Congratulations! You’ve survived more midterms and half-assed term papers than your average high school graduate. And do you know why? It’s because you put on your big boy pants and bucked up for college, and through the rivers of Red Bull and mountains of migraines, you came out victorious! You have potential! You are a star who’s going places! All this hard work so you don’t end up flipping patties at Burger King, but you may want to rethink that move, son. Sure, you’ve got the ingredients for success, but for some reason the world’s oven has been turned off and there aren’t too many places for you to cook that dream job omelette you’re whipping up. Perhaps your sans college degree peers working in fast food were onto something, because now you are out of work with your uber-practical philosophy of business degree and after a while the hunger will kick in and you’ll need to find a way to forage for food in the capitalist jungle we call home.
So what are the options post-graduation? The most important thing to worry about, at the end of the day, is whether or not you have something to eat, which a lack of money and heavy loan burden make difficult. Let’s weigh your options.
As I previously mentioned, if you need to get a job in the food industry and, better yet, accept food as payment for your efforts. Minimum wage may not be a living wage, but you sure as hell won’t go hungry. Just the particles of oil in the air can keep you sustained long enough to bamboozle a customer with the old shoulder tap and grab a fry trick. The boss is surely not going to catch onto you messing up someone’s double-double every time and offering to be the one to take one for the team and eat it again (sigh).
Another option is to mooch off of friends and family. Instead of buying food when you go out to restaurants, just eat everyone’s leftovers! They probably won’t need them anyway. Convince everyone they won’t really eat the leftovers; they could stand to lose a few pounds anyways. Soon you’ll earn the title of “Worst Bestie to Get Brunch With,” and that’s an accomplishment in and of itself.
There is always the option to accept defeat and allow your parents to treat you like a child if you move back home. Perhaps, if you’re good boys and girls and do your chores, your parents will feed you or at least let you use the kitchen. If not, it’s back under the stair closet with you and your will parents regain their sense of control and entitlement over your every move (ah, family bonding).
If you have a yard or backyard, you could attempt gardening. Grab a cheap pack of seeds and get to work (of course, gardening is harder than that)! I’d advise looking up gardening tips and a list of fast growing crops before you get started.
You can also take up the well-known art form of panhandling. Get a sign that says “Jobless post-grad. Need food.” Honesty counts for something and can be respected. By the end of the night and the end of your last shred of dignity, you’ll have earned yourself four Crunchwrap Supremes.
Other options for food require you to dig a little deeper. Gleaning is a legitimate way to obtain food. As you may or may not know, gleaning is the act of collecting unsold/unused leftovers from markets, farms, etc. Even if you obtained the max amount of food, you would still have more than you are able to consume. Billions of pounds of foods are wasted because they cannot be sold in mass markets due to abnormalities (e.g, weird shapes, too small, too large, etc.), but that does not mean the leftovers are inedible. The amount of wasted food could end world hunger (look at you being a humanitarian).
Take it a step further and dumpster dive. You know that spoiled sorority girl whom you used to relate to before you reached this new low just wasted half her morning bagel because, halfway through, she decided carbs were so not in. That “C” shaped blob of bread and cream cheese could be what keeps your stomach from crying tonight.
Don’t mope around; your professional prospects may be low, but innovation is high! There are plenty of ways for you hungry post-grads to feed yourselves. Just pick your favorite option and try it out! You can always try more than one. You’ll find yourself eating things you’ve never tried before, so really all of this is just research for your blog memoir. I won’t stop you, but your mother may judge you.