It’s okay to not have it all together. This is a concept I have been struggling with for years, but it has been weighing me down a lot more recently. Following my college graduation this past May, I was hit hard by the harsh reality of the “real world.” Not to brag, but my college career has been very successful. Just in the previous few months I have been granted a couple awards, asked to present at a couple conferences, and finished by graduating Magna Cum Laude. I emerged triumphant from this experience and naively expected my post graduate to be just as prosperous. I immediately and enthusiastically began applying for jobs, only to find that I was a small fish in a large pond filled with bigger, more experienced fish. I became overwhelmed. Why was I not hearing back from potential employers? Was there something wrong with me? I felt like my perfectly planned future was falling apart.
And then there were the unavoidable, infuriating questions posed at family functions like, “What have you been doing since graduation?” How was I supposed to explain I was in the middle of having a quarter-life crisis? I felt like no one else understood my situation, as if everyone else had plans with their jobs, housing, and finances.
After enduring several months of quiet, concealed anxiety, I finally had a heart-to-heart discussion with my closest friends about our lives after college. To my relief, I realized they were in the same situation. No one wanted to admit it, but we had all been struggling with the harsh transition to adulthood. Surprisingly, no one suspected that the others had been struggling. We had all just put up a convincing façade for the benefit of the others. It was comforting to know that we were not alone. While we may not have discovered the magic answer for all our problems, we realized we must have a strong support system to keep us on the right path. It’s okay to not have it all together. No one does. But we can all try our best.
Edited by Rachel Menkhus