Published in the Montana Kaimin, 10/28/2010
Disturbing the Peace: When I grow up, I want to be...
I'm graduating this spring. The reality of that statement smacked me in the face the other day, as I realized that I've spent the last four years based in this town. It's gone by with all the swiftness of a freshman speed-dating session, but soon, should I choose to leave the friends and environment I've created, my entire pseudo-structured reality will be transformed into something very different. Off to meet the "real world," as they say… in the fake world?
So I find myself diving into the pool of ambiguity that many of my peers are already treading water in. It seems like everyone I know who has graduated is either jumping into grad school (just what I want after 17 near-continuous years of academia), living at home with their parents (just what they want after 18 years of raising some damned parasite) or simply floating around the Missoula stratosphere with no direction. Everybody's question is, "What am I going do with my life?"
Why, as graduates in our early-to-mid- twenties, do we feel this need to nail down some absolute sense of definition? Is the real world going somewhere? If it is, do we really think we know enough about where it's going to simply fall in step and wrap ourselves up in a career, a family, a home, a life?