Column: Finding humility and hope

Originally published in the Indiana Daily Student

It’s only been less that two months since I’ve graduated, but I’ve already discovered life after college is a giant lesson in humility.

Humility is walking into a Dollar General store and asking for an employment application. Humility is standing around a Dollar General store for ten minutes while six middle-aged women scrounge around their work areas to find the employment application. Humility is walking out of a Dollar General store back to your mom’s purple car because the bank won’t give you a car loan until you have a part-time job, like at a Dollar General store.

Humility is asking a 16-year-old kid at Premiere Video if they are hiring. Humility is having him tell you no. Restraint is preventing yourself from banging your head against the glass door and screaming “WHY ME!” on the way out.

Humility is having a college degree and not being called back by a Target store after you’ve turned in your employment application even when they have a job opening.

Humility is receiving form letters nicely telling you that the newspaper thinks you’re a really swell guy, but is just not ready for this sort of commitment at the moment. Humility is receiving ten of these. And one to grow on.

Humility is shifting your eyes every time someone asks if you’ve found a job yet. Lying is telling that person yes. Lying is telling that person maybe. Humility is telling that person “I’m sorry, I have an inner ear infection and didn’t hear your question.”

Humility is living at home. Humility is having your mom tell you to be home at midnight. Humility is being home at midnight.

Humility is starting a Web site to display your writing for free since nobody will pay you for it…yet.

Luckily, life after college is also a lesson in hope because one can take only so much humility before resigning oneself to change their field of interest to lawn gnome.

Hope is receiving a post card from a newspaper and thinking, that maybe, just maybe, they hire people through post cards. Stranger things have happened.

Hope is refusing to decorate your room at home because you don’t play on staying their long enough to properly enjoy it. Hope is looking through the apartment classifieds. Hope is circling the ones you like.

Hope is walking into a bank and asking for a car loan, even though you don’t have a job yet. Hope is walking into a newspaper office and asking for a job even though you don’t have professional experience yet.

Hope is setting a tentative date for your BIG move to be on your own, even though you probably won’t have a job in your field of interest yet. Unless your field of interest is lawn gnome. Then my grandma is hiring.

Hope is that little thing inside you that continuously whispers, “I think I can. I think I can. I think I can. I think I can.” No, wait. That’s not hope. That’s the little steam engine that could.

Hope is writing a story and then submitting it in “hopes” that someone at the publication will read it, realize it’s the single greatest piece of writing he or she has ever read, and then offer you a hundred grand a year job. Okay, maybe that one is just delusion.

Hope is not believing in delusions.


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