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Five years, one major change, and several late-night crying sessions later, I am finally graduating college and will be receiving my degree in Communications, Media Track, with a Minor in Marketing. To say I’m excited is an understatement. Finally, I’m mere days away from completing an over 18-year career as a student. While this is an exciting time for me and my family as I celebrate this major life achievement, I can’t help but wonder, “What’s next?”

When we’re in high school, our teachers love to pound into our heads the idea that once we graduate, we’re going into the “real world”, with “real” responsibilities. Honestly, I have to slightly disagree with this notion. Sure, I suppose if you go straight into the workforce post-high school, this is true, but I can’t help but feel like post-college grad life carries much more expectation, as well as possibilities. Society teaches us that once you have that degree in hand, you’ve really become somebody, somebody with the talent, intelligence, and skill set to be someone important and valuable, especially at work. 

It’s a bit scary, yet freeing, knowing that you’re “free”, in a sense. That’s where I am now; there are so many possibilities, so many careers, so much of the world that I have yet to explore, where do I even begin? If I’m being completely honest, I don’t really have any solid post-grad plans yet, (yes, I know I had five years to figure this stuff out, but for a while, I didn’t even think I’d reach this point). I’m not even sure if my degree is right for me, where I want to relocate (because living with mom and dad for much longer will drive me even more insane), or what jobs to apply to. All that I do know, is that my life is truly just beginning. I’m only 23 years old and currently single, I get to change my mind at the drop of a hat if I so choose. I get to try new things; new hairstyles, new foods, new cities, and new jobs. 

It’s a hard concept to swallow, I for sure have difficulty believing this at times, but we don’t have to have it all figured out, nobody does. A lot of the people around us who we think seem to have it all figured out, are probably just winging it too. 

So, I know I said that I don’t have any solid post-grad plans laid out quite yet, but what I do know is that I have a strong desire to simply be free, and explore the world and what it has to offer.

Alexis Penny

Youngstown '21

Hello! My name is Alexis, and i’m currently a junior at Youngstown State University. I’m majoring in media communications with a minor in marketing. Some of my hobbies include working out, journaling, and spending time with friends and family.
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