Things My 14-Year-Old Self Thought I Would Know by the End of College

I’m a senior, and the end of my college career is quickly approaching. In just a few short months, I will have completed my last semester of college. Ever. Maybe. This statement would feel more emotional if I actually knew what I was doing after graduation (which, spoiler alert, it’s okay to have no idea what you’re doing). Yet as I move closer and closer to my graduation in May, there are still a lot of things I don’t know. Am I actually ready to be an adult and move into the real world? 14-year-old me certainly thought so. Let me tell you, my younger self definitely thought I would have my sh*t together way more than I actually do at this point in my life. Now, don’t get me wrong, I was spot-on with some of them. Today I can make small talk with strangers at the grocery store, can make my own doctor’s appointments, can cook, can drive a car and can pay my own credit card bill. And yet. I have an even longer list of things that I, as a 22-year-old, still don’t know.

  1. 1. What Kind of Job I Would Have

    a woman in business casual stands in front of a white board, writing with a marker in an office space

    I very much thought I would have a really good idea of what kind of job I would have. For most of college, I thought I would get a job right after graduation as a software engineer in Indianapolis. Yet in the wake of the multiple existential crises this past semester, I decided to pursue graduate school instead. Looks like it’ll be a few more years before I figure this one out. 

  2. 2. How to Be a Morning Person

    My mom always told me that as you get older you get better at waking up early. Personally, I don’t think this one will ever happen. 

  3. 3. Who I would be getting married to (or at least how to talk to men)

    Expectation: I would find someone early in my college career, we would date for a few years, fall in love, and get married shortly after we graduated. Reality: LMAO. This did actually happen to my brother and his wife, which might be why I had these expectations. But aside from a couple short relationships, I’ve been flying solo and barely know how to flirt with men. If anyone has any tips, please hit me up lol.

  4. 4. How to change a tire

    I don’t know how to do this. If I get a flat in the middle of nowhere, it’s all over for me. My advice is to make friends with someone who knows how to change a tire. 

  5. 5. How to dress myself every day/how to do my own hair

    assorted-color clothes lot

    I went to Catholic school for 12 years, meaning that I wore a uniform for most of my life and never had to dress myself before college. And since my high school was girls only, most of us really didn’t worry about our appearance that much. Most of the time I just threw my hair up into a ponytail or left it down. Nowadays I can get a semi-respectable French braid and I do have a much better sense of style than I did eight years ago. But these things are still pretty hit or miss for me. 

  6. 6. How the stock market works

    I have no understanding of the stock market. I’m so confused. 

  7. 7. How to avoid a caffeine addiction

    lattee next to phone and earbuds

    I thought this one would be so easy. I hated coffee when I was 14. Now if I don’t get my coffee every morning, I get headaches. I blame the DePauw Starbucks. 

  8. 8. Where I will live for the rest of my life.

    I think my younger self thought that after college I would move back home to St. Louis (with the husband I thought I would have) and raise a family there. I think St. Louis is a good place to raise a family. But after meeting all the people I’ve met in these past four years; the world seems a lot bigger and I want to explore. I have no idea where I’ll end up, which seemed really scary before but I’m beyond excited now.