Advice, Musing

Just Keep Swimming

Well, that’s it then. This is the last post I will ever do as an undergrad at the University of Washington, as I am graduating on Wednesday. And that is more than a little bit scary. In fact, it is terrifying.

Somehow, though I always knew I would someday graduate from college, I never thought it would actually happen. I certainly didn’t think it would feel quite like this. I always figured it would be more dramatic, more decisive–and far less discouraging. Somehow, I always thought things would be all figured out by now. But they aren’t. Because I am a creative writing major, and I have no job prospects, and despite the fact that I’ve been repeatedly reminded of my fate over the course of the last 4+ years, it still surprises me.


It’s not that I haven’t been looking for jobs. Okay, so maybe I haven’t been looking as hard as I ought to be, but I have been looking! And it’s not that I’m not qualified for anything, because I’m qualified for a million things. It’s more like, suddenly, there’s nothing between me and the world at large, and the sheer size of it all is paralyzing. I can’t go into a classroom and bury my nose in a book and leave all that making-a-living stuff to future!me anymore, because…well, I am future!me.

But all is not lost. At least, this is what I tell myself when I watch my bank account sum dwindling and the days counting down. I’m only 21, and I haven’t graduated yet. I will find a job eventually. It may not be the perfect job, but it will fix the bank account problem. I am also very good at writing. If I keep doing it, eventually I will get up the courage to send a story somewhere it might actually be read by someone with the authority to mail me back a giant envelope marked “rejected.” And if I am very, very lucky, and I stop being good and start being excellent, by some strange magic I might even get one with a “congratulations.” And then I will climb onto the back of my pet rainbow dragon and soar off into a mysterious fairy wonderland, belting out “Don’t Stop Believing” at the top of my lungs (illustration).

But getting to that place starts here. It starts with worrying and fretting and pulling out my hair. It starts with getting a job. So, really, even though my goals are prohibitively huge, my concerns are small and I’m already on the right track (with the fretting thing, anyway). The trick is to take a little advice from Dory, and just keep swimming.

And as for my “worthless” degree, it could be worse. I could have majored in psychology. :P

Trepidatiously yours,
M.M. Jordahl

“The best thing about the future is that it comes only one day at a time.” -Abraham Lincoln

P.S. Hank Green’s message for 2011 graduates (and other people in search of life advice): Grab it by the Testicles!

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