Have you ever seen a picture of an ostrich being chased by cheetah? Right now, we feel like the ostrich. Graduation is the cheetah.
But in all seriousness, the sense of panic we feel as our commencement date looms is undoubtedly a widely-shared sentiment in the class of 2015. With family expectations, self expectations and the grim reaper of student loans, it’s only natural we should worry about our future.
We aren’t going to tell you “don’t worry, be happy.” The phrase “carpe diem” will never cross our lips. Frankly, that’s a load of sentimental crap.
What we will tell you is don’t worry for the wrong reasons. Don’t worry that you aren’t on track to a 401k. Don’t worry if you don’t have a career the day after graduation.
There are two types of people post-grad. There are those who find a stable job, have a linear career, have a fairly happy life and will never have to worry about affording the rent. These people play it safe.
Then there are those who take risks. These people aren’t afraid to wander. They sometimes take the blind plunge. They aren’t playing to an imaginary audience. They’re experiencing the joy of finding their own song.
We’ve seen a lot of people forcing themselves into graduate school, fellowships, wage-slave jobs and the like. We have to wonder if this is a good thing.
Don’t choose a path simply because you think you need a path. If you’re choosing among these options simply because they seem like the “responsible,” safe decisions, maybe take a second look. Once you enter the rat race, it’s hard to exit.
Well-paved roads may look more secure. They might even look more comfortable. But, these roads are travelled by many, and the gridlock can be terrible.
As much as we (by which “we” means Katie) hate Robert Frost, sometimes the road less travelled really is the better route.
When you go to write your memoir, how do you want to remember your 20s? I’ll bet you want to remember crazy, exciting, unpredictable years. And, only you can make that happen.
It may seem obvious, but we’re only 22 once. Seriously, think about it. No kids, no spouse, no dog, no mortgage. You can literally move wherever you want, take whatever low-paying — but fulfilling — opportunity that comes along, and truly find out what makes you happy.
Contrary to popular characterization of our generation, we Millennials are hard-working and existing in a more competitive and fast-paced arena than ever before. Most of us have hardly had the time in college to even take a breath. Taking the next year (or several) to engage in self-reflection and self-exploration may be the most responsible choice you could make.
College is the last thing that was planned out for us by the adults in our lives. Make the next decision yours.
*This week’s editorial was submitted by Canton Winer, FCRH ’15, and Katie Nolan, FCRH ’15. Canton, former Managing Editor of The Fordham Ram, is an American studies and sociology major from West Palm Beach, Florida. Katie, former Copy Chief of The Fordham Ram, is an English major from Louisville, Kentucky.