If you’ve been following along with all my posts you’ll know that I am oh so very close to finishing my undergraduate degree in Disability Studies. You’ll know that university was a bit of a rough start for Shy Liza but I found my people (See: My Heart Away from Home), my job (See: Every Almond Counts), and my perfect program. So I like to think, even amidst this pandemic I’ll be finishing this degree on a high note.
In order to graduate students must fill out a quick form so that the university can ensure that they have fulfilled all of their module requirements. All things considered, it’s a pretty quick and not at all monumental process. I just checked a few boxes and that was that. All this to say, I kind of felt like I was applying to be pushed out of the safety zone of school that I have known since preschool. I was applying to be sling-shotted into the adulthood abyss. I was willingly applying to become a lost little young adult trying to figure out the working world. Now, don’t get me wrong: I am super ready to be done with school. But, I also have no idea what’s next for me. I didn’t apply for a Master’s. I haven’t applied for any jobs. I’m on a teeter-totter of decisions: should I stay at my group home? Should I apply for a master’s? Should I work a camp summer job one last time? Should I just apply for full-time ‘adult’ jobs? Should I do something completely different?
I’m sure if you’ve graduated any school, you know the feeling. You know the feeling of not knowing what’s next. It’s a weird feeling, because up until this point, I’ve had a plan. A plan to graduate high-school and a plan to get an undergraduate degree. A plan to work summer jobs in between. It was never in my plan to travel the world solo. Even if we weren’t in a pandemic you can be assured that doing the typical backpacking Europe thing was never in Shy Liza’s cards. I’m a homebody who is happy to start the long journey of figuring out what’s next from right here in Ontario – and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. This degree is literally the end of my plan. Now usually, I like having a plan. I like knowing exactly what’s next and how to get there. But this time, I’m kind of enjoying not knowing what’s next. I’ve got my whole life to work and get a post grad degree and then work some more. So, for right now at least, I’m kind of enjoying the unknown.
Now I can’t offer you a formal checklist and I have literally zero power vested in me but I am encouraging you to apply to be set free. Just like me. Let go of the plan society tells us we have to follow. Let go of the silly age restrictions we put on marriage, school, buying a house, having children, etc. Rather, it’s time to really apply yourself to be set free from these wicked, useless ideals. You don’t have to be graduating with a degree to start evaluating what’s next for you. It also doesn’t have to involve a huge monumental graduation ceremony from one stage of life to the next, you can just make a small or big life change to serve your future self and soul.
I’m going to use this next little while of my life to try to figure out what the right next step is for me. Am I worried about this next stage of life? For sure. The unknown is scary. This fast-paced, money-obsessed, competitive society leaves us little room to spend time in this space of the unknown. But I think we all need to push back and spend intentional time in this scary space of the unknown. Spend time here – no matter how uncomfy, and discern you are living a life that’s authentic to you. It’s never too late or the wrong time to change course or reevaluate. The unknown is scary but within it, you will find just as much risk as you do opportunity.
Now, I don’t want you to worry. I will look for jobs. I will look into Master’s degrees. And I will apply for what feels right. I’m not just going to do it for the sake of doing it or because I feel like I have to. Because for right now, I’m enjoying the opportunity of the unknown.
Whatever will be in this next season of life will be.
I’m open to opportunity and ready for the challenge.
Follow along to hear all about the ups and downs in direct support work, young adult life, and allyship – it sure has given me lots to write about! Enjoy some casual, light-hearted tales about all my adventures along the way.