This has been my best semester so far. I have dialed back on my commitments, I am setting realistic expectations, I am getting stuff done. I am in only wonderful classes with only wonderful professors who seem to like me and want me to succeed. Do you know what it's like to have professors who are rooting for you? It's wonderful. Finally, I am comfortable where I am.
This semester has also been one of turning a corner. I have two semesters left after this. Only two, and then I'm thrown into the harsh, cruel world of unemployment and incompetence. And am I prepared to compete in the job market? Oh the hours I've spent agonizing over my resume! The interesting opportunities I've neglected for lack of time. The perfect experiences I've passed up for rote commitments. I'm not ready. It's all coming at me too fast.
And as I critically survey what I've done with my time in school aside from coursework, I see that it hasn't been much of anything. That I have engaged in little of much significance, that I've mostly been puttering around, trying to keep my grades up. Trying to make just enough money to keep myself out of debt. I have been too unconcerned with whatever's supposed to come after this. Intent on survival I have considered the college afterlife very little.
I feel I could topple over from the mysterious vagueness of the question, "What on earth is going to happen to me?"
I spent last night watching inspirational videos with various incriminating titles such as "What I'd Tell a Pre-Law School Me," and a more blunt one, "Don't Go to Law School." The promise of competition gags me: the hustling to get in, the thrust to survive the first year, the striving to attain judicial clerkships or a spot on the law review, and the cutthroat battle for job placement once degrees have been finally earned. An empathetic weariness settles deep in my bones when I think about it.
I don't want striving. I don't want to be stretched out and spread too thin, pushing and pulling to make the edges of my life overlap. I don't want to be manically searching for the next opportunity to boost myself up a rung. I don't want to be competing, pit against myself and others. I am weak, brittle. I crack and then fold under pressure. I know that I am not made of the mettle of exceeding expectations. All I can ask for, all I really want is to be comfortable.
And that is horrifying and frightening.
Where is the girl who loathed the white picket fence and the nine-to-five and the safe, secure routine of things? Did she crumble with my self-efficacy? Did her passions fade, or did they morph to the point of unintelligibility? When will it be time for me to pour out instead of soak up? When will I finally be grown up? To write off my transitional angst is to stake my claim with comfort, that this (too) will pass.