I have always been more interested in creating experiences that felt more personal and authentic than attending large ceremonies that felt far removed from what I wanted. That’s why I skipped my prom — instead, choosing to have a sleepover with my friends; it’s also why I skipped commencement. Instead of graduating alongside my peers (a bunch of people I don’t know), I went to brunch at LoKal: this really hip place that blasts Cardi B so loudly you have to lean really close to whomever it is you’re trying to talk to. I don’t mind, Money Bag is a bop. My boyfriend and I rushed to the restaurant so we wouldn’t miss out on bottomless mimosas which saved me from spiraling into sadness over missing my family. Part of the reason I didn’t go to graduation was because my family couldn’t attend and the only reason I even went to college for five years was because I wanted to make them proud. No one could afford to come, so I went to brunch. A choice I wasn’t 100% sure was the right call; however, once I tasted the potato pancakes I had ordered, I knew that I had made a great decision. I’d like to think that loading my leftovers into the styrofoam to-go container was as satisfying as throwing a graduation cap into the air; the clink of fork against plate my own version of exit music.
I wish that my college experience was one that I could wax poetic, but in reality, it’s something I’ll probably just have to work out in therapy. That was sort of a joke, I hope you laughed. The best way I can describe my whole experience is like the final scene of The Graduate– Ben and Elaine in the back of the car slowly coming to the realization that they have no clue what’s next, a silent “oh shit” kind of moment. This last semester of college was one long “oh shit”; I was inundated with questions about what I was going to do when I graduated and whether or not I was scared. Being asked if I’m scared is so strange for me because I’m always scared. Scared of not amounting to anything, scared of not making enough money, scared of having to repay my loans, and scared of what being a “real adult” entails. But then I remembered, even as a kid I could tell that the adults I knew were afraid and unsure. When I’d ask my mom why I couldn’t do something she’d say, “Because I said so” with such finality that it was hard to question her (I questioned her anyway though, of course); however, later I’d hear her talking the situation over with my grandmother as if she wasn’t quite sure that she was right. That was when I had the revelation: part of being an adult seems to be making everything up as you go and hoping for the best. Isn’t that sort of what The Graduate is about? Don’t quote me or anything, I’ve only seen the movie once. With that said, I don’t necessarily know what’s next for me and I’m trying not to be freaked out by that.
Currently, I’m binge watching Charmed and recovering from all those mimosas because come tomorrow, I’ll be job hunting. Please wish me luck and take care of yourselves!
P.S. For all those wanting to know what I’m going to do with my marketing degree…you’ll find out when I do, so please do not ask! Thank you.
P.P.S. If you’re like me and suddenly have a scary amount of free time on your hands, please purchase Too Much and Not the Mood by Durga Chew-Bose. I personally have never felt more seen and understood by a work of literature!
(Originally published May 2018)