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Change of plan

Emma Driscoll | Thursday, January 22, 2009

Tuesday was all about change for a lot of people. During the afternoon, I was sitting on my futon, innocently checking my e-mails, and found out that I got a job offer. Instead of being relieved and excited to prove to every single relative I have that my English major was in fact worth something, I immediately burst into tears.

I’m not typically a crier, but something about the moment completely overwhelmed me and I felt inexplicably devastated. Sitting there, sobbing, I felt so ridiculous because I had no idea why I was so sad and I felt like I should have been more grateful to have a potential option.

The longer I sat there, the more I realized that it wasn’t the strange city or any surprises about the job itself that had upset me. It was the fact that I may have found a plan, and the plan would include a lot of changes: moving away from Notre Dame, away from friends, away from everything that I have spent the last three and half years building.

As much as I have stressed out over the last three and a half years about finding a plan, I think I always secretly thrived on the fact that I didn’t have one. For me, options and ambiguity are kind of comforting and plans have always felt limiting.

But after casually (and even proudly) proclaiming “I have no idea what I want to do with my life” thousands of times, I may have arrived at something.

I’ve always known that the future was coming, but it seemed so far away. Suddenly, it is getting real.

All of my pre-med friends who spent countless hours in the library and religiously attended MCAT classes will no longer be trying to get into med school. They will be in med school, and soon they will be doctors and surgeons.

My business major friends are no longer seeking temporary summer internships to help move on to something more permanent. They are looking for something permanent.

Those considering graduate school may soon be the inspiring professors – the ones that everybody knows of and talks about – in just a few years.

People who have always talked about doing service abroad or teaching abroad will actually be living abroad.

While all of these changes – or really progressions – are so obvious, they didn’t seem quite as real to me until Tuesday.

Maybe there is just too much emphasis on the idea of a plan. All of the plans that I have ever made have been thwarted in some huge way that frustrated me at the time, but then ultimately lead me to the very best parts of my life. Things tend to have a way of working out.

As for me – regardless of whether or not I take this job – I plan to make the most of the rest of my senior year (and we do still have a lot of time). I’ll be by The Fan, soaking in views of the dome and spending as much time as possible with the people that have made college a time of which I am scared to let go. That’s a plan I can live with.