“So what are you doing after Graduation?”

The question every senior hates to hear. When I was in high school I would make up ridiculous things like waiting for my boyfriend at the time to graduate and get rich. People think nothing of asking this question but in reality, it is anxiety inducing for every senior who might not have it figured out yet.

Last year when I started thinking about life after college, I thought about it in terms of what I was “supposed” to be doing. It was expected that I obtain a graduate degree because my mom wanted me to and because I was a psychology major. I started looking at Ph.D. programs and narrowed down my top choices. Somewhere in this process, I realized that the thought of going to school for 4 more years made me miserable. So I talked to my mom about taking a year off to work, a plan that she was not thrilled about. Looking for jobs became just as discouraging as filling out those grad school applications.

This period in my life showed me something about myself. I’ve always been obsessed with doing the “right thing” even at the expense of what I want or need mentally. I always wanted to be the perfect friend, girlfriend, and daughter. I went to the gifted high school because it would get me into college. I went to college out of state because my mom wanted me to. I joined way too many extracurricular activities and was under constant pressure in college because it would make me more marketable to schools and employers. In no way, I’m saying I regret any of these decisions but I never took a chance on anything I did not see benefitting me in my future career.

One day, while scrolling through Tumblr one day I found an article stating that this woman was the first Black person to obtain a master’s degree in Fashion Psychology. I looked it up and saw the degree was only offered in London. I decided it was unrealistic and I probably couldn’t make money from it anyway. I applied to a school in Chicago and another school at home as a backup plan and waited to hear back.

Throughout this time the idea of London was still in the back of my mind so I decided to apply just for fun. I ended up getting accepted! This was a situation where I had to decide between what I wanted to do and “needed” to do. Going to Chicago meant getting my professional degree and hopefully getting a job making good money. London was an unknown with a degree I am passionate about and a chance to explore Europe.

I decided that I am living for me, no more trying to please everyone around me. Making this move will not be easy in any capacity but the knowledge and experience I gain will be worth it. I would hate to live the remainder of my life wondering what it would be like if I would have gone to London. To all you seniors out there, you don’t have to have it all figured out right now. Just try your hardest and do what makes you happy.

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