Tuesday, May 11, 2010

So...what's next?


It's that time of year again. Graduation time. Facebook is flooded with pictures and status updates and comments. I graduated from college 2 years ago. Yikes, where have those two years gone anyway? Now, as the people a few years younger than me, and some fifth and sixth year seniors my age graduate, I can't help but notice a common theme. Every status or picture has a comment underneath, with some well-meaning relative or acquaintance saying: "Congratulations! What's next?"

Good. Freaking. Question.

No one ever told me what came after college. I'm not sure anyone actually knows what you're supposed to do after college. Your whole life you're told what to do. First they send you to pre-school. They teach you to share and know your colors. Lovely. Next you go to elementary school, where you learn the basics, reading, writing, etc. Getting closer. Middle school, kind of a preview for high school. Then you make it to high school. And you are almost a real person. Your parents let you out of their sight for extended periods of time. You can drive. And if you make it through those four years of torture....COLLEGE!!! WHOOO!!!

College is awesome. Independence (well, except for financial, but that's the best part). Decision-making. Don't want to go to class? Don't. Want to stay up all night, because it's 4 am already and class is at 7 so why sleep? Go ahead. The craziness that is Spring Break. I could go on and on.

Then, after four (or in my case three, not to brag but for the sake of accuracy) carefree, wonderful years you make it to graduation day. And you think "I did it! I'm a college graduate!" and then people burst your shiny little bubble and ask "So, what's next?"

And guess what? No one is there to tell you what's next. You're completely, 100% on your own. No parents tying your shoes and sending you off to the office. After approximately 22 years of being shown what to do, it's up to you. Now, along with trying to find the dream job, soulmate, home, you have to pay bills, do laundry, clean, and do all manner of other things that used to be handled by your parents. It's a lot of pressure, and I wish all those graduating now or in a few years luck.

2 years later I'm still not sure what's next, but I'm working on it.


Angela said...

Very true! I've always said that if I could have remained in college until I retired it would have been the perfect job...LOL. I had no idea what was waiting for me outside those gymnasium doors that day I graduated, especially with a degree in English (not many jobs in my area for English majors). It's taken me 13 years to realize I can use that degree toward being an author.

Deb Salisbury said...

I feel your pain. I went from college to "Now what do I do with an English degree?" I wanted to go into publishing, but I wasn't willing to move to NY (in those days, that's where ALL the big houses were), and hadn't researched publishers until after I graduated.

Wishing you luck in finding your dreams!

DaniSue said...

I decided against an English degree because I thought I wouldn't be able to do anything with it, turns out it might have been a better option seeing as how I got a degree in hospitality and spend all my time writing anyway!