Post Grad Life: Underemployed

I am the ultimate drama queen. I started my first part-time/post grad job today and in my mind that translates into: this job will dictate your entire future which is now in the toilet. I guess I should be happy. No, I know I should be happy but my spoiled and pretty much entitled mind feels like I deserve better which in reality is very arrogant and a first-world type of mentality. That job I mentioned earlier in another blog post, the job at Gap, it turns out they did actually want me and I started today. So I guess you can say I am officially employed in retail, not exactly the job I had in mind when I was dreaming about my future during my teenage years.

What scares me is the fear that my time spent in college was a total waste. I mean 16 year old’s can do my job and I just spent three and a half years getting a degree only to do the same exact thing as them. When I interviewed with the store manager and she asked me what my major was she responded with, “English? Oh! I majored in English as well. I was a copywriter for about a year. And that’s the extent of how much I used my degree.” All I could respond with was, “Oh! Cool!” but in my mind it was really, “Oh! Fuck!” I got another vote of confidence from some co-workers. The first one who trained me (who I found out is only 17!!!) asked if this was my first job. “No,” I said in utter shock. I guess it’s the Asian face. It’ll keep me young until I’m in my 40’s and then-BAM! I’m an Asian ajhumma (middle aged woman). The second co-worker I met asked me what I majored in during college. “English,” I responded yet again. “Ouch. That’s rough,” she said.

I used to hate it when students during university would grimace when I told them my major. I hated their disapproval and ignored their strangely uniform warning of caution for my future. I didn’t give into any of the liberal arts discrimination. It’s only now, after graduating that I’m realizing how incredibly difficult it is for me to get a job. It’s not like engineering, or business, or pre-med where students have jobs and med school waiting for them at the finish line.

But I loved being an English major. I love writing, and I love the beauty in words and stories, and the idea that I could one day create something mind-blowingly profound and world-changing purely through my words. If I could go back I don’t think I would choose a different major. I just can’t force myself to love something else when what I love is wrapped up in English. I wouldn’t give up my passion if the risk of reward is mountains larger than other fields.

So I am trying to stay positive. It’s only been less than three months since graduation (including the holiday season which is not exactly a hiring high for companies). Plus I graduated a semester early so if I’d like to cheer myself up even more I could count my unemployment starting in May instead. But like I said I’m a drama queen and the last two and a half months have felt like six. And I’ve slowly let myself wallow in my sadness, disappointment, and the convictions of my personal shortcomings which for me can be a very slippery slope best to avoid.

I think now is the perfect time to make some promises, since Ash Wednesday was well yesterday, I’d like to make a conscious choice to give up negative and even indulgent things in my life. If I want to be more positive I know that I need to stop complaining. I’ve said it before in my first Post Grad posting not to complain. Well, I’ve been having trouble following my own advice.

First, I need to try really hard to not let my earnest beginnings at the Gap dictate my entire future and the dreams that I have. I need to stop letting my mellow drama mind say that now is everything when really it is just a tiny dot in the grand scheme of life. I’m still going to search for the job I want and send out those resumes and the gazillionth cover letter, and I will choose not to let my current situation stop me from pursuing something bigger and better. Second, I need to be grateful. I finally got an income! Now, I won’t have to worry every time I buy something or even go outside and meet up with friends. Third, I can use this as an opportunity to meet new people. New friends are never a bad thing. And finally, I can use this part-time job as a training ground to work hard. I feel like college left me at a lack of a good work ethic. I’m what you would call a procrastinator. I almost always studied the day before a test and all the part-time jobs I held in college I never took seriously or stuck with. This job can be used to train me to be a better worker so that when the day comes and I get to work at a job that I truly desire I will be able to succeed.

I used to see complaining as a release but now I’m beginning to understand that it only digs you deeper in your worries. So here it goes! 40-well 39ish days of no complaining/worrying for lent. Instead I will make a conscious effort to be more positive, grateful, social, and hard working at my first post grad part-timer. Any of you guys choosing to give up something for lent or life? Let me know in the comments below!

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