A little over a year ago, I was too new to be effected by all the publishing industry layoffs. About the only feeling I had were the creeps when I went to the floor that housed CH. It was more like a disaster area than an empty floor in a publishing house. Literally, areas were zoned off and left in shambles, notes with “Don’t touch this” and “Don’t take” or even “Stay out” were strewn across office chairs, cabinets and cubicles. It was really, really eerie.
Today there were more layoffs. I don’t know how many, but I do know that it meant more this time around. Three people connected with the magazine I freelance for were let go. Please understand: the magazine I write for is mainly produced by three in-house employees: one designer and two editors. The rest is freelancers and other in-house employees who are indirectly involved. Now, only one of those three people were laid off, but that’s still one-third of my magazine. The other two worked with our magazine, and many others.
I know these people. They aren’t just names in an email sent out by the CEO, they aren’t even people I awkwardly run into when I’m getting my yogurt from the fridge. These are people I’ve directly worked with. Facebook friends. Just really good people.
I know, I’m lucky. I can’t really be injured by layoffs (unless it meant shuttering our magazine). But it’s a scary, scary world. And it’s unsettling to know there’s destruction in the cubicle next to you.
I spent a lot of time beating myself up this first month of post-graduation life. Why don’t I have a job? Why aren’t I more happy? Where’s the beef? And all other important life questions. Sure, I’ve blamed a hefty amount on the economy. Rightfully so. Yet I do have peers who have moved on to bigger and better things despite this job crisis. And for whatever purpose, I seem to think that comparing myself to them is right. But just because we’ve graduated at the same time, maybe taken a couple classes together here and there, doesn’t mean my objectives are the same. And that’s something I need to remember.
I left Drake after a well-invested four years. I’ve had a variety of friends, a handful of odd jobs, and an assortment of activities, organizations, and honors. Not to mention a double major and a minor, with a GPA I am proud of. What I didn’t do is limit myself. Nor was I overly focused. Instead I lived life. And despite where I think I should be career wise, I wouldn’t have changed those four years for anything–even a sweet gig at my favorite magazine, or a high paying job and a big city penthouse (although, it’s a tough one to say no to).
Graduating college in a shitty economy isn’t exactly conducive to the dreams I had when I graduated high school. But I decided to roll with the punches and apply to grad school. A legitimate choice, if not feeling a bit like I’m stalling. But my plans are slowly being foiled. Upon applying for the GRE general and GRE subject, I found out I can’t take the subject until testing opens again–in 2010. If you follow my problem, this means I can’t apply for 2010 enrollment. Which places me three years of out undergrad, and 25 years of age before I can get into grad school. Sure, this gives me the chance to thoroughly learn French. BUT STILL. 2011? That means I might be in the class of 2016. I will be so old. I should effing have a job and a life at that point. I shouldn’t even be getting a Masters. Might as well go for a Doctorate. So I can be Dr. Old-Cat-Lady.