It was thirty minutes into the ceremony, and I had just been escorted onto the Coliseum floor amongst the other graduates. I had made it just in time for my own graduation. Before I could realize how far I had actually come, I peeped over my shoulder to acknowledge every hinderance that stood in my way. I took the time to appreciate each hardship that had once sprouted, but they all seemed to appear unfamiliar. Unfamiliar, because I was no longer who I once was. I was no longer able to identify the mayhem that once caused internal havoc.
Upon landing on campus, I took the time to analyze what I had gotten myself into. I glanced down at my schedule, then cheerfully let my head oscillate to enjoy a versatile scenery. Alternatively, I had been hit with a divergent demeanor and lack of interest. It was like a shaky camera lens had been spiraling around my head, at a quick pace; the same exact presence that shook Mr. Krabs.
Things began feeling a bit eerie, then I grasped a hold of an ill-mannered concept. Freshmen students often attend a new school, with a new start. In most cases, they come alone but may be able to make new friends. Depending on their discipline, they may excel or flunk out during their first year. Unfortunately for many transfers, the inaugural year to meet new people and start a new journey is often blotted out with moving, adapting, and improving.
I had transferred from a community college to this university, which seemed to know nothing but diversity. Regrettably, nothing within the diverse population of students had appeared keen of any importance to me. My days had flown by in the classrooms, library, student service center, recreation center, and my cozy cloud of a bed. Everyday, I repeated this routine and it showed at the end of the year.
As a transfer student, I had not been educated about my resources. I wasn’t put on to the wide list of student organizations I was entitled to. I had not been given the luxury to receive gifts and expose my own. Surprisingly, a few were unafraid to converse, but many students kept to themselves and their cliques. This surely may not be the case but it vastly depicted the insecurity of a young children afraid to face the world without mum. Needless to say, getting adapted as a transfer was not an easy switch.
A year later, I had been eligible to apply for graduation. While reading that email, I paused to wonder where the time had went. The time to enjoy new-found freedom, new friends, and tailgates all seemed great until I snapped out of the mirage. In actuality, I had been sadly looking forward to new responsibilities, new associates, and what felt like more time wasted. My degree was priority and my social life was nonexistent. I had already been dragged through the mud, but was still determined to walk the stage.
….I don’t think this job is a great fit for you.
I regained focus and came back into real time. It was the end of my senior year, and deemed overall a much better year than before. I took advantage of my diminishing course hours and mushroomed, deep within a few student organizations. The moment I busted my ass for was waiting for me right around the corner, literally. I had been in line to cross the stage and receive my college graduate certificate.
The whole week, everyone had been so quick to congratulate me. Amusingly, not a single mouth stretched to mention how demoralizing the following phase in life was. Post-graduation.
There I was, two weeks after graduation. Sitting on the bus, I began staring in a daze out the window, reflecting on the job interview I just departed as if I was in Goapele’s “Closer to My Dreams” music video. The interviewer who admired my present upbeat attitude and what-seemed-to-be contagious smile, began filling me with doubt as she acknowledged my credentials. She informed me that she believed I was a great fit for the job, however she did not think the job was a great fit for me.
You can only imagine how hot I was. The nerve of her! To wake up at six am, commute through three cities (by transit, dressed business-professional) to be told, “I don’t think this job is a great fit for you.” Ma’am, with all due respect….. I’m joked. You got me f***** up, to the core of my Holy Spirit! I wasn’t even near enthusiastic about working for someone, as it was. The ongoing job search seemed to be vanquishing and this great deal of excitement had quickly piled into only another trying moment of the post-grad era.
Just a month ago, I was able to say “I’m a broke college student.” Now, I feel incompetent because I’m, well… just broke. The approach of going into mad debt for a bachelors degree had certainly shifted from “man this gone be a breeze” to “what is you doin, big fella?!” The possibility of me returning into a statistic after graduation became so overwhelming, it was enough to bring a slumber upon me.
Fully conscious of the bus ride and it’s rattling vibrations, I could not do much but only try to shake my sleep. It seemed as if my body had been energized, but my eyelids were flaccid. During this time, memories began to rewind and answers began to unfold. I was reminded of how much of your self you lose, when you give an external factor the power to define you. I thought back on the occurrences of the last summer. The summer that conquered my spirit with depression.
That season, I battled with self-worth and knowing thy self. My trust and faith lacked, and I was scared shitless. I had to pay for my summer courses with every check, earned from Wal-Mart. The likelihood of me establishing dreams and giving to the community had seemed to be little to none. I had incoherently allowed the burden of my financial health to influence my life. After discerning this truth, I managed to reinsert my faith, squeeze out of that pickle, and redirect my energy toward positivity and everything else that mattered. Then it registered to me, just in time to open my eyes for my bus stop.
This had been a time of trusting the growing pains and evolution, manifesting inside.
The pain that was once unfamiliar over my shoulder, became recognizable and made it’s presence felt as I stepped off the bus. Mercifully, it was never unfamiliar due to recognition, but because the pain had been triumphed by the joy that came during graduation.
Immediately, I began rejoicing for how far I had come and instantly whipped out a few cards with inscriptions to feed my spirit. This troubling time of finding a job was dedicated to encouraging and reassuring myself that “all things work together for the good of those who love God.” I understood that God is LIFE, and our lives will be shaped with the energy we put forth.
~ No matter your faith, I want to strongly encourage you to stay strong and optimistic, regardless of your situation. Positivity attracts positivity.