College, as I’m sure you’ve been told, is supposed to be the best four years of your life. Holy shit, that’s really true. The parties, the people, the general debauchery and lack of responsibilities – it’s more addictive than bath salts (I’ve been told.)
The only issue with it all is that, well, four years isn’t particularly long. Furthermore, those years were always intended to be an interim period between your childhood and that relentless bitch, adulthood. So when that time is about to come to a close, you might start feeling a little pressure. A little nagging thought in your head that says “yo, bitch – what’s next?” (your inner voice may not be quite as brusque as mine, but I imagine the sentiment is the same).
The voice will be unpleasant, but not unbearable – about the equivalent of light menstrual cramps. But then, some of your friends will start making plans. They’ll get job offers. Your total slacker friend who majored in marketing and currently has a 2.5 GPA will receive a $10,000 signing bonus. This will surprise you considering that just the other day you saw her vomit on herself and then try to calm her stomach with a bag of stale Doritos. Another will commit herself to a prestigious five-year doctoral program. For the rest of her life, she will receive mail addressed to “Dr.” and the only mail you receive regularly is a daily coupon update from Dominos. The voice will nag a little louder.
Younger girls will ask you what your “plan” is. Resist the urge to go all Kill Bill on their skinny asses. They’re just trying to make conversation. Misguided, land mine filled conversation, but conversation nonetheless. The voice will now sound as loud and obnoxious as Nickleback.
But I’m here to tell you that not having a plan for postgraduate life is A-okay. In fact, it’s even better than A-okay. It’s great! Because having no immediate plans after graduation makes you free as a goddamn bird and, most importantly, gives you time to think.
“Think? Uh, I thought I just graduated college so I wouldn’t have to do that anymore,” you might say. First of all, slow your fucking roll smart-ass. Second, just look at your situation. You’ve just graduated college. In theory you’re an adult, but in practice you had to Google “how to write a check” just the other day. You really shouldn’t be making any decisions at all let alone major life ones. If you have some time to pause and take stock about what you want out of life, it only benefits you in the long run.
Didn’t get to go abroad and vomit on various European landmarks? Now’s your chance! Your friend who’s stuck in a cubicle trying to accumulate enough sick days to take some time off to go to her annual gyno exam doesn’t have that luxury. And while you’re at it, think about life in a cubicle. Do you want that? Or would you rather have a job that allows you to work from home and keep Netflix on in the background all day? Did you enjoy any of your internships or did you slowly grow to resent all your co-workers and their coffee orders? Now’s your chance to research and learn about other industries and opportunities. Or to land a rich husband – kidding! (Kind of).
Let yourself breathe and don’t feel bad about it. And especially don’t let others make you feel bad about it. Having plans immediately after graduation doesn’t actually mean anything. So many of your friends will decide to switch tracks within their career or switch careers altogether after their first job. So, in about two or three years from now, you’ll all be roughly in the same place professionally regardless. You’ll have had the advantage, however, of knowing a little bit more about who you are and what you want. Because life is super long. Like, Ethics class discussion long. Taking a few months or even a gap-year off is nothing in the end.
Just don’t do any obnoxious Eat, Pray, Love shit. I draw the line at that..