When you graduate from college, you are showered with "congratulations" and "good lucks." Schools sometimes offer financial planning tips, career advice, and seminars on interviewing. But in the midst of the bubbling excitement, no one ever tells you how extraordinarily lonely life after college can be. The uncertainty of the future combines with leaving friends and family to create a unique kind of loneliness. It is not the homesick loneliness I sometimes felt at college, or the heartsick loneliness I felt when my high school boyfriend and I broke up. It is a loneliness that grows slowly from accumulating unknowns.
It was comfortable and easy to locate myself as a college student studying English. There are more variables now when even the constants are changing. My relationship with my parents is shifting from student-parent to adult-adult. I have a new bank. I had a new address and then, when our summer rental ended, another, in a big apartment complex on the edge of town.
These changes are not bad, and I do not want to give the impression that life after college is miserable. Far from it. I just want to acknowledge that, if I pause for a moment, I feel a subtle current of loneliness even among the new crowd of wonderful Ann Arborites around me.