It has been exactly 1 year, 9 months, and 20 days since I graduated from the University of Central Florida, said goodbye to my fellow Knights, and got thrust into the land of no sleep, mental breakdowns, existential crises, and low-paying jobs otherwise known as Adulthood. The cap I graciously and excitedly threw into the air, alongside my fellow graduates, now lays atop my dresser covered in dust bunnies. And the diploma that bears my name, which reminds me that I achieved what I previously thought impossible, also lets me know that my blood, sweat, and tears (not to mention my $40K loans) were all for nothing because I, like many in my generation, don’t have the money I need that would prove that it was all worthwhile.
Now, before you scream at me that I shouldn’t have followed my passion and should have, instead, done the sensible thing like getting a STEM degree because I’m not entitled a job after graduation, or tell me that the American dream of “work hard and you can obtain your dreams” actually still works in 2017, or perhaps suggest trade school, let me finish. I’m not done.
Throughout my collegiate career, specifically, my senior year, even though I was under immense pressure to figure out what I was going to do with the rest of my life, which caused a shit ton of anxiety and even panic attacks, I gained strength and courage that I hadn’t previously known. I learned that I could do the seemingly impossible (graduate college) and as I reflect on my last year, I am reminded of that strength and the most important thing I learned about myself: I am capable.