The Job Search is Taxing
Starting in December 2015, I started filling out and sending numerous job applications a week. There were a few that resulted in phone interviews, fewer that led to in-person interviews, and only did a temporary internship ever offer me a position. I had others look at my resume. I took on any interview that was offered to me. I brought in writing samples and shared examples of my unique abilities. Still, nothing. Each month, I felt worse about my skills and abilities, and even questioned if a core part of my personailty, honesty, was harming my presentation. After spending nine months searching, I was burnt out, and I decided to take on an at-home, temporary position. It was the complete opposite of what I wanted in a job. Fortunately, the perks of the position allow me to create my own schedule, travel when and where I want, whenever I want, and the means to afford more than just what I need. I still feel like I've let myself down, but at this point in my life, this was the job I needed.
Growing Up Happens Quickly
In college, you are forced to grow up a lot, from increased independence in terms of your schedule, to having to cook and clean for yourself, but it is amazing how much more has to happen after you graduate. As a student, I heard numerous guest lecturers say that we should stop using the term, "real-world," because college is the "real-world." Well, let me tell you, it is not. College is a bubble where all of your friends exist in the same world, you have a set amount of duties to accomplish within a semester, and you can leave whenever you want. Life after graduation is not this way. Rather than just having to plan your semester, or year, or four years, now you are responsible for any path that you choose going forward. Despite the fact that I'm still living at home nearly 6 months after graduation, I had to grow up really fast- from temporarily running the family home, to paying bills, and remembering trash day, in addition to my own schedule and responsibilites. And I'm excited to see how much more I have to learn as I get my own place and make my mark in a new community.
Life Without School is Odd and Unsettling
School, it felt, was part of my being. I absolutely loved school, and writing long research papers or legal briefs was like candy to me. After being in school for 17 years, I had no idea how I would function without it, and at first, I really hated it. I broke down the night before the first day of classes, because it was the first not-first day of school for me. I felt like part of me was missing. Who would I be if I wasn't a student? I still struggle constantly with my decision not to go to grad school right away, but I have learned how to take different situations and turn them into learning opportunities.
Things Really Do Happen for a Reason
When my younger sister went to the emergency room one evening, I was able to watch the house and cats as my parents drove across the state to be with her. When she was there another week, I was able to rearrange my work schedule in order to leave early on a Friday. And when she went downhill and into the ICU, I wasn't at school or in a job that only allowed two weeks vacation- I was able to take my work with me, and leave at the drop of the hat. And a month in, I had nothing taking me away from being here with my family. All of those months of being turned down from jobs and feeling sad about grad school make sense now. I wasn't supposed to be in school or in an 8-5 job. I was supposed to be here.
I'm not a religious or overly spiritual person, but this overwhelming sense has hit me over the last 39 days that the universe was guiding me to where I needed to be. Sometimes it will feel like you just can't catch a break, and I hope that eventually you can look at the situation and consider any opportunity that came out because of it, whether it is new prespective, a path that you never knew existed, or something completely unique to you. The ability to turn challenges into opportunities can be an important step is your healing.