No one really prepares you for the weirdness of finally leaving the world of academia. I’m sure it will feel even weirder once the spring semester starts at my alma mater. When I see pictures of people who are still there, I don’t know how I’ll feel. I might miss it. I’ll miss parts of it, there’s no doubt about that. But the constant feeling of being behind? Having a long list of assignments hanging over my head? Not so much.
I’ve spent almost my entire life in school. And now I’m done. Not forever, but for a while… Probably a couple of years. (Let’s be real. Most humanities kids know that their bachelors degrees don’t amount to much in the real world.) But I’m so used to the never-ending process of balancing all the different parts of college life. I never even came close to mastering that, by the way. (And I don’t trust people who claim they have.) It’s just so strange to finally be on the other side of something that at times felt impossible. College is great for so many reasons, but I finally feel like maybe it was time to move on.
I had dinner with two of my high school friends last week. It was winter break for both of them, since one’s in grad school and the other is in med school. And there I was, out of school and pretty clueless about what I’m going to do. We talked about how when we’re out of school, time won’t feel as… concrete? So, I was in the class of 2014, and I always thought of 2014 as this huge defining year. It represented all that I was working toward. There was this palpable chunk of time that all led up to this big moment, and then… it’s just life. I’m not working toward a degree anymore, and that’s literally all I’ve ever known. Now there aren’t any grades to be earned or major achievements on the horizon.
Maybe that’s what I need, though. Goals. I’ve always been really terrible at setting and keeping goals, but maybe they would help to define my time. To really get a sense of what I’m doing and where I’m going. To figure out what I truly want to accomplish.
Here’s to coming up with some legitimate goals for this weird post-grad life.