Where to Now?

It has been a long time coming. I wanted to take time between this last blog and the end of the school year to take it all in. I am not one for inspiring monologues about my years here. That was what my past blogs were for and what graduation was for. They were great, but my Wabash career is done, and now it is time for me to look forward. Unfortunately, looking forward has been more frustrating than I thought it would be. And only after a few weeks out of school, I have come to realize that Wabash was an “oasis” in my little universe.

Today, I am going to blog about frustration. My Wabash career has been officially over for about a week now after graduation, and I can say that it has not been extremely exhilarating or all that satisfying. The semester before last, I applied to graduate schools in some programs that I thought I belonged in, but – long story short – I didn’t get in to any of them. So my next course of action was to just apply for some jobs to get that experience I needed to get in to those graduate schools. Thus far, every job I have applied for has responded with a big “no.” I haven’t even gotten an interview, which brings me a great deal more confidence than I ever dreamed (insert sarcasm). I want to say I have things all figured out, but nobody is giving me that chance right now.

Throughout graduation week, other friends and colleagues of mine told me about their future plans, their lined-up jobs, and the graduate schools they were getting into. Conversations ensued. Heck, my brother is developing a website for 3-D printing software in Chattanooga, the United States’ “next Silicon Valley”. And that’s his summer job… before he gets his masters at Georgia Tech in Computer Science. And that’s great! Every other person I have talked to deserves it.

Do I deserve it, though? I can’t tell yet. Thus far, when people have asked about my future plans, I tell them I am taking more classes or something along those lines. I get one of two responses. I sometimes get the polite nod with no conversation afterward. Or people give me this desperate line: “It’s good to take some time off.” All the while in their heads, they know that isn’t true… Man…I want to do something. I need to do something. I want to get a job. And I want to know I can get into graduate school. I want some sort of immediate validation that my degree at Wabash could get me farther than a trip back home. Right now, it hasn’t.

Maybe I should practice a bit more patience. But my longing for immediate gratification in this real world is driving me crazy. I know I am a smart person, and I know I can use my brain for some great things. I should look on the bright side. I can now spend time doing some of my hobbies in music, which is pretty nice. But I also want something more. I want somebody to let me “officially” use my brain (i.e., a job). Maybe I am aiming too high. But to this point, no one has told me to aim for lower jobs and graduate schools. My peers and professors have had confidence in me, but it hasn’t come to fruition yet. I am hoping it will…sooner rather than later. Then maybe I can squeeze in a final blog about an achievement!

I got my degree at Wabash, and based upon my lived experience of it, it definitely wasn’t easy. But I need some validation here that I’ve achieved something more than a sheep-skin diploma and some words listing my “honors” on a sheet of paper!

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