Why It's Okay To Abandon Adult Responsibility When You Graduate
We've finished education forever; we have a degree at our fingertips, and the world is at our feet.
So, why are we running away from the graduate life we feel so much pressure to adhere to? And, why do we feel guilty for not having our sh*t together already?
For some reason, we just can’t escape the question of what’s next. What job do we want, what internships do we have lined up and where do we see ourselves in five years’ time?
Want the truth? We have absolutely no idea.
We can’t tell you what we want for dinner tomorrow, let alone look years ahead into the future. And the contradictory notion of life is to blame for this.
We’re told to plan in order to be successful while simultaneously being told to live in the moment because life is too short. So, how is it possible to strike a balance while figuring out exactly what we want from life?
Because we sure as hell don’t know.
The comfort of routine and a set path laid out in front of us is what we’ve become accustomed to, but now there are suddenly multiple avenues to choose from and we don't have a clue where to start.
But, what’s different is no one is there to guide or help us decide what’s best because not even we know what we want.
All I’ve known since I was 4 years old, with outrageously curly hair and a cheeky smile capable of wrapping my dad around my little finger, is education.
And now, thousands of graduates have been stripped of that stability.
The only thing that fully consumes me is the thought of getting on a plane in September to travel for three months.
At first, I thought I was burying my head in the sand, but once I accepted that I was allowed to think like that, I became more comfortable with the prospect of the future.
For the past 17 years, I've had to contend with choices, but I’m finally ready to forget about that for 12 weeks. I’m ready to reject the responsibility of being an adult for a short while, in hopes that I become a little closer to figuring out exactly what I want.
There’s no textbook answer or graduate life mantra, so for now, let's prepare to muddle through by ourselves and make it work.
Because who’s to say that jumping into a graduate job is the best thing to do after college?
Embracing a monthly wage and career prospects is invaluable, but for now, it can wait a while. We're so young, it's no surprise the thought of committing to another 40 plus years of choices scares us — terrifies us, even.
We may be so far from having our sh*t together, but it's time to realize that it’s okay.
It’s okay to not know what we want, to not know where we want to be and to not know how we're going to achieve it.
That doesn’t mean we don’t have drive and ambition. It just means we want to learn about ourselves, broaden our horizons and gain a better perspective of what’s out there in that big, wide world we've only explored a tiny fraction of.
It doesn’t mean we're being lazy because we're not using our degrees to their full potential, it just means we're being selfish. Sometimes, we need to put ourselves first to discover what’s important.
Because all we know right now is that we wish we could rewind the clock back three years in a desperate attempt to cling on to this college bubble and never let go.
Why? Because the thought of leaving behind the people who have made the past three years the best of our lives is scary. Call us childish and nostalgic, but we're not ready to let that go just yet, and if that’s a crime, call us guilty as charged.
Because right now, everything is a bit of a mess. So much so that for me, the future has very little direction other than a plane ticket to Bangkok.
But I’m happy.
The trick is as long as we know who we are and what makes us happy, it doesn’t matter how others see us. So what if we don't have everything planned? A messy life is a fun life.
And, the sooner we realize that, the sooner we’ll forget about what we're supposedly meant to be doing and start embracing change.
Whether that's in the form of traveling, volunteering, taking a year off or doing something weird and wonderful, we'll figure it out.
Because sometimes when it feels like things are falling apart, they’re actually falling into place.