If I had to come up with one thing I’ve learned since becoming a post-grad it would not be how to set a budget or how to meet people without classes or student groups. It would be that all those stereotypes about unemployed college graduates trying to find what they want to do next in life are wrong. Believe it or not, I don’t spend all day on the couch or in bed. I don’t go days without showering. And I’m not living in some cockroach infested apartment – although I feel like that will happen once I truly live on my own.
Unfortunately though, it’s pretty hard to convince the masses otherwise. Upon meeting someone for the first time, I feel like I always have to defend myself as a “post-grad” because the bulk of people I’m meeting are either unemployed and unmotivated, still in college, or are at least ten years older than me – and they have no clue. You would think that having some kind of detailed plan such as the LSAT and freelance writing to fall back on would help, but no – it just leaves people scratching their heads.
If they’re not scratching their heads, I get a lot of “You must miss college.” Uh, duh. Of course I miss a lot of things about college (there’s a reason people refer to it as the best time of their lives), but considering I have only been a “graduate” for the past few months, it’s not something I’m sulking over too much. And in all reality, I miss a lot of things a lot more than college — you know, things like not having to pay back student loans!
The assumption (hello, LSAT question type) that gets me the most is that I have all the time in the world. Just because I’m a post-grad doesn’t mean I have an endless amount of free time. In fact, I think I had way more free time during college than I do now. Sorry BFFs, I don’t have four hours to talk to you on Facebook chat. No, sorry new girl, I’m not available twenty-four-seven to lunch, brunch, and shop-til-we drop. This new life is all about scheduling, planning, and working hard.
It’s not that I don’t want to veg out sometimes, but I don’t think that I want to get into the habit of doing so because, well … I don’t want to turn into that post-grad stereotype. Instead, I want to set my own post-grad norm – even if that means occasionally crying over my LSAT practice, sitting in traffic for two hours from one Hollywood event to another, or relaxing at the end of the day to an episode of Dawson’s Creek (confession – I love the adolescent drama!). It may be a bumpy, tiring, frustrating road, but I’m out there doing what I have to do — and I haven’t given up.
I know I’m not alone in the post-grad world. So, tell me – what post-grad stereotype are you setting for yourself?