Three years and a handful of months later and I’m a senior in college. And now begins the obligatory “I’m graduating college this year and I have no life direction” ranting column. A topic of this breadth requires some background.

When I was about four years old, I shared with my parents my luminous future dreams to attend Harvard and become a doctor.

Their proud-parent eyes lit up with the notion of having a doctor in our family of artists and writers. I perused the library shelves, extracting book after book on anatomy and those lovable Berenstain Bears’ excursions to the doctor’s office. I marveled at the layering transparencies of the human body that appeared in our collection of 1962 World Books.

I made medical history with my toy doctor kits of varying accuracy. Yes, I was going to be a doctor. The parents loved it, so it was settled.

Wait, scratch that. Three weeks later, I lugged the medical volumes back to the library and took to the shelves with a new – sort of – direction. I now loved Japan. Travel books, kimonos, green tea – I simply could not get enough. Forget being a doctor – I was now going to be Japanese. At this point, my parents revamped their perspective on their future Elizabeth Blackwell.

Maybe she isn’t destined to assert herself over the operating table – maybe she is just destined to be weird.

In fifth grade, I researched CalArts because that was the hot spot for future Disney animators. In tenth grade, I began and never finished my fashion illustration portfolio while enrolled in a course at the Fashion Institute. And a year later, as editor of my high school newspaper, I set out to be the next female Bob Woodward, albeit one inflicted with a severe case of something not even my Fischer Price reflex hammer could pound out of me – a case of directional deficit disorder. The only thing I could settle on was that I could settle on nothing. I may be graduating, but college has offered very little of a career-related push. I have rearranged my major(s) and minor(s) to the tempo of J-Lo’s alter exploits. But even she seems to have settled on someone for a period of time.

So where, I beg of you, is my Marc Anthony of semi-permanent decisiveness? This summer, under increasing pressure to make a choice, I scoured the career section of a bookstore, hoping to find an occupational muse stuffed between “Networking for Dummies” and “The Guide to Entry Level Careers.” All I went home with was the feeling that I’ll probably end up at a consulting firm. I guess I could be a consultant.

There is no need to detail what it feels like to already be mapless and lost at the onset of the figurative path that is sucking me into the real world. I suspect at least several of you will be by my side come May, shrugging your shoulders empathetically, with your tassel on the left side of your cap, unsure of how it got there in the first place. However, what I have gained over the years, through long dialogues with recent college grads is an idea that it might actually be okay, beneficial even, to be directionally deficient.

Instead of having a career tattooed onto my forehead, which would have provided me with the comfort I sought for the past several years, I now consider the possibilities that come with not knowing. I have no desire to be a doctor. And I’ve conceded to the devastating truth that never have I been, nor will I ever be Japanese. But someday, I will be something, and I care enough to ensure that this is the first and last column of its kind that I write. With that said, I’m graduating college this year and I have no direction in life. Help me!

Shore can be reached at rshore@campustimes.org.



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