To my fellow 2011 college grads:
Well guys, it’s been a year. An entire wallet-emptying, heart-breaking, long-houred, crappy-paying, ball-busting year. And if you’re anything like me, you have absolutely nothing to show for it.
Our lives are infinitely shittier than they were a year ago, when all that mattered was that last final exam and not getting arrested during beach week. Remember tailgates and pontooning? Remember when “work” meant sitting with your best friends in the library, talking to each other across the table on g-chat? Remember walking around campus and just thinking, “damn, I love this place?” Our memories are all we have left, but I can’t help to think that I would be happier without them, happier without that omnipresent measuring stick to which my current life can never compare.
Why can’t all of life operate on a grading system? Now, it seems as though our work is only remarked when we fail. There’s never a “thanks,” or “great job, you inexperienced kid who’s working your ass off – you did it.” Nope. All we get are the “this is wrong,” or “do it over,” or my personal favorite right at 5pm, “what the hell is this?” And, you know what? We’re ok with that most of the time. We know that we’re not 18 anymore, and we don’t need smiley faces and thumbs-up stickers every time we use the bathroom without interrupting the rest of the class. But, that doesn’t mean a little praise every now and then doesn’t give us the small boost we need to want to work even harder. Everyone, no matter how old, likes to feel appreciated, but at 22 and 23 years old, we just want to know that we’re not as lost as we feel.
It’s really just a hard thing to accept: the end of school. Of course we understand rationally that college is over, but the problem is that we don’t feel any different than we did a year ago as students. We don't understand why we tried so hard to pass that last semester, especially because it feels as though at least half of our high school graduating class didn't do the same. The entire concept of graduating "on time" quickly morphed from a looming and impressive goal into a self-debilitating and regretful nightmare. Genuinely, the entire situation just feels royally unfair, like life just dealt us the crappiest hand possible, and there's nothing we can do about it. And, though we don't like using the term, "unfair," because it makes us feel even more childish and insecure than we do already, we know it's the only truly fitting description.
Now, after my initial rant, I feel the need to address the older generations who are unquestionably scoffing and rolling their eyes at my complaints. I’m sorry that you most likely find everything written in this post as a personal insult to your entire life, but there’s something extremely important that I haven’t mentioned yet –
We. Don’t. Care.
We don’t care if you find us naïve, self-centered or ungrateful. We’re grieving an enormous loss right now, and frankly, we don’t have time to even listen to your opinion. If you can’t remember how painful and difficult it is to grow up, then you’re too told to be reading this anyway. We miss being irresponsible and socially unacceptable. We hate wearing ties and suits, and the first thing we do when we get home from work is cry or get drunk. Or both.
Yes, we wish that we could have the world on a platter without doing any work. So sure, you can call us entitled or lazy or whatever other pompous adjective you overuse so frequently. But in the end, it’s our party and we’ll cry if we want to, and we're never going to apologize for dreaming big.
So, happy freaking graduanniversary. May your next year be better than this one.
ONLY FIVE MONTHS UNTIL HOMECOMING!