To A Recent College Graduate

graduationDear Recent College Graduate,

I used to be you. 10 years ago when I was quite a bit younger and a few pounds lighter than I am now. And back then I thought I had the world at the tips of my fingers. But I was wrong. What I really had was a mound of debt courtesy of that college education I was so proud of at the time. The things I didn’t know could have filled a storage unit, yet I was blissfully ignorant of that at the time.

But you’re not like me. You’ve spent your entire life (all 10 minutes of it) finding answers to your questions via Google, and writing your papers using the Thesaurus app on your iPhones. That is if you didn’t just pay for someone else to write your papers for you. You just didn’t have the time or the energy for it, of course. Which is fine because you didn’t get caught and you got through. You made it to graduation.

I’m glad you made it, too. Welcome to the real world. You know, the place where bills only get larger and more numerous. The place where people wear clothes other than sweats, and kegs are for St. Bernards who live in Alaska. And it’s okay. Those things are the way they’re supposed to be now. That time in your life is over. I hope you enjoyed it because there are so many challenges ahead. No, getting that degree wasn’t the hardest thing you’ll ever do.

Your optimism is addictive, you know. I see your “awww shucks” smile and I can’t help but be happy, even if I’m not really happy. You make me feel like the world can be a nicer place, a place where negativity doesn’t have to reign supreme. At least you make me feel that way until I turn around and I glimpse reality once again. It’s not that reality can’t be great, at least when I’m not looking at the ridiculously large bill I still have to pay monthly for that education that ended in the same pomp and circumstance that yours just did, only 10 years ago.

Recent College Graduate, you make me nostalgic for a time I will never be able to get back except in memories, and we both know that memory isn’t one of my strong suits. So congratulations. Try to make this moment last a lifetime, or at least longer than 10 years. And when you look back at it, do so with pride, and with an understanding that it meant this much to you. Hopefully it still will.


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