Congrats fellow grads! Welcome to the real world

By: Tim Van Duyne

It’s been a week since I walked the stage of Redbird Arena to receive my diploma (cover) from Illinois State University. It was a moment I’ve waited for since I graduated from high school. That moment when I received my diploma (cover) was exactly that, a moment. Moment is over. The game of “life” begins.

Ever since we were eight years old, the gameplan for life has been laid out for us. You go to college, you get a degree, then you get a job, a house, a nice car and a family. Well, thousands of graduates are finding out that the gameplan doesn’t always go so smoothly.

It’s only been a week, but I’m sure recent grads will admit the transition from college life to real-world life has been a struggle to say the least.

For starters, packing and unpacking all of your life’s possessions is a pain in the ass. Moving back home is nice at first. Home cooked meals, laundry service (A.K.A Mom) and free rent. But then you realize that you’re living back at home, with your parents, so that freedom you had back at college is no more. No more staying up until all hours of the morning drinking with your friends. No more leaving the dishes unwashed until you actually need to use that bowl or a fork. That lifestyle is over (at least until you move out).

This week has also consisted of waking up at noon on most days. I haven’t even unpacked my alarm clock. No need for it.

I have gotten the most out of my Netflix account this week. I’ve seen most shows on Netflix, so now I waste most of my time just mindlessly searching through the thousands of shows and movies there are to offer. I usually go with some kind of a documentary on Russian prisons or the worlds dangerous gangs. You know, very useful information.

In between Netflix and catching up with friends and family, all graduates have been searching and applying for jobs, because nobody wants to live with their parents their whole life. Needless to say, this process is not fun. It’s hard enough finding an open position that fits your skill set. Once you do find something suitable, it usually requires you to fill out an online application with a million questions that will take an hour to fill out. Then in the middle of filling out the application you get up to take a shit, and when you come back your session has expired and you have to fill everything back out again. At that point your like f*ck it! Then you head to the bar and start over the next day.

But once you apply to about 10-15 jobs you start to feel good about yourself, hoping that you’ll get a call back from some random area code. Well, I’m starting to think my phone isn’t working, because I have gotten very few calls back. Patience people, be patient. I know being patient is hard, especially when every one of your relatives, mainly grandma and grandpa, are continually asking you how the job search is going. You just want to tell them it’s GREAT! They assume just because you have that brand, spanking-new degree that every employer in the world is going to be knocking on your (momma’s) door. Not the case, sadly.

What will get you jobs, or I should say who will get you jobs, are your friends. Keep in contact with your college buddies, especially the ones in your field of expertise. I have been asking all my fellow classmates how and where they’re applying for jobs? How that process is going? Do they think they made a mistake in graduating? Do they want to meet up for a drink (or 10) to forget the awfulness of job searching and reminisce on the good ole’ days? It lets me know I’m not alone in this post-grad misery, and it also gives me hope.

Some friends have jobs lined up. Most are stuck in the same boat as myself, and don’t have anything at the moment. The key is to stay driven and focused. Keep your friends close, they’ll help you out down the road.

We will all get our chance to mess up this world in one way or another. Right now though, welcome to the real world. It sucks.


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