Post Grad Blues 

“Is it normal for me to feel this way?” Is a question I found myself asking myself literally a few days after I crossed the stage on May 13th. 

While I am hella proud of my accomplishments, reality quickly sunk in for me: I’m broke, I don’t have a job and on top of that I am behind on bills. When my lease is up in August, I have no idea where I am going to go or what type of employment I am going to have. My bursar bill is high, I currently don’t have the desire to go to grad school and I’ve been dealing with the frustration of being under qualified for jobs in my field, yet over qualified for normal jobs such as Walmart. 

Last week, the overthinking took a toll on me and I cried. I felt (feel) so stuck and stagnant so I brought my ass to Chicago, where I am currently bouncing from house to house (shout out to my bomb ass friends) and trying to lock in some employment.. or I’ll be going back to Carbondale. 

I honestly feel weird. I fought long and hard to become a college grad and really stuck it out when I had every reason to quit. And while I wasn’t expecting for gates of opportunity to just open up as soon as I walked across the stage, I will say that the shock of real life adulting is mind boggling to me. 

If you know me, you know that stability is very important to me and that also I am a control freak. I like being in control of my money, my comings and goings, and knowing EXACTLY what my next move is going to be. 

And I know, that’s unrealistic and as my therapist told me during one of our sessions, the key to peace is acceptance. Therefore, I should be able to accept that I won’t be in control all the time because trying to only puts added stress on me. 

A talk with one of my best friends put something in perspective for me: he told me that just because I may lack a job, does not mean I lack anything else. Therefore, I should stop thinking that I’m hopeless and worthless because I am not. 

That talk really helped and put a lot into perspective for me. I guess I’m so used to constantly being on the go and doing something that this new found free time was bothering me. 

But you know what? It’s okay to breathe. It’s okay to relax. It’s okay to ask for help when needed. It’s even okay to feel all the emotions I feel at the moment (they change by the day) but it’s not okay to be so hard on myself. And that’s something I have to get better at. I’m only human, I don’t need to have all the answers. 

Although I am dealing with the post grad blues, I will say this:

• If it’s not your time yet, don’t force it. That makes things harder than it needs to be. 

• Adulting is hard. You literally wake up everyday and try to figure it out. 

• You’re not alone! Everybody goes through similar if not the same shit, even if it looks like they don’t, trust me they do. 

• You can’t rush the process, you can only trust the process. 

• What’s meant for you will NEVER pass you by. 

• Just because you lack something that you may want/need at the moment (i.e. a job, riches, money, fame) doesn’t mean you are worthless. 

In conclusion… I really don’t know what’s next. But I do know I’ll be able to adapt. I do know that I’ll be okay. And I do know that I will be great. And while I have the blues right now, I do know I won’t be singing the same tune forever. 

Stay encouraged my loves,

– Kia ❤️

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Dear Future Graduate

Dear future

Graduation season is supposed to be a joyous time.

A time where college and even high school students across the country can rejoice and reflect on their journey and prepare for the utopia that is supposed to be the “real world” where we are expected to land high paying jobs in our fields and live stress-free and joyously until we take our last breath.

Instead, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. While you may be excited to close a chapter, you may also be experiencing feelings of anxiety, self-doubt, and even fear.

Not to mention the constant, annoying ass question of “What’s next? or What’s your plan after graduation?” constantly coming up 25/8 from friends, family members and even strangers you meet.

It can be frustrating. If you’re anything like me,  you have a hard time being able to enjoy your transition because what’s next is constantly on your mind and you may feel like unless you have a plan that is concrete and goes from A-Z, you’re a failure.

But in lieu of practicing no negative self-talk, here is a love letter for you, for me, and anyone else who may need this.

Dear future graduate,

Before you let your anxiety and fear take over you, congratulate yourself on even making it this far. I’m not sure what type of odds you had to overcome, but I’m sure you fought like hell and now your hard work is finally about to pay off. You DESERVE to be proud of yourself.

Another thing I want you to know is that it’s perfectly normal to be scared. How can we afford not to be afraid when we’ve been living our life in a routine for the last few years? There are so many what-ifs to think about, but don’t think that you are weird for dreading change. Change does not come easy but it is inevitable. Allow yourself the room to feel what you feel but do not dwell there forever. After all, like Will Smith recently said in an interview “everything we want is on the other side of fear.”

I also know how hard it’s been for you to maintain your composure after constantly getting asked the same questions about your future. Some people are bold enough not to believe in you and while others may mean well trying to help you “plan your future” it still does not take away the anxiety you may be feeling. I saw this meme on Twitter and I’ll say it to you: Before others had an opinion, you had a purpose. Therefore, you don’t have to announce your moves to anybody until you feel good and ready to. Your future is exactly that, YOURS so anybody else’s opinion of it is irrelevant.

Speaking of moves, it’s okay not to know your next one. We are all so obsessed with knowing the future that we forget to enjoy the right now. I myself am so guilty of this. But it’s okay not to know. Just because your graduation may be days or weeks away and you have nothing concrete lined up doesn’t mean that you never will. It doesn’t mean that you are a failure. At this point in life, you get to make up your own rules. So LIVE. Try to take things one day at a time, because what is meant for you will have its way of finding you.

Maybe you’ll come back a year from now and read this and still not feel any better. Who knows how the real world will hit us when we finally cross that stage? But have no fear, I am sure that you have the ability to adapt. After all, you did survive college. You will be successful. Set some goals, achieve them as best as you can and if they aren’t completed by the deadline you gave to yourself, just continue to work at them.

I’m proud of you future graduate. Things may seem so unclear now, but trust me you got this.

Love,

Kia ♥