Life After Graduation
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Life After Graduation

It's OK not to have a post-graduate plan.

Life After Graduation
Dave Herholz

The questions I was was bombarded with four years ago are coming back to haunt me.

What are you majoring in? What are your plans? What are you going to do?

It's the curse of coming to the end of an academic career. Everyone starts to wonder what's going to come next. Whether they're adults attempting to live vicariously, someone younger looking for some sort of direction, or my own peers trying to take their minds off their own uncertainties, I'm left floundering for answers.

I can tell anyone that I'm majoring in journalism. I can say that I want to write about travel and culture. Maybe I'll work in the magazine industry, or maybe I'll write a book, etc., etc. Yet, considering that I can't predict the future, any response I offer is nothing but a hollow promise.

As cliched as the old adage is, none of us really knows what we're doing. Then, why is it such a priority for young people, especially soon-to-be college graduates, to know how their immediate futures are going to unfold?

Not having a post-grad plan is often perceived as being unorganized, underprepared, and as a mark of low self-confidence or drive to "get ahead." This needs to stop.

Don't get me wrong; I truly believe that planning out my immediate future gives my life the necessary structure I need to move forward. Too much spontaneity will send anyone into a tailspin.

However, as myself and my fellow peers stand at the edges of our futures, the structure that planning once provided starts to look more like walls that will only box us in. If we narrow our horizons now, how can we possibly make any progress?

We have ideas in our heads and a major (or majors) that steer us in certain directions, but it's OK if the paths we take after college are a little undefined. In other words, don't let the expectation that you should know what you're doing immediately upon graduation deter you from keeping your options open. Plenty of great minds have told us that anything can be.

As for myself, I'll spend my senior year as I would any other: getting my work done, spending time with my friends, interning, wishing for the weekend, complaining about finals, and probably watching too much Netflix. Except, at the end of this year, I get a piece of paper telling me that I'm ready to be a part of the "real" world.

Beyond that moment, nothing I know is for certain. I don't have a plan. As scary as that is, I'll have to figure it out as I go along, just like everybody else.

We'll see what happens.

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