An Unconventional Look At Post Grad Life
Politics and Activism

An Unconventional Look At Post Grad Life

You build your Emerald City; I’ll build mine.

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Michelle Dufflocq-Williams

So, I graduated college. Here I am nine days after I walked across the stage, shook hands with two professors I had never seen before and received a leather diploma cover.

However, unlike the rest of my other post-graduate friends:

  • I don’t have a big girl job.
  • I haven’t moved anywhere cool.
  • I don’t have any fun trips planned for the summer to celebrate the tears shed and hours I held myself hostage in the library trying to get everything accomplished.

I don't have any plans, and lack the ambition to make any. I have always had somewhere to be:

The next stop is here and then I’m going there to get to the next there and the list goes on and there is no time to breathe because if you stop to take a breath–

I can’t finish that sentence because it’s not the one I wrote for 17 years.

I went to college five years ago because I wanted to continue my cheerleading career, not because I cared about higher education. Things didn’t work out the first semester, so I made a new plan: I went to a new school. Then, I continued going to new schools until I found my passion, four relocations later (Thanks, mom and dad, for moving me cross-country; multiple times).

My plans were not always conventional, but they got me here.

I’m sure most people thought I was just frolicking down a yellow brick road to nowhere; moving and transferring so much seriously makes people give you that ‘one-eyebrow-lifted’ look where you know they’re thinking, “Yeah, she’s lost. I’ll be surprised if she makes it.”

But here I am, at the end of my yellow brick road. I’m standing in front of Emerald City: The real world.

Until further notice, my Emerald City will consist of the following:

  • Reading, for fun.
  • Writing, for fun.
  • Breathing, lots of deep breathes.
  • Sleeping, actual sleep; not exhaustion induced 22-minute power naps.
  • Drinking wine out of a glass; that’s what adult do, right?
  • Working; gaining experience and learning from mentors.

At least, that’s the idea for the next year.

I’ve applied to internships and jobs in New York and California because that’s where my field is mainly located; but even when I get emails back, I read them and delete them. I don’t want to jump at the first opportunity just because I’m supposed to find a ‘real’ job all of the sudden.

After five years, I now have piece of paper; another section to add to my resume. I have knowledge, experience and ideas. But I also have the rest of my life to be sitting behind a computer giving myself carpal-tunnel, writing and editing.

I finally don’t have anything to plan for. I don’t have anywhere to be, and I cannot express how freeing that feels. While the typical idea of a post-grads plan probably doesn’t include continuing to work in a retail job for the next year, I’m completely fine with riding the waves until I find an island I can’t contain excitement to be docked at. You build your Emerald City; I’ll build mine.

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