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How I'm staring into a big, open abyss

College seniors have too much pressure to figure out their plans. They're staring into a big, open abyss as they finish their undergraduate education (photo/dreamicus.com)

College seniors have too much pressure to figure out their plans. They're staring into a big, open abyss as they finish their undergraduate education (photo/dreamicus.com)

I have always related to Rory Gilmore from the popular television show, “Gilmore Girls.” She’s a journalist. She loves to read. She’s close to her mother. But in the seventh episode of the seventh season, as Rory sobs about the difficult moment in her life when she’s about to graduate from college, I never understood her reasoning for being scared.

Until now.

There’s a lot of pressure on college seniors to immediately figure out their plans. As I fill out job applications, I’m uneasy. Most employers want you to work right now, not three months from now. Or you need to have three years of experience for a basic entry-level job. I want to find a job, but I feel like it’s a disadvantage when my resume says: “College student graduating in May.”

Rory says in the episode, “Everything is just...ending. I just feel like everything is gonna be over. I’m done at the paper. Soon I’m gonna be done at Yale, and it’s just like I’m standing on this cliff, looking out into this huge, foggy...”

“Abyss?” her friend asks.

Like...a huge, foggy abyss, and in my whole life, there’s never been an abyss. It’s been abyssless. I’ve always known exactly what is in front of me, and I’ve always known exactly where I’m going, and now...I don’t know what’s out there,” Rory responds.

I have never related more to Rory Gilmore. My position as Editor-in-Chief of the Northern Review is about to end. Soon I’m going to leave Ohio Northern University and I have absolutely no idea where I’m going to be in a few months. I’m staring into a big, open abyss. I have always known exactly where I’m going and now that’s not the case.

There’s too much pressure on college students. Seniors shouldn’t have to stress so much about finding a job right away—applying to jobs they don’t even want to make others happy. I refuse to apply for a job that I would hate to go to work every day.

I encourage others to be more understanding and patient toward seniors during this awkward stage in their lives. We’re advanced and accomplished undergraduates, but we’re not in the “real world” yet. We’re in this strange “in between” world between academia and a career. Many seniors worry about being stuck in this stage for a long time, which results in more stress and anxiety. 

Be gentle with these students. They’re doing the best they can. 

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