I have no idea what I am doing starting next Sunday. This is completely new territory for me. I have never not known what the next step was. My junior year of high school I decided on my major in college and the college I wanted to go to. I was accepted in college by October, enrolled by January, I had a major, an Honors program, and two extracurriculars chosen before I even stepped foot on campus. I was confident, enthusiastic, and ready to take on the world. The rest of college worked that way, I had a calculated plan on when I would study abroad, I became a campus leader quickly, and the rest four years were an incredible blur. Now, I really am completely clueless.
I know I'm moving back home to pay off loans. I know I've applied to jobs, a bizarre and diverse array from Events Coordinator at the Botanical Gardens to the Director of Communications at an NGO to an intern at Yelp. I have a vague degree that has allowed for me to do the one thing I've never done and never realized could be so great, the greatness of not knowing. Of being free to relax and lay back and see what happens next. To have wild experiences and be a person who doesn't get too caught up in her charts and internal schedules. I might have a half plan in the minds of most, but for me, this is the most spontaneous thing I've ever done. To throw away the plan of jumping right into a five year doctoral program to explore and see what I really want to do is completely out of my character but I'm finding that it's allowing me to realize how much I have to learn and how much I don't know about my strengths and real wants.
I'm going to spend my twenties working and living and being young and free from school. Will I probably sign up for a graduate program in the next five years? Yes, I'm an academic at heart who can't stand not having discussion and research and discovering new ideas, authors, and methods. However, I am finding the joy of being different, of stepping outside of the bubble I have made for myself and connecting with the world around me in a different way. Is it scary? Yes, but aren't the best things a little risky, a little daunting, and a little out of character?