The Mind Of A Soon-To-Be College Graduate

The Mind Of A Soon-To-Be College Graduate

It's a doozy.
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Before now, I’ve never felt so much excitement, anxiety, nervousness, and fear at once. Before you’re a senior, it’s all just a distant path to a distant world. You’ll go to school, do the the best you can in your classes, and then get a job upon graduation. It’s that easy—until you’re actually about to graduate.

A plethora of thoughts and questions bombard your mind: did I pick the right major? Did I do well enough in my classes? Do I stand out? Do I have enough experience? Do I want to take this route or do I want to take that route? Will I actually find a job? Will I actually find a job that I like? And the one that weighs the heaviest: what if I don’t?

I think it’s safe to say that none of us have the magic answer. We continue to cringe at every Facebook status that notifies us of others’ job offers. We keep having random mini panic attacks thinking about the future. And we can’t help wondering “what if”, amidst uncertainty of the path we chose many years ago and our anxiety for what lies ahead.

After many moments and most days spent worrying, I’ve decided to stop worrying and to start trusting. As a soon-to-be college graduate, I should be excited about my accomplishments as well as all that lies before me: a whole wide world full of endless opportunity. I should also be confident in the decisions I made for my future. Because that was me staring into the distant, distant future with smiling eyes, picturing all that I could do once I got to where I am today. And that person doesn’t deserve to be let down.

Some may already have their dream job lined up; others may begin to work their way to the top. He may take a year off to figure out what’s next; she might realize exactly what she wants and jump for it. We could get our answers today, tomorrow, in a couple months, or in a year. Nothing is set in stone, except the fact that we made it this far and have the potential to be great. So don’t get caught up on timeliness and perfection. Realize that the best things in life are worth the wait. And when the time comes to make a decision, go with your gut. Do what’s best for you and remember that person with the smiling, dreaming eyes. Be great.

Cover Image Credit: Photo by: Kd Greenleaf

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Trying to Do It All?

How to Balance Work, School & Raising a Family
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It can be difficult to maintain balance when you’re working, going to school, and have a family. The key to achieving balance is to stay organized and flexible. Here are some ways to help you do it all.

Ask About a Flexible Schedule

Your employer may be sympathetic to the challenges in your life. Ask your manager if you can work a more flexible schedule. This would allow you to focus on your family and your education. You may even decide that part time is a better option until you’re done with school. This can give you more time in your busy schedule to handle everything else. You don’t want to burn yourself out. This won’t benefit anyone, your employer included.

Look Into an Online Degree

One solution for working parents is to switch to an online educational program. If you’re going to school for nursing, for example, you could switch to a DNP program online. This would give you greater flexibility in balancing the rest of your life. You could work towards your degree at your own pace and in your own time. This can be after the kids have gone to bed. You can even consider doing your coursework while the kids are doing their homework. It can be family school time.

Plan Special Family Activities

A part of creating balance in your life is to spend quality time with your family. On your days off, plan memorable family activities. This way you can still feel as though you’re connecting with your family. Make sure to set aside some time for just you and your partner. You want to maintain all of the relationships in your life. This also means that you need to create some time for yourself. You don’t need to feel guilty because you’re busy.

Create a Calendar Organizer

The best way to stay organized and on top of your life is to be organized. You can do this by creating a calendar. Consider posting this calendar on the wall of your kitchen. That way the whole family can see what is going on and get excited about any upcoming events. You don’t want to forget something that is important. This will allow you to capture all the things that need to done. You may realize that you’ve overbooked by looking at this visual display of your activities.

To maintain balance you need to limit your distractions so that you can focus on the task at hand. Look into creative ways to make the most of your time.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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I Don't Know About You, But I'm Feeling Lost And 22

Fake it 'til you make it, am I right?
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Hello there, I am 22 years old and I have no flipping idea on what I want to do with the rest of my life.

I remember adolescent me, the version of myself who wanted to simply be a painter, or an astronaut because I wanted to walk on the moon. Unfortunately, I had a little growing up to do and well the real world kicked in. Kicked in and kicked my behind with the notion that perhaps my dreams a little too far-fetched. After years of studying things that I had interest in but no passion for (chemistry, computer science, information technology, philosophy but hey who’s counting) I finally settled on my creative writing, English major. Yes, this is still quite far-fetched, but I am at the point in my life where I’ve realized: it is my life and I am going to do what I want.

Now, getting back to my original crisis. I have no idea what I want to do when I grow up! I am serious, the rest of my life is a long time (and I just don’t know what I want to do with it. All I do know is that I don’t want to wake up ten years from now hating the life I made for myself.

Now, if that doesn’t scream commitment issues I don’t know what else would. Suppose it is the wide spectrum of movies I’ve watched where the main character is having an existential crisis and I cannot help but fear that that will also be my future. So, when people ask me what I want to do with my major I simply tell them what I’ve been saying this entire time, “I have no idea!”

Suppose, I could get off my behind and figure it out. Suppose I could, but I don’t. Why? Because the little girl in me, still believes that my career and my dreams are one and the same. But the realist in me thinks otherwise. I am consistently at war with myself.

Instead of figuring out what I want to do, I kind of just knock out the jobs I don’t see myself doing for the rest of my life. I know I don’t want to be a waitress and I know I don’t want to pour your coffee (I am going to tackle bartending on the next stage of my life so stay tuned).

From right now until graduation, I have a little under five months to figure things out. The thing is, I’ve been a student for pretty much my entire life. I don’t know how to be anything else. Do I see myself figuring it out by graduation? Probably not.

I suppose I am at that age where this notion is acceptable but as someone who likes to plan ahead, this is unacceptable. Who knows, hopefully, I am not alone in this existential crisis that I have myself. Nonetheless, what I can tell you is that I am most likely am going to take a year off (unless the goddesses above strike me with absolute certainty) and just figure out what I want to do with my life. I can assure you that what I will end up doing will make me happy in the best way.

Cover Image Credit: flickr

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