Yesterday morning, I sat in my car and ate cheesecake.
I mean, I wasn’t alone. So there’s that. And no one at Emory shops at my grocery store, so it’s unlikely that anyone saw me. But outside of Your Dekalb Farmers Market, my friend and I ate (delicious) red velvet cheesecake and had a complete freakout. Because it’s senior year of undergrad, and that’s both terrifying and underwhelming. And that is a weird combination of feelings. So we drowned them in cake.
It’s terrifying because I only have nine-ish months (simultaneously a very long and very short period of time) to figure out what I’m going to be doing after undergrad. And I have had it beaten in to me by scare pieces about millennials that there are no jobs. And it would be one thing if–like some of my friends–I knew what I was doing when I finished school. But I don’t.
And at the same time, it feels totally insane to think about the end of school now, as it is a reasonable amount of time away and things could change dramatically in 9 months. I could physically create another small human out of my cells in that period of time! (I don’t plan to.) I could accomplish a lot in that span of time, but it still does not feel very long because it is all one unit–the school year–in my head.
I have a few friends who are engaged or on their way to being engaged (or are otherwise in fairly stable relationships that will probably last post-graduation). I am not, which is fine. The same is true of the friend that I was eating the cheesecake with. But there is something that makes both of us pretty jealous of those of our friends who have some sort of life plan in place at this point.
Anything past graduation is a gigantic black hole, and that is incredibly frustrating. I’m the girl who plans her homework six weeks in advance! My main destresser is writing things down, in bulleted lists, and then doing what is on the lists. Not being able to do that for most of the next nine months is going to drive me insane. I don’t want a wedding, but stability of some kind would be nice.
The underwhelming part of this whole thing is the feeling that I am limping towards my finish at Emory without anything concrete to be moving towards. I am excited to be back, and to be academically engaged, and to learn and write a thesis. But (and perhaps this is true for everyone entering senior year) I feel less and less tied to the college. I’m simply continuing to do the things from the summer with the addition of classes, rather than starting a concrete new phase for the year.
One way or the other, I need the weird holding pattern of this summer to hurry up and finish. I start classes and two of my jobs this week. If I stay busy enough, there will be no more car cake. I hope.
And with that, I am off to my first class of the year.