December 14, 2016

My Mid-Midlfe Crisis?

Today, December 14th, is the day. Exactly one year from this date is my commencement. I am graduating college in one year. I'm letting that sink in for a moment. The panic is real. At the same time, I have been waiting (eagerly, might I add) to graduate since my first semester. Last month, I was sitting in my apartment on a Friday night and had what must have been a minor mental breakdown. I was hit, seemingly out of nowhere, with this intense wave of despair and restlessness.



I jumped on Expedia and started looking at flights. I was *this* close to booking a flight to New York City for the weekend (I feel insane admitting this to anyone who might stumble upon this post). I'd leave early the following morning and fly back Monday evening. I would miss two classes and work, but I could deal with that. I just wanted to be back in my favorite City doing fun things for a few days. In that moment, all I could focus on was getting out and onto other things. But what other things? What pent-up emotions burst through at that moment?

I'm terrified of working an office job that involves sitting at a desk for 40 hours a week. Call me dramatic or unrealistic or jaded or whatever you will, but I do not want to do it. I know that many college graduates are thrilled to land a job at all just out of school and that I should consider that, but I don't want to settle. I'm doing what I can to make it so that I won't have to. To put it colloquially: I'm hustling. My head tells me not to worry because God has it covered, but that voice in the back of my mind won't pipe down. But when should you start applying for jobs? What jobs do you even apply for? If you're planning to move first... what if you don't get a job right away? And the questions keep firing....



As I sit here writing, in the calm of the light cast by my Christmas tree and colored twinkled lights draped along the windows in my apartment, I think of this post. I want the peace of mind that comes with knowing that a 9-5 desk job that lacks creativity and variety is not what waits for me once I cross that stage and collect my diploma, but I can't know that. I do not see myself going to graduate school, either. That ambiguous everyone— the same group who would argue the inevitability of an office job for fresh-out-of-school 21 and 22 year olds— says that if you don't get your Master's right after your Bachelor's, you never will. They also say that you can hardly expect to get a job or be seen as a competitive candidate if you don't have one.

Neither career path that I envision for myself— and that I believe that God has called me to— necessarily requires a Master's, and I can't justify the time or money it would take to complete a second degree for that reason. There's also the fact that I simply don't want to do more school. It boils down to this: Why am I going to spend tens of thousands of dollars on something that I'm not sure I need and that I don't really want to do? Sure, there are tons of things that we "don't want to do" and do anyway, some of them on a daily basis, but graduate school is not one of those things. For now, I'm going to keep breathing and keep hustling, and take it one day at a time.

Have you experienced/are you experiencing a mid-midlife crisis, too?

2 comments

  1. I felt the exact same way my Senior year of college. It was as if the entire reality of graduation and the real world just didn't seem like it would fit. My friends and I all called it the "quarter life crisis" since we had no idea where those feelings were coming from. Lots of doubt for sure. I do know we got through it because we talked a lot about it and realized it was somewhat of a way to transition. We had to be confused before realizing graduation was just the beginning.
    Hang in there! You've got this! It may not be enjoyable right at the moment, but hopefully things will start to look up soon! Prayers being sent your way.
    Caitlin

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Caitlin! I'm just trying to focus on the present right now! :)

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