Statistics, Failure, and Other Uplifting Topics (No, Actually)

Today, I became a statistic.

(To be fair, you can quantify nearly everything, and virtually anything can be interpreted as a statistic; this can be a rather restrictive and depressing thought, especially if you’re as bad at math as I am.)

More clearly, then, today I became a statistic that I don’t like. I became one of many graduating grad students who have to rely on a minimum wage job to pay the bills until I manage to get a career job.

This elusive ‘big girl job’, as I’ve been calling it, is frustratingly—you guessed it—elusive. Part of the reason why I wanted to pursue grad school was to hopefully mitigate the difficulty of starting a career. But, as much of my MA cohort is finding out: easier said than done. We can argue anyone under the table about the definition and implications of liminal space, yet we largely remain unemployed.

Part of what makes my current ‘failure’ to find a career job so difficult is that this past year has been a year of success. I got into my top choice of school, and I did really well in school. I’ve been able to experience living in downtown Toronto, and I’ve been able to travel to Quebec and Chicago.

However, the farther I drift from frustration (which truthfully depends on the day), the more I realize how intertwined failure and success really are. With the failure of getting a job, I’ve found success in the (vast) amount of time I’ve had to think about my goals for the future; I’ve been able to discern which job applications are even worth spending the time on, and which ones are not worth applying to. In my opinion, both failure and success are relative.

As trying as life has been lately, I wouldn’t change a thing. I’ve had so many amazing experiences over the past year, and I wouldn’t trade them in for the world. I know I’ll look back on this time later in life, and envy the feeling of freedom I have right now.

I’ve also tried to have a bit of fun with my current predicament. As some of you know, I’ve recently become a Professional Background Actor (the fancy way of saying a movie extra): because, why not? I was pretty into drama in high school, and recently (during my vast amount of time to think), I thought, why can’t I still be into drama? The ending of school doesn’t have to mark the ending of certain hobbies that are normalized as extracurriculars in schools.

And so concludes my musings for this week. My next blog post may be a bit late next week, as I will be in Montreal with my parents! Maybe I’ll find a bit of inspiration there for my next instalment. Meanwhile, I’ll be over here questioning my life decisions over a cup of tea.

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