Confessions Of An Idealistic College Graduate
I graduated with an awareness of the vast amount of inequalities in the world. Privileges exist, and it’s important to own up to our personal privilege first in order to understand how to help others achieve equality and make the world a better place!
But sometimes it’s hard to “walk the walk” and actually make these changes happen in the real, practical world. During my time in college I was a leader of three different organizations, worked five different part-time jobs, and of course was a full-time student. Now after I’ve graduated, things haven’t been as fast-paced.
I have one or two confessions.
Forgetting to Do the Work
I haven’t done the research necessary to post my beliefs on social media or discuss the latest news stories. The college community allows peers to have late night philosophical discussions, or have spirited debates in the classroom. You’re encouraged to share your feelings and seek out different points of views.
But now that I’ve graduated, I’m at a standstill. When I’m at home or at my job my mind is bored with tedious tasks. I’m reactive with news on Facebook instead of reading news on my own. I’m no longer constantly learning with peers and friends who are on the same page as I am.
I have been inactive in my physical and online community of “social justice warriors,” as friend and drag queen, Emi Grate, calls herself. My summer transition after college included being stuck at home without a car, trying to learn how to be an adult. Responsibilities such as cooking and cleaning, along with student loans, car payments, an apartment, etc. kept my focus on things other than changing the world.
The good news is that this is normal; it always takes time to adjust. If you’re out there trying to recapture the fire you felt in college, take a breath and remember to start small.
When you’re ready to pick up the pace and get back on track saving the world, take little steps first. For my part, I actually picked up a newspaper today and read a few articles online—and it’s that simple.
Or at least, it’s a start. I recently read a blog post, from Free People, explaining the Bullet Journal. It’s a way to prioritize your life and interests away from the structure of a college environment:
- Organize yourself
- Pick a news source and subscribe to it
- Find a mentor
- Get a library card
- Join an organization/club/fitness center
- Work for a nonprofit
- Keep in touch with college friends
By taking things one step at a time, you can rediscover the passions and causes college brought out in you, all while adjusting to your new, adult life.
Finding the Time to Keep Learning
All of you graduates out there, take a step today to learn beyond the classroom. As educated peers, let’s encourage one another to keep fighting to move forward, continue to learn, and grow, even after graduation.
Set goals for yourself. Even if the real world drags you down and you feel like you can’t make a difference… keep going. Let’s keep being the idealists we were taught to be in college and let’s all keep aiming to make the world a better place.
“Take action. Every story you’ve ever connected with, every leader you’ve ever admired, every puny little thing that you’ve ever accomplished is the result of taking action. You have a choice. You can either be a passive victim of circumstance or you can be the active hero of your own life.” ~Bradley Whitford