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guide to getting it on: a belated thank you

i've been going through a funk of sorts.

and it's lasted entirely too long. 

getting out of bed has been hard.

today (the first day off in two weeks) was spent doing nothing but reading. in bed.  it was perfection.

but now i know it's time to move on. to get out of bed. and live like a normal person. 

and check things off my list.

so this is way overdue, but better late than never.

remember this post?

well, paul joannides made good on his promise. and i now have guide to getting it on: sixth edition.
i know you're not meant to judge a book by its cover, but i love the new cover! i can't wait to peruse the pages and see what's new. when paul offered to send me the book he also sent along a lovely email...

Life can be--uh--interesting for new grads.

Now, just wondering. What college did you graduate from, with what degree, and if you have a job, what sorts of things are you doing? Oh, and if things are different in the world of love and sex than they were when you were in college, in what ways are they different.

Sorry to be so nosey, but while I'm pretty familiar with the situation on college campuses, a lot of you more or less drop off the face of the planet the first couple of years out of college, and it's helpful for me to know the kinds of issues you are facing so I can be more sensitive to it.

I can remember how awful it was for me, but that was so far back in time we humans were still egg-layers. I would think it would be wonderful if there were some way for the transition to be fun and exciting--but I've also heard some horror stories about young guys going to work on Wall Street for next to nothing, living in a 5-story walk-up studio that's barely big enough for them and the cockroaches.

Then again, I'm sure there are other recent grads who are in a good situation, good job, and are having a blast.

So any thoughts or observations you might have for me would be wonderful, not that you aren't blogging about that.



Well, as most of you know I'm a Juilliard grad with a BFA in theatre.

 I work six days a week, earning next to nothing, and just barely cover the rent of my one bedroom apartment (I live in the living room--so my roommate and I basically don't have a common area). 

I have found the transition from college to the real world to be near impossible (of course the economy has not made it any easier). And even though I go through periods where it's hard to get out of bed, I do love my life. Thoroughly and deeply I do. The best thing about leaving school has been the realization that endless opportunities abound. I get to choose who my friends are, what I do with my day, and I am responsible for the creation of art. So life is hard. Near impossible most days. But good. And thank goodness for that. 

Now as for the romance....I've been on one blind date since I've graduated. That's it. Match. com is looking better every day. Any suggestions, Paul? Where should I go to meet men?

And as for the bloggers out there...help me give Paul some info. What was your transition like after college? And the dating scene in the years after school...what was that like for you?


~*"*Dia*"*~ said...

Talking about common area...I feel my transition is something like that. I got a full time job in my first year of college (a distance form) as a translator in a paper factory and it's quite confusing to spend my youth among people who have been working here since I was born and dealing with technical terminology that I'm not familiar with even in my own language. Well, this summer the common area will end as I'll finally take my bachelor degree. Anyway, instead of becoming more self-confident, I feel the opposite. About love...well, life's been good to me. I'll probably be engaged this summer after two years of dating and 14 years of being pals. Hmm, making love? We're definitely conservative, that will happen after we get married :D

Alexia said...

Hello dear,

Well, I hated university so I was pretty happy to leave. Having said that, I think the first few few years after uni are difficult because suddenly you have to decide where you belong. Before there was always a structure, whether you liked it or not but then you can do whatever you want to do and I think a lot of people end up doing nothng... or something banal like get a run of the mill job and get a mortgage- whoopty do.
The book I'm writing is kind of about this... a quarter-life crisis.
Anyway, it's taken me a couple of years to figure out what directionI'd like to go in. Note, not what I'd like to DO, what DIRECTION to go in.
Then again, I am speaking from an artist's (term used loosely) point of view. I guess people who have jobs based on merit and not luck/ talent/ opinion find somewhere to belong faster.

That didn't really answer any questions, did it?!

Off to catch up on some of your posts. I've been away falling in love with Brussels.

Alexia said...

Oh if you want a job wherever you go, get a certificate to teach English! I've taught in Vietnam and Thailand like that and now I'm a private tutor in Greece. I'm hoping for South America next year!

s said...

i can totally relate to what u're describing. i studied architecture in uni and it was like a safe and structured hothouse for 5 years. having to suddenly be a grownup was terrifying, especially in the social and love finding sense. as for a job, i did find a good position pretty quickly but starting in an office environment was a shock and also very scary.
then followed about 2 years of being quite miserable, confused and scared, and even a kind of nervous breakdown (arghhh)... the good news, that after feeling like i've been broken down and rebuilt, now about 4 years later i'm living with my boyfriend i'm in love with, and doing well at my job.knock on wood!!! i am so happy with my life, my love, and the friendships i've built.
i'm feel so much stronger and sort of "fuller" - with happiness, identity, wisdom, love, kindness for others and myself, then i ever was before all this. it was truly growing up.
i think in order to get to that place you have to go thru the miserable, breaking down process. there's just no other way to learn about yourself but trying & making mistakes. the most important thing i've found is knowing where you want to get. once i knew that, things stated to get better. and it sounds like you know what you want..

Helen said...

Hello, Miss Meg. These are good questions, huh?

I earned a BA in English from a really small college in Baltimore. And I've just finished my MFA in creative writing from the University of Virginia.

The time in between was damn hard. For two years, I was living in downtown Baltimore, feeling hostile all the time and meeting all kinds of men, none of whom treated me well or could be trusted. I met them in coffee shops, in diners, through friends, at parties where copious amounts of alcohol was involved. Dating never actually happened. One guy, who later became a boyfriend, was a friend of my older brother's. He took the train up from DC, where he lived, for our first date (he had no car), despite the fact that the train stopped running at 11 p.m. Our first date was a sleep-over. Maybe I'm prudish, but that wasn't the kind of romance I was looking for, not on the first date.

Anyway, I could go on and on, but I won't. Dating was hard and lonely. It seemed impossible to find anyone who truly felt similar to me in some magical way. I cried a lot. And wrote a lot about it.

The second I hit graduate school, go figure, I met the love of my life. If having to endure all those broken hearts in Baltimore was part of finding my love, that's okay by me.

iheartkiwi said...

i still find myself telling people, "i just graduated" turns out it was over a year ago... not sure if that term still applies.

i've come to hate the phrase, "so what are you doing now?" people expect so much of grads, sometimes i feel like there is too much pressure on what we do... while kiwi and i were in new zealand people would ask, "what are your hobbies?" i pretty much love that. i think we should be defined by more than a job title.

as far as love goes, you seem like an amazing gal. i am sure it will find you when you least expect it. the minute i stopped looking, i found kiwi.

thank you for your kind words, your blog is as always, inspiring and a joy to read.

Single Girl said...

graduating is the worse.
ALL YOU DO is start working, in a entry level job that you probably hate!

I know sounds like fun right? I've been graduated for a few years, and I wish I had taken more time in school. I got in and out in four years only to find that the golden opportunity I was looking for wasn't real.

But I have learned to manage. Making friends is hard. Dating is harder.

Right now I love where I work, but not my job. I have friends I work with so that makes it manageable.

I want to disappear somewhere.

Mariah said...

Oh dear,
all of this "real-world" talk makes me glad that I still have one year left in Uni. Looks like the five-year plan is the way to go! And after that, I'm thinking Masters. With the economy the way it is right now, it really just doesn't seem like a good time to be graduating!

jess said...

Hey Meg! (I am pretending we are on a first name basis now, is that ok?)
So I have been graduated for 2.5 years now and at first I really struggled. I felt like being graduated from college I should instantly have a glamorous job, corner office, and LOTS of money.. Uhhh not the case. I hated my first job and lasted only 4 months. I have now been at my "career" job for 2 years and recently got promoted to a position that will actually relate to what I got my degree in.
As for dating, it's amazing how hard it was to meet new people after graduating. People must have felt bad for me, everyone I knew tried to set me up with anyone they knew. It ended in 3 serious relationships, a handful of fun dates (among several disastrous ones), a couple of NICMOs(non-committal make outs), and marrying a guy I met on a blind date that is 4 years younger than me and the love of my life...

Hanako66 said...

I married very young (21), and although I would not recommend it (hard, very hard), it was right for us. Our first year or so of marriage, we were still finishing up school (also very hard). Hub had a career in a field that he still enjoys and I took a job to make ends meet. I stayed in that line of work for several years and am just now doing something that I thoroughly enjoy. By graduation time, we were both fairly successful in our careers.....I owe this to having to start early due to our young marriage.

Sara said...

I love The Guide To Getting It On. One of my roommates in college had a copy and I was absolutely fascinated with it. Good stuff.

Ash said...

My transition was really hard. I really think it is for a lot of people--I had gotten used to classes, breaks, study time and time to myself during the day, and suddenly I'm at a desk all day, confused about what sort of job I really want in a less-than-ideal job market in my small town. I found I was either drastically over-qualified or under-qualified for every job I applied for, so that was really hard.

Dating probably would have been slim to none for me if I hadn't gotten married a month before I graduated from college--I've never been much of a dater, but I did date my husband. I don't regret marrying young at all--he's my biggest supporter and he lets me cry about my job. Ha ha. Though it can been hard at times, it's also really nice to not have to worry about the dating game, and to have my best friend with me all the time.

I graduated with a BA in creative writing, and I loved my program. I haven't written anything serious since, and that's been nice, but also hard. I miss school, but now that I've been out for a year, it's gotten better. There are just so many possibilities, but I'm here for a while longer while my boy finishes school, so that can be a bummer.

CAPow said...

I love your blog! I just wanted to comment and say that you shouldn't blow off match.com before you try it. I met my boyfriend of 2 years on match.com after kissing about...6 frogs before him. You never know...

RatalieNose said...

Well...uhhh...I'm still in High School....so I guess I'm not much help....but I did like this post! You could be the poster child for "Live Love Laugh"

jess said...

hello meg,
I don't know if this answers any qusetions or not but its my quick story of hope...
so finished college got a rubbish job, lived in a shoebox studio flat, dated total losers had no real direction, I only knew where I was, was not where I wanted to be. Then one day at a friends house I met the most incredable guy........... and now We're married living in a cottage in the middle of the english countryside, oh and I went back to college and studied something else and now have an amazing job that i love.

My point, well sometimes magical things happen when you least expect them, and if someone had told me where I'd be now then, I wouldn't have believed them.
Even though our lives are different, I totally get what your saying honey.


The Rookie said...

Life after graduation just plain sucked. I moved to a different city with a friend. I was dirt poor, in debt, and the job I'd landed sucked every ounce of energy, joy and time I had to give. Such are the first years of teaching. Transitioning from student to teacher was terrible! I had no idea how hard it was or the hours upon hours upon hours I would spend hovered in my classroom like a prisoner creating lessons to engage the little monsters (bless their hearts), grading, crying over their sad stories, crying over my sad story. I had no friends but the roommate/best friend who moved with me. I had no life. I put on weight. I aged. I turned a sickly yellow-whitish hue. I like to say I survived that first year. Three and a half years later, I'm wonderful. Still not exactly dating, but I made it out of that period alive! I think, excusing the occasional lapse, I've finally made it to this space they call adulthood.

I think that is what I love about your blog--I see so much of myself in the things you write about. I'm not that far from being right there with you!

~*"*Dia*"*~ said...

Update: It seems that things were perfect only for me. Yesterday we broke up. Funny, above all the contradictory feelings of hurt, guilt, shock, indignation, despair, unending love, hope, I feel that I should laugh. I must laugh now, as long as I still can and hope something will change. That's life :)

Ashley Yazzie said...

I too am a theater major. I'm 26 and graduated five years ago with my B.F.A. The transition from student of school, to student of life was dreadful. Ironically I was the one standing in my own way. I past up several auditions because I thought they were "beneath me." In my peanut head, I figured that I was this wise professional actor and studied and performed with the greats. I didn't want to do some crappy production of Fiddler on the Roof in a run down theater. Well guess what? That's how it works!

Soon I realized that I wasn't a big deal. Soon I realized that I needed a job that was completely flexible and usually doesn't have insurance/401k, etc. The main reason being that I could scoot to any and every audition appropriate for me when they sprouted up. Soon I did small productions in run down theaters. My greatest suggestion to you is to create your own work. I just started an actor's group in L.A. because I can't afford to take classes. We network, we laugh, we commiserate. Pluck every option available to you. Write your own works, direct your friends, have your friends direct you.

Friends post academia? Hard, but possible. I just starting asking people that seemed fascinating out for dessert. (I couldn't/still can't afford a meal!) Friendship is like dating. You seek out someone that you are compatible with, and who shares common interests. You put yourself out there and make the move, share a bite, share a laugh then determine the next step. Do I see this friendship going somewhere? Did we click? If so, ask them to go to a gallery with you next week, etc. Again, be open to every opportunity.

Hope this helps! I wish my older self could have tapped me on the shoulders to give me advice!