While in high school and even more so during my first year of college, the “What are you planning on majoring in?” question always made me worry unnecessarily about the inevitable decision I’ll have to make — a decision that I was able to make with ease after I had the time to think about it. Now, it’s the “What are your plans after graduation?” question that has me stressed out.
Like many students, I have no concrete plan. Sure, there are certain occupations I’m interested in, but I have yet to decide which one I would like to pursue, so my post-graduation plans are currently nonexistent.
Taking into consideration that, as college students, even our lunch plans for the day are vague, it is beyond my understanding why some people are unable to understand why a student wouldn’t have any future plans in mind. It doesn’t make sense to me why there lies this expectation that students must, from the beginning, have a goal beyond their college years to strive toward because there really isn’t a point to studying “aimlessly.”
This is not to say that those who ask this stress-inducing question expect a detailed plan — if anything, it’s a nice follow-up question to “What is your major?” However, because this inquiry brings on anxiety for many students, there must be social pressures that invoke it, such as the pressure to be successful at a young age and the need to gain a sense of security.
For some of us, it seems like time is running out — that the ticking on the analog clock will eventually stop. Except, surprise, time actually won’t be running out. We live life as if we’re on a time limit: The quicker you reach your goal, the more impressive. This is confirmed when people praise those who accomplish what others have accomplished at a younger age — which, although impressive, should not diminish the achievements of other students no matter the magnitude or the age that success came by. It is important to be a hard worker and to be productive — but not at the expense of rushing through life.
Then there are those who figure that once they’ve accomplished what they set to accomplish, then they will stop stressing. If a student stresses majorly through his or her college years about college and about the future, chances are that even after gaining the level of security desired, he or she will still be worried and want more.
The truth of the matter is that stressing won’t make you successful; it’ll just make you miserable. The time for adult decisions will come. Decisions will eventually be made. In the meantime, it doesn’t hurt to enjoy these four years instead of speeding through them or having them clouded with apprehension for the future. Plan for your post-grad life, but enjoy the present. The undergraduate years only happen once.
Image Source: marsmet481 via Creative Commons
Monica Mikhail contemplates the truth of the matter in her Thursday blog. Contact Monica Mikhail at [email protected].