You’re 21, you’re in your last semester of college, you apply to 20 jobs but somehow you get 25 rejection emails back. You are simultaneously overly qualified but lacking in experience. You laugh with your fellow unfortunate friends and joke about the fact that the previous four years and the thousands of dollars spent have been useless.
If that’s not you because you’re lucky enough to be a boomer or you inherited a business, then welcome to the average college student’s world! It sucks! Life is literally not giving us any lemons. Aside from the Beyonce album, we are, as one could say, Lemonade-less. What are we supposed to do when we have been told our entire lives that all we have to do is go to university, get internships, achieve mediocre to above average grades, and we will succeed? ONLY TO NOT SUCCEED.
I often joke that I can speak rejection letter; I’ve received so many that all I need to do is look at the first word and I can send the email over to the trash pile. My main goal was to get a talent visa for France, move there, work on my book, and get a job. Everyone told me it would not be a problem, members of government told me it would not be a problem. Not surprisingly, life decided to keep up with the routine and make it a problem. I was denied the visa not once but twice, so I had to resort to other options. I left for Paris not knowing if I needed to look for apartments, hunt for jobs where they will give me a visa (having already been denied several positions), or throw away my dream altogether, all the while graduation is looming over me like a ticking clock.
I knew I was going to France. I had already posted on Instagram that I would be moving to France, so obviously there was no turning back. The only thing is, I had no idea what I wanted to do. The fact that the world expects 22 year olds to know what they want to do for the rest of their lives is pretty messed up. Parents and family members are constantly questioning students about their life plans and instead of this being productive it instills the belief that we are failures before we have even gone out into the world. So adults, do us all a favor and stop.
Throughout all of this, I began to consider the idea of being an Au Pair. I was never a babysitter and I will honestly admit that I do not love kids. They’re great and I can have fun with them for a day or two but I knew that I could not live the next year as a constant kid watcher. I then faced the looming problem that I would have to find the rare position of being an Au Pair who works with older kids teaching them English, being paid enough to live and have my living situation paid for as well. I know, I sound crazy. Who would hire a tutor and then provide them with so many bonuses?
Well I have news for you, I was thrown a lemon.
Several families reached out to me, but only one was the perfect situation. Literally it was the dream opportunity I had been looking for. My health insurance was paid for, they provided an international phone, a floor of their house to myself, a nice car to drive around, free time all day, tutoring for a few hours, and then a monthly salary on top of that. Oh yea and they sponsor a visa. Considering how unlucky my job search had been so far, I had extremely low hopes. I told my friends about it in a very bored voice as I expected them to never return my emails.
I met the mom over coffee and we instantly hit it off. She is so cool and fun, stating that with all of her au pairs she mainly just looks for another member to add to the family. I committed right there on the spot.
My own lemon! I’ll be living in the super cute and picturesque town Saint-Germain-en-Laye just outside of Paris. I’ll have most of my days free to write, work other jobs, and maybe even get my masters. Although this is not what I had envisioned myself to be doing after college, I now don’t even know what could be better. I was dreading sitting at a desk, and even more so wasting money on furthering an education when I wasn’t even sure of what I wanted to be “when I grow up”.
All that is just to really give you an update on what I’m doing, and to show how life really sucked for many months. Many. Every day I would wake up to another rejection email and just look forward to going back to sleep that night. I honestly don’t know how I still have friends. And now, I can not only make lemonade, but with FRENCH lemons !!!!!