It’s up to us to keep the bright lights on

By: Annie Sragner, Arts & Life Editor

With graduation and the end of college creeping up on the calendar, I’ve repeatedly noticed that decisions keep getting heavier and heavier as the big date approaches. Start a new life or move back home to a familiar setting? Choose a steady career right away, go back to school, or something else entirely?

And these decisions seem to have rolled in all together and all at once. Just a couple of months ago my biggest concerns were homework and how I wanted to spend my snow days off from school, but now I’m faced with bigger questions that require me to quickly shape my vision of myself. It always felt like I was making real decisions, but these feel like REAL real decisions now.

Sometimes all of this big decision-making can become an uncomfortable mindset to lug around. There is a lot of pressure riding on these decisions when there are eyes on the sidelines watching you go through the motions of finding something to commit to. It’s especially difficult because we haven’t had many experiences as students where we were given the freedom and responsibility to choose for ourselves.

How does one accurately judge a good decision from a bad decision? Is there some kind of specific criteria that post-graduation plans must meet in order to be considered acceptable? We often exchange uncertain adventure for reliable routines because we are afraid to make a bad or unpopular decision. It’s much easier to assume a position that offers predictable results than to pioneer into unchartered waters.

Whatever decisions are made and whichever roads are taken, it’s important that the decisions are ones that you can sit with. If the circumstances come with activities that feed you on a deeper level, you’ll feel less forced to endure them.

Also, listen to how uncomfortable your decisions make your body. Undertakings that promote growth are usually a little uncomfortable, but if this feeling persists, then your body is telling you this isn’t a healthy situation.

These decisions become even more severe when we try to apply them to long-term visions and goals. These choices must account for all of the bases that come with these broad new circumstances. Instead of focusing on what will look good on paper, take note of what brings you joy and build the plan around that.

Although this phase of my life is coming to a close, I go out into the world with trust in the future that I hope lingers where I’ve been. The future is bright, and it’s up to us to keep the lights on.



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