It’s #GradSzn! So What’s Next?

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It’s #GradSzn, as we all know it. Teenagers are graduating from high school and young adults from college. When graduating from college the question always asked is “What’s next?” “What’s your plans after college?” “Do you have a job lined up?” “Where will you live?” Basically… What are you going to do with your degree that you just spent thousands of dollars on?

Some people have actual answers to many of those questions. They have secured career driven jobs and internships. But what if you haven’t? It’s okay to say that you’re not sure or that you will be working to continue your dreams and meet your goals. The real question is: Why is that everyone’s business? People feel entitled to know what you’re going to do with your life after you graduate when they don’t even have a say in what’s going to happen or have had no influence whatsoever in your journey.

It’s okay not to be answering that question with you dream job or what you think people are going to want to hear. It’s okay not to answer the question at all, really. I would think something like “I have just accomplished a huge goal and all you can do is focus on the next one,” would be a good answer. I understand some people are genuinely curious. Some will hate and some will congratulate. But it’s all to your discretion.

It’s always a good idea to look into your future before the time comes. Make connections and spend time volunteering or interning to figure out what you would like to do. This way when the time comes, you can say what you would like to say to all the nosy questions.

Society today makes it seem like you are supposed to have a big fancy “grown up” job as soon as you cross the stage. And it’s definitely okay not to. They put you on a clock. Graduate high school, go to college and graduate in four years, then get a big job, buy a house, have a family, all by the time you’re 27. Don’t let people put a time limit on your accomplishments. Everyone has their own clock and goes at their own pace. As long as you are happy with your accomplishment, as you should be, and fulfilling one of your many purposes in this world, you are succeeding.

College is a process. It’s long and it has its ups and downs. It is a time to experience many things about the world and about yourself. You have to work extremely hard in college in order to graduate because college is not easy. If you want to take a mental break to recover from the long road, then that isn’t a crime. If you have other goals you want to focus on, do that. Start a business. Continue school. Stop, smell the roses, and do what makes you happy. Enjoy your beautiful #GradSzn and don’t let anyone make your moment their moment.

 

By Destini Lindsey, Sophomore, Western Michigan University

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