It seems like every adult’s favorite question to ask: so, what are your plans after graduation? We’ve all gotten the same dreadful question and all get stuck fumbling for an answer. You turn 20 and automatically you’re expected to have everything figured out. Can’t I just be a kid for a little while longer? I used to dream of the day I could move out of my parent’s house and go off to college. Well, I checked that off the list, now what? I got to college. I picked my major. Now what do I do? That was freshmen year. Now, as a junior with graduation right around the corner, the same questions constantly circle my mind.
What will I do after college? Will I be successful in life? And please let’s not even talk about grad school.
Like many other families, my family and I gather for the holidays. We travel far and wide to sit together, eat great food and enjoy each other’s company. I love the holidays. But, the holidays also bring a two–edged sword. On one hand, I want to see the family I haven’t seen for most of the year. On the other hand, I’d rather not face interrogation about my post-graduation plans. It always happens at the same time too. As soon as everyone takes their last bite and we’ve started having small talk around the table, somehow the conversation (and all the attention) shifts towards me. My glazed ham hasn’t even had time to digest yet before all the questions and judgmental eyes flash towards me.
It feels like we live in a world where once you turn 20 and officially leave the stage of teenager-hood, you have no choice but to start adulting for real. By age 20, you have to know how the rest of your life looks, have a perfect credit score and don’t even think about watching reruns of SpongeBob. In today’s world, occupation is everything. It seems like your job defines the characteristics that make you, you. Up until my sophomore year of high school it felt like my path was already chosen for me. I was going to be a doctor. I’m not quite sure what shifted, but I began to wonder if I actually wanted to become a doctor or if it was just my family who wanted that life for me.
I’ve always had more creative talents. Reading, writing and even acting make me smile.
Growing up, I entered countless creative writing contests and won first place in a lot of them. I starred in plays all through middle and high school. At the time, it seemed like just a hobby. I soon came to realize I needed to follow that passion and pursue it in college. Imagine my family’s surprised faces when I told them instead of becoming a prestigious doctor, I was going to major in editing and writing instead. Man, did I get some stares from that.
Once I told my family, their thoughts and overbearing opinions started to pour out. “You want to be a journalist,” they said in disgust. “You can’t make any money from that.” Honestly, it hurt that the people who say they’ll support you 110% were the main ones doubting me at every turn. And I get it, they just wanted the best for me. But at the time, I felt just as unsure as they did with where my life was going and where I would ultimately end up. During that time, I needed their support more than anything. I just wanted them to believe that I could make something of myself and make them proud.
I get into college, pick a major and brake the news to my family. Now what? I don’t have step-by-step instructions on how to start a career.
As my senior year approaches, I constantly question what I want to do after graduation. I kind of have an idea of what I may want to do, but,I definitely don’t have everything figured out. I’ve always wanted to go to college and now that I’m here I don’t know what to do. I focused so heavily on just getting into college for four years of my life and quite honestly, I didn’t really think beyond that. Where do you go when you’re already living your dream? The real world is coming, trust me, I’m fully aware. But, when college ends, I plan to just take it one day at a time. That’s all you can do really. This one’s for all the kids at heart, still figuring it out.