What happens once you graduate? You think you have a set plan, and then life happens. In the accurate words of Taylor Swift, “We’re happy, free, confused, and lonely at the same time…It’s miserable and magical.” Welcome to the life of a twenty-something. Written by Juliet Rocco
A year ago, I was running around campus getting photos with friends, trying to steam the awful wrinkles out of my graduation gown, and saying goodbye and good luck to everyone.
I was lost in the moment of excitement and the incredible high that comes with achieving something great. As my name was called in front of hundreds of people and I waltzed across the stage, I realized that this milestone moment just concluded four years of my young life. I was done. I was now an official graduate from Rochester Institute of Technology.
Before I knew it, the ceremony and celebrations were over, and I was thrust out into the real world, that place professors warned us about. I didn’t really have a plan after graduation besides moving back home and finding a job in the city.
This is when things became difficult and I learned that just because you had internship experience, a good GPA and strong references did not mean you would be rewarded with a job offer right away.
Eventually, through great networking and lots of prayers being answered, I did make it to the big city. Still, this took time. Trial and error is something I’m learning a lot about.
My friends and I have careers now, and it’s kind of strange being in this “grown-up” world from time to time. I sit on the bus each morning in my hour-long commute to New York City and think about how many great opportunities await me. There’s so much freedom now, and it’s exhilarating.
I love my job, I love the people, and I make enough to support myself. That’s something I’m proud of. My student loans take a bite out of my paycheck each month, but don’t devour it. (I’m basically paying enough back to the government so they can buy a nice car)
I’ve been in my twenties long enough now to realize it’s perfectly okay if you don’t really have any set plans, just let things fall into place. If it’s meant to be, it’ll be. Things work out (or don’t) for a reason. I can look back to where I was a year ago and be proud of how far I’ve come since then.
I often wonder what I’ll be like 10 years from now…and then quickly stop because that starts to freak me out!