When I was a kid, I saw the world as a boundless place of possibility. But now that I’ve gone to college and am one semester from graduating, that list of possibilities is lookin’ a lot shorter. Why did my parents tell me that I could do anything I wanted, and be anything I wanted when I grew up? Why did they instill in me this absurd sense of confidence that led me to believe that I would succeed at anything I set my mind to? Sure, rejection is a part of life, but I just wish that the acceptances to rejections ratio was more of an improper fraction, if you know what I mean. Here are a few other life lessons our parents have taught us that I’ve started questioning in recent months. And just as adisclaimer for the Literal Larry’s out there, I’m well aware that I’m being childish and immature. That’s the point.
1. Follow Your Dreams and All Your Hard Work Will Pay Off: Sure, if you majored in business or economics or math or something. Try to get a dream job with that history or English major. Go ahead, I dare you.
2. Always Be Yourself: Well, myself is a person who wears lots of leggings and tunics with long dangling necklaces and jingle-jangly bracelets. On a particularly lazy day, you’ll find me in sweatpants and a tank. Does anybody want to hire this?
3. Don’t Lie: This one’s sort of true, except that if I were totally honest all the time, employers wouldn’t look at me twice. Like when interviewers ask me about my weaknesses, I really want to say: Well, I tend to spaz heavily at pretty much anything and I’m mildly addicted to social media. I also talk way too much and use “lol” and “jk” in actual human interactions. My strengths? I kick serious ass, and work like twice as hard as many of my classmates, so hire me please. Can I say all this? Not if I want a job…
4. Everyone Will Love You Because I Love You: Nope, nope, nope, nope, nope. This is simply not true. Lots of people will probably dislike you, and it might be because your application for a job actually isn’t strong enough, or because you sucked at the interview. Or maybe they’ll dislike you for no apparent reason. That’s just the way life works, kids.
5. There is Good in Everyone: Maybe this is true, but I find it hard to believe. I particularly doubt that good exists in people that
send out an email congratulating you on securing an interview, and then following up with “Sorry, that email went out to the wrong recipient.” I speak from experience.
6. Not Matter What Happens, It’s For the Best: How can parents say this with a straight face? I guess it’s a matter of opinion,
but I’m having a hard time of seeing the silver lining in potentially permanent lack of employment (I won’t call it unemployment because that would imply a previous employment of some kind).
7. Always Have a Firm Handshake: Unless your interviewer is a woman who happens to be wearing several rings. Again, speaking from experience.
8. Practice Makes Perfect: My mom always told me this when I was little, but has stopped saying this since I’ve gotten to college. After hearing me practice my Oral Comm 101 final speech about 20 times on the phone, I think she has (rightfully) given up hope. Same goes for practicing your interview responses. Chances are, you’ll end up blabbering no matter how much you practice. Or you’ll end up sounding too rehearsed. There’s just no winning.
9. Ask Questions When You Don’t Understand: Okay, mom, here goes–Dear Potential Employer, Why don’t you like me? I’m awesome, I promise. Sincerely, Maria.
10. Try To Have Fun No Matter What You’re Doing: Are root canals fun? Well, looking for a job is life’s root canal. It’ll be worse
if you never bother to take care of it, but while you’re in the middle of it, you just want to cry.