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Now what?

January 26th, 2012

I realized a couple of things over Winter Break. First, I realized this is my last semester of college (hopefully ever). It’s not as though I haven’t known for some time the Spring 2012 semester would be my final semester or that I will be graduating in May.

It became much less abstract and much more real to me, however, while home on break. At all of the family holiday functions or when I would run into a family friend, everyone asked me about my senior year in college. The popular question was, “Are you excited to be graduating?”

It’s a simple question, right? To be honest, I really don’t know how I feel about this being my last semester. (This is the second thing I‘ve realized.) When the idea of leaving my bubble that is John Carroll was an abstract thought – something that would eventually happen someday – it was exciting.

It became more real and a little scarier as I was buying my last set of books and unpacking from winter break for the last time. It became scarier because immediately after asking if I’m excited to be graduating, everyone asks, “So what are you doing after you graduate?”

My answer may be the same as many of my fellow seniors: not a clue. It’s this unknown that scares me most. I have no idea what I will be doing after May or where I will be.  I’m someone who likes to have a plan. Although I’m good about adapting to last-minute changes, new environments and new personalities (at least I think so), I like to have some sort of idea about what I’m doing.

I do know a few things I won’t be doing. I began applying for jobs over break and have already received my first rejection. Oh, well. It was a long-shot job anyway but it confirms my fears that it will not be an easy task finding a job I like. My parents keep reminding me that I won’t get my dream job right away (which I know), but I would like to find something that at least interests  and stimulates me.

I also know I won’t be attending graduate or law school (at least not now). Post-graduate education is something I could accomplish and would squelch this fear of the unknown after graduation. Although school is something I do fairly well, I have a feeling similar to the one I had at the end of high school: I’m ready to move on to something new and different.

In fact, this is exactly how I felt toward the end of my senior year of high school. I was afraid because I didn’t know exactly what my life would be like next, but I was excited for the adventure. So while I will most likely feel anxious for the rest of the semester, I’ve decided to embrace the adventure and the challenge that the “unknown” presents. I could be doing anything after graduation.

Who knows where I’ll be next fall? I may be somewhere awesome. I may be on my parents’ couch. Now, isn’t that exciting?