by Callum Lee
One of the worst things about the pandemic is that I’ve got too much time to think, about my career, my life, my relationships. All the after-college crap that I’ve got to deal with that’s just looming on the horizon, super pressing and urgent since I’m about to graduate in a couple months. I’ve never really known what I wanted to do with my life, mostly because in high school, everything just seemed so clear cut. If you were good at science, you decided on doctor. If you were good at sports, kinesiology. Anything else, like history, art, English, you had to be a teacher. Because what else could you do with those social science and arts degrees? Even now, staring down the end of my education, I can’t say the path is any clearer to me, but I guess I’ve narrowed things down.
I know I’m interested in publishing books, working with writers, making books and that sort of stuff. I like being close to that creative vein, close to the words and inspiration from being around like-minded individuals. And my uncle also mentioned copywriting for companies, how it’s a solid job. It sounds like a lot of desk work, but whatever makes money, right? Whatever helps me move out of the house? I applied for the internship at the company he works at, so hopefully that’ll pan out.
So, it didn’t work out. I got an email from the internship, letting me know that I didn’t get it. I know I should be used to it: I’m 21 years old and I’ve only had 2 jobs in my life and neither lasted long (due to the company closing or COVID-19). At least they sent a consolation email, to let me know that it’s not them, it’s me, but good luck on your future endeavors anyway. I think it stings a little more because compared to my engineering friends and business friends who already have jobs lined up after grad, I’m lagging behind. And there’s nobody to blame but myself, for not applying to internships earlier or not having enough experience because I’ve only had two jobs in my life. I know I’ve been privileged, lucky enough to take it easy during college and not have to work in order to attend.
In theory, my life shouldn’t be hard. I breezed through high school, through college with decent grades. My parents paid for my college tuition and my rent and my groceries up until third year, when I got a real job. I know I can move back home after graduation, so there’s no life-or-death urgency to getting a job. But I also know I’m always hard on myself. What’s going on externally shows nothing about what’s happening internally, which is where all my hard work and conflicts and struggles have been. Mentally, I’ve always been strong, determined, willful. But now, I want to be ambitious. I want to apply that drive towards my future. I can still change.
It’s not too late.