Planning for post-grad with trepidation. Photo by Claire Runkel.
MEGAN DRAKE | OPINION COLUMNIST | firstname.lastname@example.org
One moment you’re a first-year at Butler and your main worry is about your Natural World class, the next your biggest fear becomes what your plans are for after graduation. As a second-semester junior, I am petrified for what is coming after the next year and a half.
The options post-grad should be simple: grad school, starting to work, taking a gap year and those types of things. However, the details that come along with all of those paths and actually choosing a path to follow is not as easy and can be beyond stressful.
Junior music education major Anna Fosco shared about how the choice of what to do next can be stressful.
“I think what gives me the most anxiety is that there isn’t necessarily a correct path,” Fosco said.
I’ve quickly become accustomed to my little life at Butler and the thought of switching things up is intimidating. Life is always changing, but the constants of undergrad can be vastly comforting.
Annie Donato, a senior music performance and English double major, spoke on how undergrad can feel comfortable.
“I know what to expect when I go into a rehearsal or class; I know my professors and they know my name,” Donato said. “I don’t have to really extend outside of [Butler] that much other than to get groceries, which is a good thing in that I feel comfortable and have a place that feels secure.”
Being a part of a smaller campus and having a small tight-knit community are some of the things I love most about Butler. Simultaneously, losing the security of the constants at Butler is one of the scariest things about what I am doing post-graduation.
I have quickly become very comfortable with my life at Butler. I know the people in my classes. I know the staff on campus. There are very few things that change or surprise me on a day-to-day or even semester-to-semester basis.
As someone who is a routine girl through and through, the thought of that routine changing so drastically is terrifying. Not only is the routine going to change, but I don’t know what it is changing to.
While a routine change is frightening, the pressures that others put on us about post-grad decisions are a whole other terror.
Junior health sciences major Jaytee Wesolowski talked about the pressures of post-grad.
“Everyone’s constantly asking me, ‘Well, what’s next?’” Wesolowski said. “It’s kind of like when people ask you if you are sure about that after you’ve made your final decision.”
The outside pressure of family, friends and the occasional stranger asking what I am going to do with my degree after graduation is additional stress I don’t need. Constantly being asked what’s next makes me doubt and rethink those plans I have already started to make for myself.
While post-grad can be petrifying, there are many ways to cope with the looming fear. Making a pros and cons list, journaling and doing some research are always things that can help soothe the fear.
Fosco discussed how she has helped soothe the fear of post-grad.
“I’ve talked a lot about it in therapy,” Fosco said. “It really has kind of worked for me, as silly as it sounds.”
I firmly believe everyone should see a therapist at some point, and this is one of the many things you can talk with them about. Conquering post-grad fears is a complex task that I’m not sure I have the answer to, but chatting with a therapist about what is stressful might help you come to a resolution.
When looking into post-grad, it’s really easy to get stuck into the mentality that you are deciding what to do for the rest of your life, but it’s important to remember that the choice you make doesn’t have to be permanent.
Wesolowski talks about the importance of exploring your options and changing your mind if need be.
“Don’t be afraid to ask questions and explore now,” Wesolowski said. “Don’t be afraid to switch. If you realize that you’re going down the wrong path, it’s never too late to switch.”
The fear of post-grad is so very real, but I know that a lot of people share this same fear. You’re not alone in the uncertainty.
Making hard decisions like what to do post-grad can be terrifying, but it can also be beyond exciting. The next chapter of life has so many new exciting possibilities that are important to focus on. Next time you are feeling stressed and terrified over what’s next, remember to look at what is exciting and enticing about post-grad.
So, help a sister out, and the next time you are talking to someone new about their major, don’t ask what they’re doing after graduation. None of us need to think about it more than we already do.