Last weekend marked a year since I graduated college.
It’s hard to believe it’s already been a year. It’s a very strange feeling. On the one hand, it doesn’t feel like it’s been all that long; on the other hand, when I think about college and my life at Denison, all of it seems very far away, very far removed from where I am now. I guess life is like that–time goes by quickly and slowly all at once, depending on how you look at it.
There are times when I miss college a lot. Most of all I miss my friends–I especially miss living with my friends. II miss having a social circle who were always there, always no more than a five minute walk away. It was so easy to hang out when no one really had to travel anywhere (though on the other hand, it’s amazing how much more daunting a five minute walk up the hill was when you never had to go up except for an occasional class). miss small ridiculous things and late night runs to the doughnut shop, and the opportunity to see free live music regularly. I miss the theatre and the scene shop and DITA and all the crazy awesome things we did.
But for all the things that I miss, I don’t know that I would want to go back. I was ready for something else by the time college was over–not necessarily ready to leave my friends, but ready to stop being a student. Even though it’s an intensely scary thought, I was ready (and am ready) to be my own person, and take all the stuff I learned in school and start living.
Life after college has been a mix of surprises and disappointments; things that turned out pretty much how I expected, and other things that really didn’t. In some ways, my first year since graduation has not been quite the resounding success I had hoped for. I’m living at home. I have yet to get my own apartment or a salaried job (see previous post re: the difficulties of adulting). Living at home means that I am far away from my friends here, so I see them less. Socializing is harder, and sometimes I get a bit depressed about how little I hang out with people compared to at Denison.
But on the bright side: I’ve been doing theatre. I’m so glad that I got the gig with Shady last summer, not only because they were awesome shows (and they were really awesome shows), but because through them I got introduced to a really fantastic, friendly, welcoming theatre community that I hadn’t even known existed here. I’ve met so many amazing people here in the last year, had such a great time working with them and getting to know them onstage and off.
And now I’m leaving for a new adventure. I have this feeling that I might end up bouncing back and forth between the Midwest and California (and possible England, if I have any luck) for the next while, because I love all these places, and I might have difficulty picking just one place to settle down. Who knows where I’ll be in a year’s time?
I think when you graduate college you expect something exciting and profound to happen in your first year in the real world. You’ll go to new places and do new things and find your calling and figure out who you really are, or whatever. I did go to new places and do new things, but I’m only a little less clueless than I was this time last year. And that’s okay. Someone once told me that no one expects you to have your shit together until your twenty-eight. I hope to have things figured out a little sooner than that, but it’s comforting to think that leaving school doesn’t mean you automatically have to know everything. Surprise! Learning doesn’t stop when you graduate. I can’t wait to see what I learn during this next year.
Here’s to the next adventure!
(And congratulations once again to all my newly-graduated friends! Welcome to the real world. :D)