STORY BY STEPHANIE KOCER
It can’t already be April 2015. It can’t. I remember when I was 18 just moving into my freshman dorm room. So naïve.
I had so much ahead of me. Senior capstone was years away. Applying for jobs was in the future.
And now it’s almost time for me to graduate from college.
Am I an adult? How does one tell if they have reached adulthood yet? Does it happen overnight? Do you get a certificate in the mail?
I don’t think I was supposed to be an adult. I want to be one, but the corndogs I just warmed up in the microwave seem to tell me differently.
I’m not ready to graduate. I may have completed the credits, done the internships and bought my cap and gown, but I don’t want to leave. I’m ready for the schoolwork to stop. Believe me, that can stop at any time. But graduating means I’m leaving behind everything I’ve known my entire life.
It means leaving my Drake friends behind. It means I have to go into the real world.
I’ve become comfortable in my student label. I just mark that I’m a student on forms and I don’t have to worry about any other paperwork. I’m just a student. Don’t blame me, I don’t know things.
But now I do know things. Or at least I think I’m supposed to know things.
Should I know things? I should probably figure that out before graduation in May.
I think I might know how to do the job I’ve been training for the past four years.
The training my parents have paid a lot of money for me to receive.
However, I haven’t heard back from any of the jobs I’ve applied for. Should I be worried?
Do people not want to hire me? Is there something wrong with me? Should I have had more internships? Should I have studied abroad? Should I have added a third major?
Well, it’s too late now. I just want a job.
Correction: I just want a job that I sort of like that pays me what I deserve and gives me insurance. That’s a thing right?
People always talk about getting an entry-level job with benefits. I can get one of those, right?
If I don’t get a job by graduation I will have to move back home and live with my parents.
I love my parents. They are good people. They believe in me when I don’t believe in myself.
They call me every day asking if I’ve found a job yet, but hey, they just care about my general well being.
They’ve already offered to take care of me until I find a job. But I can’t ask them to do that.
Plus, they’ll drive me crazy if I stay with them for too long.
They’ll start to ask those questions — you know the ones that parents ask. “Why can’t you ask your internship to hire you full time? They love you there. They must want to hire you.”
One of my personal favorites: “Doesn’t Drake help you find a job? They should have a system where they place you into a job.”
And then there’s the plain unnecessary: “Do you have a boyfriend yet?”
Yes, guys. A significant other can help me find employment.
But that’s the thing. I have no idea how to get someone to hire me.
I’ve listened to my professors’ advice. But they aren’t the ones having to look for jobs. They already have one.
Every new job application is terrifying. Forget the hours it takes to fill out just one, too.
Every application is looking for someone with more experience than I have, but how am I supposed to get that experience if I can’t find an entry-level job in the first place?
I don’t really have time to think about any of this right now anyway. I need to focus on getting my degree first before I start freaking out about a job.
Actually, I just need to pass my astronomy test.
Why did I think taking that class my last semester would be a good idea? I’m terrible at science.
What if I fail astronomy and I can’t graduate?
Forget failing astronomy. What about failing my journalism capstone?
Pretty sure they won’t give me a degree if I mess that one up. I have dreams about failing capstone.
That’s probably why I haven’t had a decent night of sleep all semester.
I lose sleep over everything these days. Especially if it’s in future tense. In order to find a job I have to seriously think about what I want to do with the rest of my life.
Is it weird to have an irrational fear of not making the right decision? Am I allowed to change my mind?
Every time I pass the graduation gown in my closet, the anxiety begins all over again.
I know I can do this, but I wish the universe would start cooperating with me.
The next few weeks are going to be the worst. And then, nothing.
My future is a blank slate. It’s exciting and awful all at the same time. I should study for that astronomy test now.