Tuesday night around 10 p.m. I turned in my final paper, which meant I was officially done with junior year. After a sigh of relief and an hour or two of catching up on TV shows I’d missed, an unsettling feeling came over me.
I’m a senior. I’m a senior in college. A moment I have been waiting for since I went to freshman orientation as a senior in high school, but now it’s here and I don’t even know what to do with it.
Of course I want to live it up, go out with friends (I did just turn 21 after all) lose my voice at football games, find the craziest outfit to wear for Halloween and just celebrate, but that also means I have to start getting realistic about life after college.
After my first semester at Mizzou I said there was no way I would consider graduate school, or law school or anything similar, but after spending a bit more time here, looking at the field I want to go into and seeing who’s where I want to be and what they did to get there, I’m realizing grad school, might be inevitable, which is fine, but then that brings up the questions of, where?
How do I even begin looking for grad schools or jobs for that matter? I’ll admit I’ve been on LinkedIn a lot more this semester than ever before and I’m proud of my ability to continuously update it, but what if that isn’t enough to get me a job?
I spent my 5 week long winter break apply for internships, a little over 30 internships and I maybe got a response or an interview for half of them, and of that I got offers from just about all of them, which is promising I guess (if you’re wondering, I decided to be a brand ambassador for Dell and Mosaic). But here I am, on my bedroom floor in my parents house wondering what’s next, wondering if what I have done the past three years is enough to get me a job or into graduate school.
The reality is, out of all of my senior friends graduating, one of them has a job, one of them has a plan, the rest of them are spending their summer in Columbia like me. That terrifies me. I don’t want that for myself, I don’t even want that for them. They’re too talented. Unfortunately (and I’ve found that people in comfortable well paying jobs don’t like hearing this) that’s the reality of a graduating senior in the world today.
Then there are my friends who took a different route. Who decided to enter the military or take classes at a local college and work to save up money. Those friends, specifically my best friend, is getting married in two months. Oh yeah and I’m a bridesmaid. I never thought at 21 she’d be getting married and I’d be standing right beside her in support, I mean it’s crazy right? It makes me wonder what I’m doing wrong.
Now when I run into classmates from high school who stayed behind in Fishers they are married, or engaged or pregnant and when they ask what I’ve been doing, my mind goes blank and I choke out a “Oh you know classes, work, looking for an internship haha one more year!” It sounds normal, it sounds like I’m doing fine and if I’d just sit down and breathe, I’d realize that I totally am. I just finished an amazing semester, I’m VP of an organization on campus, co-founder of another, I had an amazing internship where I learned a lot and I’m working for Dell this summer! Those are all pretty awesome, but for some reason I feel that they won’t be enough, which makes me think, what am I doing?
I guess this post wasn’t meant to have a resolution at the end. This isn’t a 30 minute sitcom on TBS or ABC Family where all the issues are resolved until the following weeks episode. This is my life and I’m hoping the question of what I’m doing will be revealed to me as the next year unfolds.