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The Future is Unclear

The path does not have to be clear to take the next step.

This concept is not something I am comfortable with, but I must adapt. Up until now, I always roughly knew what came next. School led to more school which led to college. That was the path, and I did well on it. It was only when graduation began to loom that my friends and I were truly diverging and going drastically different ways. Some moved out of state and got full time jobs. Some went to graduate school. Some went abroad for fullbrights or peacecorps. The world is opening up in a new way, and honestly, it is terrifying.

I had a plan. I was going to graduate school to get my masters in library and information science. I was going to start my way towards being a rare book librarian. And then I wasn’t.

School is expensive, but with most graduate programs you get funding by being a teaching assistant or research assistant. The problem with LIS is that there is no undergraduate degree so there really aren’t classes to TA for. RAs are often left to PhD candidates. The school I was going to had a fair amount of pre-professional graduate assistantships, but it is also a competitive school and I felt that competition while trying to land one of those coveted positions.

So no funding for me. Without that funding, I can’t afford the degree. I have to defer and get a 9-5 for now, and I am terrified. This was never in the plan and I didn’t prepare to go into the job market this early, but I am. I am taking this side-quest, and I think I will be better for it, but the future is so unclear right now.

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7 thoughts on “The Future is Unclear

  1. Who knows, maybe that 9-5 will be the dream, or you’ll fall into a dream you never knew you had. For someone like you though the world has a lot in store I’m sure.

    1. I’ve definitely been looking at my hopes and dreams a lot lately. And while I know I would have liked going to grad school right away, I also want to create a life where I’m not drowning in debt and can be financially independent, so I’m working on that dream right now. Plus this gives me an opportunity to really shape my day-to-day life a bit more freely without huge projects to work on. I’m excited to start working out and just generally taking better care of myself again. Those dreams are important too.

  2. The real world is scary. I’ve been navigating it for two years and, as a new college graduate, never would have dreamed I’d be where I am now. Best of luck as you learn to navigate it. Perhaps this early entry into the job market is a blessing in disguise. You never know what the next few years will bring. You can always go back to school in the future, but for now, best of luck as you journey into your post-school life.

    1. Thanks Britta! And yeah, I’m already feeling like this is the right direction for me. Things are up in the air, but I’ve got a great support system (both in person and online). I’m just trying to take things day-by-day and see what happens.

  3. I definitely empathize with how you’re feeling, Katie. That was me two years ago. Take deep breaths and go one day at a time. Even if it’s not in your area of interest, you can learn a LOT from 9-5 jobs. You never know what you’re going to end up falling in love with, or where life will take you. And there are a lot of wonderful post-college things to be enjoyed–having the freedom to read whatever you choose being a wonderful one. Like Britta said in her comment, you can always go back to school. If libraries is a field you’re serious about, don’t wait for the degree to get into the field. If you can snag any kind of assistant job, even if it’s part time and doesn’t pay well, go for that. If that’s not a possibility, volunteer! I landed my current position as an official librarian without an LIS because of my experience volunteering in libraries (Of course, the library is tiny and the town has less than 2,000 people in it… so the hiring standards weren’t high). Down the road, if you can’t afford to not work, almost all the best schools have LIS programs online that you can do while you work. Loans may be inevitable, but it’s an option. (I’m staring mine online through the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee in the fall.) There are endless possibilities. I wish you all the best in figuring out what’s next. 🙂

    1. Thanks! And yeah, I’m now looking forward to finding full-time work. Every day I’m more confident in my decision to put off graduate school. Right now is just not the time to take on as much debt as I would have had to. Milwaukee was one of the schools I was accepted to, so I’d love to hear how you like it as you start your online classes!

      1. I totally understand needing to put it off–I’m so glad that I waited two years before starting. I’ll definitely let you know how things go with my classes! Best of luck with the job hunting! 🙂

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