Katie is a 5th year senior currently finishing up her victory lap at The University of Georgia. She has battled anxiety, restraining her sarcasm, and being too short to ride roller coasters her entire life. Take it away, Katie!
Editor’s note: Kinda intense/deep post, we recommend listening to the soothing sounds of Enya while reading.
It hasn’t been until recently, and by recently I mean in the past 48 hours, that I’ve gotten excited about graduation. I get to take pictures, I get to see my grandma and I get
all sorts of cash from family members to party and spend time with my family. My bff is graduating as well and our families are going to do a brunch together. We’re white girls, sooooo brunch is a pretty big deal and cause for massive amounts of excitement. Plus, I’m not going to have any more exam-induced break-outs, thank god. It’s all going to be great. Oh but here’s the thing, aside from the accomplishment of attaining my college degree, my problem with graduating is this: I have no fucking idea what I am going to do.
Unless you want to be an accountant or a chemist or something else career-specific, companies will hire you whether you have a Political Science, Education or PR degree, right? Side note: can we chill the fuck out on PR, ladies? Like, my quota on listening to you talk about how you want to plan ~events~ for the rest of your life was reached a long time ago and if I have to listen to anymore I will gladly step in front of the next bus I see (sorry, every friend I have). Experience is as stupid as it gets. Don’t have any experience? Enjoy waiting tables and/or bartending because you’re going to be interning, unpaid and suckling at the teet of Corporate America™ for the next year or three. Have some experience? How does one obtain this mysterious “experience” you speak of if no one will hire me?
I’m getting my B.S. degree in Human Development and Family Science. Just to clarify, B.S. stands for Bachelor of Science, not bullshit, which I minored in, ZING! Some people study Human Dev to go on to grad school and become big fancy doctors. Then, there are people like me, who enjoy what they study yet have no clue what exactly they’re going to do once they acquire that fantastic piece of paper they’re working towards, other than picturing it framed on the wall of their someday-office. God, my office is gonna be so awesome one day.
My major requires me to read a lot of heavy shit, too. Every syllabus I have basically says, “course material in this class may be difficult for some students and could possibly bring up unresolved issues…here are some phone numbers to available resources if this occurs.” Unresolved issues? Cool, sign me up, who doesn’t like digging the skeletons out of the closet and taking trip down depression memory lane!? So, here I am, neurotic enough as it is, and I’m reading about social injustices in America or depressed adolescents committing suicide or parents who don’t know how to properly take care of an infant and wondering WHAT THE HELL AM I GOING TO DO WITH THIS INFORMATION OTHER THAN GET UPSET ABOUT IT???
It’s comforting to know that there are people like me at every college in America. There has to be, right? There’s not? WHAT THE HELL DO YOU KNOW! What to do with your degree, when you don’t want to use it as a career choice? Definitely not PR…every chick in America already has that covered. Thanks ladies!
My other issue is that I am a crazy person. In the words of comedian, Rob Delaney, “I generally have a pretty sunny demeanor” and I genuinely like to laugh and make others laugh. However, I have a ton of anxiety. Of course everybody has anxiety but the frequency and intensity of it is what sets us apart. I may not be a type-A-stick-up-my-ass anxious person, but believe me it’s there most of the time. I harbor a lot of shit that I don’t need to harbor. Harbor? Who says “harbor” besides sailors and fishermen? Did I use that correctly? I’m too lazy to Google. I digress.
Because of this, somewhere along the way I depleted enough neurotransmitters in my brain that I began experiencing episodes of depression. This prompted me to take time off from school and prolonged my graduation date. When you’re dependent on a daily cocktail of anti-anxiety/depressant medication and realize nothing is working, in fact, miserably failing, you have to step back and take a timeout. Since I am very aware of it now, I work to control it everyday, and I stay in touch with myself by going to therapy, and among other things. But still, life doesn’t put itself on hold for your situation. Especially for someone who has anxiety about the fact they have anxiety.
My escape from getting wrapped up in things like this is comedy. If I’m being completely honest with myself, I know what I’d *like* to do upon graduation. I’d like to explore the world of comedy and see if I can fall into its universe somehow. How am I going to do so? Not sure yet. And that is a terrifying thought. Exploring the real world with essentially zero starting points? HAHAHA. Right, okay. I’d rather hang 10 and binge-watch a series on Netflix for eight hours and only reflect on my life choices for a few seconds in-between each episode, thanks.
I feel guilty over these things, too. I feel guilty over the fact that I have to see a therapist, or that I’m anxious over shit beyond my control, or even things completely within my control. I have this awesome life and this wonderful family and parents who have supported me financially (and emotionally) through college. When I graduate, I have this safe haven of living at their house, conveniently located near all of my friends. I have friends who live in awesome parts of the country who are begging me to visit them. BUT OH, STILL, LIFE IS JUST SO DIFFICULT! But you know what? Life IS fucking difficult. This isn’t me trying to get sympathy or even empathy, it’s merely a statement. I’m not trying to sound like a white chick who posts philosophical bullshit on Facebook, either. My intent is to allow people to try and identify with the fact that being in your 20s and figuring out what you’re supposed to do with your life is a hard thing to take on. Sure, we’ve all heard this before. But it’s another thing experiencing it. I like to believe it helps hearing somebody talk about it from his or her personal standpoint. Especially from someone in the midst of the transition. Or, maybe I’m just narcissistic and want to talk about myself. Am I too narcissistic? Great, add that to the anxiety list.
What do you guys think? What did you go through, or are going through in your transition to adult life? How are you making it? Let me know…or don’t. Either way, I’ll be over here doing enough freaking out for all of us.