“What will you do after you graduate?”
“Where will you live?”
“Don’t you want to go back to school?”
“Are you going home to live with your mother?”
Nowadays, the interrogations from peers and strangers alike are coming left and right. If I can help it, the answer to the last one is a big fat no. Yet while I wallow in indecision about the others, countless soon-to-be alumni have already traded their souls and their summers for an entry-level portion of the corporate pie.
Kudos to my classmates who have already landed grown-up gigs, but considering how difficult it can be for me to decide what to order from a menu, rushing to choose a career path would surely give me a headache.
“It’s certainly not necessary to make those decisions this early,” said Rachel Yudell, career coordinator at Temple’s Career Development Services. “What’s really important is making sure that you make the decision that’s right for you.”
The average working stiff changes careers five to seven times, often ending up in a field completely unrelated to their college major, Yudell said. The way I see it, taking more time to think about the future now might save me heartache in the long run.
Yudell estimated that about half of the students she sees are graduating seniors, some with more direction than others. While I’d peg myself as one of those with some direction, nailing down a particular job opportunity this early feels limiting.
Worrying that some other grad will land my dream job is equally pointless. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, companies plan to hire 16 percent more recent grads this year than they did in 2007.
My résumé is ready, and I have networked like a pro. If my bachelor’s is worth what I’ve paid for it, I’ll be one of them.
As February begins to wind its way into spring, I am slowly beginning to acknowledge that my days as an undergrad are numbered. Like many unlucky individuals who can’t afford to slip into senioritis, my plate is full with academic obligations. Having others project their anxiety about the future unto me is stress I don’t need. I’d rather be catching up on sleep than worrying about the inevitable.
Beyond the boundaries of Main Campus, there’s an entire world yet to be discovered. Somewhere along the way, I’ll find my calling.
It’s a journey, one I know starts with self-reflection.
That means I get to ask all the questions.
Benae Mosby can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.