But I’ve learnt to survive; let me tell you how.

Not to be the dream crusher here but I’m sure that everyone at some point must’ve heard about the so-called real world, aka life after college. Even though this letter is addressed to myself, at a time when I was naïve, clueless and incompetent, it also undoubtedly speaks to all those students out there who are anxious about graduating.

Adulthood is a maze in itself; add to it the constant pressure from friends and family, and you have the perfect recipe for anxiety and depression. Career choices were never easy in the first place but it hurts even more when you never get to work for the dream job you always aspired. And you feel like you’ll most probably be stuck with mediocrity all your life. Concerning, right? But I guess the worst part of being an adult (irrespective of the field you’re working in), is being sad and depressed even after having achieved that dream job!

Having too many expectations for your professional life, while still in college can prove to be toxic.

1

It’s a good thing, to be optimistic; to hope for a better future. But I guess, having too many expectations for your professional life, while still in college can prove to be toxic. It doesn’t give you the power to face challenges but makes you believe that they won’t cross your way.

Being a ‘new adult’ in a new city is even more difficult. Ask me! I miss my roommates more than ever (more like my bank account misses them), I miss my Mum (her food, mostly) and I so wish that Google Translate was permanently fixed in my head.

Apart from dealing with social aspects, I guess the worst necessary evil was job hunting. But since I was and still am an independent woman, running back to my parents for food and shelter (no matter how appealing), wasn’t the best option. Anyway, as they say, ‘Hard work pays’, you will find me at a much better place at the moment. Sure, I’m still working my neck off for a ‘better future’, still trying to be optimistic and have a positive outlook on things but I’m proud of who I’ve become. And so will you be, one day.

I take one good look at our proud parents and I know that your struggles have shaped me into who I am today.

2

From all the lessons learnt so far, I’ve understood that no amount of advice could prevent me from falling into the holes I’d dug up for myself. It was only after I fell, that I realised how stupid I’d been. This is a weird analogy but will surely bring solutions to your problems the day you fully understand it.

I know that I should ask you to be ambitious and try to be as independent as possible but I won’t. That’s because I take one good look at our proud parents and I know that your struggles have shaped me into who I am today.

If only I could slow time,

Someone who misses you way too much.



Author: Alisha Jamshed Syed

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