There’s an eerie feeling that hits you when you’ve been out of school for a while. At first, it’s just kind of a small whisper in the back of your mind. A minor annoyance that can be ignored. Then, slowly, it becomes louder and louder and you’re faced with the realization that, yes, they were ALL correct. Real life is horrifying.
With school, you have a set curriculum of tasks and expectations. If you hit the mark, you’re succeeding, if you don’t, you’re failing. They are external success points that you can check the status of and feel better/worse about where you are.
In real life however, those success points do not exist. You are not graded but you are judged, silently and often. You do not know how well your doing or if you’re even doing the right thing.
Real life is full of doubt, hard-work, and almost no validation. That doesn’t mean it’s bad. It’s just scary. Instead of the limitless possibility you feel the last year of college, there’s more of a dark, unknowing, abyss, kind of feel. One that keeps you up at night and puts you in a dull shock throughout the day. The kind that suddenly overwhelms you with the possibility that you might never find success or personal achievement.
BUT do not fret, it is not all dark and abysmal. It’s been almost two years since I graduated and almost one year at my current job. Am I deeply unsatisfied and frustrated? Absolutely. Does it feel hopeless? Sometimes. Am I still excited about tomorrow? Yes. Maybe not the immediate tomorrow, but the elusive tomorrow. The one that existed during the worst of my teen years, and the most stressful of my college ones. The tomorrow that says, “If you just keep moving forward, you’ll get to somewhere better.”