The end of the past three school years has always come with a sense of safety. I’ve known that I’m headed home or that I’m going to stay in Spokane and that the cycle would end up continuing sooner rather than later. Even through 2020, the knowledge that I’d return to Gonzaga University helped me not worry too much about what the future held for me. It was a privileged position in many senses, but I was lucky to feel like there was little I could do to change the plans that I had laid out. A commitment to college will do that.
Yet I find myself at the end of the fourth school year, without any of that. Sure, I have a job lined up. I have a place to live. My immediate future seems to be looking good, but what am I really working toward?
I’d like to not get too deep into the existential dread brought on by the capitalist labor system that will incentivize me to work more, earn more, spend more and repeat. It’s not a very fun subject to think about when the future should seem so bright, and while I’m proud of what I’ve done at GU, it’s conditioned me into being a goal-oriented person.
I think school does that to a lot of us. It’s the reason that we fear dead-end jobs and endless menial tasks. It’s also the reason that we’re told to divide large projects into sets of smaller and more achievable goals. Things are more manageable when you can get a reward for smaller, more quickly achievable tasks. Organizing these on a timetable and creating deadlines for yourself is also exceptionally helpful because it provides the structure that we desperately desire.
Some people don’t need that, but it’ll be the biggest thing that I will miss as I’m trying to live day to day. I’m far from bitter about my time, nor my status as a graduating student. GU has given me a lot, but I would hate to feel like I couldn’t function properly without it.
College may not be the highlight of your life, but chances are, for those who attend, it's the most instrumental chapter of life. In college, your emotional intelligence eclipses teenage mood swings and your intellect and curiosity are celebrated.
I respect the institution, but I'm ready to get out there. College just isn't the real world. For four years, I've toiled over academic readings depicting the world around me. I've studied and studied and studied and now I hunger for the chance to test what I am capable of.
I'm not afraid of a lifetime of work. My career will take exciting, scary and unforeseen twists and turns. I'll get excited, then burnt out, then excited again. In actuality, we've all been working our whole lives, spending as much time in school as we will at a 9 to 5. Maybe there won't be recess or a Scholastic Book Fair, but there will always be something to revel in.
As an aspiring journalist, I yearn to latch onto a good story, zero in on the perfect source and press record. I am grateful for Gonzaga University, which was laden with opportunities for me to practice this, yet nothing will compare to doing so as a career journalist.
There is so much happening out there. Our generation’s biggest defamation lawsuit just reached a settlement, our former president is going to trial on 34 counts of falsifying business records and confidential military documents are going unnoticed on Discord for weeks — this is not even half of it. Now that I’ve taken in all the skills this school can give me, I am itching to get out there and report on all this and more.
It’s time for our generation to enter the workforce; it’s daunting, but it’s time.