In just six short weeks I will be crossing the stage and closing the chapter of my Kalamazoo College education for good. While the excitement of moving past this place has me jumping for commencement, my lack of future plans does not.
I, like so many other seniors, find myself eagerly waiting to hear back from jobs and internships. While I have high hopes that I will find something exciting to do next year, the prospect of living under my parent’s roof again if things fall through gives me indigestion.
To navigate that, I try and forget about it whenever I can. I toss Frisbees on the quad, throw myself into my schoolwork, and only have an hour a day where I actively look for jobs and internships and let the anxiety take over.
So, if you ask me “what are your plans for next year?” don’t be surprised if I completely ignore the question.
I know that the question is well-intentioned, and people are just curious about where we will be next year. I appreciate that you care enough to ask, truly.
That said, those intentions come with expectations.
People expect me to have an answer for them, and one better than “I’m not sure,” or, my go-to response of a noncommittal grunt.
Those expectations alone are enough to make seniors like me cringe.
Since many of us were raised knowing that we were going to go to college, we have been following our expected path since kindergarten. Now, we can make the decision to continue our education, defer a year, go straight into the workforce, or maybe just take a year off to go abroad.
Considering that we’ve never had to make that decision for ourselves, it can be pretty terrifying.
The stress of knowing that I don’t have a plan for next year is only made worse when you bring it up, which contradicts why you were asking the question in the first place. While the intention was positive, the impact was not.
So, while I appreciate that you want to know what I’m doing, please wait till I bring it up. Once I have plans, I promise that you’ll be one of the first to know.