While my mom was visiting this past weekend for Homecoming, we enjoyed a girls’ dinner and caught each other up with our lives. One of the things she asked me was what my plans are for the next year. I froze, not really knowing how to respond as a thousand thoughts ran through my head. I just started telling her all of the things I was passionate about and different opportunities that I have the potential to take.
After talking for a few minutes she looked at me and said, “You know what? It’s ok to not be entirely sure of your path right now.”
I felt the biggest sense of relief and the weight was lifted off my shoulders when I heard her say this. As I reflected after our conversation, I realized that this is the first time in my life that I haven’t had something predetermined for me to follow up with. In other words, in every level of school, there has always been a next step to look forward to and be certain that is the next step. Now, there is an option to continue school, start a career or even travel and take a year off from school or a job.
However, this decision is a little more difficult than simply choosing a place to go to school for the next four years. Although I have all these options, I believe that our culture has not only imposed a huge emphasis on choosing a college but also on making the right decision for a career after college. I feel that the pressure to make this decision is extremely overwhelming at times, and somewhat rushed.
My mom and I came to the conclusion that I could work for the next year, researching different graduate programs and ideas for moving forward from there. I have observed some of my classmates, past and present, who stressed out during their senior year of college studying for the GRE and applying to graduate schools.
I plan to have a job after graduation and then go to grad school, so that there is adequate time to do research on my future plans and enjoy the rest of my last year at USD.This pressure to keep moving forward has been plaguing me and I’m sure many other juniors or seniors who are deciding what to do in the next year or two. What I have learned so far is that it is probably more beneficial to really sit down and do your research on what you could potentially investing your time and energy into. Don’t feel rushed into things because you feel pressured to tell people of your future plans.