Paige Kraynak is a student at Grove City College and an ISA Featured Blogger. She is studying abroad with ISA in Galway, Ireland.
Apparently when you are a senior in college you are supposed to have your life figured out. With graduation approaching, one needs to consider searching for internships and jobs. You think you have time to figure that out when you are a freshman, but in a blink of an eye, it is almost graduation. If you are like me, you may ask yourself, “what do I do now?”
I majored in English because I love reading and writing. When I chose my major during my freshman year of college, I wasn’t exactly sure what I wanted to do with it. Teaching? Editing? Writing? Publishing? I would be asked by family, friends, and professors about my career goals, yet I didn’t know what to do.
After going back and forth many times and being torn between teaching and writing, I didn’t feel it in my heart to do either. I saw the importance of both occupations, yet I couldn’t see myself doing them. I needed something different; something crazy and adventurous. This is why I decided to study abroad for a semester. I figured that maybe while I was away I could pin-point what I wanted to do with my life. I chose a program, worked a full-time job to save up money, and left.
When you study abroad, you will change. I learned this first-hand from the moment I stepped on that plane. You aren’t surrounded by those who influence you. The outside forces who are pressuring you to make certain decisions are no longer lingering around. You are all alone and are forced to learn about yourself. You become independent and confident in yourself. This is exactly what I needed to help me choose my next step. The longer I stayed abroad, the more I learned about the differences in the culture around me. The world is nothing like the little bubble I was comfortable in before. There are so many options and needs. I realized that I don’t want to do anything that others back home are pressuring me to do. As important as it is to teach, write, and inform, I know that I am not labelled to do so. Even though I am preparing to graduate soon, it is okay to want to do other things with your life. Don’t be afraid of falling behind and do not put yourself in a place where you don’t want to be. Live your life and explore numerous options. Do what you need to do to decide.
When I get back, I plan to graduate and be proud of the degree I have obtained. But from there, I don’t have an exact plan. But that is okay. I know there is a world full of options for me. I have plenty of time to figure it out, and the same goes for you too.