Have you ever been in a rut? Let’s face it, there’s no compass to life, and so like all things in life, post-graduation can be hard to navigate. However, I find that it is when we are most turned around, we nearly always give ourselves the opportunity we need to reflect. After graduating university in May of 2017 I found myself in a circumstance where it was necessary for me to look long and hard at the woman I was. In truth, I’m still fighting this rut as we speak, (or as I type, in this case). This is ultimately due to the culmination of getting caught up in the “now” and, quite frankly, poor planning.
In 2006, in the midst of sixth grade at the Gesu School, myself and seven of my peers were selected to be a part of the inaugural cohort of the Lenfest Scholars program. This scholarship program was a partnership between Saint Joseph’s University and Gerry and Marguerite Lenfest. As an incentive-based program for students who attend the Gesu School, it provides scholarship to participants who continue their collegiate career at Saint Joseph’s. It is meant to encourage each scholar to continue being stellar students who, throughout their high school years succeed academically and demonstrate leadership through service to their school and those in need.
During undergrad, I found myself involved in over a dozen clubs and organizations, with my involvement ranging from general member to President. All of this, coupled with a rigorous academic life, multiple part-time jobs, and an blossoming social life, I had little to no “down time.” I learned the ins and outs of organizations, met amazing individuals that became my most cherished friends and confidants, and wove myself in and out of every fabric of my university. I was caught up in the present, fleeting moments of undergrad.
What I hadn’t done was strategically plan for life AFTER graduation. As a first-generation college student who only had one other sibling to choose this path before me, one could say I was in over my head. I had a “perfect scenario” idea as to what the end goal of university was––having a salaried job that covered health and dental benefits, a retirement plan and all the trimmings, but the issue with planning only for the ideal, is that you rarely take into account the possibility of the ladder, the pragmatic.
Fast-forward to a couple months post graduation and I’ve found myself at a stand-still. Due to my current state of emotional disarray, I started to consider ways to combat these feelings and one possible solution is to get into contact with my alma maters Office of Student Life to see if there is a possibility to allocate funds for recent grads to have a opportunity to utilize the Counseling and Psychological Services that are readily available to undergraduates. There would be a stipulation of a time frame after graduation and a number of visits but I know that I am not alone in feeling the post-grad blues and hope that at least in the future people would have someone to turn to in these cases. If we’re so big on being a campus community that prides itself on “cura personalis” – care of the whole person, why should that stop as soon as we’re handed our mock-degrees as we walk across the stage?
I’ve been trying to get out of my rut by re-aligning myself with what I love. I understand that it will be a process but in one way or another this is growth.
I’m letting go of what was and embracing what will be.
Ruts are only normal and knowing that they come and go as we grow and learn is vital to overcoming them.
Have you been in a rut? What have you done or are you doing to get out of it? Please share your thoughts!