Retirement…something I talk a lot about but, until recently, haven’t done much about…suddenly looks a little shakier, at least for the short term. Not “panic-mode” shakier, but definitely a little less reassuring.
I think of this because, for the past month or so, I’ve been noticing the Facebook posts by my recently-minted Curry College alums…filled with optimism, hope…and a tiny trace of panic.
Their initial reaction after graduating was “OKAY! It’s OVER!! I can sit back, get a job, and enjoy life!!” But now reality has come knocking in the form of rent checks, student loan bills…REAL “life.”
You see. That’s the downside to grownup-ism. Expectation is sitting there on your shoulder impatiently waiting for something to happen…for a job to be secured…for you to move out and on your own…for you to put to meaningful use that hard-earned degree you recently got.
One of my all-time favorite quotes is from a student a few years back who, after we had had a long and serious meeting about his future, plaintively said, “But I’m just a kid!”
Maybe, in his mind, he was. But to the rest of the world standing around watching, he was a young adult on the threshold of “real life.”
Graduation is a nerve-rackingly exciting event. In literally a 24-hour cycle, you transform like a caterpillar into a butterfly from “college student” to “young adult” with all the accompanying challenges and responsibilities.
>The good news? You don’t have your RA pounding on your door at 2AM telling you to keep the noise down.
>The bad news? It’s your landlord saying you’re a week late on your rent payment…again.
>The good news? You found and applied for a dozen jobs that looked like they were made for you.
>The bad news? You heard back from four…who said “no thanks.”
>The good news? You got a call-back and have scheduled an interview with a really cool company.
>The bad news? They want you to relocate to Left Armpit, North Dakota.
And so the cycle goes. The good. The bad. The hopeful. The hopeless.
Welcome to “life after college”…or “life after retirement”…whichever might apply. Now is your chance to show others…and yourself…that you’re ready to take on the challenges, to explore new opportunities.
It may not get any easier. But if you believe in yourself and in the choices that you make, it does get more manageable. So buckle up and get ready for an amazing ride!