Post Grad Pressure
Updated: Jul 10, 2018
Today it seems like every recent graduate is striving to create the perfect life for themselves, but where does this pressure come from and why do we let it control us?
Life works in funny ways. When I lived at home and didn’t have to worry about paying rent or putting food on the table therefore, I never truly appreciated it. I complained about how boring my hometown was and the rules my parents gave me, but I never thought about the fact that this lifestyle is only temporary. I took for granted everything my parents did for me and how incredibly unique my hometown is. For eighteen years I lived in the same house and followed the same general routines... and then all of a sudden EVERYTHING changed without me even noticing.
I spent my last year of high school anxiously awaiting graduation, as I think many do. I was already planning my dorm room and what my life would be like in college. Not once taking a moment to appreciate the friends I was surrounded by or how safe I felt at home. Looking back I wouldn’t change most things about my college experience, even though I really struggled with college life at first. I attended a school out of state and did not know any other students, so during my first semester I began to isolate myself. Eventually, I grew to love Indiana University and the people around me, but then it was time to move on to adulthood.
Now I have a college degree and I am supposed to be enjoying one of the best times of my life. But, in reality, I have never felt less safe in my life. Everyday my life kind of feels like I was dropped into this worm hole and I’m just existing in an endless freefall that I can’t control. Feeling out of control is unfamiliar to me. I enjoy having most things planned out in my life and feeling over prepared for things. But I think that this feeling that makes me so uncomfortable is actually going to push me to be a better person. Feeling safe is just going to hold me back because it’s the chances I take (like posting a blog) that are going to yield the best rewards.
Recently I had this epiphany that I am only twenty-two years old and I don’t need to have my entire life planned out right now. Would I feel more comfortable if I did? Of course! But why in the world have I been putting this insane amount of pressure on myself?
I have a huge fear of failure and this apprehension has held me back from many experiences in the past. Even two weeks ago I used the inevitability of failure to avoid applying for jobs and doing interviews. I was terrified of being rejected by a company. But why... why is there this pressure to have the perfect life, job, friends, and significant other? In the end, striving for this perfection only made me feel emptier inside because it made me afraid to pursue the things I am really passionate about.
I think it is important for me to realize that my first job doesn’t have to be the job I’ve always dreamed of or something I brag about to my peers on social media. And NEWS FLASH, despite what everyone around me posts on Instagram or Facebook the majority of new grads aren’t doing exactly what they want to do either! If you are, then good for you, but that is definitely not the norm. Your first job just needs to be step one in this new life you’re beginning post grad. Step one for me is finding a job where I feel challenged and fulfilled, but most importantly pays all these new bills I have now. Maybe I will get lucky and the first job I get will be a dream come true, but if not I just have to keep reminding myself that it doesn’t need to be my forever job. If I were to absolutely hate my first career then I have all the power I need to move onto something better suited for me.
Overall, what I am trying to say is to first of all appreciate your high school and college years. Like everyone says they really fly by in the blink of an eye. I have only been a college graduate for two months and I already miss Bloomington and the incredible people that changed my life while I was there. Second, don’t let the fear of failure keep you from living your best life. Take the chances that scare you and push yourself further than you ever thought possible! The things you can accomplish when you take a chance will make you a better and happier individual. Do not succumb to the pressures of today’s world because I promise you perfection does not exist. You can spend years of your life trying to obtain perfection but it will only leave you disappointed. Live your life the way you want to live it and good things will come to you because you will exude confidence and happiness which will attract incredible opportunities. Everyone has their own path, trust that, and do not compare your life to anyone around you. Instead use that energy to be the best YOU that you can be!