I’m the kind of person who thrives on staying busy. I had my first job working at my dad’s restaurant when I was twelve and have always enjoyed working ever since. I always had a clear vision of what my future looked like. From my earliest memories in elementary school, I plotted my course through middle school, high school, college, and beyond. I could envision every aspect of my life that whole time, but I never planned on this confusing doubt, uncertainty, angst, and fear after college where for the first time in my life, there was absolutely nothing to see.
Let me set the scene a bit. During my last semester, I was seriously stressed about finding a job. I spent hours scrolling through LinkedIn and job boards while meticulously editing my resume just to wake up with TONS of rejection letters in my inbox.
With three weeks left until graduation, I noticed that most of my peers had jobs perfectly lined up. As I said good- bye to my friends and teachers, I felt terrified about closing the chapter and opening a new chapter in the real world. There were no feelings of great elation or relief among the many hugs and cheers. Instead, there was a feeling of total panic and paralyzing fear of the unknown.
I constantly heard the questions, “So what’s next?” or “Do you have a job yet?” While it seems like a pretty straightforward question, I was always blindsided because I literally had no idea what I was doing. But I remember always thinking, “Um… excuse me?!!!! The ink hasn’t even dried on my diploma! What do you mean ‘What’s next?!?!?!'”
Being asked these questions forced me to come to the harsh realization that life is riddled with tough questions with answers that I won’t always know the answer to. But we will have to face these kinds of questions for most of our lives. I wish I could give you some elaborate advice on what to do in that situation, but all I can really say is just wing it.
If you’re feeling confused and uncertain about your future and career, it’s okay. Pause. Take a breath. Take comfort in knowing that absolutely no one on this Earth has it all figured out. Pace yourself for the road that lies ahead and don’t worry if you don’t have all of the answers right away. They will come, so be patient and enjoy the process.
What’s next for me? (said literally no one)— I accepted a post-grad internship opportunity with a marketing agency in Cleveland. While it’s not a set-in-stone position, I’m excited to continue learning about the fields I spent the last four years studying. But hey, here’s to not having it all figured out. 🥂