Monday, May 5, 2014

Oh hey another post about following your dreams

So college graduation is probably coming up soon. I don't really have any life advice, but I can tell you the question, "So what are your plans?" never becomes less annoying.

Your metaphorical life after graduation. (via)

My honest answer when I graduated college would have been, "Yeah I'm going to pretend for a couple years that I'm going to grad school but in the meantime I'm gonna go live in Australia where I plan on getting wasted every weekend with other backpackers."

Or, uh, something about finding myself through travel.

But, really, unless you're one of those lucky people who just knows what they want to do or you're brilliant enough that you were head-hunted by one of those fancy tech firms with a cool office and even cooler cafeteria, then it might be a difficult question to answer.

And it's probably not because you don't have any plans, but because they just aren't grand enough to share with someone who's expecting you to say something a little more... epic (sick of that word yet? Me too).

When I graduated, my plans to move to Australia weren't exactly nailed down so when people would ask me about them, I'd give some vague answer about my desire to travel with a nice, little addition about how I planned on applying to grad schools while overseas.

Yeah, that definitely didn't happen.

In between living in a new place, meeting new people and traveling all over the east coast of Australia, sitting down and researching grad programs was at the very bottom of my priorities. (My priorities, of course, being a 23-year-old living on her own in fucking Australia).

Now, it's been almost four years since I graduated and I still haven't gone back to school. My point is that plans change. It's just inevitable, and trying to nail down what you want to do with your life when you're barely even an adult is just setting yourself up for failure.

Hell, even contemplating what you want to do with your life is a luxury in itself that some people just don't have, and we've got to stop acting like not accomplishing all of our life goals in our twenties is tantamount to failing.

As a writer, I constantly compare myself to other young people who have gotten a book deal in their early twenties or who already report for a prestigious publication and it's just so pointless.

You never know who got to where they're at because of a lucky break, connections, money or because they are just that damn talented and driven, but the only thing that matters is that you're not them and comparing yourself to them won't get you any closer to your own goals.

Stereotypical success stories might inspire us to work harder and that's great, but in reality our criteria for success shouldn't be based on a person who was able to become a CEO by 25. It's just not a realistic goal and acknowledging that doesn't mean you've given up. 

So I've created some honest responses to the always wonderful, "So what are your plans?" question. Feel free to use them.

Question: SO, what are your goddamn plans?

Answer: "Yeah, I'll probably bum around my college town for a while before I relocate 1,800 miles away because I hate everyone in my college town."

Answer: "Chances are I'm going to get a job that has nothing to do with my degree and be miserable for the next two years before something finally opens up in my field... and then I'll realize I don't actually want to do that either."

Answer: "I'm going to travel because everyone tells me that's how you find yourself. Then I'm going to come home broke and annoy all my friends when I constantly talk about how traveling just changes you."

Answer: "I'm going to unexpectedly get pregnant in a year. Watch out for that."

Answer: "I don't know."

We have our whole lives ahead of us. We don't really need to peak in our twenties.


  1. You're the best. Plans DO change and no, "what are you going to do/what are your plans?" never does get LESS ANNOYING.

  2. I also went abroad after graduating and now 6 (eeek) yrs later I am a housewife so yeah I guess I still do not know what I want to do!

  3. It seems like we 20somethings have a lot more trouble finding "where we belong" these days, but I'm convinced that's because we're told to decide what to do with the rest of our lives at age 16, then drowned in student loans, and not offered stable 9-5 jobs with benefits right and left like our parents were, who subsequently CANNOT understand why we're so wishy-washy.

  4. AMEN. Even after graduating while working in that job-not-anywhere-in-my-field I hate that question. My plans change almost monthly.

  5. lmao this is great because it's so true. I almost a senior in college and those "what are you plans?" questions are slowly starting to creep up more and more.

    But I'm really not embarrassed or anything to say "I don't know." I've been saying, "I want to be a blogger" more lately, and that gets weirder looks versus saying I don't know lol. But every now and then I meet someone who actually blogs and they give me a solid nod of approval like, "ahh, I feel you girl." :)

  6. I know the people asking it are usually just curious, but seriously how do you answer, "so what are you plans?" You can't. Unless your plans are to become the president's chief of staff, there's no good answer.

  7. NO YOU'RE THE BEST. (though I do plan on asking you what your plans are now at least twice a week)

  8. Haha, glad we're in the same boat! I know what I enjoy doing but who knows where I'll be in ten years.

  9. YES. If I weren't drowning in student debt, I'd probably still be traveling. And it's so ridiculous how we act like our high school years are the MOST important time of our lives and how those years set the course for the rest of our lives. Waaaay too much pressure.

  10. Haha, aw that's nice. I wholeheartedly support your goal of being a major blogger! I said it below, but I know that "what are your plans?" questions aren't coming from a bad place, but it's just so hard to answer when you have NO idea what you want. I'm already in a way different spot than I thought I'd be when I was 18 and who knows where I'll be in my 30s. I just think your twenties should be spent doing stupid things and finding yourself--not desperately trying to move up the career ladder.