A lot of people go through the phase, after college, when they move in with their parents and are unemployed. They are the ones who text you BuzzFeed articles during the day. Not the quick ones that we all look at while hiding in the bathroom at work, but the long ones, with videos attached.
And now I'm one of them. Kind of. I moved in with my sister, instead of my parents, and it's two years post graduation, but I'm unemployed nonetheless. And over the past few weeks, I have gone through a series of phases.
1. "Everything Is Awesome!"
You exercise, you apply to jobs nonstop, you read the news. You wonder why people complain about applying to jobs and being unemployed in general. The prospect of being able to work anywhere is exciting and new. The world is your oyster!
2. "I'm That Friend..."
You find yourself getting verbally upset when websites do not upload articles quickly enough during the day. You catch up on every podcast that has ever been produced, which until now you thought was actually impossible. You have never been so up to date on your friends, because you find yourself texting the most random people, hoping someone bites and gets into a conversation with you during the day. The few who do respond are impressed by your elaborate use of emoji's. While life is slightly stir-crazy, you're still applying to jobs and feeling hopeful. If we are being totally honest, however, you are looking for some excuses to make applying to jobs not your only task during the day. The elaborate dip platter you made for yourself probably wasn't 100% necessary, but was totally worth it.
3. "So I Do... What Exactly?"
You’ve never had so much free time before. It’s intriguing, but also difficult to grasp. People keep telling you stuff to do ("if you're bored, haha"), but you have no interest in any of it because activities involve leaving the house, which would involve putting on pants, and you have grown very accustomed to not wearing pants. It’s this strange thing, because you feel busy, yet nothing is getting accomplished and when people ask what you do all day, you are at a loss, “Oh, you know, I sat over there… then I sat over here…”
4. "Google Chat Is Life"
You still aren’t watching TV, so it doesn’t matter that you haven’t applied to a job in a few days, right? You have a core group of G-Chat friends-- all of whom have office jobs which they do not particularly like-- who you have mindless conversations with that last multiple hours. If they aren’t on by 9:05 a.m. you send a text asking what happened, because the only feasible excuse is that someone has kidnapped them.
5. "I'll Apply To Jobs, Right After..."
You can insert almost anything after the ellipses, because at this point you aren’t picky. You spent three hours perfectly aligning sticky-notes on the wall to look like a calendar. The only things on it are arbitrary deadlines you give yourself and weekend plans, but still, it looks aesthetically pleasing. You only get out of bed in the morning because you feel obligated to be online by 9 a.m. There are days that go by where you literally do not leave the house. You text a lot of people the picture of the calendar, yet no one seems as impressed as you are.
6. "I'll Take Self Deprecation With A Side of Failure, Please"
Applying to job after job and realizing that you are 1) not qualified for anything and 2) not hearing back from anywhere, gets hard. You want to believe that if given the opportunity, you’ll do fine, but with each passing day that becomes less and less believable. You see your friends excelling in their fields and learning new things, and you make excuses for why that isn’t you. Is everyone going to grow up and leave you behind?! You have stopped taking your parents’ phone calls all together, because they never end well.
7. "Human Contact Wanted"
It probably isn’t a good sign when you linger at the checkout counter at 711, hoping the cashier strikes up a conversation, as you buy wine at 11 a.m. Oh, yeah, if not-drinking-alone was a rule, it was broken a while ago.
8. "The Inevitable"
It’s all down hill from here. You decided to watch one episode of TV and now you live and breathe Olivia Pope. You stay up until 3 a.m., wake up at 10 a.m., and have stopped working out entirely. You are now your Weird-Uncle-Tom.
9. "One Day At A Time"
Things are turning around. You still watch TV all the time, but you are also finding reasons to leave the house. And all the days not applying to jobs made you kind of miss it. It physically pains you to not watch TV, but you have to stop. Friends invite you over, and you actually consider saying no to stay home and watch Scandal, but you force yourself, at least half the time, to be social. Baby steps.