Here I am sitting on my couch on the first day of classes at Davis and Elkins College.
Why am I here, three hours away, and not waking up in my newly decorated dorm room and heading out to eat a breakfast sandwich and then go to my first English class of the semester?
Because I graduated, that's why.
Now, don't get me wrong. I am so glad to have graduated, wrote a thesis, and a lot of other college-y things, but after 17 years of going to school every fall, this is the weirdest "end of summer" in my 22 years. I'm watching all of my younger friends post Snapchats of being back at my old stomping grounds. They're all smiling and having a good time, annoyed because they had to get up for an 8 a.m., and soon they will be griping about whatever the cafeteria serves at lunch and dinner. As much as I couldn't wait to get out of there, I find myself thinking something I never thought I would: I want to go back to school.
I sit here and actually miss going to classes, walking up and down stairs and hills all day long, and starving because the caf food is less than appetizing. AND IT'S ONLY THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL.
What will I be thinking and feeling a month from now? Six months?
Meanwhile, out here in the real world, I'm struggling to figure out what the heck I'm going to be doing with my life. I graduated with a major in English and a minor in Psychology. Now what?
Isn't that the question on everyone's mind: now what? It must be because every time I see an adult in public, or even my family members every day, the first thing they ask me is some variation of "have you found a job yet" or "are you going to be a teacher" or even, my favorite, "you know English and writing is kind of a dying field, right?" Well thank you, sir or madam, that's exactly what a newly graduated lady of the ripe young age of twenty-two wants to hear as she's trying to buy a bag of Doritos at Walmart.
All I can say is I'm trying. I'm trying to find a job that pays little old me some moo-la so I can start my own life and move out of my house. I'm trying to write a book that people would actually want to publish, let alone read. I'm trying to be successful in a world that is hell-bent on just wanting us all to "get by". But, most of all, I'm trying to be happy. So remember that next time you start grilling a new college graduate, or even someone still in college, about what they're going to do next.
It's a tough world out there and we just got thrown into it. Jobs are hard to come by for some of us. Some people won't have jobs for months after they graduate. Some people have jobs lined up right out of graduation. (If that's you, I'm jealous and very happy for you.) But, I know it'll come in time for people like me.
Life after graduation is difficult, it's made me cry a few times, and it may have made me want to just go back to school and be comforted by the familiar things more than a few times. But, life after graduation is meant to be a little confusing or difficult. That way when things start coming together, you appreciate it.
So, while yes, a lot of adults will continuously ask you what you're going to do with your life and they may tell you your dreams are cute and that you'll come around to reality when you're eating Ramen and paying rent to stay at your own house, you just have to stay strong and ask them what they thought you ate in college. College wasn't easy either. And I didn't eat Ramen once.