WARNING: For those of you happy with what you accomplished in college and are thusly content with your life now, don’t read this and I hate you*.
* Just kidding**
** No, I’m not
I had an interview about two months ago with the Head of Strategy at a big-ass advertising agency. Granted, it was an informational interview, but an interview nonetheless. He asked the first go-to interview question, “So tell me about yourself,” so I did. Then we got into a discourse about what his role was at the company, what he looks for in an employee, blah blah, and then he asked, “so tell me about your group of friends.” I held myself back from a witty quip like “oh, am I boring you” or something like that, but I kept it professional. So I said, “Well, my best friend is about to travel to South Sudan to help facilitate mediations with the Sudanese. She moved here from Bosnia when she was 13 – genocide refugee – learned her English from Boy Meets World – pretty average person overall. My other friend is a former circus performer (contortionist), and is now a phenom hula-hooper. My other best friend is doing cancer research at Harvard – also average.” I think this was the first time I’ve had to describe my friends like that. This “exercise” triggered a profound thought, “I’m so fucking average.”
I was an average college student. Sure, I played collegiate-level volleyball all four years, but I never did anything truly resume-worthy. I guess I didn’t really know what college, especially my college, was for. I didn’t know that college was a place to apply for grants and attempt to save the world from evil dictators or soft drinks. If I did know that college was for all of that, no, I probably still would not have applied for grants, because I’m not really a “save the world” kind of person. Maybe I would have tried to go on an excavation in Madagascar or Egypt to find fossils or tombs, but I digress. For the past several months, it seemed as though I just went through college without doing something extraordinary. I guess college seemed like a big waste. Looking back at myself looking back on college, it was not a waste. I surrounded myself with brilliant, funny, worldly, creative thinkers who continue to make me better. I also got to live in the great state of Minnesota for four years which made me appreciate temperatures above zero degrees. For real though, if you’re like me, or like the me of the last several months, thinking college was pretty much a wash, you’re wrong…or you’re not. I don’t know you so I can’t really make that call.
I didn’t do something in college like travel to Dakar or discover a new species of dinosaur, I’m thinking that my twenties can be the time to do that. I have friends that are the farthest people from average, and that is something I will continue to embrace. Sure, I need to focus on the baby steps first like getting a real person job and being financially stable – all right, maybe those are a little bigger than baby steps. Let’s call it potty-training. I need to focus on getting potty-trained and wiping my butt, before I can pull up my pants and do something I’m truly proud of. I can talk about how great my group of friends are until I’m blue in the face, but I want to brag about myself in an interview without lying.
Although I’m a toddler as far as being a twenty-something goes, I’m learning that just because college is over, the opportunity for adventure is not. I’m freaking twenty-two years old! Life is only just beginning now.