The Next “Next Chapter”


Reading Becky’s article about the transition from high school to college gave me flashbacks.  Nightmarish memories from that point in my own life fled back to me. I immediately wanted to call her up and tell her how the night before I moved to Chicago for college, I sobbed wishing I had gone to University of Michigan where my two best friends we’re dorming together, or Michigan State where the boy who I couldn’t do long distance with would be right nearby. I wanted to tell her first week at college will go so quickly and that there will be all these different new comforts that thrust themselves upon her so that soon, she will forget the fears that seem so consuming right now.

But at the same time, I can’t help but apply Becky’s article to the changes going on in my own life now. There are so many similarities between the transition from high school to college and the transition from college to this weird beast we call “the real world.” Both involve all of this uncertainty and force you to let go of anything familiar and comfortable.

First off, I am overwhelmed by a need to define “the real world.” I constantly hear myself referring to the “real people jobs” that I might like to have someday while I currently spend my days holding on to the last few weeks of my University campus jobs and my nights as a restaurant barista. When I was in school, I had a way to define myself. I was an English major loved to read and write. It gave me an identity. Now, I don’t have the structure in place leading me to plow through books and actually finish the things I start to write. I am slowly realizing that I don’t know what I am or what I want to be.

Second, I am about to leave all of my friends once again. I have an amazing opportunity to go abroad that I am so excited about yet I can’t help but get nervous and unsure if I made the right decision. Many of my friends will still be in Chicago and I keep thinking about how my life would look of I stayed here. The picture I see isn’t bad. Leaving for Spain seems like this big unnecessary gamble despite the fact that part of me is so intensely excited for the adventure. I, like Becky, am a light switch, constantly going back and forth between regretting my decision and feeling whole heartedly ready to go.

So, Becky, here I am telling you to take the leap and enjoy the leap and have fun being uncertain because things will fall into place. And I guess that I am telling myself the same thing too.


Contributor: Erin Bouwma
Erin Bouwma: Loves friends, family, reading, karaoke, bad television, peanut m&m’s, and writing. More or less in that order. Never be embarrassed of your Tinder, we all have one.