Saturday, June 12, 2010

With This State of Limbo

I graduated from UC Berkeley with a B.A. degree in Mass Communications in May. W00t. Now what?

I’ve been searching for jobs and applying, but it feels like I am throwing my resumes and cover letters into a dark silent abyss that very occasionally responds and only when it feels like it. I know our economy is currently suffering a recession, but DAMN. I can stand waiting when I know when the end is expected, but it seems like the end may never come. I’ve talked with a lot of my friends who are in the same boat as me about this, and we honestly wonder, if we’re the ones who supposedly have our s*** together, then what’s happening to those who don’t?

Many people have asked me how I feel as a recent graduate. Honestly, I don’t feel that much different, perhaps due to the fact that I’m still here in Berkeley. Plus it’s summer. I’m used to not being in school during summer. I’m still going to be in Berkeley for a few more weeks or so, just subletting from a friend, before I move to San Francisco with Priya. At this point, it looks like I’ll move in before I land a job, which is fine. From my research online about job hunting, the average person takes 4 months to do it. Hmm. I started about 1.5 month ago so I suppose I have 2.5 months left. I have until September. By September 1st, I’m going to give up looking for marketing jobs and start searching for something that isn’t what I have planned. There are a lot of listings out there for marketing, and I've applied to what seems like a lot, but besides a few interviews that are miniscule compared to the amount I've applied for, nothing. I have pretty awesome alternatives in my mind, but still terribly worrisome.

I have a routine now every weekday: I wake up, I eat breakfast, I job hunt, I eat lunch at home or with a friend, I job hunt, I go work out (most of the time), I come back, eat and shower, I job hunt, I sleep. I surf the internet or chat with my friends on IM once in a while during this daily schedule. I go to bed almost every day around midnight and I wake up every day around 9 am. I pretty much stare at my computer all day...So I almost have the schedule of a full-time working professional. Getting ready too soon? I guess I've always liked to prepare early! *sarcastic guffaw*

OK now I’m going to throw in a completely weird analogy, but hear me out. This limbo state between college and “the real world” is similar to the situation regarding my hair right now. I’ve had my hair short for 10 years. I love it and I’m so used to it. Earlier this year I decided to grow it out because it seems like a good change, but it’s taking way longer than expected. The layers of my hair were cut in a very extreme way for my short hairdos, but as they grow longer, they look really stupid, for the lack of better terms. The hair salon lady has to slowly even them out every time I go in, taking a large chunk of my hair off. Sure, if I don’t do anything to it, I probably would have much longer hair but I will certainly look silly.

This situation is extremely awkward. I’m not accustomed to it; sometimes I have doubts about my decision (“What if I just go back to my old ways?! Oh but I already spent a lot of time on changing it”). Sometimes I even wonder if I’m doing it for the right reasons. Sometimes I see other women with awesome short hair and I get jealous.

I am not going to lie; I alternate among the following stages of emotions about this whole thing: gentle optimism, complete panic, restless anxiety, jealous bitterness, irritated upsetness, escapist avoidance, and stoic nonchalance.

Everyone (older and young, in school and working) keeps telling me the same advice: it’s difficult times right now, life will present its path to you eventually, etc. I appreciate the kindness, but is there anyone who can give me more practical tips?

Thanks, quarter life crisis. You’re driving me nuts.

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