It’s Monday and I don’t go to school anymore

Dear readers,

Class of 2020 has graduated and here we are with a diploma in the air: congratulations!

Although many of us are happy and relieved, some of these graduates feel a bit somber and unsure of their future. Maybe “some of these graduates” is just a nice way to say “I, Giulia, am feeling a bit somber and unsure of my future”, but if there’s someones else out there who’s feeling down and is wondering why and how these cloudy feelings are upon them… I’m telling you, welcome to the club: congratulations!

The sudden absence of a commencement doesn’t make me feel sad, although I would have loved a traditional celebration. Graduating from college would’ve been the one and only academic celebration to enjoy with the company of my mom and dad. Even though my dad has earned a university degree, I would’ve been the first person in my family to graduate in another country. I was supposed to spend these days and commencement day with my best friends from home and my dearest American ones.

It didn’t go this way at all. However, this is not what makes me bittersweet me the most. My concerns and preoccupations are related to employment and adulthood. It’s Monday and I don’t go to school anymore. What will my routine look like, for real this time? I don’t have a job. I can’t have a job yet, I am waiting for my EAD. And after that? How do I say no to certain jobs and yes to others? I don’t know how to get bored, I can’t spend time doing nothing. I don’t have a stable roof and I’m embarking the bureaucratic processes that thousands of immigrants every day have to deal with. I wish I could do all this with someone close to me or open to listen to me. However, I am always afraid to bore people. We’re all facing an extreme situation, why would my problems would be interesting or relevant?

I’ve always longed for this moment: adulthood. When I was in middle school, I couldn’t wait to be a writer in New York, probably in the Upper East Side. In high school, I wanted to be a screenwriter based between New York and Los Angeles. In college, I wanted to focus just in New York and be a journalist, a fashionista, a fashion journalist, an entrepreneur, an entrepreneurial fashion journalist: it all escalated quickly, and little did I know that time would fly. So here I am thinking about how should I invest my time during these uncertain circumstances. No matter how many plans and tactics I got, I still have to wait and depend on major authorities and forces. What will happen to my dreams? Will there be anyone I will be able to share those dreams of mine or should I keep my voice down? Are my dreams relevant? I do believe so, but how can I deal with reality and my own temporary silence?

I’ve just graduated from college and we all know that college brings a lot of memories, pain, and satisfaction. As an international student, I have lived here in the US for almost four full years and my personal experience with boys, academia, and self-love has been a unique roller coaster of emotions and reflections. Even though we all have different backgrounds, I believe that my story is as unique as many others. But here I am feeling that all my emotional and academic work isn’t going to pay off the all-nighters and tears I’ve shed during these four years. What will make me stand out? Will I ever have friends that will stick with me or is it gonna be like high school? Will my romantic feelings go away forever, since I don’t believe in love anymore like before?

I’m sure this is a temporary series of turbulent feelings that I can’t avoid to experience. Being in the midst of a devastating pandemic and unexpected recession hurst everyone. I keep typing on my laptop and my ideas are bursting out more than ever, which is a good sign: it means that my brain is motivated and my dreams are not dead at all. It’s just that sometimes I cry because I think that this so unfair. I’ve always wanted to help, but it seems that I can’t do much these weeks, besides being good to myself at my best. I’ve always wanted to be loved, but that ship has sailed and I’ve realized that romance doesn’t belong in my life, at least not right now. I keep hearing over and over again how sweet and lovely I am, but everyday I become more and more Holly Golithly, with less faith in personal affections and global justice. I’ve always wanted to be close to my friends, but now I can’t see all of them and I don’t know how much I matter to them. Every time I receive a call or a message from them my heart is full, but I don’t want to bore them with my concerns. I miss my family, but when will the time arrive when I will be able to buy them the most beautiful vacation I can afford to purchase for my mom and dad? When willI be financially free and independent?

I recognize that working with social media is my one and only option at the moment, but no matter how much I like social media, I don’t actually like spending long minutes on Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn. My attention is targeted only to a certain type of content, but sometimes I come across to romantic couples, families all together, beautiful houses, traveling spots I’ve always longed to go, nails and hairstyles on point, and healthy-scrumptious recipes that I can’t afford at the moment… and my heart sinks a bit, because I feel happy, grateful, and blessed for my situation, despite it all, but… what now? Why can’t I have these too? Am I bad? Will my graduation matter and help me get… nice things in life? What are the nice things in life? What’s nice for me? It’s not a constant thought, but it’s that type of thought that when you get it, it lasts hours and hours in your head.

And to dream and keep my heart at a reasonable beat I listen to Jhene Aiko, Drake, slow Beyonce’ and Rihanna’s jams, with a splash of Bad Bunny‘s Solo De Mi and a curated Bossa Nova playlist.

Right now I am listening to Drake’s Signs

You wanna drink like Bajan and dance like Trini

You want a supermodel pose like mi real friend Winnie

I’ve always liked these lyrics for various reasons. One of these is the sense of freedom they give me and the memories and dreams I’ve attached to them. One of the few songs I’ve secretely treasured in my heart in college.

But now the melodies and the beats will change… with a new fashion in vogue!

I always hope for the best, even when I’m bitter sweet. I just don’t say it much out loud… I’m Italian, I’m supersticious…



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