I Don't Know
Note: I originally wrote this post in July of 2014 for my personal blog, PenPointed Noise. Though it's been three months since I graduated from college and even longer since I wrote this, I still find myself in a certain "I don't know" fog. I love where I work, but I've been having trouble articulating exactly what my career goals are; I seem to be second-guessing myself on everything. But I suppose just because I've graduated doesn't mean I should have everything suddenly figured out. Because I still find myself not knowing what's to come, I thought it appropriate to share this post here on That First Year.
Whenever I tell someone I’m graduating in December, usually the question of “So what will you do then?” arises almost immediately thereafter. In fact, it feels almost awkward if that question isn’t presented, as if by not asking it, that person is missing some sort of social norm (I mean, don’t you want to know what grandiose plans I have for myself as a naïve and incredibly poor post-college young adult?!).
Admittedly, I enjoy asking this question of others, because I too am curious to know my peers’ life plans. And yeah, I like talking about my life plans, too.
But I also struggle to find a sufficient answer to the question. Truth is, I don’t know what I’ll do after graduation. Yet “I don’t know” is deemed an unsatisfactory answer, as if not being able to foresee the future is somehow a flaw only you harbor.
And I get it. We all want to be able to say we have SOME sort of life direction. We all need goals and aspirations; these are necessary components to a fulfilling life. However, since when did truthfully admitting that you don’t know something become a frowned upon answer? As if at age 22 you’re supposed to know exactly what you’re going to do for the next 60 years of your life? As if at ANY point in your life you can assuredly paint a clear picture of what the next years – or even months! – of your life will be consist of.
If, in high school, you’d have told me I’d be going to school in Nashville and on my way to a career in music, I would’ve lol’d all over you and your ridiculous predictions. Yeah, I loved music, but up until around junior year of high school, I was absolutely convinced I was going to USC and pursuing a career in the film industry. And HAHALULZ at my past self and plans, considering I now go to the actual cinema to see a movie maybe twice a year (but Christopher Nolan is still my boo thang when it comes to favorite directors; P.S. HE’S RELEASING A NEW MOVIE THIS YEAR AND HANS ZIMMER COMPOSED THE SCORE).
Point is: back then, I thought I knew exactly what I’d be doing with my life.
Yet even when I think I know, I don’t.
I had no idea I’d be in music. I had no idea I would have interned at the Ryman or a country music label or any other internships I’ve had. I had no idea I’d be interviewing the drummers of Switchfoot or Fitz and the Tantrums for feature stories. I had no idea that I would’ve been able to spend the best semester of my life adventuring abroad in London and Europe.
I had no idea.
So I don’t know what I’m going to do after graduation. And you don’t have to know either.
Don’t get me wrong, I have post-grad plans. Three or four potential life blueprints, in fact. But whether any, all, or none of these come to fruition is something that I cannot confirm right now.
I just don’t know.
Even when we think we know, we don’t. And that’s okay.
That First Year Co-Founder
Hailing from Louisiana, Ally graduated in December 2014 from Belmont University in Nashville with a degree in Public Relations and currently works as the tech services assistant at a music venue. She considers obsession as just another word for passion, and hers encompass concerts, traveling, writing and anything British (a.k.a. Coldplay, The 1975, Harry Potter, C.S. Lewis, the Tube, Harry Styles, etc.). Ask her about her time spent in London and she won't stop talking about it. Ultimately, she hopes to write for a living, preferably about the things she is obsessed with... nay, passionate about. Check out her music, travel and life musings on her blog, Maps & Mochas, and follow her on Twitter @AllyWillis_.
See all of Ally's posts here.