Two Weeks Into Senior Year–Okay, What’s Next?

A little over two weeks into senior year and I’m already having the “what am I doing with my life next year” moment. It’s not as much from fear this time around, but rather I’m excited for the possibilities. For the first time in a while (well besides that whole transfer situation), I have absolutely no idea what I will be doing. Undergrad will be over. Eighteen years of structured education will be complete, which leads the next stage in my life wide open. What city will I be in? What state or country will I call home a year from now?

Yes, I said country. That’s because more than anything, I want to travel. I missed the opportunity to travel abroad in my college career, but that does not mean I missed my opportunity to travel. I have such a need to see the world. I am tired of reading about cultures–I want to experience them. There’s a strong part of me that wants to just get out of this state and go anywhere. Not that I don’t love New York. Of course I heart NY. But so many places around the world reside on my bucket list–both inside and outside of the United States–and it’s about time I start checking them off.

The wanderlust is real.

In addition to this travel fever, I also have the question of higher education. Do I get my Master’s degree? What do I get my Master’s in? Do I wait and apply to jobs first? Ahh the questions of an early senior.

Everyone says that I have to just enjoy the present, but as I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I can never stop planning. It’s in my communications-major blood to always be a fan of the details, always be prepared for what comes next.

My options for post-graduation may not be considered endless, but there sure are plenty to choose from. And we know my track record with life decisions–that two-year limit before I like to shake things up again. The place I choose to call home next May might not be my home two years after that. The best part is that I can do that at my age. I’ll be in my early twenties and get to fill my life with memories, experiences, mistakes, laughs…you get the picture.

So as I sit here contemplating life decisions on a Saturday afternoon when I should be doing homework, I’m not in fear of the future. I’m in anticipation, but not fear.

Updates on my decisions will continue, and changes to those decisions will surely come shortly after. For now though, I just have to decide where to travel to this afternoon, and an Ithaca hiking trail is definitely calling my name.

-Rachel

Advertisements

Right Where I’m Supposed to Be

When I imagined where my life would be when I was coming up on 21 years of age, I didn’t necessarily imagine where I’m at right now, but this is by no means a bad thing. I think when we are kids and teenagers we create certain expectations for ourselves. I assume this is something we never really let go of, though. I thought at this point in my life I’d be a little more sure of myself, have more professional experience under my belt, and have already traveled abroad. Maybe it’s due to social media and seeing others’ experiences, or maybe it’s my own experience at two pretty competitive schools, but I tend to feel as though I should be doing more–have a better internship, work more often, work out more often, look a certain way, feel a certain way.

I get caught up in planning out how I want my future to be. As much as it’s great to have goals, I don’t believe we should undermine our current successes just because we think we should be doing even more. I may not have landed the prestigious internship just quite yet, but I have collected experience that is driving me closer to that goal. I may not have studied abroad, but I’ve traveled to multiple cities and lived in two completely different college cultures. I may not have my life together quite yet, but it’s still just getting started.

This summer will be my last before my final year of undergrad. There is a ton of pressure placed on communication students because of the notion that we must have the best internship or else we cannot compete post-graduation. I am still in the middle of the application process and I’m already overthinking the next six months. This is because I have an expectation for this summer–get a “perfect” internship, head back to IC with confidence, leave IC next spring with a job.

The plan is actually a pretty good one if you eliminate the pressure. I shouldn’t be worried because I’m doing everything I should be. I am right where I’m supposed to be. It’s the final semester of my junior year and I’m taking the right steps to move forward in my professional development. I shouldn’t be stressed over what will happen three months from now, a year from now, and especially not five years from now.

IMG_1185

because this is where I currently am at. *parkie*

They say your awkward years are your early teens. Well I actually think 20 is another awkward stage. You’re no longer a child, but not quite yet an adult. You can’t even go buy a drink yet–oh the college struggle. Even though I tell myself not to plan my life out, I constantly have the urge of wanting to be in my mid-twenties. This might be because I’m always around people older than me, or it might just be because I watch a lot of movies and TV. I’m not sure why, but I want the job, the apartment, the travel, the life.

I can’t say I’m one of the students who are going to be stressing once college nears its end and I’m no longer in that second awkward stage. Will I be stressing to find a job? Of course. Stressing about entering the “adult world?” Not so much. I’m excited for the opportunity to live out a life that I’ve been working toward before my college career even began.

I think I’ve grown a lot over the past two and a half years and I do believe that any adversity I’ve faced is going to improve my chances of success out in that adult world. I’ve experienced moments that I wish I never had to, but I like to think I’m living a good life through any hard moments.

I go to school, I work hard and I learn. My current job is to be a student, a daughter, a sister, a friend. Who knows what my life will actually be like when I’m 25. Maybe I’ll have studied abroad, maybe I’ll be working for a great company, maybe I’ll already have switched careers (fingers crossed this is not the case because I adore PR).

I know I’m right where I’m supposed to be–at that awkward 20 years old. And I am going to take each day as I go. I still am going to plan and prepare. That’s something I can’t stop doing because I enjoy setting personal goals. I am, however, going to try and worry less about my life going according to the set plan and instead enjoy the ups and downs that life has in store for me.

-Rachel

Freshman Year 2.0?

Well, this is it. The beginning of my next chapter. I know that’s such cliche statement, but I love it because it’s true. This whole process is just a new chapter in my life. I’m all moved into my apartment, have one class under my belt, and only four more classes to go today. Yes I said today. Five classes in one day starting at 8am? Mondays will surely test my dependence on coffee.

Currently, I’m sitting in some dining lounge. I don’t know anyone around me yet. I don’t know where those doors next me actually lead to on campus. Honestly, I don’t know much about this college or campus at all. And strangely, I feel comfortable here. I’ve received a warm welcome from not only my roommates, but each student and professor I have met the past couple days. The hills will be the death of my legs, but this is the most beautiful campus to call home for my next two years.

Every time I leave the comfort of my home in Caledonia, I’m going to feel a little upset. That feeling just comes with having a close family. And I’m lucky to have such a close family to miss. However, I’m only two hours from home. JUST TWO. Not seven in a car. Not nine hours in a bus (that is if the bus doesn’t break down on the side of the highway). Not eleven hours and then some on a train. Not a hundreds-of-dollars plane ride away. TWO HOURS! I’ll be home before Christmas, and let me tell you–that is a nice feeling.

Today marks the start of my next adventure. I’m feeling like a freshman again in certain aspects of this “starting over” process, but a more confident freshman. I may not completely know where well, anything is on campus. But I do know how excited I am to start classes, join as many organizations as I can without going overboard, and I guess I’ll have to figure out my way around eventually. The campus TV station is at the top of my organization “wish list,” which is one thing I never would have thought of joining before moving here because I study PR not television; however, I’ve already witnessed how inclusive the Park School community is and I can’t wait to be apart of it.

(Throwback to Orientation):

1907493_969166379771966_2232880495366974747_n

It’s the first day, which means I truly don’t know how I’m going to feel next week about Ithaca, but I have to say, I don’t see myself regretting this decision to transfer. Don’t get me wrong, I miss my best friends from BU, my sisters and my favorite city (Boston has my heart). But those things that I miss will always be there for me. Right now though, I know Ithaca College is where I need to be, and I’m more than ready for my Bomber adventure to begin.

-Rachel

“I Don’t Know What I Want to Do with My Life”

I don’t know what I want to do with my life.”

“Rachel, you’re 20.”

It’s the phrases people my age throw around left and right.

What am I going to do with my life?

What job will I have?

Where do I want to live?

We have such anxiety about not being prepared for our futures. However, what we are doing right now is preparing us for our futures. The classes. The majors. The internships. The summer jobs. We’re doing everything right to better ourselves for what’s next after we graduate. Yet, why do we still feel unprepared?

Well to be honest, I think it’s because that’s life. Life is uncertain. Life changes. We don’t know our futures, but that doesn’t necessarily mean we have anything to worry about. Not knowing isn’t a bad thing. Not caring may be bad, but not knowing? That’s normal.

The whole “I don’t know what I want to do with my life” dilemma is exactly why we have to be so open and willing to try everything and take every opportunity. To make the big decisions, the small decisions. To make a change if we aren’t positive or happy about the way something is going (cue the mid-college transfer).

After all, how else will we really know what we want to do with our lives if we don’t know every option out there. We need to know what we can not should do with our lives–which truth be told is just about anything (I mean, that is what our parents and teachers have been telling us since kindergarten, right?).

I may not know what I want to do with my life, but as I was reminded, I’m only twenty years old. I’m still in college and that’s what this time is for—that’s what the next 10, 20 years are for; to find out what it is that I do want to do for the rest of my life. Right now I’m trying out sports communication in my internship, but during the next few years I plan on getting a taste of multiple industries before I become a post-grad adult and begin my career in any of the possible industries.

If the next decade is anything like the last two or three years, I think it’s safe to say the one thing I want to do for the rest of my life is going to change once, twice, 10 times if we’re being realistic.

I guess for now I’m just going to enjoy not knowing what I’ll do with my life. I’ll enjoy working different jobs, internships, taking a variety of classes and hopefully one day be able to answer the dreaded, “ so what do you want to do with that major?”

We’ll have to see…

-Rachel

The College Decision (Part 2)

Deciding to transfer from Boston University was not a decision I made lightly. After plenty of time going through the pros and cons, this past month I became 100% positive this is the choice I need to make.

Telling my college friends I am leaving BU has not been easy, but I’ve realized how lucky I am to have people who support my decision and understand that it was not an easy one. This support is something I do not take for granted.

I could stay at BU and finish up these next two years, but I know that wouldn’t be fair to do to myself. BU has so many resources for a student studying public relations: amazing faculty, the huge alumni network, and plenty of post-grad opportunities. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t hesitant to leave this academic program. However, I finally understand that even with all these opportunities, it is not beneficial to stay at a school you know isn’t a fit—a place where you won’t be able to fully utilize the resources because simply put, it is not your place.

I’ve accepted that moving closer to home to attend a smaller college is not a bad thing. It doesn’t mean I failed in the city of Boston. It just means I’m taking a different path before I end up where I’m supposed to be (hint hint: when I make my return to the city). I’m confident in what lies ahead of me at Ithaca College and its notable communications program. I already feel welcomed by the faculty and community and I have yet to even step on the campus since my acceptance. Let’s just say I’ve stalked the school’s site a little too many times.

Last year around this time, I chose to stay another year at BU because I never wanted to leave with regrets of “what could have been.” I did not want to feel like I was running away from something just because it was a difficult adjustment.

I tend to think about the “what ifs” a little too often—what if I chose a different school two years ago? But I can’t play the “what if” game in this situation. The amount of knowledge and the education I have gained these past two years is invaluable. Not only through academic experience, but through life experience. It is this experience that led me to confidently choose Ithaca as my next home because I better understand who I am as a person and what I want in a school.

So why transfer now? I mean I am halfway through my college career…

I’m transferring because it’s time I made my happiness a priority. I have to set aside the vision I had for myself two years ago and make the choice that is right for me now, not the one that was right for me then.

Boston University is an amazing school. Yet BU doesn’t feel like my school. It’s not a fit. No, I’m not running away from BU because I can’t handle the difficulty of a college far from home. I’m not running from anything. Rather I’m running toward the next chapter of my life, happily.

I dreamed of moving to a city my whole life. I knew it was a risky choice when I decided to take this leap two years ago, but my mom always told me no matter where I decided to attend college, I was never stuck (Mom always knows best!). BU was a risk, but it was the right risk. I still believe at the time of my first college decision, BU was the place I should have been.

However, each day our situations change, our lives are faced with new challenges. We change. It’s as simple as that.

Two years ago, I made the right choice to come to Boston because that was where I should’ve been at that moment in my life. Just like today I’m making the right choice to attend Ithaca College.

Attending BU has been a learning experience and I will forever be grateful to the people I have met, the relationships I have built, and the teachers who have given me insight not just on communications but on life. Although my track record might show I have a two-year limit on creating life plans, I do believe that people need to make plans. We need goals—things we want to achieve in our lives. So keep planning! Plan what you want to do in life, but always remember that plans NEVER go the way you expect. That’s the beauty of life. Although it hasn’t been a perfect ride, I am who I am because of this, and I love that I have an opportunity to move forward with each decision I make.

So yes, I am thrilled for my next chapter! I’m beyond ready to continue making plans that will most likely change and letting life take me wherever the heck it wants me to go.