When I graduated college a month and a half ago I felt like the strong, independent woman that I grew up listening to Destiny’s Child sing about. For a few days, even, I felt like this:
But, unfortunately, I couldn’t feel like Taystee from Orange is the New Black forever. I clung to my college apartment, desperately almost, stretching the move-out process to a week and a half until, finally and reluctantly, I moved back home into my childhood bedroom. Over the years it has evolved from a lavender Barbie dreamland, to an obnoxious fuchsia headache, to a much more tranquil “sandy beach” color. Although it is the same room just a different wall color the same person doesn’t inhabit it anymore. I mean physically, the same person does. But if I am going to get all sappy and metaphorical, I can’t really honestly say that I am the same person as the girl that lived there four and a half years ago. Now I feel as if I am trying to fit my entire life into my 18 x 22 foot bedroom. When I went to college my world cracked open to let in new friendships, new places, new relationships, new perspectives, new dreams, new thoughts. If you ask me, that’s far too much “newness” to be able to fit it into your high school bedroom. I, and I’m sure other recent grads will feel me, am trapped in a strange land of limbo, trying to be an adult while living the life that I lived more than four years ago.
While moving back home for a while has its perks: no rent, free groceries, and the luxuries that my parents can afford (the Wall Street journal, good coffee, better beer, and the extended cable package), they don’t seem to outweigh the negatives. While I love my family, I miss my friends and not that I don’t enjoy the chore list my parents make for me, I can’t help but feel like I have graduated college only to time travel ten years back to the 7th grade.
It’s an interesting experience due to the undoubtedly true clichés of college. We change so much during those fleeting four (or more) years and they truly are some of the best of our lives. The funny part is I don’t think we even realize it until we are back on the couch watching the 10:00 nightly news with our parents. I don’t want to sound whiny and ungrateful, although I am pretty sure I do anyways. I know that I am lucky to have the opportunity to save some money and to be able to pay off my mountainous amounts of loans. I will reserve the right to say that I miss college, and probably always will.
However, there is a tiny light at the end of my tunnel. Some days it shines brighter than others, but the days where it’s bright are useful for the days that it’s dim. Life after college isn’t so bad apart from the fact that the workforce seems to sort of dislike millenials – but I’m being positive. Life after college is actually exciting because literally anything is possible. I know that may sound overly-optimistic and most of those who read this will probably assume that I’m naive. But I would rather be naive then dispirited. It’s incredibly liberating to know that you have a degree and the world is at your fingertips, maybe not right now, exactly, because I can’t quite see the world over the mountains of college loans I have, but I’m hopeful I will eventually.
If I am being honest, I cannot “buy my own diamonds and buy my own rings” unless they are cubic zirconiums from H&M. I’m pretty sure Beyoncé wouldn’t even allow me to listen to Destiny’s Child if she knew how poor I am. I guess I will just have to fake it til’ I make it.