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Dear Piper: Commencement Crisis

Dear Piper,

I am a graduating senior and I have no idea of what I am doing after graduation. It seems like everyone has something lined up: a job, traveling or grad school. It doesn’t help that everyone keeps asking the dreaded question, ‘What are you doing after this?’ Please help! I feel like I am stuck.


Dear Commencement Crisis,

Don’t worry, all you need is for your boyfriend to break up with you because you aren’t good enough for him, when you thought he was going to propose. Go to Harvard Law School that he is going to--that you were accepted to because the prof is a creep-show up everyone (including the creepy prof). Then finish the top of your class and have your sad ex come crawling back and tell him that he isn’t good enough for you.

Wait a minute, that’s the plot line to ‘Legally Blonde.’ Well if that doesn’t sound great to you (it does to me, except I would have a cat and not a dog #SorryBruiser), there are still plenty of options.

First off, it’s totally normal to not how what your next step is. I mean look at that puppy, it’s super cute and has no idea what it is doing. Is anyone mad at this puppy for not knowing? No! So when people ask you that dreaded question, you can confidently say, “I am leaving my options open.” This is also a nice and stress reducing way to look at it. You are just open to any opportunities that may come along. P.S. No one knows what they are doing in life, so you are good honey.

Also a good jumping point for figuring out what you want to do, is think about what time of setting you want to work in. I know that I would not want to work anywhere that is not an office because those types of jobs stress me the frick frack out. I enjoy the silence of the office and the controlled interactions of stopping by someone’s cube or meetings. So I would very much not be Robin crying under her desk, but that might be you if you are a social person. If you are a social person that wants to be social at work, sales might be a good field for you. You are constantly meeting new people and making new connections.

First, you can get a new hobby to help fill your time while you send out applications for jobs or grad school. The waiting process can be difficult and so can rejection, but starting a new hobby that you enjoy will help alleviate some of that stress. I would suggest yoga or something that helps you feel at peace. I mean it could also be boxing, if that brings you peace.

Just enjoy your free time. This might be the last summer you get off and you deserve to treat yourself  for all your hard work! (Just be financially smart while you treat yourself.) My friend with an amazing resume and internships didn’t get a job until nine months after she graduated and in that time she was almost constantly hanging out with her mom, sister and friends. She was always saying how much she enjoyed her time, even if she was a little stressed about the future.

Honestly, Elle Woods is the queen of us all and she makes a great point. You need to be your best ally for bracing the unknown. Yea, it’s going to be difficult sometimes. But if you are actively trying to find what is best for you and taking care of yourself, me and my cats will fight anyone that messes with you. Overall, congrats and you got this! Make Elle proud!

Over and Out (till next year),

Patricia Piper


Patricia Piper is a proud Hamline student who loves long walks on the beach, reading and helping people. She has a PHD in interpretive dance. loves to rescue cats in her free time and has about twenty in her house at one time.
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