So this is it. The Real World. Here I am. Wait a sec, how is this world any more real than my previous world at the University of California? Isn’t there a new members meeting? Can’t I get a ‘hello my name is’ name tag and an older, wiser assigned big sis to guide me into reality? Apparently none of that warm fuzzy stuff is allowed in the Real World. It’s been replaced by over-worked individuals who lack lives. Isn’t there something to bumper-pad the shock received when the young 20-something moves into the Real World? There you are, the entirety of your 22-year existence spent studying, studying, partying, studying. Then, all of a sudden, your 4 years are up and the studying is done and you think the Real Party has just begun. Newsflash: moving back into the parents house after a 5 year independent phase does not come with Cliff’s Notes. Job searching for the opportunity This is not some midterm that counts for 25% of your grade if you want it to, this is the Real f**king-ugly-dirty-cutthroat World where your life depends on it. Let me tell you from a fresh off the boat standpoint it’s not pretty; if this really is the Real World it sucks.
All of my life I was taught to study. In high school, good grades had to be achieved to obtain admission into a great college. In college good grades had to be achieved to obtain a choice career. Everyone says that an awesome education will get you a wonderful job. Well hell, I’ve got an awesome education from one of the top universities in the nation, maybe even the world, but does it get me anywhere? And where is it exactly that I am trying to get? To financial stability and s? Do not collect cash, do not pass go. I’ve got the degree, I’ve got the resume, I’ve got the glamour, I’ve got the style, but what I lack is the most important, moment-defining detail: the JOB. I choke up, get shaky hands, and fiend for a cigarette just writing it: Well, what do you do? There. I wrote it, I never say it because I can’t take it when people ask me that question, the-what-the-hell-are-you-doing-your-occupation defines-who-you-are-as-a-person question. It doesn’t matter who asks it: your grandmother, aunt, the child you baby-sit, the guy at the meat counter at Safeway, the girl next to you on the Bart, it constantly sounds bad when one out of a job. My responses vary depending on mood: I’m unemployed, I’m between jobs, I’m sifting through offers, I plead the fifth. The response, of course, to one’s unemployment is always the same: hello loser.
The sad thing is, us good-looking, fun, unemployed young people are far from losers. Maybe we lack luck in the job search, but losers we are not. We’re overachievers, type A’s, writers, guitar players, language speakers, singers, gardeners, artists. Unemployment does not equal a boring uneventful life, it just means you are without a job. And in terms of cultural standards and confinements, for most of the time, our jobs define who we are, hence if you are without a job, you are without a life.
In America, unfortunately, your job is your life. Depressingly, it is not our sparkling personalities nor our accomplishments that will bulk up a resume; it’s job experience that counts. Where does one go if they have no experience? How does one gain experience without any experience? It looks strangely like a dead-ended street to me. Employment signifies income, yet it does not always clear the road blocks suddenly making the dead end a through street. What does one have to look forward to in this Real World? Is
These days success is totally overrated, everyone has fifteen minutes of fame. A favorable outcome can always be achieved when you have (an endless amount of) money. Republicanism, reality television, and the easy accessibility of luxury have diluted our concept of what is real and what is false. In the Real World, hunting foreign terrorist leaders and creating an unnecessary war should not make a President reelectable. In the Real World, winning an invented and stupid contest that is taped and broadcast over national television should not make a person famous. In the Real World, owning an imitation Louis Vuitton purse and wearing Seven jeans bought at Costco should not make a person stylish. That’s the problem with this reality-obsessed world, reality has become so real it’s fake.
If one must be fake in order to be real than maybe I’m a little ahead of the game. At Cal the only thing I really learned is how to bull shit. Only they don’t call it bull shit, they call it intelligent theorization through improvisation. With the proper bull shitting techniques, a sparkling personality, and more luck than I’ve got, I may find a place in this world. They say nothing is ever black or white, that it’s always somewhere in the middle. Likewise, the world is neither real nor fake, but somewhere in the gray section. In any case, if the status from unemployed doesn’t change to employed some time soon, I may just say screw you to the Real World. No, not suicide, grad school.
Source: Flickr User bennylin0724