Student ponders life after graduation day

 It’s been on my mind lately that we ask ourselves a lot of questions. There’s rarely a person who comes to school and knows exactly what they want to do with their lives and how they want to make that happen.

In the three years I’ve been at Gannon, I have found out exponentially more about myself than I knew in high school. Previously, I let how other people saw me take part in defining my self-image. That had both negative and positive effects.

While my high school peers may have thought I excelled in musical theater, the reality is that I’m no Idina Menzel. I’m not even Carrie Underwood in the “Sound of Music.”

On the other hand it was valuable to find out that I’m not shy, that I like country music, that I’ve got a dorky sense of humor and have my own unique, valuable opinions.

Still I find myself constantly asking, “What should I do?” “What should I be doing?” “Am I where I need to be?” It’s stressful to be so unsure about the things that we have virtually no way to know.

I pride myself on being a very organized and overly prepared person. You can find every upcoming event in my life in my two-year Vera Bradley planner. However when it comes to knowing what my future holds, I could not be more unsure.

A letter I got in the mail before the beginning of the school year asked, “What are your plans after college?” “Are you joining the workforce or attending grad school?” “List three companies or higher education programs you are applying for.” These were the three hardest questions I’ve ever been asked.

I’ve certainly thought about it enough in these past three years. Surely I would have made some decision by now.

We often forget that we have the option to change our minds. We think that we have to pick one thing and that one thing has to be the answer.

The truth is we’ll be doing a variety of things after graduation.

I’m going to receive my diploma and hopefully realize that all of the studying, working and extracurricular activities were worth this piece of paper. I’m going to gain an entirely new perspective on life and again find exponentially more about myself. I’ll spend the next five years trying out different jobs and moving to different parts of the country until I find a career that is truly satisfying financially and emotionally.

Coming to college wasn’t a prescription to learn how to be an employee somewhere; it teaches us about ourselves and how to make decisions based on what we know.

You were ambitious enough to come here, so you are the type of person who will continue to learn and seek out new opportunities for the rest of your life.

So what will I be doing after graduation? A lot.

BRIANNA WOODS

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