The Rules of Adulthood

Well, it’s been a little under a year now since I graduated from college. Well, 8 months at least. I’m not in any rush to make myself seem older, I can tell you that much. Has the job market cleared up? Not really. I mean, sure I’ve got a great job that keeps me busy and I honestly love it, but does love sustain us? Sadly, the answer to that is no. It’s nothing personal, but I need money now. That being said, the job that I currently have is both in my field and something I truly love to do, plus, it’s a surprisingly minimal commitment.

But see, there it goes again, getting off track. The problem isn’t the current job, it’s the fact that the current job is the only job. Sure, I know that everyone’s having a rough go of it with the economy and job market what it is right now. I’m not going to pretend like I’m any other college graduate, where I’m somehow better or more qualified than those around me. I have an undergraduate degree like most everybody else. See, I did what so many of our parents told us to do. I went to school, got good grades so I could get into college. In college, I worked hard and applied myself (whatever that means) so that I could graduate. This is where it gets tricky. I graduated and the way that parents tell it, jobs are just waiting for you.

Well, as soon as you leave the ivory halls of academia, it hits you that that’s a lie just like Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy. I know that this hasn’t always been true, but it’s the way that things are now. Hell, as soon as I finished up undergrad, jobs started looking at me with my measly undergrad degree as if to say, “Sorry buddy, that just doesn’t cut it anymore.” So I’m headed back to school, which is no big deal. It had always been part of my plan but I was hoping to work a little in between my undergrad and grad school, but no such luck, so I’m headed back to school.

That’s not the thing here though. What really gets me is this; I played by the rules. I did exactly what I was supposed to do and what’s the reward? Congratulations, you’re living off Ramen for another year at least.

It just feels like there are these rules to live by, like do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Constantly, rules are being shoved down our throats. Do this. Don’t do that. All along I’ve been doing my best to follow them, only to discover what every other college grad right now is discovering. The rules have changed. There’s no sign at the the end of adolescence to show that you’ve arrived into adulthood. All you have to show for it is even less money and bigger problems. So consider this a plea, if somebody has an updated rulebook on the rules of adulthood, I’d love to check it out because I’ve been playing by the rules up until now and I’ve got nothing to show for it.

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