My least favorite question of all time… “So what are you going to do after you graduate”. Yeah, when you are senior it’s as though you are asked the question every other day, if not every day. There are definitely times when I just want to punch people in the face when they ask me that question. But the other day, a friend asked me that, and with that question went beyond the stereotypical “tell me your plans”.
My friend realized how stressed I was, and told me that I could vent to her if I needed to about the situation. She let me express how fearful I’d been lately about the field I’m going into after college. I know there are things that I could potentially have to work with that I do not agree with and it’s hard. I told her, “Being a social work major, sucks. I don’t really want to go into my field because there are so many hard issues, that I don’t feel as though I’m prepared to work with.” Being a Christian is somewhat difficult in my field, and I knew that coming in…but it wasn’t until these last couple months that I started to realize just how hard this actually is.
It took a couple minutes and blabbing about how I’ve literally just hated everything about my major lately, that she started to dig deeper into what the future could possibly look like for me. She asked me what my passions are; which is something I’ve not thought of in a long time. I didn’t realize, until after telling her, that I have so many passions. There are so many things that I want to do with my life, so many things that interest me. I want to travel and see the world, I want to meet new people from other cultures, I want to work with children, I want to do missions. I can’t just stick to one adventure.
Picking what I want to do after college is so hard for me. I don’t want to be stuck in one place, and I don’t want to be doing something that I’ll hate for the rest of my life. I want to get out into the world and see new things. I know that’s probably what a bunch of college seniors are saying, but that is where my passions lead. I don’t really know what I want to do after college, besides the fact that I want to go into the world and experience something new. I want to spend some time doing something completely different than all I’ve ever known. I don’t know whether that means living in a different part of the country or another part of the world… I just want to change it up.
But within that knowledge though, is an even greater fear to some extent, that I can’t stop thinking about… I’m afraid of being alone. I don’t know what life is going to be like relationally. I don’t know if I’ll get to live with my best friend, if I’ll live near my boyfriend, or if I’ll even live in the same country as my family. I don’t know what the future holds for me as of right now, and that’s scary. People are asking the question “What does the future look for you?” and all I can do is say “I have no idea”. These questions terrify me because I don’t know where I’m being called to go. I don’t know where my passions are specifically. I don’t know what I want to do with the rest of my life. There is so much of the unknown right now, that it’s so stressful. All of these questions are based on the unknown for me right now, and I’m not sure what to do with it.
All I know, as of right now, is that I’m a senior in college and I’m about to finish my last official semester here. I have an internship in the spring and that’s as far as I can go. I can’t think about the future to the extent that people want me to at this time because I’m so overwhelmed with it. Life right now is already too much work and stress. I’m told to be present daily on this campus, but they want me to be thinking about the future and being prepared for all that is ahead too. How can I do both? How can I be present, and look towards and plan my future at the same time?