The mess that is life after graduation

I think it’s time we talk about life after graduation. What a STRANGE time… It has been non-stop waves of happiness and confusion and nostalgia and sadness back to happiness and…you get the picture.

Let’s talk about the highs. The actual graduation! What a triumphant feeling that was. I felt spectacular in my brand new heels and my Honors cords and my mortar board that I’d decorated to read:

“All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.                                -Walt Disney”

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Walking down the aisle with my diploma in hand, my best friends greeted me with hugs and high fives, grinning to the point that the two of us would tear up a little. Sitting there was true triumphant bliss.

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Cut to us cheesing for photos and showing off our fancy leather-bound diplomas, all the while a sadness was creeping in and our smiles weren’t so wide. It was dawning on us that this journey that was SMC was about to come screeching to a halt as we had to leave that very day, leaving our beloved campus and our friends behind.

Suddenly I’m being invited on one of my roommate’s family vacations in the next week and all was well and good again. I could escape the looming reality for a little while longer. A few games of cribbage and a dip in the hot tub later and I was home.

But again, I was lucky and I was swept away, this time for two weeks in Scotland and Ireland, a family trip that I had soo been looking forward to! Traveling is such an uplifting adventure, in my opinion. I experience and learn so many new things, nearly always about myself. I had walked these streets a year before and I couldn’t think of any place that I’d would rather be in that moment. I was floating on cloud 9 sharing this country, its culture and the people with my family. (more on this later..it requires a post of its own I should think).

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It was not until three weeks after graduating that I laid eyes on the boxes and bins that had contained my college life that had been dumped in my room, untouched. They served as a grim and constant reminder that I didn’t really have a plan yet. I had no job, no phone calls or emails offering me an interview even, no connections to call upon in Boston, and I didn’t even know what to do with my free time now that I had it. I’d known only school and work for too long. I was feeling lost, moving through the days with little purpose or drive. On top of that I would be living at home which wouldn’t be too bad except that I found out that most of my home friends had moved away, often near their respective schools. And I missed them terribly already.

That very week that I got home, I was off again, this time to visit my second home back in VT. My friends welcomed me with open arms. They had begun their lives there three weeks prior and from the looks of it, were getting on quite well. They had recognized the potential of Burlington whereas I had overlooked it, yearning for the promise of Boston. But Boston was never really what I wanted, and I was realizing that the more that I visited. It was decided then and there that I was going to move back to Burlington, a place I had called home for four years. And it made total sense! Why I hadn’t seen it before is beyond me. The vast majority of my social and professional networks are based in BTV, I love the area for its community and small-city hustle and bustle of life, I love the promise of outdoor adventure and diverse scenery…why on earth had I thought that Boston was going to bring me that same experience? I called upon some contacts and quickly secured a few summer jobs, something to get me started. My once blackhole of a future materialized before me and I was steadfast in my decision.

With little notice, I told my family that I was moving to Burlington and that was that. It should come as no surprise that my surprise was not taken so well. It was surely a point of contention at first and did make me question my obviously split decision to uproot my life in Chelmsford and take Burlington by storm. But I knew in my heart that this was right for me. I could spend the summer getting my self together, emotionally, financially, and otherwise. It would be a time to experience being independent and allow me to get my footing in the adult world all while learning from my peers. I started my job and I searched for an apartment online, found several promising listings but ultimately chose one that best fit my budget and current needs.

I am happy to report that this has been one of the best decisions I have ever made. This move has me feeling empowered. I’m visiting my friends regularly, working the weekends at my favorite events ever (weddings!!) and gaining experience living out on my own. My roommate is sweet and we get along well. I live in the perfect location, the center of a triangle between my three closest friends here, get to go to the gym back at SMC as an alumni, am a short distance from the hubbub of Church Street, am still experiencing and learning all new things, get views of the lake and the mountains alike. I am again finding that feeling of bliss.

I cannot express the gratitude I feel for all of those who has supported me in this weird post-grad transition, and I cannot wait to see what this summer brings me.

-elise

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