Portrait of a Second Semester Senior

I just read an article about why you shouldn’t go to law school in the library when I should be working on my senior thesis and now I may be having a slight existential crisis but on the bright side it’s absolutely gorgeous outside and I made a bomb risotto last night.

This is genuinely one of the strangest times of my entire life.

I’ve made a lot of progress since I was the half blonde, fully lost, slightly deranged freshman I was 3 and a half years ago. This is the best my mental health has EVER been (which is kind of scary in a way), the closest to happiness I’ve ever been, and I’m getting to point where I really feel like I know and love myself. I have wonderful friends, my skincare routine is very comprehensive and consistent and I have an IRA account that I regularly contribute to.

But in so many ways I feel like I’m standing at the edge of a yawning, very deep, very dark hole. I’m graduating college in 3 months and there’s still a lot of uncertainty around my future. I don’t really know where I’m going to be living in 4 months. I’ve been sleeping very poorly because I’m wracked with stress and anxiety about what I’m going to do with my life. I want to really make a difference in the world. I have to. But I’m worried I’ll end up just another cog in the machine and somehow all the big and amazing and terrifying dreams I had for myself will somehow get squished down into comfortable mediocrity. I’m starting to dream of and want things I never imagined I would and I don’t even know the first step to getting there. I’m a radical leftist trying to get through my last few economics classes which is very difficult when you know you’re being spoon fed capitalist hegemonic BS. Oh yeah, and the entire country is low key going down in flames.

Who even am I? Who am I going to be in five years? I recently saw a tweet about how people who were suicidal when they were young or suffered from major depression are struggling in their 20s because they never thought they’d make it that far. I really didn’t think I would make it through college alive. But I survived, somehow, and now I’m expected to make something of the life I have. In the next few decades of my life I have to make my parents proud (long overdue), build the life I want, fall in love, maybe (mayyyybbeeee) start a family, build a fulfilling career and somehow in all of this not succumb to the sweet siren song of a Boring Life.

It’s kind of exhausting thinking about all the things that happened in the last 3 and a half years. I graduated high school, got my first job (and all the subsequent jobs after that), nearly failed a class, radically changed my political views, dyed my hair at least 15 times, pierced my nose, got my heart stomped on (sadly did not stomp on any myself), learned about intersectional systems of oppression and how to recognize my own privilege, lived for three months in Europe. There are a lot of other things that happened, but my parents read this blog. Sometimes I can’t believe that I’ve only been alive for nearly 22 years because it feels like centuries have happened to me.

The future is the only thing I’m afraid of, but it’s also kind of the best thing. Sometimes it feels like I’m constantly having a low grade anxiety attack but also thrilled in a way like I’m a 7 year old who just found they’re going to Disney. Maybe that’s just life? I guess we’ll see. The most important parts of my life haven’t even happened yet.

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