Before you get there, you think college is going to be one huge party: getting pizza at 3 am #brokeandfat, consuming eight shots in an hour #thenextmorning, and participating in old fads hoping you’re hipster #hashtagyolo.
True, college will consist of nights you won’t forget, nights you can’t remember and nights you seriously did not happen, but what you don’t expect is one random day waking up and realizing “Holy crap, I’m graduating next year.” As someone who calls my parents weekly asking for money; relies on the burger joint down the street for breakfast, lunch ,and dinner; and still snoozes for half of her classes, I can assure you I am not ready to grow up.
My professors, mentors, counselors, uncles, aunts, cousins, parents and every adult in my life decided that right now would be a good time to bombard me with “the talk.” The talk that every college student dreads and cannot seem to avoid: what to do after you graduate. I have so different people pressuring me to figure out my life: whether grad school, employment, internship — you get it. They all mean well, of course. I realize that I have less than a year before I walk across the stage, grab my diploma, and become evicted from the life where you can drink all night, sleep all day, and no one can judge you because #yolo, right? I know I need to prepare for the world of 9am meetings and vitamins every day — because let’s face it, you’re not getting any younger. I get that, I really do understand.
I see my peers securing jobs, internships and GRE scores that would knock a few points off of anyone’s IQ. I know I should have some life direction by now. But no matter how hard I try, there is nothing I can find that I could see myself doing for the next 40 years. (Side note: whatever idiot came up with the idea that we should decide our entire life at 20 years old, with no experience and only an amazing keg stand talent, needs to reevaluate his system.) And I’m beginning to realize that it’s okay to wander.
Who knew 20 would be so hard? I am 20 years old. I’m not old enough to drink. I can’t rent a car. I am unable to run for the president of the United States of America. I’m not an adult. I still have so many #yolo moments left. There are so many things that I haven’t done. I have so much life to live, so many more adventures. My bucket list is still 10 miles long. Who cares if I don’t know what I want my life to be like? Those who have a plan rarely get what they want.
To those who want me to succeed: I appreciate your advice, I really truly do, but all of your “constructive criticism” is clouding my opinions and preventing me from figuring out my life. I love you, but trust me I’ll be okay because you taught me how to succeed.
To those whose life is unknown: call me — we’ll take some shots, rent a car, and run for office.
Because if you don’t want to go to grad school, don’t go. If you can’t find a career you want, keep exploring. You’ll never figure out your passion sitting in a classroom all day. Go live life. Enjoy the sun. Help people. Never settle. You’ll be okay.