college, life lesson, little reminders of life, Senior Year, spring 2012, words from my heart

things we (soon-to-be-college graduates) know.

note: please forgive the errors in this post it’s been a long day in the library studying…

“college is not the real world.”
we know. we know that college is a unique, safe, bubble-like environment. we know this is a particularly wonderful chapter of our lives where we around people with similar interests, hopes, and ideas. people who stay up with you chatting about absolute nonsense. we know this is not how it will be after we graduate.

“graduating and finding a job isn’t easy, especially in this economy.”
we know. we know this probably more than one would expect. we watch the news, we walk past headlines printed across the paper that read: “Unemployment rates soar.” we know that if you went into a liberal arts field, you’re going to struggle when you graduate. we know we won’t immediately land our dream job. we know that you want us to know that. and those few instances when our friends did land their dream jobs, well we know that you mark that up as a mere “fluke.” we’re aware that times are hard and coming out of college with a degree now deemed “practically useless” is going to be rough. if anyone knows this, believe me, it’s us.

“you don’t understand what it’s like…”
we might not understand, you’re right. but at one time or another, you didn’t quite know what it was like either. and us, being reminded how much we don’t understand, well that doesn’t make us suddenly “understand” anymore than before–instead it adds an unbelievable amount of stress. it’s as though you’re saying: “you don’t know, and you never will.” because know matter “how much we don’t understand,” we still have to face it. so please, please, help us know that though we don’t understand now, we’ll be o.k. because as much as you want to keep us from the possible storms ahead, it’s where our boats must venture, no matter how “rough” it’s going to be.

things we want you to know:
we know you care and that’s why you are telling us these things. we know. but when you constantly tell us these things, it doesn’t change anything. instead, it leaves us feeling as though nothing can be done at this point. absolutely nothing. we are doomed.
but really, it’s not–we’re not. far from it. it’s going to be harder than anything we might ever experience. we’re going to have a lot of our dreams crushed and have to alter a lot of paths along the way. but we’re going to be fine. because we are not the first people in the history of the world to face hardships. we are not the first people to embark on unknown territory while so many scoffed and warned. we are not the first people to open a door to find a giant brick wall.

but we’re so blessed to have the proper tools to break down those walls–survive these uncertain times. we have advantages those before us didn’t. and you were the ones who placed them in our hands, taught us how to use them. and for that, we are beyond grateful.

but you have to let us know that you trust us, you think we can do it.
that you support our battle.
but most of all, that you’re rooting for us because you believe we can.

that’s all we want you to know.


5 thoughts on “things we (soon-to-be-college graduates) know.

  1. I am so glad you posted this! I feel like as college students we are inundated with this advice, that is offered with the best intentions, but it disregards the fact that everyones path is different. The advisers assumes that because that's what happened for them that's absolutely what our experience will be. I'm all about understanding the need for practicality in the “real world” but I'm not going to give up on being a dreamer just because I'm graduating!


  2. Having been where you are, not too long ago, I wholeheartedly agree with this list. in the end, everything will be ok, whatever path you choose, find, stumble upon, it will be for the best. x


  3. Nic says:

    Beautifully summed up, and I'm sure every single graduate has had these thoughts and feelings at some point. A few brave ones will even have said it out loud, only to be accused of thinking they know everything, that they'll be in for a rude awakening when they join the “real world”.

    Oh, the “real world”. So often, it's used as a stick to beat graduates with and I hate it. Everyone will join the real world eventually, just not at the same time. Some will join the real world after secondary school. Some will join it after Sixth Form. Others might join it after university, some might not join it for a while after that, depending on what industry they're trying to enter. There's nothing wrong with any of this. I knew that things would be different when I graduated, I knew that the graduate jobs market was going to be tough, I knew that I would have to adapt. And things worked out for me, no thanks to those people who looked at me with that smug smile, almost beside themseleves with glee at the thought of what a shock that the deluded student was going to get.

    I wasn't deluded and I don't think that many students are. Perhaps we don't understand, but the only way that you do get to understand is through experience. That comes with time, that's how it comes to everyone, and there's no need to imply that it's something you either have or you don't and you're crippled if you don't. In everyone's life, there was a time when they didn't understand. It's those who claim that they've always understood that are the deluded ones.


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