I don’t think life has ever been simple.
But it seems that the days of running around naked as a jaybird because you had sand in your diapers was easier.
And toddling next door to hang out with your life long best friend – who was all of three at the time – to don the façade of He-Man and She-Ra was certainly more fun than the pressures of being a collegian.
Back then the only questions people asked were, “Do you know how old you are?” Or “Do you have a favorite crayon?”
I still have a favorite crayon — it’s blue. Just plain blue, not cornflower or sky or pale pastel, just blue.
But somehow as a graduating senior no one cares what my favorite color crayon is.
The questions have all changed to things much harder to answer.
“Do you know what you want to do after school?”
“You’re graduating in a few months, have you found a job yet?”
“Do you plan on being another burden to society?”
I LIKE BLUE!
Somehow that doesn’t seem to answer these questions quite as well.
I think that many seniors freak out at graduation because they don’t see the next day as just another Sunday.
Instead, when they walk across the stage with a diploma in their hands, they view it as a leap of faith.
They jump into the great unknown praying they’ll hit that ledge with their perfect career, great pay scale and a happy life.
But there is always the fear that they’ll miss it completely and end up waiting tables professionally at Malibu Chicken, trying to climb back up to that ledge.
Although I greatly respect the cuisine at Malibu Chicken — except the oily pasta — no one really makes it through a four-year, $120,000 education to be a waiter.
But that doesn’t mean you have to decide the rest of your life the second you walk off that stage.
So what if you miss the ledge and your first job isn’t perfect? It is just your first job.
No one should expect you to be recruited by the top firms at a six-figure salary as a 22-year-old graduate.
You are supposed to fax and file and not take sick days when you can really stick it out.
The average person changes jobs seven times in his or her lifetime. So I wholly intend there to be a learning curve on what career I want to settle down in.
I believe that I’ll bounce from city to city, still ask my parents for a little financial help now and then and have a few truly crazy stories to tell at our ten-year reunion about my search for the perfect career.
Hopefully, I won’t be the only one that will enjoy missing that ledge.
January 24, 2002