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Gaining confidence and independence as graduation approaches

Senior Column

Somehow, college has taught me many things, yet I will walk away from Seton Hall believing that I don’t know anything.

I’m going to graduate Dec. 21 and I don’t know what I want to do with my life. I don’t know how I’m going to pay my rent come Jan. 1. I don’t have a real plan for paying back the insurmountable debt I’ve accumulated, other than hopefully getting a job, which I don’t have yet. I don’t know where I want to end up living. I don’t know if I even want to pursue a career in journalism, which I’ve spent four years studying. My last semester has truly tested me. It tested my patience, my passion, my courage, my personality, everything.

I’ve read that this feeling is normal upon graduation. I’m holding on to that hope so that it will propel me forward in my career and my motivation. People I’ve met have built me up and other people have torn me down, whether it be personally or in the workforce. I’m leaving Seton Hall with much thicker skin than I came with.

But I’m paralyzed in time. I’m waiting for job interviews (I’ve applied to over 40 jobs online and reached out personally to more than a handful of people I’ve networked with). I’m waiting for grad school to start. I start at Syracuse University on Jan. 12, where I will study digital communication. I’m continuing my communication studies because I know I want to be in that field, I’m just not sure how. I’m waiting to move into a condo with my boyfriend’s sister, who is willing to give me time to get on my feet. I’m waiting to get my grades back. I’m waiting for bills to arrive.

I’m waiting for the waiting to finally end.

While I may not end up pursuing the career I spent four years studying, I don’t see my time at SHU as a waste. I met some amazing people and friends whom I will cherish forever. I pushed myself outside my comfort zone. I learned to stand up for myself professionally. I learned to have confidence in myself, even if other people never did. I learned that

I won’t get along with everybody, and I won’t work well with everybody, but that can never influence my self-esteem, although I’ve faltered on this throughout the years, even last week.

I wasn’t expecting this identity crisis of sorts. Growing up, I always knew who I wanted to be and I worked very hard to get there. Although the future is now blank, where it used to be planned thoroughly, I’m trying to embrace the unknown. All these lessons have helped form me in my young adult years and I’m grateful for all the experiences from which I was able to learn.

My parting advice to anyone who may need it: Learn from the bumps in the road and pick yourself up after. Don’t depend on anyone else for your happiness or self-worth or confidence. You truly can do anything you want, if you don’t let other people stand in your way.

As Margaret Atwood said, “Don’t let the bastards grind you down.”

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Rebecca White is a communication major from Mission Viejo, C.A. She can be reached at


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