The dreaded question: “So what are you going to do?”

Yesterday I caught up with my close friend and we were discussing what to do when someone asks “so what are you going to do?” We are both in our final year and I’m sure as any senior student would know, entering fourth year means that everyone- from teachers, friends, family members, even students from lower years- are going to ask you this question.

I feel like everyone expects you to have an answer and a plan. Being in an art program I got asked this question since the very beginning though I must add most people asked in a ‘what the hell are you thinking’ tone. Having others doubt me made me feel scared when I would doubt myself, so I acted like I knew exactly what I was going to do to avoid that feeling and have some sense of control.

My answers would always change…

“I’m going to work in a museum.”

“I’m going to be a curator.”

“I’m going to work in art conservation.”

“I’m definitely doing grad school in fine arts and become an artist.”

“I’m not going to graduate this year, I want to do a fifth year to better my portfolio.”

“I’m graduating for sure and I want to do research in art education for my masters.”

“I don’t know. I’ll figure it out.”

As of right now my answer is “I’m taking at least a year off to work and I want to travel while teaching English abroad and make art.” However, truthfully it is still a gigantic “I don’t know.”  My friend and I concluded and agreed that as cliche as it sounds, life really doesn’t happen in a concrete straight path. It goes in diagonals, zig zags, loops, and sometimes backwards before going forwards and that it’s all a part of it.

So for now, I’m telling myself that it’s completely okay to not know- I mean how could you know exactly what’s going to happen a year or even just 6 months from now? Yes, I can plan and write out everything I need to do but that won’t prep me for unforeseeable setbacks or new and different opportunities I might get to do. I think the whole experience of life is well to go with it and follow one’s gut!

note: This is not to say I’m not going to continue to plan and prep for things in case I want to do grad school or internships etc. because I am naturally a planner/ list-maker for organization and the sake of clarity. So honestly, it’s a pretty big step for me to just start embracing the idea of “not knowing” what life will be like after undergrad and believing in myself that things will eventually work out… Okay, thank you reading!

xx

Julia

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