So you hear your name called, walk across the stage, celebrate with your family and friends, and then….. what?
The moment after the parties are over, your family has left, and the excitement has settled is one of the most sobering moments in one’s life, at least it was in mine. I kept waiting for this one big moment that would live up to all the rising action, but it never came. Sure graduating was great, but there was never that movie moment where all of a sudden everything in your life made sense.
Even though I was one of “the lucky ones” who knew what they were doing next and actually had a life plan together; I still couldn’t help but feel… unsure. And I wasn’t the only one. Almost every week I speak to someone from my class who has, is, or avoiding feeling the same way.
"The world is yours," said First Lady Michelle Obama to me and my fellow Aggies at graduation. But now that it’s ours, what are we to do with it? What’s the first step?
Everything up to this point of my life had been a given. I grew up in a household where college wasn’t an option, it was the next step. Now, for the first time in my life, I have so many options.
Do I go to grad school or do I work? Is it worth the massive loan or should I just join the majority of American’s who didn’t follow their dreams? If I go, do I commute or get my own apartment? Can I afford that? What about my car? Do I work the summer or take the last break I may ever get in life? What’s for dinner!? Ok maybe not that last one, but the list was endless! I’ve been waiting my whole life to actually get to plan my life, and once that the moment arrived all I wanted was for someone to tell me what to do, give me the answers, point me in the right direction, something!
For a Type A personality like me, this was enough to drive me insane. I mean of course I’d gotten a chance to experience a level of day-to-day freedom in undergrad, but this was so different. It was officially time to start making my dreams a reality, to start my career path, to decide where I want to live, on top of knowing that all of these decisions would affect the family I decide to start, whenever I decided to start one. Dizzy yet? Exactly.
The truth of the matter is, there’s no right way to go about starting YOUR life. The only mistake is not to start. We’ve already laid down the right foundation by graduating college. Our degrees are what allow us all of these options, and that is a blessing.
So how did I overcome the dreaded post grad uncertainty? I manned up and made a decision. Once I felt what it was like to actually make a big decision and watch it come into fruition, all the insanity was worth putting a piece of my puzzled life together.
Maybe that’s what your 20s are: a big scavenger hunt for the puzzle pieces that will eventually make your life make sense.
So to my fellow 20-somethings, especially the class’ of 2012, my advice to you, to us, is to simply make a life decision and make it your own. If it turns out to be a bad one, fix it. What’s a scavenger hunt without a couple wrong turns right? It just makes the journey more interesting. Personally, I plan on making mine as memorable as possible. I have all of my 30s to be practical.