Tag Archives: life after graduation

One year, one week , five days

One year, one week and five days. 

That’s how long it’s been since I graduated.

That’s how long it’s taken for me to finally utter the words

I GOT A JOB!

After I graduated I went through what can only be described as absolute financial hell. I lost over a third of my income. I went through a series of job rejections. I ended up on food stamps. At one point things were so bad that I would let my daughter stay up late at night, so that she would sleep late during the day in order to conserve food. We were down to a meal and a snack per day. Things were grim.

Then I got landed a job with a temporary agency. I started working at my old school as a financial aid technician. Slowly I started clawing my way out of absolute poverty. This is the closest I’ve ever been to financial stability. I’ve managed to establish some savings and even start paying on some student loans. I’ve been able to afford the little things that on the surface don’t matter but deep down they really do. I was able to buy my daughter everything she wanted for her school dance. I was able to pay for car repairs from savings and still have money left over.

The only down side is that I’ve been rather miserable. I hate my job and I hate my boss. She’s probably the worst boss I’ve ever had. She’s basically a condescending bitch that has never learned how to be an effective leader. Every day I go to work and waste 8 hours of my life doing something a trained monkey could do. Most of the time I do absolutely nothing. Even when I am doing something, I’m not doing anything that I went to school to do. I have still been applying for other jobs and still going on interviews. I keep getting the standard “You have no experience” or “You’re over qualified”. None of the jobs I’ve applied for are things that I really want to do. They have just been jobs that pay a decent wage.

But that’s all changed now!

Today I got the call with a job offer. They even offered me a higher starting salary than we discussed in the interview. Words cannot express how excited I am. I feel like I’ve finally arrived at where I’m supposed to be. I finally feel like everything is coming together.

I’ve spent most of my life not having a clue what I want to do. This past year has been such an incredible learning experience. I got to spend a lot of time just learning about me and I finally have a clear picture of where I want my life to go. Even better, I feel like I’m finally making steps in that direction!

I only have one week left at my job. Then I’m off on a new adventure in a new career.

It’s been a long time since I was this happy.

 

 

 

 

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And Life Marches On

I graduated.

That sentence still brings tears to my eyes. It’s been almost a month since I walked across that stage and received degrees in Mathematics and Economics.  Those degrees are currently sitting on the file cabinet by my desk. I haven’t framed them yet because sometimes I still need to open the covers and run my fingers over the parchment to make sure they’re real.

The whole graduation memory is a blur. For four years it felt like a moment that would never come. Now it feels like a moment that was gone too soon.

My painting professor said that graduation would be a moment of incredible happiness followed by an incredible sadness. He was quite correct. I find that I’m already missing my university life. Everything from the excitement of planning classes and buying school supplies to the stress of midterms and papers.

What I really miss the feeling of belonging…the feeling of purpose.  I’ve been a professional student for almost a third of my life. Now that chapter is over. It feels like I’ve lost my identity. Now I’m just sorta here, trying to figure out what to do.

My fixed income has been slashed nearly in half which has piled on the stress. I’ve been applying for jobs every day.  I made it part of my morning routine to check the job postings every day and apply to at least three that I may be qualified for.  One of my greatest fears right now is that I’ll be a 31 year old single mother with five college degrees working at a fast food place to make ends meet.

It wasn’t supposed to be like this.

I thought when I got a car that everything would be okay. I’d be able to get a job and things would work out. Having a car did help out immensely but it also came with so much added expense to worry about.

Then I thought that once I graduated everything would be okay. I’d be able to get a job and things would work out. So far that hasn’t panned out either. Despite good degrees from a great school, I’m still falling victim to a sluggish economy that’s filled with more qualified competition.  None of this is really a surprise. My term paper for my labor economics class predicted this scenario.  I can hear it saying “I told you so” from the stack of discarded term papers on my desk.

In all this I’m trying hard to stay positive. I’m trying to remember what I learned in therapy. Very little of this is within my control, and it does me no good to dwell on things I can do nothing about.  Most of all I’m trying to avoid downtime and all the things that trigger my free falls into depression and self destructive behaviours.

For now I’m focused on staying healthy, paying bills and applying for jobs.

Everything else is just noise.