What Will You Do With Your Life?

Did you think that going to grad school would solve the problem you had about what to be when you grew up?

Sorry.

I delayed answering this question in 2001 when I decided to apply to graduate school. And for eight years, I have been (mostly) in ignorant bliss–the future life of Doctor Jones was much too far away to worry about.

I have certainly worked on opening doors for Doctor Jones, doing internships, assistant directorships, teaching, going to conferences, etc. But all my experience, the dissertation, and the degree are simply not enough to guarantee that I’ll be employed as an English professor.

I haven’t felt this way since college. And I sincerely believed then that going to college was answering this question for good. But I have grown up. And unfortunately, growing up doesn’t mean that I have all the answers. I do have some experience grappling for solutions. And that’s about it.

I’m not bringing this up to scare you. I’m bringing this up because my friend Rebecca, who has been busting her butt for three years to get a cello performance degree, said upon graduating that she wished someone would have told her that she’d be transported right back into the confusing decision making process of age twenty-one.

So, I’m telling you. I hope that if you expect it, it won’t be quite as scary when it happens. And take some comfort in knowing that what you do with your life is not something you “should” have figured out at your age.

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