The Truth About Life After College
Children watch the adults in their lives go about their daily business. The idea of being a grown up and free of homework seemed so magical. That freedom was something kids longed dreamt of often. I remember when I left for college, my parents warned me not to rush through school because, in the words of my dad, “After college, all there is, is work.”
I should have taken his advice.
I received my degree in three and a half years. Why? Well in all seriousness, that is just how it worked out. I studied abroad summer 2012 and received twelve credit hours, which in turn put me a semester ahead. At the time, I was thrilled to be entering the real world, diving head first into that magical freedom kids longed for.
Well, kids, that magical freedom is not all it’s cracked up to be because after college, all there is, is work.
It does not matter if you live in Carrollton, Georgia, Portland, Oregon, or Dublin, Ireland, the sense of magical freedom in a perfect life does not exist. I get up, go to work, eat, and sleep. That is my life, and I’m slowly figuring out that it is the life of most if not all adults.
Working in Ireland was no different than working in America. Beginning in January, I worked as a receptionist for a financial company based out of Chicago called Northern Trust. Like all receptionists, I answered calls, booked meeting rooms, directed visitors, and kept a smile on my face. It doesn’t sound like hard work, but it was.
Throughout the year, I befriended a number of people in the office. The other receptionist was a girl named Amore from South Africa. She and I swapped stories of home and talked about life in Ireland. The IT staff and I cut up constantly and did nothing but pick on each other. Sadly, my contract with Northern Trust ended in July. I had to say goodbye to all of my friends and move on to a new assignment.
Temping was both convenient and inconvenient at the same time. I was lucky that I received a long-term contract. I was able to build relationships with my coworkers and become accustom to the way Northern Trust ran its office. Unfortunately, my contract did come to a close. With that, I was assigned to new companies. While the new assignments were great work experience, it was a struggle to continuously move from place to place.
As soon as I became accustomed to the new processes, my short-term contract ended, and I was relocated again. Every company had a different way of answering the phones, responding to emails, etc. It exhausted me to go through all of the different changes.
However, temping did have some advantages. Because several of my contracts were going to be short-term, I had time in between assignments to do some more travel. When I was at Northern Trust, I worked five days a week and rarely took time off to see Europe.
I left America because I was unhappy with the job that I had, only to begin working in Ireland in positions that I was not crazy about either. It was a great learning experience though. I accepted the idea of working more in Ireland than I did in America. Maybe it was because I worked in Ireland and that seemed more interesting than working in America. However it came to be, I learned that after college, all there is, is work.