What It Feels Like To Be “Grad-Waiting”

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October 10, 2022
Read Time: 3 minutes

Well, it’s actually…*cricket noise*

 

 

Words are powerful. Many times, hearing the right ones can instantly hit home, so much so that you feel a new wave of emotions before you even realize it. In my case, words stopped me from sulking in my bedroom one August night. I found myself finally unhinged from the thoughts that had been holding me captive all along.

 

I came across a quote on Twitter. It said,

 

 

I’ve had my fair share of moments when I can’t help but dwell on the life I have right now. It feels bad because I’m unsatisfied with it. It feels worse because I don’t know how to be satisfied with myself, at least enough to believe I can make the changes I’d like.

 

Truth be told, I’m not the most confident in what I’d like to do with my life yet. Being told that I can possibly be a “jack of all trades” doesn’t necessarily make it all better. A conversation between me and my thoughts sounds a little like this:

 

Me: What if this is all you’re ever capable of becoming–a navigator?

Also me: I want a clear path, so I’ll make one for sure!

Me: Alright. Now what if it’s clear, but it’s wrong?

Also me: Then it’s not a path I’d be able to make in the first place. Duh.

Me: Ha-ha. No, seriously, what if?

 

After every exchange, I find accuracy in all the head-scratch memes I see. I stick with the confusion—the possible reason for the sudden self-doubt—until I’m reminded: Oh, wait. I’m grad-waiting.

 

So, that’s what it feels like.

 

 

Okay, grad-waiting it is

I’d describe “grad-waiting” as the void space between college and employment (without a proper graduation ceremony in the picture yet). It’s the time in my life where I evaluate my interests and decide which ones I see myself doing until I tire of them. I’m given all the hours in a day to ponder on my abilities because of the future I’d like to be prepared for, but it’s mixed with overthinking about just how capable I am to meet a certain standard.

 

In other words, grad-waiting is a phase that feels like Mercury has been in retrograde the entire time (and for far too long).

 

To each his own, but the sudden release from a busy schedule didn’t do me any good. I started to believe the people that would tell me I’d find peace in getting work done because it gives me a sense of direction. Well, they’re not wrong. My thoughts can back it up.

 

There have been days when I am a slump and allow myself to simply sink in the thoughts. There’s no exaggeration in saying that it definitely feels like I’ve been losing myself in them. In the uncertainty, most of all.

 

I know it all sounds so scary (because it is), but I can’t deny that the light at the end of the tunnel has looked even brighter since this realization. Call it an attempt to find a silver lining with this one—having these thoughts only encouraged me to find clarity in the in-betweens of where I am now and where I want to be.

 

Now, at least I know what I’m looking for.

 

To have time is to have thoughts

And I mean silly, silly thoughts.

 

Here’s the thing: They are silly for a reason. I’ve come to believe that my doubts only exist to encourage me to improve in what I want to do after graduation. Hesitation helps me realize that this is all a little funny feeling; I actually have nothing to lose in trying. I have a firm idea on what I want to happen.

 

I’m still grad-waiting, but I’ve been getting by it. I mainly see it as an opportunity to accept hard truths now. With that quote from August still sticking to me, I’ve decided to take on the challenges I’m facing. I know the changes I’d like to make in my life more than ever, so I’m attempting to create a path for it.

 

And, in little steps, I know I have. To even write about it now is one of them. I look for certainty. There’s comfort at the thought that it’s looking for me, too. Here’s to hoping we meet each other.

 

 

Words Bianca Villena

Art Macky Arquilla

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