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My Worst Fear

“There are few things more liberating in life than having your worst fear realized,” Conan O’brien said in his commencement address to Dartmouth College in 2011.

One of my biggest fears? Not getting a full-time writing job.

During my four years at Kenyon College, I took every creative writing course available, routinely showing up to professors’ office hours to learn as much as I could outside the classroom. I also wrote every day.

Then, in what felt like a blink, I found myself walking at Graduation while a faculty member proclaimed, “Magna Cum Laude,” which roughly translates to “single and unemployed.”

According to LinkedIn, overall hiring rates in the U.S have dropped by 29% since April 2022, while hiring for entry-level positions requiring a college degree dropped by 30%. The impact of this statistic holds true so far in my professional writing career, as I haven’t found full-time employment after graduating in May.

Though on paper my fear of failure has become realized, my time after college has actually been quite liberating. Instead of ruminating on difficult milestones such as landing the perfect job or getting published in The New Yorker, I’ve put a newfound emphasis on my daily habits; writing each morning, sending out applications, and making important connections.

Currently, I have the part-time privilege of reading and reviewing great books for Sweet Literary Magazine and providing the company Artiphany with creative content and social media marketing strategy.

My resume looks better than ever and I have to remind myself: it hasn't even been that long yet.

Conan O’brien also once said, “If you work really hard, and you’re kind, amazing things will happen.” Conan, I know you retired in 2021, but if you ever need a writer, I’m kind, hardworking, and extremely humble. I also play jazz trombone.

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