By Ally Bolender
Web Content Assistant Manager
When I told my professor that I wasn’t intending on finding a job directly after graduating, his eyebrows furrowed.
Throughout my years at college, the idea of job hunting has always been intensely stressed. All I heard was, “get more than one internship, build a portfolio, get work published, get LinkedIn connections, start applying months before you graduate…”
This sense of job-search-doom has loomed over my last two years of college. I spent time stressing that I wasn’t a qualified applicant or that I wouldn’t have a resume matched with the bells and whistles that my competition may have.
This stress of finding the perfect career the second after I take my last final snowballed. As the time got closer, I desperately adapted new things to add to my resume. I started a small business and I gained certifications on my own time. I got to the point where I didn’t even have enough room on my resume to include all of my experience—but I still didn’t feel like enough.
I’d like to think this is a common feeling among college students; a case of imposter syndrome, if you might.
I think that I was feeling a different type of hesitation when it came down to applying for jobs. Maybe, just maybe, I didn’t want to go straight to work, is that so wrong?
I told my professor that I wanted to move back home after college while I search. I could have an extended Christmas break. I just wanted a breather.
I couldn’t tell if he was disappointed or confused, but he certainly didn’t think that was a great idea. He told me to start applying anyways. And soon.
Of course, I want to work. I didn’t get a degree for no reason, but why is it so looked down upon to take a damn break? In this economy? In THIS pandemic?
Yes, the job search can take months and it can require a lot of work with personal and professional development. Don’t get me wrong, it’s important I get that, but there is this sometimes-toxic stigma of twenty-one-year-olds needing to enter the workforce (and fast).
I am so incredibly grateful that I do have the luxury of a family home in my small hometown to move to. I have a large family and little siblings, some not even in high school yet.
If there is anything this last year has taught me, it’s that my family is most important to me. I have only seen them on special occasions and holidays in the last four years. I’ve missed milestones.
Before I start another chapter in my life, I’d like to have a few chapters with my family as the main characters.
I don’t want to give in to the pressure of finding a job after college. I’m not lazy or unmotivated, I just miss waking up with my dog and going on walks with my mom.
I’m confident in my qualifications, and a few months in a pandemic of leisure after four long years of hard work will not destroy everything I’ve created for myself.
I’ll apply while at home. I’ll get a job. I’ll move out and start my life as a young professional, but for now, you can find me graduating at the top of my class while celebrating my brother’s tenth birthday. And there’s nothing wrong about that.
Featured image by Ally Bolender via Canva.