Welcome to the Real World

My first steps out into the world after college were not on a flowery path. I encountered people I did not expect to meet and had some unsavory experiences. This happened because I had not properly prepared for my life after college. While I was in school, my primary focus was doing well in my classes and graduating. Even in my last year of school, I did not fully take my mother’s advice to begin actively looking for a job before graduation. I was experiencing some anxiety and stress from taking too many classes and almost wondered if I would be able to graduate at all. I struggled to balance everything and did not look ahead.

After graduation, I was constantly asked about my next move. What was I going to do? Did I have a job yet? Was I going to move away? What did I want to do? I got these questions so often that I found myself repeating pre-planned answers without any enthusiasm. After spending my whole life working toward this goal, I didn’t know what to do with myself after accomplishing it. After about a month of working part time and de-stressing from the last few frantic weeks of school, I started looking for a job. Many of the most interesting jobs were in other cities that I couldn’t afford to move to. Part of my poor planning included not building enough savings during my time in college to leave home right after graduation. I didn’t worry about this too much because I knew that I now had an entire week to work instead of the one or two days a week I had while taking classes.

However, this became a problem because I was now stuck in an area with limited career opportunities. This meant that I felt compelled to apply for anything that was slightly better than what I was already doing. I applied and interviewed for a couple of jobs but felt pressured to make a decision. As I was thinking it over, I was slightly apprehensive to make the decision. Something was holding me back, but I didn’t pay attention to what it was. I made the decision to go with the job, but later regretted it when I came across many problems. I was not being true to myself and I didn’t think my skills were being applied to the responsibilities of the position. My thoughts and ideas for reaching more consumers were largely ignored and I felt like I was being held back from my full potential. It was time to find something new.

My desperation for a better paying job led me to ignore red flags I saw early on, but the lack of opportunity made me reluctant to leave at first. After a couple of tense incidents and revelations, I finally made the decision to go. Even though I did not have a wealth of experience in my field, I knew that I was capable of doing more than I was doing. I also knew that I did not want to work my way up in the company I was in. I discovered that I didn’t fit into the box they were trying to put me in. Honestly, I don’t think I fit into any particular box. Life is so much more fun and interesting outside of the box.