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The Question’ is unfair to students

Mary Kartheiser | Wednesday, January 21, 2004

I hate “the Question.” It is by far the worst possible thing to ask a senior in college. People should know not to ask it. I mean, seriously, don’t they realize all the stress and all the pressure asking a question like that causes? And why does society expect us to know? Are we supposed to have life figured out at 22? In fact, why do they have to know the answer anyway?Complete strangers ask “the Question.” The other day, I was at Martin’s and the cashier asked me. I could have screamed. If I say “I don’t know,” then I look like an ass because, apparently, I should know the answer. “Doesn’t everyone know by now?” she said.One day, will I wake up and have it hit me like a bolt of lightening? Or am I forever doomed to the uncertainty of it all? Will I wonder about this for the rest of my life? Because really, my answer will determine the route I will travel for a good many years.I know you know the question I am talking about. It probably lingers in the back of your mind like a bright yellow rain jacket in the corner of a closet. It’s always there – just staring back at you … hardly ever to be used but constantly there, letting itself be known – screaming, “I am important! You need me!”And all you want to do is stuff it under your bed where you don’t have to worry about it any longer – you never have to see it. But you know the five-day forecast, and rain is approaching. You’re going to have to face it. You will have to remove it from the corner of your closet and decide soon. Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow, but soon.For now, you leave it hanging there in the closet and every time you open the door to get your jacket or your shoes – there it is. “The question.” The bright yellow rain jacket that won’t go away: “What are you going to do next year?”

Mary KartheiserseniorSaint Mary’sJan. 19