My Experience With The Upcoming College Graduation Jitters

My Experience With The Upcoming College Graduation Jitters

"To be, or not to be?"
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“So, what are you going to do next?”

As my final semester of senior year approaches, this seems to be the million-dollar question. If only this were jeopardy, and the correct answer actually earned me a million dollars. What exactly is the right answer? To be or not to be, I must figure it out, eventually.

Admittedly, I often create my own version of the world and how it should be. OK, always. Which simultaneously leads to the “be realistic” commentary. Now in retrospect, this may not be so detrimental to my character. However, when determining future goals, this imagination of mine could hinder “real” plans.

Since I was a little girl, I have always acquired this overwhelming compassion for animals. From making sure all of my stuffed animals were facing upright so they could breathe, to moving worms on the sidewalk out of the sun, it was always an odd trait of mine.

As I grew older, there was no doubt in my mind that I had been called upon to pursue a career with animals. It was just a matter of how. Having an extreme dislike for needles, and too weak of a heart to put an animal down, cancelled out veterinarian. So what was left? I declared a major in criminology, I thought why not be an animal rights lawyer? I mean for starters, the title is pretty impressive and lawyers make good money right? It was settled. I should be a lawyer so that I can institute long-lasting world change for animals, just like Elle Woods – except brunette and with less pink.

In theory, this sounded perfect and soon became the ultimate plan upon graduation. It was when I actually began researching animal lawyers, and potential schools, that I was hit with reality. Seemingly enough, the field is not growing as fast as individuals’ interest in it. Furthermore, making a living as an animal attorney is near impossible, unless you practice other forms of law, not to mention the cost of law school.

Unsurprisingly, I began having thoughts such as: “Should the cost of education impact my decision?” “Do I even like studying law?” I remember being in my Introduction to Law class bored to tears. “Is being in an office for 12 to14 hours a day what I want to do for the rest of my life?” “Do I really want to take the LSAT, and the BAR exam?”

Although the idea of being an animal rights attorney was extremely appealing, I began to realize that it might have been glamorized in my head; wearing fancy business suits, and grabbing coffee with colleagues at lunch.

Then someone had asked me a question no one else had:

“What do you love to do?”

This allowed me to dig deep and dissect what I currently do that makes me happy. Although singing to my showerhead brings me joy, it didn’t seem like a feasible career, so I began thinking about both my campus and community involvement, which entails various forms of outreach and advocacy. I realized that I do this on a daily basis, and I don’t consider it work; I consider it necessary to pursue the dream I have always had: Make a change. Hmm, Maybe I’m onto something.

I share this experience because not knowing what you want to do for the rest of your life in your early 20s is not something to fret, or panic over. Students at this stage in life are constantly being pressured to have it all figured out. Not only does this lead to extreme anxiety and unhappiness, but a greater possibility of many career switches overtime due to making premature decisions. And your decision should not be based on impressive titles, or other people’s opinions.

All of this thinking would have definitely earned me the out of time "Jeopardy" buzzer, but the right answer might take some of us a little more time. And you know what? That is just fine.

Cover Image Credit: The Santa Clara

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I'd Rather Be Single Than Settle – Here Is Why Being Picky Is Okay

They're on their best behavior when you're dating.
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Dating nowadays described in one word: annoying.

What's even more annoying? when people tell you that you're being too "picky" when it comes to dating. Yes, from an outside perspective sometimes that's exactly what it looks like; however, when looking at it from my perspective it all makes sense.

I've heard it all:

"He was cute, why didn't you like him?"

"You didn't even give him a chance!"

"You pay too much attention to the little things!"

What people don't understand is that it's OKAY to be picky when it comes to guys. For some reason, girls in college freak out and think they're supposed to have a boyfriend by now, be engaged by the time they graduate, etc. It's all a little ridiculous.

However, I refuse to put myself on a time table such as this due to the fact that these girls who feel this way are left with no choice but to overlook the things in guys that they shouldn't be overlooking, they're settling and this is something that I refuse to do.

So this leaves the big question: What am I waiting for?

Well, I'm waiting for a guy who...

1. Wants to know my friends.

Blessed doesn't even begin to describe how lucky I am to have the friends that I do.

I want a guy who can hang out with my friends. If a guy makes an effort to impress your friends then that says a lot about him and how he feels about you. This not only shows that he cares about you but he cares about the people in your life as well.

Someone should be happy to see you happy and your friends contribute to that happiness, therefore, they should be nothing more than supportive and caring towards you and your friendships.

2. Actually, cares to get to know me.

Although this is a very broad statement, this is the most important one. A guy should want to know all about you. He should want to know your favorite movie, favorite ice cream flavor, favorite Netflix series, etc. Often, (the guys I get stuck on dates with) love to talk about themselves: they would rather tell you about what workout they did yesterday, what their job is, and what they like to do rather than get to know you.

This is something easy to spot on the first date, so although they may be "cute," you should probably drop them if you leave your date and can recite everything about their life since the day they were born, yet they didn't catch what your last name was.

3. How they talk about other women.

It does not matter who they're talking about, if they call their ex-girlfriend crazy we all know she probably isn't and if she is it's probably their fault.

If they talk bad about their mom, let's be honest, if they're disrespecting their mother they're not going to respect you either. If they mention a girl's physical appearances when describing them. For example, "yeah, I think our waitress is that blonde chick with the big boobs"

Well if that doesn't hint they're a complete f* boy then I don't know what else to tell you. And most importantly calling other women "bitches" that's just disrespectful.

Needless to say, if his conversations are similar to ones you'd hear in a frat house, ditch him.

4. Phone etiquette.

If he can't put his phone down long enough to take you to dinner then he doesn't deserve for you to be sitting across from him.

If a guy is serious about you he's going to give you his undivided attention and he's going to do whatever it takes to impress you and checking Snapchat on a date is not impressive. Also, notice if his phone is facedown, then there's most likely a reason for it.

He doesn't trust who or what could pop up on there and he clearly doesn't want you seeing. Although I'm not particularly interested in what's popping up on their phones, putting them face down says more about the guy than you think it does.

To reiterate, it's okay to be picky ladies, you're young, there's no rush.

Remember these tips next time you're on a date or seeing someone, and keep in mind: they're on their best behavior when you're dating. Then ask yourself, what will they be like when they're comfortable? Years down the road? Is this what I really want? If you ask yourself these questions you might be down the same road I have stumbled upon, being too picky.. and that's better than settling.

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Writing Saved My Sanity

Write it all down when you can't talk to anyone.

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I love writing.

I have since elementary school, and I've dreamed of becoming a published author. I started off writing stupid plays in elementary school, then it grew it almost writing a full-blown novel in middle school. I have no idea where that thing went to. It was all notebook paper and bad writing. In high school, my writing was kinda pushed to the side so I could focus on school. When I entered college, I started writing small poems about my now ex-boyfriend.

I was scared to express myself to him sometimes, the intensity of my feelings for him scared me. So instead of telling him, I wrote them down. When I tried to share them with him, he hated it. He thought writing down feelings was weird and creepy. So I didn't share anything else with him. When we finally broke up for good, everything just poured out of me. What I couldn't express verbally, I wrote or typed out.

I always have ideas flowing through my head. They never cease and I wouldn't want them to. Writing gives me an escape, from stress, work, school, or fights. It gives me a place to vent and to be open with everything. This is a reason I love writing for Odyssey, not only has this place brought me amazing friends but revived my love for writing. I'm never without my notebook anymore, I'd get distracted in class by an idea and have to write I think then and there.

I love sharing my more personal writing with close friends, especially my poems as of late. I found that I have a voice for young women who find themselves in a toxic relationship much like mine was. I want to speak out and show them that you can grow from the bullshit. It may take some time, but you will be better.

Writing saved my sanity. It allows me to express myself without having to use my actual voice. Anyone who knows me, knows I hate public speaking. I tend to psych myself out leading up to it. My current projects include writing for Odyssey every week, I'm in the process of trying to continue my short stories, and I'm excited to announce that I'm currently working on my very first poetry book!

Writing has given me so much, and I'm so looking forward to making a career out of something I love so much.

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