So you graduated, now what?

Audrey McNamara/File

Congratulations! If you’re reading this article, it’s probably because you’re a recent college graduate, a wannabe college graduate or someone who sympathizes deeply with recent college graduates. We at the Clog applaud you because we know that going to school here at the No. 1 public university in the world is harder than hiking up to the Big C.

Getting that degree is a huge accomplishment. You probably woke up early, made sure your hair looked just right under the mortarboard, drank a few too many mimosas, listened to Sheryl Sandberg speak in awe and took far too many pictures. You might have even tried in vain to spot your family. And you definitely went out to celebrate after.

Now what? You graduated. You’re a college graduate. You Berkeley alumnus, you. With the post-graduation glow still fresh in your face, your eyes still wide with wonder at all there is to see and do in the world, you probably have a few questions floating through that incredibly well-educated head of yours.

Was it worth it? Were all those late nights spent in the deep, dark depths of Main Stacks worth the degree? Was it worth that time you forgot your Cal ID card and you weren’t allowed to enter Moffitt, so you had to sit in front of the reception desk on the floor to study? Was it worth the Taco Tuesday (you know the one we’re talking about — that night when Kevin and Sarah made out during the entire walk from Cafe D to Remy’s) you missed because you were finishing up an essay where the only comment, once graded, was that you use too many run-on sentences?

Is this degree enough to make you forget that lonely January night when you sat in the window seat at San Francisco Soup Company, slurping a mixture that was 75 percent tomato bisque and 25 percent your sad, salty tears? Will this degree change the fact that for two weeks every semester for the past four years you didn’t sleep more than six hours cumulatively? We hope that your degree does change all those things. We hope you forget the heartache and the sorrow. We really hope you do.

But what if you don’t? What if you just spent $13, 518 (or more) of your own or someone else’s money every year for the past four years to get a piece of paper that can’t even get you a job? What if you never find employment? What if you have to resort to the black market, selling your services to contractors around Berkeley and slowly undoing all the work they’ve done, so they have to continue the construction until the class of 2020 graduates? And what if Berkeley isn’t waste-free by 2020?

With all the uncertainty currently facing your life, it’s no wonder that you, recent college graduate, have a lot of questions on your mind. But before you spiral out of careful control and into a full-blown existential crisis, just remember that you could be in worse shape. You could have paid exponentially more money to go to that other school across the Bay.

Contact Rachel Feder at [email protected].