“What are you doing after you graduate?”
Those terrible, terrible words. I give the curious friend / acquaintance a passable answer. I try to change the subject. What am I doing after I graduate? The jobs I casually applied for rejected me. Living with my mom in NYC is much cheaper than finding my own apartment, (evidence: this tumblr is terrifying). What do you even do with a history degree? Were those econ majors and math majors right all along!?!?? But then I calm down. I remember the most valuable thing I’ve learned at Brown: Uncertainty should be embraced. Uncertainty is natural.
I used to have it all wrong. When I was in high school I kept my head down and powered through SATs to gain entrance to my *perfect* school. After a year I hated it, so I agonized over my almost-perfect-but-not GPA and sent off a flurry of transfer applications. I almost went to Columbia since I didn’t think Brown was “academic enough,” or so I posted on College Confidential. (My friends found this post two years ago and have never stopped making fun of me since, for very very good reason. No, I won’t post the link.) My main motivation was moving up that next rung on the meritocracy ladder. Even as I told myself that these artificial markers, like grades and enrollment at an Ivy League school, didn’t matter — I deeply cared. I really believed there was only one way to be successful. I was very unhappy. [Read more →]