Beyond College

We had such simple aspirations
From day one and beyond:
Graduate, get a job.
Simple. Easy. Realistic.

Except no.

We studied to be teachers.
In Ireland.
If you only knew the reality
Of what we just put ourselves through.

Now, we’re out of college.
We’re in the Big Bad World,
Unemployed, or working in retail,
Or living abroad,
Because that’s where the work is.
Just, not at home,
Where we need each other.

Now we think about finding home,
And marriage
And relationships
And just settling down.

Barely a year out
And we feel old,
Worn out by the System,
And bitter at a certain Minister.

And this is our life,
Beyond college
And beyond being a teenager,
Struggling with people
Who five years ago
Were just strangers on the street.
A hundred of us more a year,
And all of us in the same sinking ship.

They don’t prepare you for that.
Not just the job part,
But the relationships, either.

You don’t expect friends to get married.
You don’t expect to lose touch
With the people you saw every day.
You don’t expect to forget people
Or to feel so bad about it.

They don’t have a class
On life beyond college.
We just have to learn as we go,
And pretend we’re managing just fine.

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About Paul Carroll

Paul Carroll is a writer, born, raised and still living in Dublin. By day he's a student and bookseller, by night he writes fiction and uses social media.
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