All My Friends Are Going Back to School Without Me: A Story in Colors

by Carleigh Foutch 

It’s officially August. The back-to-school aisle at Walmart smells like wax crayons and fresh paper (or maybe that’s just me because I actually pick up the notebooks to smell the paper…it’s not weird). College campuses are receiving their students again with smiles and laughter at being rid of their parents and being able to do whatever they want…for the most part.

I watch all of this from afar, full of the greenest envy, the bluest melancholy, and a tinge of yellow cheer. I graduated in May, and the well of my job search is still dry after almost five months of the hunt.

I’m green because I miss being with my friends in such close quarters. Many of my closest friends still have a year to go before they join me in the real world, and a part of me aches to be able to have just one more year, just a little more time before being thrust into this unpredictable place where I don’t really have a plan. While they are all transitioning back to school, I am going through my own transition. One that’s frustratingly mysterious and vague, but exciting at the same time. I’m learning a lot about myself right now. I’m learning how to fail gracefully (which is so so hard). I’m also learning to persevere even after hearing “No.” for the hundredth, thousandth time.

I’m blue because hearing “No.” so often and watching other people’s success is a hard thing to do. I’m being encouraged from all sides, but sometimes it can be very overwhelming. Comparison is the thief of joy, and I sit back and watch as this thief purposefully breaks into my house to steal from me. I’m blue because it seems like everyone else has a plan while I do not, although I know most of us (read: all of us) are parading around in these human suits pretending to know what we’re doing.

However, in the midst of this blue and green sea, I’m starting to add some more yellow. There’s a quotation by Anne Frank that says “What a wonderful thought it is that some of the best days of our lives haven’t happened yet”. How beautiful a person she was, to allow the space between what was happening and her uncertain future to be filled with hope. I’d like to do the same. I’m filled with yellow cheer at the journey I’m embarking on and whatever the outcome may be. I may as well embrace the uncertainty, right?

For all of you out there in your own transition, I support and commiserate with you. It’s tough! But we are capable of anything, and the best days are yet to come.

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