There is an old joke that says, “Never ask a man if he’s from Texas. If he is from Texas, he’ll tell you, and if he’s not, you don’t want to embarrass him.” I believe that the same principle can be applied to asking graduating seniors what they are going to do with their lives. Don’t ask a senior what they are going to do after college because if they know, they will tell you, and if they don’t, they probably don’t want to be asked about it.
Any senior who knows what their life after college is going to look like does not need to be asked to share this news because they will excitedly bring it up in conversation anytime they can. They’ve probably already posted on social media about how excited they are to begin their next chapter at their new job or graduate program. Any senior who doesn’t know what they are going to do after college has probably already had to tell a dozen different people this week that they can’t answer that question, and they get slightly more embarrassed or stressed each time.
Some seniors are anxiously waiting to hear back from graduate programs, while others are sending out resumes to any job they can think of just trying to get an interview. There is even a small group of seniors, like me, who don’t even know what field they want to work in. For these seniors, life after the weekend of May 13 is a complete mystery. It is stressful to not know where you are going to live or what you are going to be doing in four months. Being constantly reminded of this uncertainty does not make things any better.
In the first week of classes, I was asked about the next chapter of my life in almost every class. I told everyone who asked that I honestly had no idea what my life after college would look like. I got a wide variety of responses to my uncertainty — some people were kind and tried to tell me that it was no big deal and that it would all work out. Others were shocked that I was this close to graduation and this far from having a plan for my immediate future.
I can’t wait for the day when I can look each and every person who asks me about my future in the eye and tell them exactly what my plans are, but I don’t see that happening for a while. For now, please refrain from asking me about my future because I promise once I know the answer I will gladly share it with you.