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Into the real world

My daughter is moving to Atlanta in a few weeks, to being her post-college life. Having landed a job, she is off into the world. I am trying hard to remember my transition from college to the real world thirty years ago.

To the best of my recollection, it was a long six weeks that I spent living back at home after finishing college. Finally, my letters and applications were noticed, and phone calls came. I was off to full-day and multi-day interviews at places like New Jersey Bell and Bell Labs (yes, I am old enough to have worked for Bell Labs).

There are few experiences as rewarding as someone calling you wanting to schedule an interview. One would be actually getting a job offer! The days following the job offer were spent trying to find an apartment, moving, and setting up a place to live. My first apartment had a table, a chair, a dresser and a bed. I’m pretty sure that’s all I had. I don’t remember if I had a bed frame or not. I may have begun with a mattress on the floor. In time, I added a piece of carpet and some shelves. But you know what? I really didn’t care. It was so cool to be on my own and have a job.

After I visited a local church, I remember the day the pastor came to visit me. I had nowhere to sit, so we sat on my new piece of carpet in the living room. Eventually I got a TV, a stereo, a sofa, and a dog. Life was good. And life was cheap, too. One person to feed. No cell phones. No laptops. And an amazing feeling of freedom, identity, and purpose.

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