It wouldn’t surprise me if someone were to conduct a study on the most frequently asked questions of future college graduates and found that these two responses came up as the most popular:
What are you doing after you graduate?
Are you ready?
If only those questions were as easy to answer as they are delivered. As soon as I started my junior year of college, I got asked those questions so much to the point that I didn’t consider it a rare occasion for it to happen, it basically felt like clockwork.
The thing about starting your undergraduate career when you’re a young adult is that it can be really hard to weigh the gravity of what it is. Your freshman and sophomore years of college are full of mostly core classes that you’re not checking off as the most interesting, (I don’t ever think I’ll reminisce on College Algebra as a class I enjoyed walking into at all) and you’ve got your social life to handle, and figuring out who you really are as a person to deal with.
In the beginning, I felt like everything with college would lay itself out perfectly to me. I knew what I wanted to do; I wanted to go into journalism. So where do I sign up to tell someone this and have them map out every single detail of what I need to do to go into it successfully?
That definitely does not happen.
You can visit your advisors, you can talk to your professors, you can talk to your parents and seek the advice of your friends during late night conversations about life, but the only person who can lay out the path that will be best for you, is you.
I’ll be honest. Even though the delivery of those questions felt like clockwork, my preparation in answering them didn’t. I wasn’t ready to answer either of them confidently. In a perfect world, it would be so nice to have every single detail of what step I’m taking next and how to execute it flawlessly laid out for me.
We live in an imperfect world full of flaws and defects, but everyday there are constant decisions being made about how to do things right within it. In my own world, I’ve been indecisive about where it was that I truly wanted to go with my career after college. I always knew that the excitement I had for learning about people and sharing their stories would guide me down towards the journalism pathway, but where I would go next was elusive to me for a bit.
I’ve lost count of how many times during college I thought “A million people are trying to do what you’re trying to do, and maybe only a thousand do it successfully. What makes you think that you can be part of that thousand?”
Say hello to the sassy voice of indecision. Indecision is a shifty devil on your shoulder, trying to convince you that the good things that you’re working towards will amount to dust. It’s the tricky little rogue that can get some of the best of us to think that we’re not good enough, and we won’t ever be good enough.
It’s difficult to decide when to stop listening to indecision, but for your self-worth, it has to be done. Decide and realize that you are one in a million, and that every good thing that you work towards you have the ability to obtain.
The antidote to indecision is a healthy dosage of excitement and passion. When I first started college, I was filled with excitement about being able to learn the specifics of what I wanted to do in life. I was excited to learn how to do research, I was excited to learn how to develop and fine-tune my writing style, I was excited to have a pathway that would lead me towards the ultimate goal of what I wanted.
That’s the most important part of it all. That excitement. Down the road, if you give indecision a chance to grow, it’ll take over that excitement and diminish it. So hold fast on to your excitement, and take it and build with it.
Flash forward to my college graduation this past Tuesday. Walking across the stage as an honor’s graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Multimedia Journalism, the excitement of what’s going to come with learning about people’s stories and documenting them to the world radiated brightly within my being. Indecision could have beat me, and it may tap on my shoulder from time to time, but will I acknowledge it?
Most certainly not anytime soon.