Thought Catalog
June 7, 2017

I Graduated College And Don’t Know What I’m Doing With My Life (And That’s Okay)

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What is the issue?
Unsplash / Jason Blackeye

When one graduates college, it’s easy to fall into the trap of trying to figure everything out. Why do I call it a trap? Because trying to plan every detail of your life can easily become overwhelming and steal your joy. Don’t get me wrong, it’s good to have an idea about your logistics like where your money will come from and what your next steps are. But you don’t have to have a five-year plan by the time you graduate college. In fact, I think it’s better NOT to.

In your twenties, things change so often. We are living out our “selfish years.” We are chasing dreams, working odd jobs, falling in love, falling out of love, traveling and trying to figure out who we want to become. There’s this societal expectation that we must know what we are doing as soon as we leave one stage and are on to the next. But I just graduated college, and am so happy that I have no idea where my life will lead. I know what the next thing I’m pursuing is, but the opportunity is temporary. It’s a next step. And I don’t know what the next one will look like, or where I’ll be living, or what job I’ll get after this one ends.

I used to be an obsessive planner who wanted every single detail taken care of. I had a planner and would make two year plans, foolishly thinking that I could control every aspect of my life. But the truth hit me right in the face this past semester of college, which was ironically also the last semester of my college career. I went through a break up, changed my major for graduate school and decided to pursue a more temporary job. In the process, I’ve learned that sometimes things don’t go according to plan. And that has to be okay. I finally let go of my expectations to have every little aspect of my post-grad life figured out, and I’m so much happier now.

If you’re someone who just graduated college and has a stable job, a stable relationship and a pretty clear idea about the future, that’s awesome. I genuinely am so happy for you. But that isn’t me, and I am tired of feeling less than because of that. The thing is, so many of us are just trying to figure it out. One step at a time, one job at a time. And there’s adventure in that process. There’s the room to become something new and change our minds about who we want to be.

I’m trusting the process, and taking things as they come, and discovering freedom in the midst of this crazy adventure called life. And for once, I don’t have everything figured out. And that’s definitely okay. TC mark