Sorry for not having posted in a while, readers! A combination of midterms, major papers, and choir concert preparation left me with little to write about other than how stressed I was feeling, and putting it down into words probably would have just reinforced that stress. But now it's Fall Break, a time of respite from all the tests, readings and extra activities, and a time to sit back and unwind for a week without having to worry about classes. As I usually do during the breaks, I've packed up a suitcase and made my way back to my parents' house in Meridian, where I've been happily hanging out with my dog (who is always an excellent photo model), seeing old friends, and doing very little else.
Of course, all this down time has given me time to think about more than the rest of the semester. Lately, I've been thinking quite a bit about what my future might hold.
I think I may have said something to the effect of this before, but it feels so strange being a junior. My memories of my freshman year are still vivid enough for them to have happened yesterday, but now I stride across campus with purpose instead of apprehension or confusion. New, younger faces seem to pop up everywhere, and despite the fact that I'm only a year or two older than they are, I'm apparently more worldly and experienced. Time seems to be slipping from my fingers as easily as balloon strings slip out of the hands of children. Some days, I feel like I'm that balloon, floating along into some new horizon, somewhere that I can't foresee until I've made my arrival. Like it or not, ready or not, the future of post-collegiate life is looming closer and closer, and my vision of what's coming just seems so hazy.
At the risk of sounding overconfident, my plans for my remaining undergraduate semesters seem to be foolproof. I've worked my butt off to get to this point in my college career--my choice to crack down on my Human Biology and History minors during my first two years has left me a flexible schedule that allows me not only to delve deeper in my Creative Writing major, but also gives me the chance to apply all of my "exploratory" credits towards random classes I take more for fun than any sort of obligation. Registration for the winter and spring terms begins next Monday for students with senior standing, and I've never had a simpler time choosing what classes I want to take. Everything is falling into place just as I expected it would when I made my four year plan two years ago, and I have no reason to believe my plans will fall apart before I graduate.
But man, with graduation comes new challenges. Where will I be working after I walk the line at graduation? My ambition has been to go into journalism ever since I've started school--will I be able to find work in my field so easily? Where will I be living? Who will I be living with? Will I have any free time like Fall Break offers ever again?
Even though my class decisions seem to have made themselves by this point, I don't see myself becoming any less busy. I still need to complete my History minor by completing a revised research paper from a previous class; my involvement with Delta Tau Delta remains as strong as ever; at least one internship awaits me, though I don't know where or when it will occur, or even if it will be paid. I see days of hard work in my future, but in my present, I'm here on Fall Break, watching copious amounts of Lost on Hulu and sleeping in until almost 10 a.m. I can't help but wonder if this will be the last school break where I don't have any adult responsibilities to worry about, where I can do nothing and feel no guilt or worry. Adulthood beckons, but still I yearn for the freedom I had as a kid and a teenager, when my biggest worry was winning online games of Halo or convincing my parents that a sleepover at a friend's house was the best idea ever.
Now I feel like I'm rambling, so I'll get to the point: I don't like uncertain futures. I like it when I can plan things, especially when I know those plans won't fall through, like my academic plans. But I don't know what comes next any more than an author with writer's block does, and it's scary.
I guess that in the meantime, I'm going to enjoy these days of R&R for as long as I can. If this really is one of my last weeks as someone with no responsibility, I'm going to savor it.
Clayton is a junior creative writing major from Meridian, Idaho.