Lucye Rafferty/The Hoya Kaydee Bridges

What is anti-climatic yet fulfilling, depressing yet elating and incomplete yet finished?

It’s graduation. It’s that time of year when we all feel horrible, sad and don’t even have enough time to express this to all our friends. It’s an impossible time. OK, so I’m a cynic, I tend to concentrate on the former of all those word pairings.

We’d probably feel more complete if the different experiences of college actually tied into a grand ending and epiphany about the rest of our lives. Instead we’re left scrambling, taking personality quizzes at the Career Center, talking to professors after class and attending last chance lectures by faculty, hoping to find some revelation about our lives and how they will go on after college . or at least seek comfort through free booze in the Jes Res during Father aher’s talk (yes, you missed out on this). Alas, there have been no revelations. Many of us are left jobless without an idea of what we want to do, without a solid way to pay our loans – we’re in grad school but not really sure why we’re there or if it’s what we want to do. Why after four years of working our butts off do we feel better educated, but directionless?

I noticed at the beginning of the year a little alarm among my peers (and myself) about finding the right job or grad school. No one knew what he wanted to do, but it was senior year. We were supposed to know, right? And then came eRecruiting sign-ups. Seniors anxiously walked across campus, heading to the MBNA Career Center like some creepy force was drawing them there, a la Night of the Living Dead. They interviewed at investment banks, think tanks and consulting firms, usually not having a clue as to what each did. Most seniors came back with horror stories of interviews (“What’s a 10-year T-bill at now?”What is on the front page of the Wall Street Journal today?”So what do you think of Lula?” Note: the author did receive the latter question. She bombed it and would like all to know that he is the recently elected president of Brazil – and she calls herself an SFS student!).

Some were offered jobs but still felt as lost as those who weren’t given offers (obviously they still accepted). I thought to myself, why was I in college for four years if, when I walk out the gates, I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. Sure, I will have made great friends but they will be scattered across the country. I will have my memories, but won’t these fade down the road?

Well, the aftermath of college is different for everyone, but here’s what I figure the majority experiences:

You will forget people. Believe me, aside from your best friends you won’t remember the people you hung out with.

You will feel resentful toward Georgetown, either because you still have to work hard to get a job or get into grad school or because it still isn’t clear what you learned and how it applies to your future.

You will be a tool. Oh yes, we SFS students can rejoice because all of Georgetown will join our ranks. You will wear suits, you will have power lunches, you will answer to other people and you will amuse yourself with all the things you wish you could say to your superiors.

However, there are some truths I’ve come to know at Georgetown.

College isn’t supposed to answer the question of what we want to be when we grow up. It exists to give us time to explore our passions and arm us with the tools we need to be successful in the future.

We tend to normalize this opportunity of being surrounded by so many interesting people our age, having classes with numerous talented professors and, of course, having nineteen weeks of vacation (two weeks from now on? come on!). Georgetown students also have a tendency to complain and forget what a rare opportunity they’ve been given. As University President John J. DeGioia has pointed out in the past two New Student Convocations, less than 0.01 percent of the world’s population has the chance to go to a major U.S. college. Realize how unique this opportunity is, that you got to spend it at an institution as amazing as Georgetown, and that perhaps you have a responsibility to the rest of the 99.99 percent of the population to use your talents to the best of your ability. But how to use these skills?

Rest assured, these four years may not have given us complete clarity about our future; however, our education isn’t something that makes sense now. It’s something that serves us later, and that’s when we will be most grateful.

Kaydee Bridges is a senior in the School of Foreign Service.

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