What a world to be graduating into. This thought keeps bouncing around in my mind, as I think about what my plans will be once I finish my undergraduate degree this November. In the years leading up to this moment I have had so many plans, ideas and day dreams about what my next steps would be after college. Never once did this scenario cross my mind however.
I thought about traveling the world, using this new found freedom and flexibility of not having a set schedule, to explore places I have never been to and experience flavors and smells of new corners of the earth. I had dreamt about driving across the US, and really getting to know the patchwork of landscapes that spread across this country. Another idea was to move to a new place entirely, whether it be a new country or a new state I thought that the acquirement of a degree would be a stepping stone into the “real world”. But instead, in this new found reality that we are all in, these ideas all seem too risky, too frivolous and selfish to even consider. The plan of traveling the world is now ultimately impossible as the majority of countries around the world have closed their borders to the US, and frankly the idea of getting on a plane, unless completely necessary, is something I would like to avoid. Driving across the country does seem more enjoyable, however looking at the numbers of cases rising dramatically in most states and the utter incompetence of the current administration to try and stifle the outbreak, makes me cautious to say the least. The last idea, seems to be the most physically doable, however seeing that I have been living in a location surrounded by a 100-mile radius of friends and acquaintances, and that I haven’t seen a single one of them in person since May, makes me question whether moving to a new place with no known connections would be the best option during a time where socializing and meeting new people is ill-advised.
Juggling all of these ever-changing realities has been quite overwhelming as I attempt to wrap up my final projects, papers and exams for the last time. Another thought that crosses my mind regularly is that there is currently so much suffering and devastation in the world, that I can’t help but feel as though my next steps must and should be to help people that are in need. Despite the fact that everything seems to be up in the air, and I can’t seem to figure out which way and where to begin, I am still so very excited for the rest of my life, and to use my knowledge and experiences to begin to make a positive change within our society and our world. I am grateful for the people who have come before me, and who have supported me throughout this wild ride of a college career, and all I can say is that I am ready, more than ever before, to leave college and enter the world.