So Now What

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Honestly, now that the countdown to my blogiversary is over, I don’t know what to write about.

I suppose the countdown could serve as a microcosm of what it must be like to be done with college. I have friends who are. They seem happy to be done, but very…bewildered. Some of them have definite plans for what they want to do with their future, but are a little unsure about how to construct the bridge that will get them from where they are to where they want to go. They apply to the job that they’ve been dreaming of, or scrape together the means to go to grad school so they can finally study what they’ve always wanted to study, or specialize in something they have a passion for.

Others have no goals or set direction at all—they’re like fish out of water, gasping on the shore, out of ideas. Most of the second set just flop back home and job hunt from their parent’s couches, especially those who spent the last four years of their lives acquiring a “starving artist” degree like acting or history or studio art or…creative writing….

Then there are people like my best friend, known here as “Audra.” Audra has had her life planned out since the sixth grade. She’s an English education major who is going to plunge straight into a graduate degree in English immediately after college. She’s been taking college classes since high school, as well as performing in local orchestras (she plays the oboe) and volunteering with the Anytown Literacy Society during college. She plans social events, acts as a sorority officer, and is considering teaching English in China and/or American public high schools. She plans on curing cancer next month.

I’m only half joking about that last sentence.

Still more decide to go back for another undergrad degree, or, even scarier, a doctorate. Those of us who remain, sadly, non-brilliant, look upon such people with reverent awe.

I know that I will arrive at the end of my undergrad career and find myself in an awkward state of transition. My first desire after receiving my diploma will be to sleep as long as possible. My second will be to see how much of my college stuff I can get rid of. My third wish will be to move myself to wherever I’m going next. Right now that looks like grad school, pursuing a masters in library science, preferably at the same university where my best friend is going so neither of us will be alone in a strange world.

But regardless of how those two years after college go, I know the question that will beat in the back of my mind for the duration will be: “So now what?” The feeling in my stomach? A slow, sinking, heavy feeling, knowing that I won’t be able to hide myself behind the walls of an educational institution anymore after I walk away with another diploma. A magnified version of whatever it was I felt at the beginning of writing this post, when I didn’t know what I was going to write about.

Somehow the post got written anyway. It even sort of made sense.

There’s a lesson in that, I’m sure.

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