Where am I going with my life? Doesn’t take a commuter to understand this one.
Being home a lot has yielded some unexpected side effects. For some reason, I expected the pressure to lessen once I started college; no longer were my parents keeping a close eye on me and my future. I was going to be my own person now, free from their scrutiny. Not the case.
I know one of the majors I want to have: political science. I can remember being in fifth grade and presenting John McCain to the class through a little report I made without the teacher’s consent. Politics have always been an interest of mine, so why not major in it? Then the questions start pouring in though.
“Well, what will you do with that degree? Be a politician?” I don’t think so. “What other jobs can you get with it?” UConn has this lovely little paper with all the jobs you can get with a polisci degree, but for the life of me I could not remember any of them. In comes “The Look” from my mother. The one where she’s a little worried. The one where she’s a bit unsure of her feelings for her daughter’s future. Instantly I start questioning my own choices. I wanted two majors to begin with, I’m just not sure of which other one I’d like to take. It bounces around from Journalism to Communications to Business, and the fact is I just don’t know yet. Although I agree with her that I want something in addition to polisci, I also have to admit that I have not decided what the other one should be.
It unsettles them. I am the oldest, I am the one who got all the good grades in school, and now I’m going down an uncertain path. If I’m being honest, it unsettles me too, at least a little. Me knowing exactly what I wanted to do would be much less scary than hoping I’ll figure it out within the next two or three years. The fear, as unspoken as it is, unnerves me. I find myself questioning the very ground I stand on. What if I go through four years of college and graduate with a useless degree? What if I can’t even determine what I want a degree in?
I thought that since my parents wouldn’t be getting a report card sent home to them anymore, they wouldn’t really care as much as they did before college. I could barely pass my classes, end up majoring in Underwater Basket Weaving (as a high school guidance counselor liked to use as an example) and nobody could tell me otherwise. I still talk to them about everything though, even if I originally had it in mind that I wouldn’t. They know my grades because I tell them; they know that I’m uncertain of my path because I’ve expressed it to them.
I don’t know where I’m going in life, but I know where I am. Even if I thought I would be farther away from my family by now, I’m still very close to them. I think anyone, commuter or not, could understand that.
Hannah Desrosiers is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.