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Worried? Hardly.

Aaron Steiner | Monday, September 28, 2009

I have the conversation down to a science.

“So, what do you want do you want to do after graduation?”

“Good question,” I answer, with a lighthearted laugh.

“No ideas? What are you interested in?”

This is when I launch into a rehearsed, “Well, sure, I’ve thought about it,” and a long “there are quite a few things I’m interested in” spiel that usually gets a response like “Oh, I see. Well, you have some time to figure it out.”

Which is when I interject, “Sure … but only a few months!”

By all counts – a down economy, looming application deadlines, daunting Career Fairs – I should be worried, right?

I know some are, or are getting to that point. But on the contrary, I’m not worried at all.

It’s interesting – at exactly the point when I’m most confused and should be most concerned about where my life goes after graduation, I’m actually quite at peace with the ambiguity.

Maybe it’s because I still harbor idealistic “I can save the world” notions that make me feel like I can do it all. Or because I’m not constricted by a need to work in one particular industry, to study a particular subject or to take one particular path. Or maybe I just haven’t thought about it much.

No. Not true, I’ve thought about it a lot. And become even more confused.

Whatever the case, I’m not worried. But I’ll tell you what I am worried about.

I’m worried about the rest of the Irish football season. I’m worried about the number of times I’m going to get to go to the Backer this year. I’m worried that working at The Observer is going to eat up any remnants of free time I have.

So maybe it’s just that I’m so distracted by the present that I can’t yet worry about things “so far off.”

It’s probably a combination of these things – a youthful idealism that I can do anything, a freedom from any definite path and the distraction of the moment – that keeps me from fretting about a “10 year plan” or the like.

I’m just hoping that I can hold onto all of these things, because my time here is far too short to spend what’s left worrying over what comes next. So far things have turned out remarkably well and I have enough faith to believe that things will turn out for the better in the end.

“You’ll figure it out sooner or later,” is one of the usual ends to that conversation I was talking about.

“Exactly,” I conclude, with an honest smile.