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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

What comes next?


Feeling pressure around post-graduate life

I walked to the Michael J. Hagan ’85 Arena for the Career Fair on Feb. 13, but I didn’t go in.

I woke up that morning with the intention to go meet and talk to companies and to search for the next major step in my life.

I got up, took a long warm shower to calm my nerves and continued to play my 30 second elevator pitch over and over again in my head.

“My name is Wideyveline Morin, I go by Taicha. I am a communications major,” and so on.

I hopped out of the shower and began to start the process of dressing myself up to distract from my purple hair and piercings. I covered the blemishes on my face with a new concealer I bought for the occasion and opted for my nude lip gloss over the bright red that I actually wanted to wear.

I felt like I needed to be noticeable enough, but not too noticeable.

I went to my closet and attempted to find something that would make me look pre- sentable. I tried on a blazer I found but ended up finding an old sweater dress hiding in my suitcase with enough stretch and pull to cover whatever I needed it to for those couple of hours. I put on my sneakers to go meet my friend, who was bringing me heels because I don’t have any with me here.


I walked over to Merion Hall, printed seven copies of my resume, when I only really needed two or three because most companies didn’t stand out for my major.

I wanted to scan through my resume one last time before heading over to the fair. When I looked through it, I choked up. I felt like my resume showed that I’m a college kid who did and does a lot with no clear path and an ambiguous major.

My 30 second elevator pitch, that I was easily able to recite earlier in the morning, became blurred by strong feelings of inadequacy. So, I went home with no intention of processing all the feelings I felt that day anytime soon.

Coincidentally, later in the week, campus ministry held a Senior Retreat, and I decided to attend at the last minute. At the retreat, I was surrounded by my peers, who are in the same season of life as me and experiencing similar feelings: fear, anxiety, uncertainty, exhaustion, joy, and hope, coupled with a sense of excitement.

In less than 24 hours, we reflected. We were present with ourselves and one another.

I gained the courage to sit with myself and the thoughts I tried to avoid on the day of the Career Fair. It dawned on me that this inadequacy I feel at times, especially in this season as we are approaching graduation, is because I feel immense pressure thinking about securing a future; that I have to be my “best” self and not just myself.

Everyone keeps asking, “What’s next?” I’m still trying to make sense of where I am right now.

I don’t understand how we can devote four years of our time, effort, money and tears into college and the first thing peo- ple ask you is, “What’s next,” not, “How are you doing?” Or how we spend years trying to figure out who we are, and that all gets undone in a day while we try to fit the images of companies and meet the marks of job descriptions. Or how our openness, drive and readiness to learn and contribute won’t always be enough outside of the walls of this institution. Or how we can be shining stars here, but in a world a lot bigger than the 8,000 people that grace campus, there are tons of shining stars that make us feel regular.

While I am terrified of the unknown that awaits after I cross that stage in May, I am far more afraid of not measuring up to society’s expectations of life after college. However, I’m sure I’m not alone in that feeling.


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