I remember graduation day like it was yesterday (even though it was only 5 months ago)- I was excited and nobody could tell me that everything wasn’t going to go perfectly.
Don’t get me wrong- I’ve heard countless horror stories from alumnae of various institutions. They fell into depression, stayed unemployed due to the lack of opportunities afforded to them in their fields, or even settled for jobs that were nowhere near applicable to their majors- or even required a college degree.
But I knew that wouldn’t happen to me. After all, I had a decent resume, held various leadership positions on campus, and had a few internships and jobs from the duration of my undergraduate career under my belt. I even was told by an academic advisor that with my resume it was likely that I could find a job in my field. So throughout my senior year, the only thing I stressed about was my classes, because in my head I was bound to have a job offer before I crossed that stage… right?
Boy, was I wrong
I started applying to jobs since January of this year- but didn’t receive many responses. But I just thought “hey I didn’t graduate just yet, they’re probably looking for a person they can instantly hire”. So, I kept the faith and continued applying.
The school year came to an end, and unlike some of my peers, I had nothing waiting for me. I needed 3 more credits to officially graduate, and used my summer class time as an opportunity to get things in order and apply to more jobs, hoping that after my completion I’d at least have a few interviews. But low and behold- nothing.
After my summer class, I was unemployed, with nothing to do. All I knew was school. I went back home after my class, but a week later came back up to Albany. I had many talks with my mother, explaining that I needed space and time to figure out what I wanted, and after a while she understood. Little did I know that Albany- the city I hated would be my “blessing in disguise”.
My summer consisted of me never having a desire to leave the house, watching Netflix and Hulu 24/7 and (trying) to sleep all day. Sophomore year of college I lost the ability to sleep on my own and started taking sleeping pills to assist with getting my sleeping schedule back on track. Fall semester of senior year I was able to sleep on my own without any pills, but things changed this summer. I was falling asleep at 4 a.m. almost every day (9 a.m. is my record) and had no desire to do anything. I barely talked to my friends and borderline abandoned my blog. I wasn’t happy, and it was even reflecting on my relationship. The only good thing that came out of this was that I was able to discover so many amazing shows.
Nevertheless, I still applied to jobs. I even applied to jobs that I was way overqualified for because I at least wanted to stay occupied. I even was told by a recruiter that a position was “too difficult” for myself and my interest- despite it being an entry-level position in a career field I was always passionate about.
Then I ended up getting contacted for an interview. It wasn’t a field I was set on working in, but I did have experience in it, and an idea related to it to do in my leisure time. I felt that my interview was horrible, but surprisingly 3 hours after my interview, I got a call offering me the position. I am in my 3rd week of training and am able to shadow different parts of the company for the next two months, which I already enjoy. I can even relocate closer to my family if I want to pretty soon as well.
Looking back, I realized that I wasn’t underqualified for ANY of the jobs I applied for- they simply weren’t destined for me. I also learned to not be scared to venture outside of my comfort zone. I even recall people in my circle attempting to convince me to settle for jobs like my part-time retail jobs in undergrad, and almost began applying to them. My current position is above entry-level and gives me supervisor authority I had no clue I was qualified for. I always prayed that I found something that paid a livable wage and could make me happy, and I finally found it.
I just hope every graduate following me knows that it does get better, and never fears trying out what they feel is outside of their comfort zone. Because if anyone is an example of this, I am.