A life lesson for the scared college graduate; this is why you need to remain optimistic

Over the course of the past four to five years you have passionately, and proudly strutted your stuff down the green mile also known as college. You entered with the fear of the unknown, but the willingness to learn. You poured blood, sweat and tears into your studies, and you made friends you’ll have for the rest of your life. Together you laughed, cried, talked each other out of quitting, and made lasting memories.  Now that journey is over, and you are left with choices that will define your future. All you can do now is prepare.


You’ve spent hours of a beautiful, sunny early summer afternoon updating your resume, making sure every line sounds confident, intriguing, and interesting.  It feels like an accomplishment in and of itself just to see everything you’ve done in the past few years outlined, and presented in such an organized, and professional manner.    The memories of spending your savings on coffee just to study for mid-terms, and the relief of handing in final essays begin to flood your mind.  At the time, finding the time to balance work, school, and an awesome, but unpaid internship seemed like the hardest obstacle to overcome. Especially if you were trying to maintain a social life.


Now it all seems so simple as you realize you are about to submit a handout documenting your greatest scholarly achievements to a company that has the power to make your dream a reality, or make it seem like it will never be a reality.  The fear of hearing “NO” from the hiring manager can make the simplest day to day tasks seem so difficult.  All you can think about is landing your dream job. You are already shopping for the perfect cubicle decorations in the discount section at Target.  You are so close, yet so far, and scared of what’s to come.


After what seems like a life time of research you have decided where you will be sending your resume, and cover letter.  You’ve proof-read your cover letter probably 500 times, each time making sure there is no grammatical errors.  Finally the moment of truth, you take a deep breath, pause for a moment, and click send.  Suddenly your body is taken over with a feeling of relief as you heavily sigh over your keyboard.  The outcome of your destiny is no longer in your hands; you have done everything in your power to make your dreams come true. Now all you can do is hope, and wait to see if you stand out from the rest of the recent grads and refurbished resumes.


Will the fluidity of your words reach the recruiters, and hiring managers?  You’ve dangled your line into the water with a massive chunk of bait; a couple of days have gone by without a response.  You begin to question whether or not your resume is a disaster.  You wonder if your experience, and eagerness is enough to land this highly sought after position. Because unlike some others you don’t know anyone on the inside.


Suddenly day three, an e-mail from Destiny the hiring manager at Dreams Do Come True.  She says she has reviewed your resume, your education and experience provide reason to believe you are a good fit for a particular position opening, and she would like to set up an interview.   You so eagerly respond with “Yes! Of course! I’d love to come in for an interview!”


In what seems like one single breath the interview is scheduled.  Now an entirely new strand of thoughts sprint through your mind.  You wonder if your response wasn’t professional, you wonder what you will wear, you wonder what you will say, you wonder if you are worthy of the position. Knowing the interview is tomorrow you quickly find the courage inside yourself to put together a portfolio of your greatest pieces of work.


You rummage through your closet, whip out the classic black blazer, and pencil skirt you purchased from Forever 21 three years ago when Audrey Hepburn was your fashion icon, Marilyn Monroe was your alter ego, and your roommate was celebrating her 21st birthday. With the details ironed out you sit at the edge of your bed and take a deep breath.  This is it, the moment of truth.  This is probably how Rocky felt before he went in the ring, and defeated the Russian.  People that once had no faith in him were now chanting his name.  Tomorrow they will be chanting your name!


The day has arrived, and although you didn’t get much sleep because you were too busy wondering if you were in over your head, you feel as ready for this interview as you could possibly be. Even though its 90 degrees and humid, you straightened your hair, and put on a full face of makeup because first impressions are lasting impressions. You’re nervous, you’re sweating, but you are ready to sell it.


At last you have made it to the entry way of your future. The double doors open, and you walk in, give your name at the front desk, and wait. As you sit in the waiting room you wonder if you look professional, you try not to bite your nails or look through your phone, even though you so desperately want to post a selfie, and tag your location.

Finally you are called in, you introduce yourself, take a seat, and wait for the questions to fire. For about 30 minutes you allow yourself to be what feels like more vulnerable than you have ever felt in your entire life. Then it’s over, and the jury is left to deliberate.


It was all a blur, it seems like static when you try to explain to others how it all went. After a couple of days go by you try to remain positive. You wonder if you should e-mail the hiring manager, or follow up with a phone call. Before driving away you send a sweet yet formal “thank you” via e-mail. Rightfully so you are puzzled wondering why you never received a response.


Unwillingly you send a follow-up e-mail hoping that you don’t come across to pushy. Several more days go by, and there it is. The most disheartening, and generic response you could imagine. “We have decided to go in another direction, but we will keep your resume on file should another position become available that matches your qualifications, we thank you for your interest in working for us.”


You can barely lift your arms as you wonder if your qualifications are good enough for anyone. They are, and you are! Don’t give up! In a sea of 1,000 “NOs” you will find your “YES.”  Life is all about the journey; treat each step as an experience rather than a chore. You’ll find use for that blazer, until then take a breath, text your BFFs and get your butt to the beach. Enjoy the summer, enjoy life, and stay true to yourself.




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