Illustration by Sam Cochran ’24

I’m about to graduate, but I don’t have any concrete plans for what I’m doing after college. I feel like everyone I talk to is applying to so many more internships or jobs or programs than I am. Is it okay that I’m still not exactly sure what I’m doing yet?

To begin, there is no problem with not having your life figured out. It is ridiculous to assume that each and every person will have the same path for their future. Also, your pace will also vary from others! Let’s begin by covering why not to be worried. Undergraduate liberal arts students work to develop certain skills, such as condensing large amounts of information into succinct papers or reviews. You are learning to efficiently communicate your thoughts and feelings in a digestible manner. It is important to keep in mind that these abilities are sought after because not many people can do it well. 

That is why there is no rush. If you spent your time in college learning what you’re passionate about and simply working hard towards achieving your goals, then jobs will come to you when you are ready. The importance of moving at your own pace is that you will never feel like you are not ready or prepared for the next step. Rushing into more internships, jobs, or even another level of education after graduation all operates under the assumption that each and every one of those kids is ready to start making concrete steps towards their future careers. That is a big jump, and saying it is giving me anxiety, yeesh!

Taking slow steps towards your future will ensure that you are ready to pursue whatever field you decide upon. There will be no ifs, ands, or buts, just a person who is confident in their decision! Also, people have different modes of expressing their ambition. Some feel as though they must have an immediate job to go to; however, some may believe that they can take their time to happen upon an internship or job. Neither is better than the other, it all depends on the speed that you’re comfortable with. 

Now, if this is stressing you out, and you want to have something to keep you occupied right after college, there is no shame in relying on a family member for a temporary internship while you look for jobs or schools of higher learning that fit you better. Another option could be to look for volunteering opportunities that get you out into your community so that you can simultaneously work and benefit the community. 

You can also take baby steps towards your life as a truly independent adult by talking to your professors or advisors about post-graduate research opportunities or general guidance. Sometimes it helps to get another perspective on matters that can be potentially life altering. Being surrounded by friends or peers who are all going for internships, jobs, or grad school can warp your perspective of where you stand. It could make you feel as if you’re more behind than you actually are. Asking random people, professors, or even job counselors can help you feel 

more calm about your accomplishments. Remember to avoid comparing yourself to other people!

I can’t tell you that you can just sit around after college and the offers will come to you because unfortunately, that is not how the world works. Sometimes you have to accept that being a little bit extroverted can benefit you. Job or internship offers do not always come from a formal application — they can come from a great, deep, intellectual conversation or from a recommendation by someone who found you charming. Always put yourself out there because there is nothing bad that can come from doing so. 

In terms of graduate school, that is not something required for every field. It can help, or it could be considered a waste of money. It simply depends on who you ask and on what field you’re going into! If you want to have the option, there is no harm in applying, you do not have to attend. 

There is no requirement for your future. It can be as intense or as chill as you want it to be. My dad always says, “practicality breeds mediocrity, not excellence.” In other words, you will only be successful if you do what you love. If you rush into a job or school to fit the status quo, you will not only be miserable, success will not be achieved. 

Do what you love, and you will never work a day in your life! 

Always here to answer your pressing queries.

Yours truly, 

Told You So.