Graduation is going to be bittersweet. Since I am an older-than-average student, I don’t really feel like walking through the ceremony. I have had a full-time job the entire time I have been back in school, and I guess I am just ready to be done.
Once that final test is submitted and I drive away from campus, I don’t want to be back on campus for a while except for tailgating.
I wasn’t happy with my job. Sure I am making decent money, have benefits and could make a career out of it if I wanted to, but working overnight as a supervisor at a call center isn’t the most rewarding experience for me.
I went back to school so that I could find my passion.
I started NDSU as a freshman, straight out of high school.
After switching my major twice in a year, I decided I needed to take some time off and figure out what I really wanted to do before wasting any more time and money on a venture I wasn’t even sure of.
It’s scary as an eighteen year old trying to decide what career path to take for the rest of your life before you can legally drink a beer, but that is what is expected of you.
I think the “real” adults forget what life was like at that age.
I came back to school with no specific career in mind, and I am leaving school only knowing for sure what I don’t want to do.
However, I did find classes I loved and professors who changed my perspective on life.
My love for learning turned into a major in philosophy and two minors – English literature and history.
With that in mind, I would like to offer some advice I wish somebody had given me earlier on:
- It is okay if you don’t know what you’re going to do yet. Chances are, even if you do know, your career will change at some point in your life.
- Embrace change. You will grow and learn so much just from age 20 to 30 that you will look back and maybe not even recognize who you once were.
- You’re going to be straddled with student loans, car loans, rent or a mortgage and never-ending bills. They never stop. Ever. This is normal, so don’t worry.
- Find what makes you happy and do it. You’re going to have plenty of crappy jobs while you’re a student, or maybe even after graduating. With the financial stress we all go through, keep in mind that happiness can’t be bought.
- Travel more. Trust me.
- Don’t waste money on “things.” Things go out of style quickly. Budget carefully and always make sure your bills are paid first, then go to that concert.
As someone who is graduating and still doesn’t know for sure what I want to do, I can tell you that life has other plans for you.
John Lennon once said, “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans”. He couldn’t have said it any better.