Self-doubt in the face of graduation

Pictured: Mac Pomeroy. Photo Courtesy of Mac Pomeroy

By Mac Pomeroy

It isn’t too much longer until I graduate with my English degree. Don’t get me wrong — this is definitely not my last semester — but I am no longer the baby freshman I once was.

It seems like just yesterday I decided to pursue writing over political science and going to law school. It was a difficult choice, given I always thought I would be an attorney, but I think it was for the best. I don’t have the serious personality needed to handle the courtroom.

However, lately I have once again been questioning what I am doing. Don’t get me wrong, I love writing. It is where I feel I can best communicate with others. I know I want to write, I just don’t know what path I want to take.

Before the pandemic, I was on a straight path, zipping from A to B with no stops. Because of it there have been new events and struggles that made me realize how unsure I truly am. What career options are available for me after this? What kind of writer do I want to be? Am I as good at writing as I think I am?

I am sure I am not the only person who is currently stuck feeling this way. While we may have felt so sure of what we were doing before, this time has allowed us to get into our heads. Suddenly, all of the thinking and anxiety may pile up, causing doubts. 

It feels as though you crawled your way through a dangerous cave, only to be greeted by fire on the other side.

If you find yourself feeling this way, wondering if you have spent years on a hopeless path, take a deep breath. These feelings are valid.

When you spend so much time really focused on the task ahead, it is only natural to notice anything bad or wrong. You don’t have the support or reinforcement of those around you to help clarify what you are doing. While teachers and peers are still making posts and comments on Blackboard, it is a wordless interaction. You can’t stop the teacher after class when you are struggling, nor can you talk to your peers for help.

Many people I know have taken steps in their lives due to these feelings. Some have left college temporarily, some have left for good, but more have changed their majors. As for me, I probably won’t do anything. My major is something that fits me, regardless of my current anxiety. While action is good, feelings can be nothing more than feelings.