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Ask The Weekly with Colleen Loranger: Graduation Apprehension

I am having a personal crisis: I am a senior and I just don’t know what to do next year. I have two sort-of-okay options but am excited about neither and I don’t know what I would be excited about. I have talked to people close to me about it, but my feelings are the same. Usually I don’t have trouble making decisions. What is wrong with me? I know this is a classic problem, but help!!

First, I must admit I won’t be of any help with professional guidance (although I have a very nicely formatted résumé). You write about your indecision about the coming year, though I wonder if it’s actually the choosing that’s plaguing you.
Understanding why this decision might be leaving you feeling lost can be a useful exercise towards regaining a feeling of control. I am going to take liberties here and assume you’ve probably been in some sort of structured schooling system for most of your life, one with a lot of decision-making built in already. Perhaps this is why the thought of life after college leaves you ambivalent. Have you ever been so free to make your own choice?
I am senior as well and the prospect of leaving this community—my main community for the last four years—is frightening. There’s nothing wrong with you. This is a time of transitions, and this can be scary. However, I think you and I are well prepared. We’ve done all the growing we can here; we are ready to join and forge other communities beyond Macalester.
I can only assume that you are hoping for a solution from the people close to you, but I don’t think you will find one there. Now is a time when you will have to evaluate your circumstances, many of them pragmatic (financial, geographical, etc.), and decide on an option. It’s not final; it doesn’t have to be perfect. This period may be a difficult one, but it doesn’t have to be. You can only decide and begin. This is something you are more than prepared to do.

February 26, 2015

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