On Taking A Year Off
Only a week ago, I was far from exams and assigned readings, and in the best city on earth - New York. Being home, I was able to finish a book (Beloved by Toni Morrison is truly a gem), published two new pieces for the Cavalier Daily (ya girl is officially a Senior Columnist!), and saw family and friends. A big part of the trip was in celebration of a friend's birthday, but I also wanted to see my parents before graduation in May. I spent my Saturday at my home church and faced a series of members who inquired about why I was on Spring Break if it was still cold outside, how the semester was going so far and how my trip to Ghana was at the beginning of the year. The most frequent questions however, were about graduation and my possible plans for the future. Besides wanting an invite to my farewell to UVA in May, they were very interested in what I had decided to do with my life.
Truth is, I have no idea.
I've always been a pretty straight-forward person, career-wise. I wanted to be a lawyer up until I came to college, and then I was pretty set on being a Professor. I planned on going straight into graduate school, finshing my degree and dissertation in 5 years and becoming a faculty memeber at some college/university at the tender age of 26 or so. Then BOOM, fourth year started and I found myself at a stand-still. I was looking forward to the future but with little to no enthusiasm. I didn't know what I wanted to do anymore. Or just yet anyway. I also started writing. This blog and my position at Cav Daily became two new things that I started to look forward to. I began to see writing as a part of my future in ways that I hadn't imagined possible before.
Taking a year off is scary because we often have this idea that we need to have everything figured out when we graduate college. We need to have a job that will carry us into a lifelong career and success. This is possible, for the lucky ones, but not everyone's path is the same. I'll only be 22 years old when I gradute and I really don't need to have it all together. It's just not realistic. This next part of my life will (hopefully) be about finding something that I love and getting paid for it. My goals have not changed much, I do plan on getting an advanced degree, but they have definitely evolved to include something else that I love and (I think) am good at. I'm not exactly sure how it will look, but I hope that the extra year is time enough for me to atleast start figuring it all out.