I don't know what I expected. Did I think that one of the many career fairs I've attended would lead me to the perfect first job? Did I envision myself reading the want ads in a newspaper over a cup of coffee, circling possibilities in red? Maybe I thought one of the places I've interned during my summer breaks would offer me a permanent position.
Whatever I thought would happen, it still hasn't yet.
Part of the situation is due to my course of study. I chose to major in History and English, knowing full well that liberal arts degrees are often more valuable for the things you learn than for the career path to which they lead. And I was OK with that; I knew I wasn't cut out to be a nurse or an engineer, and I was confident that History and English would give me translatable skills to do something I loved someday.
The question has become, what is it I love? I love museums; maybe I'll work in one. I love to travel, so it would be so cool to work abroad. I can spend hours reading and analyzing literature, so maybe I'll go to grad school and become a professor. I feel strong moral and political convictions, I could really make a difference for an organization I care about.
The problem is, even though I know I'm not locked into my first job, I still have so many ideas about where to go and what to do, and I'm still not sure which path to take first. I feel like I need a bit more time to explore the possibilities and see if any doors open or close. I know that I will work hard and gain experience wherever I end up, but I want to make sure I know what I'm doing before I commit to something.
So what now? Well, the summer stretches out before me, and after four years of school interspersed with periods of working breaks, I think I fancy a bit of a rest. I want to take some time off from intellectual labor. I might fit in a few road trips to visit family and friends, which would be harder to do if I already had a job lined up.
I also might finally get a chance to try my hand at something I've always wanted to do: work as a barista. I always thought it would be so cool to learn how to make espresso beverages and spend extended amounts of time in my favorite hometown coffee shop, and now seems like the perfect time to finally DO IT.
Living at home for a few more months will also just give me a chance to spend some much-needed quality time with the family before my situation changes more drastically. I can't wait to make dinner with them, go to church together, and experience some summer fun like we haven't in years since I've been in school or away for internships. We've always been close, and I know we always will be, but I really want to invest some time into these relationships before I make myself busy all over again.
It's not going to be easy, especially as I see friends and classmates getting recruited for positions and accepting the jobs of their dreams. As is the case with prospective college grads, I have already been getting SO many questions about my plans, and I've just had to smile and respond with a graceful, diplomatic "still checking out my options." I know I'll find something soon, that this is the right path for me, and that ultimately my worth as a person is not in my employment situation after graduation.
So, if you're reading this, no need to ask me -- but feel free to help me pray that I'll end up where I'm supposed to be!