The Gap Year: A Thank You To Everyone Who Wouldn't Hire me

Are you a recent grad struggling to find work or unhappy with the first job you took straight out of college? You’re not alone. Most of us (myself included) come out of college with big dreams and high expectations of landing the “it” job. We are hopeful and mindless minions that walk across that stage at graduation, feeding into the hype that the piece of paper they're handing us is our golden ticket to the life we have always dreamt of.

Some of us already have it figured out. The rest of us cringe every time one of our parent’s friends or one of our peers asks the infamous question, “What are your plans now?”

“Well Susan, I’m not sure yet. Did you know exactly what you wanted to do right after college?!” is what we want to slap them back with, but instead we politely smile and think of something, anything to get these people off our backs. The truth is we can’t be mad at these people. They are just excited to see what we will be doing next. 

Like most things in life, no one really prepares you for what will come after graduation. We are used to meeting new people at every corner, having plans every weekend, and sharing a cradling bond with other students on campus. 

Then we become transplants. Most of us go back to live with our parents, which is its own sad story, as we have been living on our own or with roommates for the past four years and now must succumb to living under the rules of someone else again. A portion of us are taking mediocre jobs that can’t begin to pay off student loans while others are waiting for their next rejection email to come through the inbox. The rest of us become so impatient with the process that we enroll in grad school to make it look like we're accomplishing something.

That isn’t even the worst part. We all start to feel the “Post Grad Demons”. The loneliness, the boredom, and the social media anxiety are just a few that consume us. I myself took to Tinder and Bumble to give myself some sort of validation that I wouldn’t end up alone and living with my parents for the rest of my life, but even those assholes wanted to know what I did for a living.

We all eventually learn that nothing goes according to plan.

However, somewhere between reading more books than I did my entire collegiate career and crying whenever someone called me an alumni, I realized something that needed to be shared.

It is okay to not have a plan.

Of course, it is important to have goals, but having a plan and having a goal are two completely different things (that’s another post).

Don't be heartbroken when they tell you, “We are pursuing other candidates” or “We'll no longer be continuing with your interview process".  Be thankful. They're giving you more time to explore other opportunities and more time to figure out what it is you want because let’s face it, none of us know exactly what we want.

Think of this time as a glorified gap year; a time where the only reason no one hired you was because deep down, you didn’t want the job anyway