I'm Not Sure What I'm Doing After College

It's OK To Be Confused About Your Future Career, It's Even Natural

Half the fun is figuring it out along the way.

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The first time I ever went on a college visit was in 6th grade. I was 12-years-old.

Texas has an absurd amount of universities and thanks to my "college prep" school, I've visited most of them. Coupled with these visits was the not-so-gentle pressure of choosing a major and a college of interest. I, like most people, changed my career goals many times throughout the beginning of high school as I tried to get an understanding of what I liked or could see myself doing in the future.

However, as my junior and senior years arrived, the pressure to know what I wanted out of college grew immensely and I settled into law. Now don't get me wrong, I am fascinated by law and the entire judicial process in America, but that isn't the reason I told people I wanted to be a lawyer. I told people that law was my future because I didn't want the raised eyebrows and concerning looks that all high school students receive when they tell others that they are unsure about the future.

But really, how can we not be confused? As 18-year-olds, we go from raising our hands in class and obeying a bell to being expected to know what we want to do for the rest of our lives. Doesn't that system seem flawed? Why is exploration and creativity looked down upon by secondary education when it comes to deciding on a future career path? And why are we expected to limit ourselves to ONE career path?

As a planner, I used to be so afraid to admit that I was unsure about my life post-high school graduation, and although the uncertainty can still be daunting at times, it is freer to be open to the possibilities. So to those of you whose majors declare "Undecided," or maybe you just simply have fears for the future, I am here to tell you that it's OK to not know everything.

Half the fun is figuring it out along the way.

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30 First-Apartment Essentials College Kids Forget To Buy At Target And Later Order On Amazon

Don't wait until you need to take something out of the oven to realize that you don't have any oven mitts.

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If you're anything like I am, you're beyond excited to start planning and shopping for your first apartment. It's easy to get wrapped up in the fun stuff for your first apartment, trust me, as a former Bed Bath & Beyond employee I could spend hours wandering through shower curtains and bedding.

Before you get too carried away there are just some essential things that you'll need, but they aren't as much fun to pick out. Don't wait until you need to take something out of the oven to realize that you don't have any oven mitts, because I really don't see that ending well for you (I may or may not know that from personal experience).

1. Oven mitts

Gets those oven mitts because the sleeve of your sweater might seem like it will work, but I'm living proof that it won't, most sweaters have holes.

2. Trash bags

Don't wait until you need to throw something away to realize you don't have them.

3. Hand soap

It's not like a dorm bathroom where the maintenance staff refills a soap dispenser that's drilled into the wall. You're on your own kid.

4. Toilet paper

Again, no staff replacing it for you. Stay on top of it and make sure you always replace an empty roll, especially if you have roommates.

5. Water filter or pitcher

This one depends on whether your water is safe to drink or not, but be prepared. You don't want to move in under the summer sun only to realize you don't have any drinkable water at your snazzy new pad.

6. Tools

Hammers, screwdrivers, all that jazz. If you're moving in some furniture you're probably going to need tools to put it together.

7. Lighting

You don't want to be unpacking and stumbling around a new space in the dark your first night. Know what lighting is built in and where you might need to add some light.

8. Silverware organizer

Ok, so you probably remembered to pack the silverware, but do you really want to throw it all in a pile in a drawer? That's a good way to grab the wrong end of a knife by accident, maybe get some dividers to keep your silverware nice and sorted.

9. Dish towels

Most people think about bath towels, but if you're not used to having a kitchen you might not have thought of dish towels. You're going to need those when you're whipping up your favorite dinner.

10. Measuring cups

I'm a huge advocate for estimating and guessing in the kitchen, but if you're baking anything at all you should probably at least have some measuring utensils as a guide.

11. Bottle opener and corkscrew

You're going to want to crack open a drink and celebrate your first night in the new place. Wouldn't it be a buzzkill if you couldn't even get the drinks open?

12. Sponges

You have to be able to clean the counters and the dishes when you're done being an expert chef!

13. Paper towels

Spills happen, and you don't always want to clean them with your nice towels.

14. Toilet plunger

It's one of those things you never really think about... that is, until you need one.

15. Air freshner

You know, for after you use the toilet plunger.

16. Extension cords

You probably have a larger space than you're used to, sometimes those cords that come with all your new electronics just aren't quite long enough.

17. Utensil container

A little round pot or bucket is the perfect place to put all of your kitchen utensils. Things like spatulas and whisks will take up space in your drawers and create clutter. Plus, keeping them out makes them easier to grab when you're whipping up some food.

18. Batteries

There's nothing worse than getting your new TV all set up and realizing you can't use the remote.

19. Curtains

If you need darkness to sleep, you want to make sure you get those bedroom curtains up and ready to roll.

20. Toilet bowl brush

Sorry, but I'm certainly not reaching in there with my hands.

21. Ice cube trays

To keep you cool as a cucumber during this stressful time.

22. Can opener

Try prying a can open with your hands. I dare you.

23. Stain remover

For when you try to pry the can open with your hands and manage to spray tomato sauce all over yourself.

24. Carbon monoxide/Smoke detectors

Cause we don't want any tragedies here.

25. Collander

We both know you will be making pasta every night, so you're going to need to drain it.

26. Coasters

You definitely don't want to ruin your super fancy new Ikea table.

27. Dry erase board

No need to argue over who should take out the trash, just make sure to write down everyone's chores.

28. Underbed storage

On a college budget there's no way you can expect a walk-in closet, those clothes and shoes will have to go somewhere.

29. Drying rack

For when the dryer in your building inevitably stops working.

30. Step stool

If you're short, like me, you need a little help reaching that top shelf.

Hopefully this list has helped you feel a little more prepared to move into your first apartment. The decorating and planning is so much more enjoyable when you know you have all of your bases covered. I wish you the best of luck with your first major endeavor in the world of adulting!

Note: As an Amazon Associate, Odyssey may earn a portion of qualifying sales.

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To Be Honest, Business Attire Is Almost Never Necessary, And It Shouldn't Be Required For Everyone

No matter how you spin it, all of the reasons to wear business clothes to work are for the sake of appearances. Isn't it time to move past such a superficial matter and just let us wear what we want?

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When I express my contempt for wearing business clothes, I am often met with disagreement. People have told me that they quite like wearing button downs and slacks and lookin' dapper every day. To that, I say, "Great!" If you like business clothes, by all means, go ahead and wear what you want. But don't force such an antiquated work norm on me and everyone, regardless of whether we like it.

We're starting to see a lot of trendy startups abandon a handful of norms such as business attire, but most existing companies are still in the past when it comes to clothing. That is, many office spaces generally mandate business attire ranging from casual to formal (with intermittent exceptions like Halloween or Casual Friday). I find this custom both irritating and superfluous.

Of course, reasonable dress codes are highly important. I'm not saying we should just let people come to work in offensive clothing or obviously inappropriate outfits. There's a huge middle ground between that and traditional work clothes. I'm saying that it's unfortunate that many workers are prohibited from wearing what they would normally wear on a daily basis. For example, why are simple sneakers and tee shirts looked down upon in the office?

What I want to know is, does it really matter what we wear when we work?

I would argue that any mature person would be able to perform their job tasks regardless of their clothing. Yet, we are led to believe that business attire is important because it reminds employees that they are in a formal setting, establishing a sense of professionalism in the workplace. We're told that wearing different clothes to work helps distinguish professional matters from personal ones. I'm sorry, but I thought adults had the ability to know how to act in different environments without having to look down and see what type of pants they're wearing.

You may be wondering why I so strongly dislike business attire in the first place. There are several reasons. Business clothes can be expensive. They can be extremely uncomfortable and therefore distracting at work. Business clothes can require time-consuming maintenance, like dry cleaning and constant ironing. Lastly, they can be immensely impractical. Do you know how hard it is to find women's trousers or slacks with usable pockets? Or reasonably-priced "work shoes" that are both stylish and comfortable?

But the issue goes beyond the clothes themselves. It's the fact that we simply ignore the rule "don't judge a book by its cover" when it comes to professionals. It's the fact that it's not enough to simply judge a worker by the quality of their work.

It's the fact that, in a place where productivity is the main goal, formality is prioritized over comfort.

If the whole idea of business attire was suddenly abolished, would work performance and productivity drastically drop? Uh, no. You cannot argue that the reasons for business attire are not fundamentally superficial. And if there are people like me, who would much prefer to just wear my regular, comfortable (and unoffensive) clothes and shoes to work, then I think it's time we reevaluate the need for business attire in the modern workplace.

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