So you just graduated college…

“What’s next for you?”

The most common and most dreaded question any recent graduate can hear. Generally, the person asking doesn’t care too much for the answer, since they were only asking to be polite. Only your family, close friends, and your professors actually want to know how you’re going to get on after college is over.

But getting on in the real world is a lot different than college. You don’t have a dining hall to feed you or your best friend right there with you at all times. In my case, you’ve also moved back home, and the family setting is a lot different than dorm life.

For me, I think the hardest part about graduation is knowing what I’m leaving behind. I’m that kid who actually enjoyed school to the point where I’d make up fun things to do, like word puzzles or doodling or reading every road sign along the side of the road, just so I could keep my mind busy.

I also read Dickens for fun. Enough said.

At college I double-majored in French and English. I should hope that those of you reading this blog could already tell that I really really love words. As a result one of the things I’ll miss the most about college and education in general is reading for class.

Whenever I choose what to read for myself, I know it’s going to be to my own taste. Sometimes I pick a dud (Please, all you literature fans, stay away from teen paranormal romance novels, unless you know exactly what you’re getting into; everyone deserves a guilty pleasure), but on the whole, I can say that I understand my own taste pretty well.

But for class, I have to read exactly what the instructor assigns. Often I don’t enjoy myself. I’m going to be honest and say it took me two years to realize that I actually got James Joyce and enjoyed his work. And I even blundered my way through Balzac in French. (It’s not for the faint of heart but well worth the challenge.)

Now that I’m done with school, I think the thing I will take away from the experience is a knowledge that other people’s taste is just as valuable as my own. I’m not the expert on everything ever written, so it’s nice to know what I’m missing out on when I keep to my old favorites, even if I don’t end up liking what I read. I never would’ve picked up Dickens if I hadn’t read Great Expectations in high school.

So what’s next for me? A whole lotta reading! And a whole lot of applying to jobs.