I’m two months away from graduating from college. (With two degrees. I’m proud of myself, but also kind of wondering why the crap I did that to myself. But it’s too late now, so.) If you’ve been reading this blog recently, you know I’ve been looking for jobs and trying to plan for the real world, for my next steps. And y’all — it’s kind of hard.
I know I am not the first person to grow up and leave home. And honestly, I do feel very well-prepared (as prepared as I can be at this point, anyway). I know I don’t know everything there is to being an adult, but I feel like I can handle what will come my way next.
The thing is, I don’t know what that is.
My degrees will be in Marketing and Spanish, so (obviously) I’d like to find a job where I can use one or both of those. I’ve been applying to jobs and internships since last summer, and still have gotten nowhere. I have a Plan A, and a Plan B, and a half-baked Plan C. I have long-term goals I know I can achieve, and I know it’ll take some doing to get there. I’d just really like to know which one I will be starting on in two months, you know?
I’m at the point in life where I’m starting to have to make big decisions. I’ve made biggish decision before, like deciding where to go to college, what to major in, and whether or not to move off campus. I’ve decided not to go grad school, even though I considered it. I’ve decided what I want to pursue long-term. Those are all big decisions.
But now, I’m starting to make decisions I can’t turn back from. The boyfriend and I are starting to plan for engagement and marriage. We’re planning which city to move to, and how much we want to save up for a down payment on a house, and which big expenses we’ll need to make in the next three to five years. I’m making decisions that will completely rule out other options, which I’ve never really done before.
I’m not really nervous, per se. I know a lot of people my age who are terrified of graduating, because they have no idea about the future. But I do have an idea, and I am not afraid I won’t be able to make a living or anything like that. I know I’ll be able to move out of my parents’ house, and I know I’ll be able to find some kind of employment, even if it’s not necessarily my first choice. The thing with me is I know I’m about to be independent, and I’m really making my own decisions. And I know that some of the decisions I make may not be what others want for me.
That shouldn’t be a big deal. After all, it’s my life, right? But like any child, I do want to please my parents, and I want them to be on board with all my decisions. I know they are with my job plans. But the boyfriend and I are planning on moving in together after graduation, mostly to save money. And neither of our parents are thrilled with that idea.
I’m the oldest kid in my family. It’s up to me to kind of draw lines. The thing is, I’m not sure where to draw this one, and I don’t know if my parents are, either. On one hand, we both know that it is my life, and I am going to make the decisions that I feel are best. But on the other, I do want them on board. Even if it’s reluctantly. But the decision is pretty much already made — the boyfriend turned down the housing he was offered through his internship so that we could move in together, and neither of us can really afford our own apartment by ourselves. So now we just have to hope our parents will go along with it.
It’s been weird this semester to see our lives start to fall into place. We both knew that this would be happening, but it’s an odd feeling to actually be searching for apartments and making real plans. It’s nice and exciting, as I knew it would be. I wasn’t counting on feeling a little nervous, too. But I’d be a robot if I wasn’t. As nerve-wracking as it is, I can’t wait for these 1.75 months to fly by so I can dive into whatever happens next.
Try to enjoy the process – most of the time that’s the best part :)
Good luck! I can’t say I’ve been there myself because I’m still finishing up my sophomore year in college, but I wish you and your boyfriend the best of luck. And I could really relate to the line about it being weird to see your lives start to fall into place, because ever since I graduated high school I’ve been feeling that way. It’s weird to be an adult now and see how quickly life and all its milestones are going by.
Just because you have to find direction now doesn’t mean it has to be the right one! Life is about twists and turns, out job is to be brave and step out on the journey even if we end up changing direction. Best of luck!
I remember sitting right where you are and *dreading* my coming life. I was so ill prepared to be an adult it took me ten more years to gain any comfort with it. You’re so well grounded, I can’t believe you’re going to have any trouble. Of course you’ll have hiccups along the way, but looking 10 years out on your timeline, I see a woman exactly where she wants to be. Be yourself and you won’t be disappointed.
That was really encouraging. Thank you.