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May 3, 2014

Flying The Nest

Bless me Father, for I have graduated. It has been three months since my official graduation from NUIG. In that time, I have received no job offers and continue to worry for my prospective career.

If you feel yourself being unceremoniously tossed from the nest, you will begin to understand that the transition from college to the real world is a monumental one. It has been a mere 12 weeks and I already feel entirely removed from the college sphere. I walked through campus recently and while I did experience a warm familiar feeling, this nostalgia was tinged with a bizarre sense of loss. As I watched the first years frolic through the concourse like new born lambs in spring, it became glaringly obvious that I did not belong. I felt like Drew Barrymore in Never Been Kissed, minus the feathers. As I am only 22 years of age, this shows the devastating effects that being a certified graduate can have on one’s feelings of youthful exuberance. Too bleak?! Worry not, I am exaggerating. But only slightly.

When lectures finished, I remained living in Galway city and continued working at my part-time job, which proved a very effective way of prolonging the illusion that I was still in college. The inner nerd longed for the cosy confines of the James Hardiman library, and I remained in my little NUIG bubble. I also maintained a persistent masquerade as a student on public transport, which seemed fairly legitimate in my book. Sure wasn’t I only commuting to college!

Days passed, Masters were obtained and emigration claimed a few of the nearest and dearest. I took it all in my stride and reassured myself this was all part of the Big Life Goal. Now was the time to relax and ‘figure things out.’ Last November however, I got a sign from above. It was not a spiritual one, but structural; the roof of my apartment literally caved in and it seemed like a higher power was trying to send a message, encouraging a new life path. Or maybe it was just some rotting floorboards. In any case, I decided to move back home temporarily and embrace my infantile existence in the family nest.

I enjoyed a few weeks of laundry service and damp-free walls before reality had to be faced, and I could no longer deny that the student bubble which had been well and truly popped. That day came when it dawned on me that I ought to financially contribute to the household and pay a meagre rent to my new matriarchal landlord. It was like that feeling you get when you are the oldest child at a summer camp; the flashing red light that reads CHILDHOOD OVER. I realised that circumstances must be changed lest I end up fulfilling the cliché of the middle-aged creep living in their mother’s basement.

To be continued