"Magna cum laude," the woman from the temp agency comments as she glances over my resume. "Congratulations."

In a scene my college career center never prepared me for, the vice president at my dream company circles those three little words with her felt-tip pen and asks me if I'll be bored there. With my mind on rent, I fumble my reply.

Where I answer the phone now, they don't know that I'm smart. I log online and try to heal my ego the only way an overeducated, underemployed twenty-something knows how: applications for grad school.

Sara Simons


Is there such a thing as the "mid-twenties life crisis"? Approaching 25, I feel further from accomplishment than I did on graduation day. Why didn't the commencement speaker mention the three jobs polar-opposite my major? Why not speak about struggling to manage dwindling finances, creating some sense of independence and choking on humble pie while moving back home? She didn't define the daily grind, including traffic congestion and mustering enough energy to go out and socialize. But if the truth really came out on graduation day, would I have left school? Guess I'll get back to work.

Kristen Forbes


Find a way to give insight into your life in under 100 words. Authors of selected entries will be notified and paid $100. Send text (accompanied by a home phone number) via e-mail (lifeisshort@washpost.com), fax (202-334-5587) or mail (Style, Life Is Short, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071).