they don’t like your performance and fire you. If you do a great job then you may be told that you’re work is being appreciated, but that’s only if you have a good boss.
Which again, is unlikely. From my experience, most bosses are tripping on a power rush and can’t manage others for their life. Nevertheless they will do whatever it is they believe they ought to be doing. Although managing isn’t the same as commanding or ridiculing, you’re likely to experience both.
5. You’re going to have to work for idiots.
That’s right. Not only do they not know how to manage a team, they are – almost certainly – idiots. Depending on where you’re working, you have a different probability of getting stuck working for a moron. I’d like to make clear that by moron, I don’t mean someone who is uneducated. There are countless amounts of degree holding idiots out there.
Stupid people are a facet of life – you can’t avoid them. Because these individuals tend to have a higher than normal level of obedience, they are likely to hold higher levels of authority – owners and CEOs trust these sorts of individuals because they’re loyal. Which means you have to listen to an idiot tell you how to do a job that you know more about and are better at.
6. Life only gets more complicated and more difficult after college.
What most people don’t really think about until they've graduated is how nice it is to have an organized schedule, a plan for the next some-odd years of your life. We’ve been climbing a ladder ever since we started Pre-K. We made it through 8th grade and then went on to high school. After high school, we knew we were going to go to college for four years.
Then we graduate from college, reach the top of that ladder, and sometimes find it very difficult to figure out which direction to head next. We run out of runway, are being forced to fly, and never even bothered to question where it is we’re heading.
After college, no one will tell you what you should be doing because you’re supposedly supposed to know that by now. Unfortunately, most people graduate more clueless than when they started.
7. Graduating doesn’t mean you have things figured out.
You probably won’t have your career figured out after you graduate, but that’s not the only aspect of your life. You won’t know yourself very well yet either – you’re still too young. You won’t know what kind of person you want to settle down with – or if you want to settle down at all. You won’t have yourself or your life figured out.
Your journey is supposed to come to some sort of end after college, but in fact it’s really only the beginning. All that you have learned, all that you have been through, is only the warm-up.
You haven’t even yet entered the race. Life gets a lot more confusing once you graduate because the once cherished endless possibilities are coming back to haunt you. There really are endless possibilities. What the f*ck are you supposed to do?
Photo credit: Bry Photography