Reality Bites: The Dark Side of #PGP

24 Oct

Dear readers, I have a confession to make.

Before I get into it, though, some background on where I’m coming from. When I was a junior in high school, a friend described me as “independent – to a fault,” and I thought it was an apt description of me. I enjoyed the challenge of handling things alone, and was often stubborn about asking for help because I thought I could handle it better on my own.

Six-odd years later, that remains a really good description of my personality, whether it’s at work, in life in general, or whatever. When I lived in New York, I didn’t even like taking cabs, because I felt like it was more ‘independent’ or ‘self-reliant’ to take the subway. (nb: that has all changed since I came to DC, because WMATA vs. Uber – are you kidding me?).

The independence factor is probably the one reason that I have been having a fucking baller time in DC since moving here. I got my current job pretty much on my own, I made friends on my own, and I even found my janky-ass apartment without much help from anyone. I think that’s really contributed to my enjoyment of all of those aspects of my lifestyle (i.e. it’s why I put up with a washer/dryer that dates back to 1979 – because hey, I snagged it on my own!). I know it sounds nuts. But it’s the way I am. I’ve loved living on my own, paying my own bills, dealing with problems my own way, even if it’s not the perfect way.

But I must confess: in the past few weeks, I’ve started to feel like – well, like I need help. All of a sudden, handling mundane life issues by myself has become So. Fucking. Hard. Dealing with the fallout of a lost wallet? Getting the washer repaired? Remembering to order new contact lenses before the old ones run out? Installing a shelf when there’s no one around to tell me whether it’s straight and centered? Running back and forth between my doctor and my old health insurance and my new health insurance trying to figure out who’s responsible for a bill?

It’s all so hard. It’s all weighing on me so hard. And I no longer feel exhilarated by my independence. I feel FUCKING DEPRESSED by it, because I’m constantly being told that I don’t have the life skills to handle it. Every day, I come home from work and feel like there’s another thing I have to do – and I don’t even know where to begin. I don’t WANT to call my parents and have them handle it all for me, and ordinarily my independent-to-a-fault self wouldn’t dream of it, but I’m feeling like I have no other choice.

Which brings me to the title of this post. #PGP, or #PostGradProblems, is a favorite website of the Stop Requested ladies (may I personally recommend their always-on-point Twitter feed?). The idea is basically to point out silly life things that post-grads are bad at doing, like cooking health food or not getting drunk on Monday nights and making out with co-workers. It’s a similar idea to this BuzzFeed article that really speaks to my soul.

Before reality started crashing down on me like this, I thought #PGP was hilarious, because it was poking lighthearted fun at the idea of being a dysfunctional 20-something. And I was able to laugh at it because I was only dysfunctional on things that didn’t matter, like eating too many burritos or falling asleep at my desk or whatever.

Now, though, the website (which I still adore) is starting to hit a little too close to home, because I’m realizing that post-grad life is actually really goddamn hard. Even though I’ve got a job and an apartment and can make rent, I’m still having trouble with little things like remembering to get my dry cleaning and replacing the batteries in the remote and researching grad programs and keeping the cabinet stocked with cleaning supplies. I feel so frozen in place, unable to handle so many important things in my life! #PostGradProblems has become #PostGradParalysis.

It’s so true what your parents say when you complained about your homework: just wait till you enter the real world. I’m here in the real world, and it was awesome for a while, but now I feel like it’s crushing my soul.

I think this is just a phase. And I desperately hope it is. Because I think adulthood is awesome – I guess I just haven’t quite figured it all out yet.


2 Responses to “Reality Bites: The Dark Side of #PGP”


  1. The Most Blasphemous Thing a D.C. 20-Something Can Say | STOP REQUESTED - October 31, 2013

    […] all that shit you had to do? Last week, I wrote about how the real world sucks and it’s really hard to get everything done that adulthood expects of us. One problem with that is that there just isn’t enough time outside of the workday to do the […]

  2. Cursed or #Blessed? | STOP REQUESTED - November 1, 2013

    […] going to play off of Betty’s post yesterday about hating happy hour, and her post last week about the dark side of #PostGradProblems, and talk about a post grad blessing disguised as a curse […]

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