Hello, everyone! And welcome to week 16 of this Fall semester.
As final deadlines approach, graduation feels a little too close for comfort. lt’s real! I’m already registered for my final semester as an undergrad at UNM. I only need three more classes! I’m nervous to throw myself out there and to try and start a career in CS. But I am so thrilled and sometimes impatient. I just want to do something new.
Also, everyone is on my case. “You’re going to grad school, right?” “Do you have a job lined up yet?” Although there are people with whom I enjoy talking about this exciting and terrifying subject, sometimes it feels like these questions come off as attacks instead of genuine curiosity.
So how do you deal with this? You’re stressed about finals and having to seriously consider the future. How do you not snap back to those ill-intentioned people, prying at your personal choices? Or what happens when a beloved family member starts asking too many questions at a holiday dinner? In my case, I just keep a well-practiced “script” handy. I try to be as vague and open as I can. I typically tell people that I am torn between job hunting and applying for grad school; that I don’t know what I want to do next, but I do know that eventually I want to go to grad school. That I am working towards both, and just weighing my best options. Generally, having a script like this helps me avoid awkward situations. And these are not lies, I am truly torn between several options: more studying, work, both, traveling…
But having a script doesn’t mean I am doing nothing. I am still actively searching for options, weighing in different possibilities for work and study in different places. The difference is that only the people with whom I enjoy talking about these questions are the ones who know about my progress, my ideas. I like to keep to myself about the future, and this helps me stay calm. The less people know about my indecisions and dilemmas, the less I obsess over them, and the easier it becomes to go through the whole “trial-and-error” process.
I know that job-hunting will mean I’ll have to learn to deal with rejection. A lot of it. I know that UNM Career Services advisors will be the best resource in order to feel prepared for the application process, but also to have someone who is familiar with my situation. I have professors I can look to for tips on grad school. My family and friends will be another invaluable resource of help and compassion.
I don’t know what comes next, but I’m working on it! Oh and I guess I should take the GRE soon.
Hope the end of the semester is going well for everybody!