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

Senior year is something many students look forward to. But, by the time the fourth year of school comes around, students are tired of assignments and exams. Group projects tend to fall on one person as everyone is busy living their own life. Classes end up being something you work around. And some students are working full-time or part-time jobs while going on interviews to find the perfect after-college position. Others are partaking in their “last hurrah” before facing the “real world.”And some are busy applying for grad programs. We are all in different places on our journeys, once that fourth year rolls around, it’s easy to get roped up in the question of, what comes next? 

As I enter my final semester at Pace University, I’m overwhelmed with joy about the fact that I am almost done with school. And while that thought has been rolling around, I have also been hit with the same question a thousand times, “What am I going to do after college?” Personally, I will not be going to grad school, I have focused my studies on leaving undergrad with two entirely separate degrees, so I am more equipped to leave school after undergrad. I was also able to apply for graduation a semester earlier than I had previously expected. I think that is what is making the question of what I am doing next so much more daunting. There always seems to be more time. Even now, it feels like I have forever to figure it out because December graduation is months away. But those months, however far away, are still fleeting, and I will continue to get questioned on what I am doing next. 

For a long time, I thought, like many others do, that once I graduate, I would have to have it all figured out. I know I have dreams and things I want to accomplish, but I am also aware that what I want to do is not going to happen right after college. Knowing that I felt like I had to know all the steps of everything I was planning. Exactly what I was going to go into after school, where I would be working, and how I would spend my spare time focusing on opening my own business. All of these thoughts increased my anxieties about leaving school, even though it is something I have been looking forward to. Now, I am learning to let go of those questions and worries that blind my view, casting them aside, I have been able to enjoy the thought of what is possible and what I can do instead of what I have to do. 

After college, I want to travel. I want to study art in Europe, in the home countries where it was created. I want to visit the West coast of the United States and see the Pacific Ocean. Working in a gallery on a cruise ship seems interesting. So does van life. I want to have a studio where I forget the time of day getting lost in my art. There is so much I want to do before settling down and figuring it all out. I am starting to realize that eventually you just figure it out along the way, it does not happen the day you turn in your final college exam. 

My answer to what I am doing after college is that I do not know, and I like that. I no longer feel like I am boxing myself into one future, one outcome. Now, I feel like I can do anything I want. Of course, I am still coming up with plans for after school because I have responsibilities, bills to pay, and food to buy. However, I am not going to find one answer and stick with that because it’s what is going to make me money or it’s what I am able to do right after school. Because of the pandemic, I have learned that plans change, so making a million of them can be better than only having one. I plan on living my life and aiming to be happy. That is a plan we can all stick to as what you do to make yourself happy can be an endless list. 

I do understand the question of what everyone is going to do after college, but I wish people would word it differently. Instead of making it seem like an answer written in stone, we should make it an open-ended question that can have multiple answers. Not, what are you going to do after college? But, what do you want to do after college? This will lead to answers that align with traveling and experiencing new things, along with where they picture themselves working and living. It does not always have to be about work even though that is what most people expect a college graduate to be thinking about. Let’s cast out the idea that all things fun in life end after college and then everything has to be serious. There is not one right answer or thought of what to do after college. You can have a million answers to that question, that’s the fun part. 

I am a Junior at Pace University studying Fine Arts and Business Management. I am the Vice President of Her Campus Pace University NYC. My email is jordanfisicarohc@gmail.com