Tag Archives: college grad

From unemployed college grad to backpacker

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Look at him, primal in nature, Leo at heart. He’s built for the rough tundra, going days, weeks even without modern amenities. You have to have heart for this, in short Leo’s are about that life. Ra has been on the spiritual path for quite awhile. His story is filled with determination, courage, and innovation to say the least. His story speaks volumes, I am humbled having had the opportunity to hear just a portion of it. I urge him to one day share his story with the world. We are quite different, yet similar in a lot of ways.

This journey however, is much different than anything I have ever experienced. You see, I come from a comfortable home financially. I never really had to hurt for anything. Being the youngest of my siblings, one could infer that I was spoiled. Although I was the youngest, I was the first to go to college. Going to college really wasn’t an option. I had to go. The only reason I even remotely wanted to go was so that I could continue with my athletic career. It was my true love up until I got to college and it started feeling more like a job so I decided to finally retire my Nikes. After that I went through the monotonous going to class routine then one day I finally asked myself: ‘why am I here?’ Something within me knew that I was supposed to be doing something different. There was a deep void within me that college simply wasn’t fulfilling. My grades began to suffer due to my lack of direction and shortly after I found myself on the brink of academic suspension. Everything seemed to had fallen apart and I was a wreck. I had no idea how I was going to tell my parents that I was getting ready to be kicked out of school because of poor grades. One day I mustered the strength and told them, of course their response was nothing short of chilling. ‘Wasting our money’ mixed in with some choice swear words was the sum of that convo.

But, I digress, college was deeply confusing. I had my own internal battle with trying to find my own path along with the pressure from my family to finish. Needless to say I made it.

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Once I graduated, I thought I would quickly land a career in my field like a respectable college grad and begin my life. See, in western society, ‘life’ never really begins. The ‘system’ is set up to where you spend your pivotal years becoming a young adult, stuck in an institution…educational institution that is. They tell you once you graduate the fun is over…they weren’t lying either. The excitement of graduation was short lived as I was more so just ready to get it over with. I’d have to say the worst feeling in the world was having a college degree and having no clue what I was going to do next.

Shortly after graduation I found myself right back home living with my parents. It was degrading, torturous, and depressing. Nothing was falling through for me at that time. I would say leading up to graduation and a few months after, I put in at least 20 applications in my field. Only one of those companies contacted me back. Those are just the companies in my field. Once I saw that nothing was coming through, I started putting in apps at other places. I tried to land an entry level position, but to no avail, my attempts were futile.

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I finally decided that the pressure of being home and not doing anything with my life was too much to bear so I uprooted myself to a family members home in another state. Shortly after, I landed a laboratory job. You could say it was in field; it was more like a job where a degree would be advised but they don’t want to compensate their employees for it so it wasn’t technically a ‘degreed position.’ Interestingly enough, everyone there had similar stories. No one wanted to hire them in their field so they settled. I too, was settling. Every morning I clocked in I thought to myself ‘what are you doing here?’ I knew something big was in store for me, I just didn’t know what.

Ra and myself had been acquainted for quite some time but for a period of time this year he was off the grid. Physically we weren’t in contact but spiritually I knew what was going on. One day everything shifted and he called me. At that point things started to look up for me. Shortly after I found out that the lab I was working at was closing. For others it seemed like the world was ending, for myself it felt like it was just beginning. Ra and I had spoke of some big projects we wanted to do together so I saw it as a perfect opportunity to move forward with my life. From college grad to backpacker, I have zero regrets.