If I hear, “So, what are you going to do after you graduate?” one more time, I may react in a way that no longer allows me to graduate. And maybe I’d be okay with that. (Joking… kind of.)
Graduation is quickly approaching and I still don’t have the “life plan” that everyone is so curious about. I don’t feel old enough to graduate. In fact, someone recently asked my age and instinctively and confidently, I responded, “19.”
I haven’t been 19 for three years.
Throughout college, I’ve done two great internships and worked with several non-profits. I’ve studied abroad and spent three years as a resident assistant. I’ve established great networks and built impressive connections. And when I take a step back and take a deep breath, I have set up plenty of options for my future.
But what if I don’t feel ready to enter the “real world?” Very personally, I feel as though jumping into the professional world at the ripe age of 22 just wouldn’t be right for me. Being a “young professional” makes me feel uncomfortable and nauseous. Like a bird getting its wings clipped and thrown into a cage.
As I mentioned in an earlier blog, my passion is traveling and my dream is to become a travel writer of sorts. Ultimately, my life will feel unfulfilled if it ends with a world even remotely unseen.
With that being said, I have found this opportunity to teach English in Spain for nine months. I’ve been accepted and am currently waiting on location placement.
The money is minimal. The program has unfavorable reviews regarding its disorganization. It’s far from my family and friends—far from my comfortable life.
It would be a challenge. It would be something that makes me uncomfortable. But it would be an opportunity that forces me to grow. After all, what kind of life are you living if it’s comfortable?
Sure, I would grow if I took a job at a firm or corporation. But I don’t see myself being challenged in the way I want for this season of my life. Right now, I feel like taking a job at a firm or a corporation would be taking the easy way out. I would be giving in to having a comfortable lifestyle with a steady paycheck, stellar apartment, a new car and probably a puppy.
(Seriously no hard feelings or judgment toward any of you guys going this route. You do you!)
But I will have my whole life to have those things. I don’t know that I will always have the opportunity to do something like this. Right now, I’m not married, I don’t have children, my poor car is on its way out, I’m already used to not having money, my pups are with my parents and I’m about to be out of housing (see ya, dorm life!). What do I have to lose? The real, grownup world will always be there, but opportunities like this probably won’t.
Will I be less marketable once I return? This is definitely an uncertainty taking up space in my mind, but I would likely come back fluent in Spanish and even more understanding and passionate about cultures. I would consider that marketable. Also, it’s all about how you sell the work you did. Thankfully, I already have an impressive resume and this just gives me one more experience that many people lack.
So, to answer your question, no, I don’t know what’s in store for me post-graduation. But it’s very likely that you’ll find me pursuing my passions. Probably in Spain.