The Woes Of An Online Graduate Beyond the Panorama November 7, 2021

The Woes Of An Online Graduate

Written by Nandini Sethi

Dear mom, 

I think I’m going to retire at 21. 

How much of what we do is really worth anything? In the endless of abyss of ‘hustle culture’, at what point do we realize that most of what we are doing is utterly futile? Since you are retired now and have been through what I’m currently struggling with, I want to know what your perspective is after all these years. 

I saw you working day and night, constantly taking shifts at odd hours of the day just so you could support me and the rest of our family. But that’s the difference between you and I – I don’t have anyone to support, I don’t have any mouths to feed, and I barely have any bills to pay (apart from my trips to the mall). Don’t get me wrong – I’m grateful to you for ensuring I live such a comfortable life, but I don’t see the need to work as hard as you did. 

Is it so wrong that I am not ambitious? I’m almost 21 years old, and I still haven’t figured out what my plan is. I have a dream lifestyle, but I sure as hell don’t have a dream job. Just to clarify – this isn’t a generational problem! I have friends who slog all day, running on caffeine with no sleep, and pull frequent all-nighters to get work done. The moment I see any work that requires me to stay up all night – I very blatantly back out. Is there anything in the world that is worth losing sleep over? I’m sure there are plenty of things, but compromising on nap time for jobs that underpay and excel charts that don’t make sense isn’t one of them. 

I would like to clarify another thing here: I am lazy, I won’t deny that, but I’m not stupid. I have been a star student all through my school and college life, I have an above-average social life, and personally, I think I have a great personality. So, no, I don’t think I’m stupid for wanting a life that I won’t regret when I’m old and on my deathbed. 

I don’t want a career, I don’t want to work my way up to anywhere, and I don’t want an hour for lunch every day. I want two lunches followed by a long snack and I want to eat them at my own pace. Who makes these rules anyway? Our bosses hate them, their bossed hated them, and now we hate them; so why are we following it? 

Mom, I guess what I’m trying to say is that being a graduate is pretty intimidating, and when two years of your education has been all online, it gets more confusing. I hope I’m able to figure out what taxes are and what the stock market really means. And why is everyone suddenly raving about cryptocurrency? Am I already old and out of touch with technology?

I don’t know what scares me – being independent or being alone? I don’t want to be alone. I don’t want to be a burnout. I don’t care about success but I do care about money. Just enough money to keep me happy and afford some retail therapy after a mildly hard day. 

I love who I am, but sometimes I wish I was someone else. Someone smarter, more driven, and someone who knows the difference between stock market and the markets where you can get stocks and broths. 

Maybe I should stop opening LinkedIn at 2:00 AM. 

Nandini Sethi
Nandini Sethi

Sometimes dolefully insightful, sometimes plain distressed state of mind, but always love. I think there’s a bit of love in everything we write. 

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