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‘I don’t know yet’

| Wednesday, January 14, 2015

“I don’t know yet” is quickly becoming my life’s motto. Over break I was asked, “What are your plans after college?” more times, and in more unique ways, than I thought was possible.

Conversations went like this:

“Hey, how was first semester senior year? What are your plans after college?”

“How’s living off campus? What are your plans after college?”

“The Cowboys paid off the refs. Oh, and what are your plans after college?”

“Pass the butter, will you? And what exactly are your plans after college?”

My answer was almost always, “I don’t know exactly yet.”

The problem with my answer is that people expect a plan. Especially here at Notre Dame, where we are expected to have multiple internships, seven service trips and a firm grasp of Catholic dogma by the time we leave, most people assume that I know exactly what I will be doing after college. I simply don’t, and it is quite the anxiety causer for myself and others.

It is frightening to know that in four months and four days I will not have a college to return to (unless I try to get into grad school or law school — I don’t know about those yet either).

College is a safety net. It’s not so much that I will miss college after I graduate, but I will miss having a place to be and things to do that appear to be a part of my master plan. Graduate high school, check. Get into college, check. Graduate college, most likely check. Get a job, I don’t yet. Get a life-long, fulfilling, well-paid career, hold up.

Obviously I am going to end up somewhere and I will be doing something. Hopefully it will be someplace with four distinct seasons and no taxes and my job will be extremely high-paying and ridiculously easy.

It’s not like I haven’t been putting myself out there. I sent my resume to all future presidential candidates requesting that I be considered for the vice president position. They all sent it back saying I was too qualified because I had watched too many episodes of The West Wing and House of Cards.

For all of those who are in a similar position, embrace “I don’t know yet” as your motto. Though it may be fear-inducing to know that you don’t have anything sorted out after college, allow yourself to enjoy your final semester. Allow yourself to accept that as a 22-year-old, you don’t have the rest of your life planned out. It’s okay not to know yet.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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