Graduation feels like it was yesterday so I couldn’t believe my eyes when I received an e-mail from my alma mater’s class reporter. For the first time, the class reporter wasn’t requesting class donations (thank goodness – nothing makes me more irritated than being asked to donate a couple hundred bucks when I have a couple thousand bucks worth of student loans to think about). Instead, she was asking for the class of 2010’s first official alumnae updates for the next alumnae magazine!
Updates? UPDATES? We have been out of school for, what, a hot second and you want updates? About JOBS AND MARRIAGES?! Do people even get jobs married straight of college anymore? Seriously. It’s been 6 freaking months!
After going through the e-mail (and breathing into a brown paper bag), I couldn’t help but think of the classic 1997 girl-comedy, Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion. Although the girls attend their 10 year high school reunion (not just send in an update), they go to any means necessary to appear fabulous and accomplished – even making up a story about inventing Post-Its. While Romy and Michelle didn’t have too much to show after ten years out of high school, they were determined to appear like they have made something of themselves – even though the majority of their classmates were just like them and had nothing to report back either.
I totally feel for Romy and Michelle now.
There is just so much pressure on all of us to report something back. But really, what is there to say when graduation took place in May? Who wants to write that after graduating from college with honors they are working part-time at the local grocery store and paying off student loans, while they look for a “real” job? Who wants to report that they are living in their parents’ basement because, despite applying to 10 jobs a day, they can’t find anything? That their only accomplishments are watching How I Met Your Mother seasons 1-4 and the complete series of Dawson’s Creek?
No one, that’s who.
While I know the majority of my classmates (and the entire class of 2010) are in the same post-grad boat as me, I also know that human beings by nature are always in competition with each other; always wanting to be the best and get there the fastest. And this update request proves it. I know some people genuinely want to know what everyone is up to, but I think deep down, people want an update to see where they stand. To validate their post-grad lives.
And I refuse to give them that validation. The truth is, I may not have invented Post-Its and I may not even have a real, paying job, but it doesn’t mean anything…especially only six months out. Everyone has a different post-grad journey and what I’m doing now is not a sign of my abilities or success.