this morning I was reminded that I graduated from Spelman College exactly 4 years ago today. (thnx nkechi)
Congrats to all my sisters in the limelight class:
“we ain’t goin nowhere, we can’t be stopped now, cause it’s 0-5 for life!”
As Americans, our minds have been pre-set to periods of four years. Nursery-kindergarden; elementary school ; middle school; high school; and college.
And then you graduate from college and it’s an open book. You’re faced with some critical choices about where to live, what industry to work in, whether or not you want to get your Master’s, go to Med or Law School, or simply get straight to work.
But the school of real life is not a game. Mainly because there isn’t a set amount of time for you to do anything at all. But if you’re programmed properly every year (or less if you’re an over achiever) you should feel the need for continual advancement both professionally and personally. People call this frustrating process of figuring yourself out the ‘quarter-life crisis’.
I want to give the school of NYC a 4 year plan:
Freshman year: you graduated from a great school and you think you’re a rockstar until you get to work and your balls are ripped off because you’re an overpaid assistant. You walk in the door with a bunch of new ideas and fresh perspective on how to be more efficient and no one cares. Waking up everyday is miserable and it seems overwhelming that this is just the beginning of the rest of your life as as a worker bee. Its not fun. So what do you do? You dive way too hard into the abyss of a social scene that NY has to offer. You know the promoters by now because you’ve been getting in with your older brothers and sisters with someone’s fake i.d. for years and you’re finally legit. You drink, party, and hook up...life is suddenly awesome.
Sophomore year: by now you have a decent routine. Except you realize that you have to pay bills now. On time. Somehow you’ve accumulated a serious credit card debt building your wardrobe, going on trips and all those popped bottles. You give yourself a budget, but you almost never stick to it. Someone from college (not close to anymore because you’re in NYC) is marrying their college love and you’re thinking to yourself and out loud even how completely foreign this concept is to you. Oh and by now one of those random hookups has magically turned into some kind of regular, psuedo-relationship, stringer situations that will surely end at some point, just don’t know when. You’re still partying your ass off & that’s just a ball.
Junior year: hmm? why don’t i make more $$$ ? where is my life going? should I go to B-school? should I go to law school? I hate my job. What do I want to do for a living? How come I’m not that close to my college friends anymore? Have we grown apart? Why haven’t I saved enough yet? How come I’m so sick of seeing the same people and doing the same things? Why am I dating this person? Should I be single? Should I let a good one go because I’m not ready? Do I want to leave NY? Why do my hangovers hurt so much? Yea, it’s the most confusing year of internal struggle you’ve ever had. Embrace it. That is the struggle of someone who isn’t okay with complacency. It’s miserable, but once you push yourself through that, you’re going to be in great shape. Celebrate your 25th birthday with a bang, you’re starting to age & unable to blame things on being young & dumb. You’re an adult forreal.
Senior year: you pretty much have a good groove going in your first job, or you’re enjoying your second. maybe you’re en route to bschool or living in your new city. 25 is awesome. you’re still young, but a little wiser. you start to make decisions for yourself based on the rest of your life and live a lot more responsibly. you’ve narrowed down the people you kick it with to just the people who matter the most. You’ve met some great new friends that have somehow managed to get so close to you so fast. ‘the circle’ doesn’t really do it for you anymore. it’s nice to just be with your crew – group dinners, extra curricular activity picks up again, weekend trips, and late night wasted club outings have winded down, but still do the trick on occasion.
Congrats to my Class of 2005, you just graduated from young adulthood!!!