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I Should be Fine, Right?

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Elizabethtown chapter.

As a senior in college, I am now expected to have my life together. The issue is these past four years have not made anything any clearer for me. There is no distinct path, not requirements. Nobody is telling me what to do or what I should do. This is an absolute unwelcoming era within my life. As a double major in History and English Literature, the world is seemingly my oyster. Or at least that’s what everyone sees. Everyone assumes I will teach, but what nobody realizes is that it requires a year plus extra schooling. I could work in an office setting, copyedit? I don’t even know, because in my four years I’ve no had one experience to help me choose.

One would think universities would have some sort of career assistance, and they do. But those resources are directly dedicated to the sciences and the people who have a straightforward career path. The people in the arts may have that to some extent, with dreams and aspirations and so on and so forth, but our job market is messier. Indeed offers jobs, but the descriptions make me feel unqualified. I did not get an opportunity to intern due to a lack of availability due to specific needs. I needed a paid one to survive. Then, of course, Covid-19 canceled many opportunities for the summer and fall.

So here I am, with no experience in any field and looking at all the possibilities and feeling overwhelmingly underqualified. But in a mere few months, I am to be thrown to the wolves. Do I further my education to buy more time? Or is that a mess waiting to happen? Because in a year will I be better off? Well, that is not something I can foretell, unfortunately. I keep thinking about when I was a kid about what I wanted to be. Of course, the firefighter, police officer, doctor route is slightly out of questions. I don’t do well in the heat, under pressure, or have the desire to nurse people to health. (Not the mention my degree options) Other than that, before college, I always thought about teaching, I think it would be fun, but I didn’t go for education. I was too scared about how the path had no variability, and so I pick paths with so much variability, I crave a structured way. I got into English due to my love for writing, I was too scared to pursue creative writing, but fiction is my passion. I’d do anything to be an author (the one hang-up is I have yet to finish a novel).

I’ve looked at schools for Masters in Teachings, found a few, yet it is still anxiety-inducing. I don’t know what my dreams are right now? I don’t know my goals or aspirations other than I want a job I like. But that directly there is entirely too vague. My novel seems out of grasp, and I’m in a funk. My whole college career has been less than ideal with mental illness struggles of my own and all those around me. At some points, nothing was holding the pieces together, and some of my semester grades and work reflect that. 

Considering all of these problems, I am now working on trying to overcome these fears. Many people are scared, thrown into the real world with some skills, and not knowing how to apply them. At 21, yeah, I’ve paid my way and provided for myself for the last four years, but after May, I expected me to do that without a single hitch. Well, I have many pitfalls and will have to start anew. I have no friends following my path, and it’s entirely too scary to think I will have to start over again as I did four years ago. But I did it at 18, and I was much younger and a lot dumber (maybe), and now I’m educated (again perhaps). So I should be fine, right?


Mary Kirby

Elizabethtown '21

Hi! I’m Mary!