Monday, October 24, 2011

That Question...

Lately I keep having this recurring conversation about my life. You know, hey, what do you want to do after college?

I used to know the answer. But now, I'm not so sure.

It's a little terrifying.

I came into college with some semblance of a plan. First I was a history interest because that's just what my summer advisor put me as. It wasn't a lie, but the first thing that came out of my mouth was something about being interested in being a teacher. There was no dialogue or exploratory conversation about other avenues.

Then I officially switched to geology a semester-ish later because being a volcanologist had always been a dream of mine. Plus, unlike my first advisor who cared nada, my professor actually conversed with me. Was encouraging.

Then I discovered that as much as I loved learning about volcanoes and the processes of the earth, geology just wasn't for me. It didn't feel right. But when I was a geology major, answering the question of "What do you want to do after college?" was much easier to answer.

Now I'm a communications major with a minor in Spanish. For some reason, this isn't clear cut for most. I know this is just a huge perceptive and attributional error, but I feel like some people think I'm not doing anything worthwhile because of my major. People, like always, ask me what I want to do. Rather than freak out and have a meltdown in front of them, I just say that I don't know. I tell them the truth. This answer seems to pacify some, but does it really?

I don't know. The point is, I HAVE NO FREAKING IDEA WHAT I WANT TO DO. Anymore. And it sucks. A lot of my friends have really great and wonderful ideas and plans that are already set in motion. Social work here, clinical psychologist there, accountant here. Grad school after undergrad. I'm so happy and proud of each of them.

And then there's Ashley. The comm studies major who likes to learn Spanish but complains about it a lot. I have no plans for grad school right now because frankly, it doesn't make one lick of sense to go to grad school if I don't know what for. In the back of my mind, I also think that part of my problem is that I feel some sick, weird urge to fulfill my high school superlative of being voted "Most Likely to Succeed." But success is measured differently by everybody...I feel that maybe my definition might not be the same as most.

Really, all I want to do is help people. That answer seems easy enough for me, at the moment. It isn't specific enough for most though. Why should I have to apologize for that? Or rather, why do I feel the need to apologize?

It's just mildly terrifying that I can't answer the question people ask me a lot these days.

...but perhaps I'm not supposed to know the answer quite yet.

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