Addison Smith | Opinions Editor
As my clock turned from 11:59 to 12:00 Monday night to Tuesday morning, I realized I didn’t feel another year older or another year wiser. I didn’t blast Taylor Swift’s “22” to symbolize my passage into even more adulthood than before. I just didn’t feel different.
Then, around 9 a.m. on Tuesday with graduation looming, my age finally hit me. Twenty-two is kind of a big deal. It’s the age where I am supposedly going to have my stuff together, get a job, learn how to pay rent, actually know how to cook and the like. It’s a more stressful age than I anticipated.
A Cliffnotes article entitled “Establishing a Career: Age 22-23” solidified this fear in my mind. It’s the year when I am supposed to be a polished, career-minded individual, and here I am sending applications out into the job world, crossing my fingers hoping something will stick.
So, 22 is a little bit of a worse birthday than anticipated. Gone are the fun, carefree days of 21. Here come the serious “career establishing” days of 22. However, I’ve come to realize that it’s also my last semester of college, so I need to balance “career establishing” with the fact that I need to see people before I graduate and may never see them again.
I worked out a game plan for myself that I think is beneficial, so I figured I would share it with you to help you all out.
Don’t become the person who is career obsessed.
There’s nothing worse than being the person who is the Debbie Downer of the group, complaining over career options and placement. If you’re out with your friends who all have jobs, that doesn’t become your place to complain about anything and everything. Apply for jobs quietly, look for things you’re qualified for and something will work out for you eventually. Becoming a Debbie Downer isn’t the answer, becoming resilient is.
Still spend time with your friends.
Seriously, this is probably your last chance to see some of these people, so you should make an effort to spend as much time as you can with them. College friends are more than likely your friends for life, so keep them as close to you as you can. Friends are your support system, so don’t eliminate friendships for job prospects.
That said, you should stay career-minded.
However, don’t become the girl or boy who doesn’t buckle down and become serious about a career because the South Side is calling your name. If you have an interview Thursday morning, don’t go to Gobs Night at Mario’s on Wednesday. Keep yourself in a healthy balance between work and play, do not overdo one or the other. Just be as balanced as you can, especially when it comes to your life.
Needless to say, graduation is looming for a good number of us, but it should not add an extra stressor onto your life. The more you can work and play, the more fun you will have throughout your last month and a half at Duquesne.
So, don’t become the person who only applies to jobs on a Saturday night, but also don’t become that person who doesn’t apply to anything. One day could be spent with friends at the movies, the next can be spent trolling Indeed or Monster for job prospects. Or spend the day applying to jobs instead of sleeping, then enjoy your evenings in the South Side, Shadyside or wherever your heart desires.
So, to all the people who enjoy listening to Taylor Swift’s “22” on repeat on your birthday, maybe it’s time to turn it off. The upbeat pop-anthem can hide us from the real world, but we need to tune it out.
I don’t know about you, but I hate 22 and all the prospects I have to consider. Graduate school? An immediate push to the job market? With a month and half left, even I’m unsure of what’s going to happen come May 8. For now, I’m going to enjoy my birthday week, but come next week, I’ll be taking my own advice and applying for more and more jobs.