Embracing the Freedom of No Post-College Plans
The older I get, the more I get asked what my plans are post-college. Is it okay to say I don’t know? Is it okay to not have a plan?
The answer is yes. Now I’m not a post-college plan expert or career counselor, but I will confidently say yes it is okay.
If you grew up anything like me, college was the expectation. I had always known I would go one day. But now that my college days are winding down, I’ll walk across that stage with my diploma folder in hand next spring. I don’t have a clue what is next for the first time in my life, and it is incredibly freeing.
It seems like every time I go home to visit family I get pestered with questions. What’s next? What are you doing for an internship? Have you started looking for jobs? Have you started saving for your first apartment? Woah, I don’t graduate till next Spring. Let me ride out this gravy train until it forces me off somewhere in the wilderness of the real world.
I know most of these people ask out of actual concern for my well being in my quickly approaching post college years, but after being in a stage of preparing for college for most of my life I am enjoying the idea of not knowing what’s next.
As college students, we have enough on our plates. Being full time students, working, doing internships, getting involved on campus, and making time for fun on the weekends doesn’t leave much time to figure out what we’re doing tomorrow, let alone post-graduation. It gets over-whelming to think about all the things we need to accomplish in four years’ time.
How do we cope with the mounting pressures of society? As much as I would like to put my middle finger up to society’s expectations for when I’m officially supposed to be a grown up, it’s important to find a balance between living like a dumb 21-year-old forever and a boring old woman.
I think I’ll start with this, telling these pleasant people that I don’t know what’s next. And when they say that I better figure it out quickly, I will say I will. What if I want to take a year off and go backpacking Europe, be a full time barista, a ski bum, or a waitress? If they didn’t write the check for hefty private university tuition, frankly my post-college plans do not concern them. After all, it won’t be their basement I will be living in post-graduation.
Just let us be society. We will figure out who we want to be when we grow up someday.