As A Senior In College, I Don't Know What's Next For Me And That's Okay
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As A Senior In College, I Don't Know What's Next For Me And That's Okay

At least there's senior year to figure it out...

As A Senior In College, I Don't Know What's Next For Me And That's Okay
Photo cred: Marissa Jatczak

As a senior in college, I feel like every other day someone is asking me what my plan is for after graduation. What am I going to do with my life? What career am I pursuing? Why am I not going to grad school? Where am I going to live? The list goes on and on. And I get it, I ask my friends the same things because we're all genuinely curious and interested to know what our friends and family aspire to do in their lives.

But guess what? It's okay not to know the answer to some (or any) of those questions yet! There are so many options and opportunities after college, and everybody has the chance to explore as much or as little as they feel called to. Some people know their next step, and they have for years. They're going to med school, law school, straight into an internship, traveling abroad. Some people have enough on their plate just trying to focus on graduating. A lot of us fall somewhere between the two and we know the answers for some of the questions, we hope we know a few, and some are still in the works.

Honestly the way I look at it, there's no need for the question to be "What are you doing with the rest of your life?" Instead, the questions should be "What are you interested in doing next?" or "Who do you want to grow into?"

In college we all do a lot of growing and a lot of learning. That goes for academic purposes and skills that will hopefully help us succeed in whatever vocation we choose to pursue, but it also goes for the type of people we've been becoming. I think I can safely say that none of us are the same people as seniors as we were as freshmen.

There are always going to be the nagging feelings of what we "should" do because it's what we were so determined about when we started off, and we want to follow through on that. It's great if that Plan A is still looking like the best choice based on your desires and interests. If you're like me, you've also developed Plan B, Plan C and several other possibilities, and now that it's getting close to decision time they all sound like good options to be the next move!

Now, I'm not always the expert, but I'm learning—after numerous phone calls with my mother—that it's okay to not have the next chapter of our lives laid out. As a planner, that still can stress me out but more and more as I field the questions from professors, family members and new acquaintances, I'm starting to get less uncomfortable from scrambling for an answer to becoming more comfortable saying that I don't really know.

I'm not saying just forget about planning and throw darts to figure out where to go next, not by a long shot. But one thing that's really stuck in my head now is something I read in Rachel Hollis's book, "Girl, Stop Apologizing" (guys this applies to you too!) :

Trying to achieve all of our goals at once is literally setting us up for failure. If you want to be a writer and also pursue teaching but also get in shape to run marathons and become a personal trainer—great! You can do all of those things! Just not necessarily all at once. We get this really great opportunity to sit down, think about all of our goals, and find the one that really gets us excited and lights a fire inside us. Then, we get to work like a dog to make that goal happen. Don't just quit on it and fall back on the other goals, they'll still be there later on. Focus on one at a time and build the life you want.

That's how you get the answers to the questions:

"What are you going to do with your life?"

"Who will you be after graduation?"

"Where will you end up?"

It's okay not to know for sure, but we just get to pick a goal and go for it. There's literally going to be no better time in our lives. Besides, we have the rest of senior year to figure it out!

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