One of the hard parts of no longer being in school, for me, is trying to pinpoint what I’m working towards. In school you’re always pushing for deadlines, always trying to complete papers and projects, you have deadlines with dates littering your mind, and you’ve got the overarching end goal of graduation somewhere down the line. You have some sort of purpose to fulfill, something to achieve. Then you graduate and the dates diminish, your to-do list changes dramatically, your life is spun in circles until you’re dizzy and just trying to walk in a straight direction, and at this point I have no idea what I’m trying to achieve anymore aside from maybe some stability.
I’m terrified of never figuring out what I’m working towards anymore, of doing the same thing every day and not learning as much as I did before. I’m afraid of the money, because it’s addicting, because it can make you sacrifice the things you want and the things you need; because it can make you feel stuck. But we’re sitting between a rock and a hard place and one of them is telling us we need to love what we do and the other is telling us to pay rent so I couldn’t tell you quite yet where dreams fit in to all of this.
Never before in twenty-two years have I had this much freedom, this much responsibility, and an infinite amount of options all of which are like blank envelopes and being forced to decide which one to open. I have no idea what’s next, but I do know with certainty that my ‘now’ is temporary, and that reality comes with its own set of mixed emotions.
The limbo between student and adult – graduate – is exhausting, exciting, sometimes lonely, and always uncertain. I am in the midst of that, living in a temporary house, working a temporary job, owning a gym membership that while still temporary, will outlast both of them combined. I’m not good at this, I don’t know if anybody truly can be, but we keep moving forward despite our discomfort and one day we hope we’ll figure out what we’ve been moving towards.