Mari Katherine Raftopoulos: If you keep on dreaming
September 28, 2010
After you graduate college, you learn to appreciate Sundays.
Whether your Sundays take you to church in the morning and brunch afterwards, or they really don't take you anywhere except around those that you love, Sundays after college are a beautiful thing.
In college, Sundays are consumed by homework and deadlines. Sunday is the day that almost every college student dreads because it is to where all the work that should have been completed throughout the week is put off.
This is the reason I looked forward to Sundays the most after graduating college.
I remember watching couples enjoying a romantic dinner on the beach and families barbecuing at sunset on Sundays, all from the window of a 24-hour coffee shop while cramming for the next mid-term. Oftentimes, I would get lost in a daydream of my life after graduation.
At that time, there were many unanswered questions. Where will I live? Who will I live with? Will I find the right job? Am I ready for the next step?
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These questions alone would terrify me of my next step and my next move. While all of us roommates successfully lived in each moment of our last months in college, there was always that question constantly lingering over our heads.
"What are you going to do after you graduate?"
Almost every conversation led to this question. And for most of us, it was a dead end.
Sometimes during my Sunday daydreams, I would write down what I envisioned and felt.
Whether it was a sense of independence, a quaint new home, or a board meeting at my new job, I didn't let these daydreams go unnoticed.
I kept a journal of my dreams, because I believed that no matter how big or crazy they might have been, someday they could translate into reality.
But, in the midst of my perfect post-graduation daydream of free Sundays and happy hours, a job posting alert or "graduating in a tough economy seminar" would pop into my inbox to remind me that maybe college is the best four years of your life.
It has been said countless times that the past three years have been the worst times in recent history to graduate college.
These comments are everywhere, from grocery store gossip to headline news and college lectures, so much so that it starts to convince you that establishing a career is nearly impossible.
It is hard not to get wrapped up in the chaos of it.
Yes, the job market may be scarce, internships rare and because of this, furthering your education is a more competitive realm. Opportunities are still out there, but it's harder to find them.
The common piece of advice for new graduates or those entering the work force is, get your foot in the door. But, now this tactic is much harder because everyone is stepping on each other's toes.
For me, I keep my goals and daydreams close in order to remind myself of where I want to be. It keeps me persistent and hungry. No matter how many rejections, all it takes is one yes.
Come spring semester of senior year, I was ready for a different routine. I was ready to create a life on my own.
Now it's here, and I am off to what the real world veterans call the daily grind.
For those who have been participating in the daily grind for years, they may not be as excited for Sunday to come because Monday morning follows. They may wish that they could go back to their college days where every day was a weekend. I may just be a rookie, but I am looking forward to this next step.
It has been six months and there is so much I would have loved to tell my mother.
I think one of the hardest parts about losing someone is that you can't share the highs and lows of your day with them. Whether they are the big moments or small mishaps, she was always the first person I called. As I begin my next chapter, this is yet another moment that I wish she were a part of.
Part of this next step for me has been living alone for the first month. I am adjusting to the stillness that surrounds me.
I believe that part of growing up is acclimating to being lonely. I am realizing that as time goes on, people's lives do, too. There are not people constantly coming over or weekday social events that all your friends attend like in college.
Everyone moves to a different beat.
My roommate comes in a week.
It will be refreshing to have a new energy in our new home.
I am looking forward to our Halloween haunted house in the attic and dinner parties with the neighbors, but most of all, I am anxious for us to start dreaming together.
We are both taking on a new city, a new life and some new daydreams. If you were to ask me six months ago, I never imagined that this could be possible.
But, looking back on my daydream notes from my senior year, it seems that nothing is really impossible if you keep dreaming.