My last semester of college is finally here. In almost four month’s time, I will have my Master’s degree in Strategic Communication and Leadership and will be starting the next chapter of my life. It’s scary to even think about what will come next. For almost 21 years, from Pre-K until now, I’ve had the security blanket of knowing that I was still a student. Starting in 2013, I will be transitioning to a full-time adult and for the first time I’ve come to the realization that I’m growing up.
Uncertainty about the future is one of my biggest concerns. I have grown accustomed to the routines of college. But now, after five years of those familiar routines, I will be facing new challenges. Questions keep popping into my head:
- Where will I live?
- How will I support myself long-term?
- Where do I want to work?
- Do I want to get married in a few years?
- Do I want kids?
- Etc, etc, etc.
These questions have been filling my mind. When new challenges come I tend to over-think things and this time is no exception. I worry about the future when it comes to employment and disclosing my disability. The only job I ever had accepted my disability—I work for Autism Speaks. But now, the biggest question I have is whether I should disclose my disability to my next employer. Will it help or hurt me to mention it? I’ve been able to handle any project thrown my way without accommodations. However, I still struggle when it comes to group projects and communication is such a huge part of any job environment it seems today.
What I try to keep reminding myself about the future is what one of my friends told me one night we went out. He said, “Just enjoy the ride because as long as you are happy with where you are, you can never be disappointed.” I personally thought it was a little cheesy, but honestly it hit home for me a lot. Why do I need to have all the answers right now? Growing up, I strived to make my questions into answers as soon as I could even if they were bad ones.
Growing up I had a plan. My plan was to prove to people that I could make something out of myself, regardless of my struggles. Since then, I often take the time to reflect back on where I was when I was a kid and where I am now. I must say it’s been one amazing ride and hopefully the next years will play out the same.