To Whom it May Concern,
I am writing today to address something that has been bothering me. Remember me? You saw me this past weekend? I know, you’re my mom’s high school friend or my dad’s co-worker. You’ve known me forever, we’ve gone to the same church since I was a baby! I’ve gone to school with your children our whole lives, how is Katie doing at Stanford, by the way? Somehow, we know each other and you are a caring adult who wants to know how my life is. Whoever you are, you have asked me some variation of the following three questions, which shouldn’t be asked until someone is in their last semester of college:
- What are you doing after graduation?
- Do you have a job lined up?
- Have you started applying for jobs yet?
The answer to each of these questions is a very large ‘no.’ I would kindly ask that you stop asking me these questions. I don’t have any answers for them and I feel slightly dumb when I have no answer. I feel especially stupid when I say ‘no’ and you stare at me like I’m an idiot. No one has told me what is supposed to happen after I receive my diploma in May. There hasn’t been a class or seminar that has detailed every little stinking thing that I’m supposed to do (or already be doing) to ensure I’ll make good use out of my diploma that cost an arm and a leg plus all those blood, sweat and tears, hah hah. You see, while college has taught me many things that will be helpful once I graduate, college forgot to teach me a few things about actually getting a job.
So, when you ask ‘do you have a job lined up’ or ‘have you started applying,’ you send my little mind into a tail spin of questions that further sends me into an anxiety attack that I’m supposed to be doing big things at this current moment. Honestly, I’m just trying to make it through another semester and pull a decent overall GPA (and finish that TV series since all the seasons are now on Netflix, score!).
What I’m saying is I’m a 22 year old who honestly has no idea what is out in the real world. I found the following cartoon depicting what I feel like college has done to us millions of young adults. See, college is the doctor holding the really pretty picture and I’m the baby coming into the world with a diploma and a false sense of security because the real world is not that pretty. It’s not fair, ya know?
But listen, I understand that you’re a caring adult who just wants to know how my life is. I am 100% grateful that you took the time to stop and ask me how things are going. I know you didn’t intend to give me an anxiety attack and I hope you don’t take this the wrong way. I’m just reaching out, so you know for next time. Here are some things you can ask me:
- How’s your senior year going?
- Oh, you have an internship, what exactly do you do for that?
- What’s your major again?
- So what would you like to get into after graduation?
- Where would you like to go after graduation/Are you staying in the area after you graduate?
These questions aren’t too hard and I can answer them pretty easily. I do know what I’d like to get into and where I’d like to be, plus I could go on for days about my internship, gee thanks for asking! I hope all is well with you. I can’t wait to see you again next year and I hope I can tell you all about my new job!
Or we can talk about how I am still living with my parents, ferociously on that job hunt…
Either way, it was nice seeing you again!
Sincerely, an Unprepared College Senior