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Ready for a break

Angela Saoud | Friday, October 15, 2004

I’m not sure I can even describe how happy I am that it is finally fall break. During the past eight weeks I have put in countless hours at The Observer office, written a file folder’s worth of papers, read novels, plays and poems, put together lesson plans for the seniors I teach at Washington High School – I’ll stop the list there. You get the point.

And as thrilled as I am to have the next 10 days away from campus, I can’t ignore the little nagging feeling inside, reminding me that the school year is a quarter over, and I’m that much closer to graduation.

I’m not sure I can even count how many people have asked me the infamous question, “So, what are you doing after graduation?”

The truthful answer is, I just don’t know.

Over the past few weeks, many of my friends have started interviewing for jobs. Some already have offers. But for people like myself who aren’t sure where they will be living or what they will be doing after graduation, thinking about the future makes my throat constrict.

From the time I was little, I always thought I would be a teacher. Throughout middle school and high school, I watched my mother, a middle school teacher, touch lives and forever change her students. And I want to do that.

But during my sophomore year at Saint Mary’s, I found journalism, and things have been confusing ever since. Ideally, I’d like to do both: Teach high school English and freelance write on the side. But it would be nice to have a social life too.

During my junior year, I thought I had all the time in the world. Over the summer, I was carefree, mostly unconcerned with what my future held. But coming back to Saint Mary’s, the topic is ever present, and I need to make some decisions – fast.

I don’t know what the future holds. While that’s exciting, more than that, it’s scary. I remember thinking college was daunting, but the real world is downright petrifying.

I won’t have the things I’ve come to rely on at Saint Mary’s – friends around every corner, tunnels to avoid walking outside to class in the rain and (although I sometimes complain about it,) a dining hall ready to serve me at meal times.

The real world is looming, and that’s a fact that has to be faced. Over break, along with relaxing, I need to update my resume, get my writing portfolio in order and if I feel up to it, perhaps start looking at geographic locations I could move to.

I thought college would last forever. Four years seemed like an eternity the first time I stepped onto campus. And now, everyday I wake up knowing that I have one less day as a college student.

So, while I will certainly be enjoying my time off, I can’t help but think that this is my last fall break – I just don’t think I’ll be getting one when I enter the job force. For now, I’ll just pack, and ponder what the future holds.