Today is the first day of the rest of my life.
No, really — it was my first day of full-time, post-grad employment. It’s a sweet editor job. The workplace is small and friendly. I have my own office, so I’m going to do some major decorating/placing of photos and knick-knacks before work tomorrow. (Of course, I’ll share pictures.) Today was spent settling into the job, but I can already tell I’m going to like it there.
And so I’ve discovered another way that life changes after you receive a college diploma. People take me seriously now. Whenever I worked for a media company before, I was an intern. It’s not that people don’t respect interns. They do for the most part. (Though there is the occasional editor who lies about paying you.) But now I feel like I’m an equal and a colleague. We’re all on the same adult level and since we work for the same company, we’re on a team together.
I didn’t even realize until recently that I wasn’t being taken seriously as a student. It had never really occurred to me. Did you realize this if you were a student (or if you’re still a student)? I was working all throughout college, so I assumed graduated “adults” (like I wasn’t one) took me as seriously as I did. I was wrong. For example, I was at a press club mixer last week when I was still on the job hunt. People asked where I worked, and I always had the same answer: “I just graduated in December, so I’m still looking for a job.” That’s when many people immediately lost interest in the conversation. One person even said: “Well, I don’t have any work for someone just out of school.” Translation: “We’re done talking.” I got no respect. (Not intended as a Rodney Dangerfield impression.)
But now? Sixteen years of school, a shiny college diploma, and a full-time job seem to be the magic equation for commanding respect. It must be somewhere in the adult rule handbook that I still haven’t received in the mail.