On May 12th, 2018, I officially graduated from the University of Louisville with a B.S.B.A in Marketing. Sounds fancy and life-changing, right?
Not really. Yes, it’s taken blood, sweat, and (a lot of) tears to get to this point, but honestly, I don’t feel any different. I don’t feel like I have the answers to everything. Or to anything, if we’re being real. If anything, I feel more lost now than ever.
I won’t be attending another set of classes in the fall. I won’t be planning out trips for fall, winter, and spring breaks. I won’t be agonizing over buying another round of mostly useless textbooks, or filling out the equally useless FAFSA again. I won’t be talking with professors, having study sessions in the library, or helping my fellow classmates as a peer tutor.
Instead, I’m applying for every available marketing job that A) isn’t sales related and B) offers some form of benefits. My summer is going to be filled with writing resumes and cover letters, sending out emails, and flying back and forth to Chicago to network and interview in the hopes of landing a (relatively) well-paying job before I have to start paying back my student loans.
I’ll also be looking for apartments that won’t cost me an arm and a leg and where I won’t get shot walking home. Towards August, I’ll be taking my cat to the vet for a shot and some sedatives, before I’m stuck on a plane with him for about two hours. Whether the sedatives will be more for him or me is still up in the air at this point. My sister will probably be taking something, too, since she’ll have to put up with a very mouthy Siamese cat who hates being cooped up and my neurotic self.
While my peers are starting their post-grad careers, I’m going to be finishing up my last summer at my local Wendy’s, where I’ve worked over school breaks since the end of my freshman year. It’s not exactly what I’d always imagined, but Chicago rent is no joke and a girl’s gotta eat, too, ya know. I’m going to be squirreling away every penny that I can over the next couple months.
Now, don’t get me wrong, things could be a lot worse. I’m lucky to have a dad who doesn’t mind me staying with him to cut costs, and a sister who doesn’t mind letting my cat live with her for another year if I can’t afford a one-bedroom apartment right away. No offense to my little guy, but studio-friendly he is not. I also have a great network that I can reach out to for help finding jobs and apartments in Chicago. I even have relatives up there that, worst comes to worst, I could probably stay with for a couple weeks.
But I’m not writing this to be all “woe is me.” Like I said, things could be worse and I’m grateful for the advantages that I have. Instead, I’m writing this for every other new graduate who doesn’t quite have their life together as much as their peers.
To you, I say: it doesn’t matter. As long as you have a place to live, food on the table, and clothes on your back, you’re doing fine. When things start getting hopeless and you think that maybe you’ve made a mistake, took a few too many chances, just remind yourself that you made it through four (or more) years of college. You can handle whatever life throws at you from here on out.
Now, go out there and start kicking ass and taking names. You’ve got this.