Help, I’ve fallen and I won’t get up until May 2015.

Schools are always full of sick kids. I mean that literally. College students are stressed, sleep-deprived, and living off canned soup and instant ramen. Then, they get crammed into little classrooms together, where they spend hours coughing and sneezing and trying to understand the exact mechanism of a Hell-Vollard-Zelinsky reaction (whatever that is). Combine that with the freezing, bipolar weather of the US Northeast and you’ve got a recipe for disaster.

And I’m part of the problem. I think I’ve been sick lately. Seriously! Call me a hypochondriac, but I’ve been kind of “off” for the last few months. This semester has been unlike any semester I’ve been through before.

You see, before, I was like this:

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Now, I’m like this.

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Before, I used to be on top of my game.

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Now, I’m at the bottom of the 9th inning with 4800 words to go.

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I used to never skip class.

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But this semester, I actually skipped a class. Once. Alright, I’m a huge nerd.

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Maybe I’m getting old. I used to be able to run on five hours of sleep per night.

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Now, I need to sleep. Like, all the time. I even have favorite spots to take naps on campus.

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It’s getting ridiculous. When I went home for Thanksgiving break, I was hoping it would go like this:

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Instead, it was like this:

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I kid you not. On my first evening home, I immediately took a three hour nap. I woke up, attempted to study for about 15 minutes, then went back to bed for another 12 hours.

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What is happening? I used to freak out when assignments piled up.

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But now…

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As for my grades?

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Basically, I give ZERO F#CKS. About ALL the things.

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What is the deal? 

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Some kids get the flu. Some kids get a cold. I’ve been stricken with the most common illness among college seniors…

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Oh, no! This can’t be! Not the dreaded senioritis! There has to be some sort of treatment, right? I consulted the source of all knowledge, Urban Dictionary.

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Looks like I have another semester before I fully recover. Until then…

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Is it Christmas yet?

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People like to tell me what to do with my life.

Since I discovered that I’m graduating way too soon and now that I’ve been working at a company full of 40-somethings with children, I’ve received a lot of advice.

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It seems like everyone has something to say to a young whippersnapper like me. A bunch of the PhD’s at my workplace have, at some point, sat me down and given me the story of their life. Which is fine. I could use some guidance right now.

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The problem is that I’ve received a lot of conflicting advice. My younger peers tend to think differently from the old dude chemists at work.

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I thought for a moment that maybe it was a generation thing. The older generation has a different perspective on life, yeah? But then my old advice-givers started sounding like my younger ones…

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…and vice versa…

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At the very least, they all agree on one thing.

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Unless it’s my family. In that case, it becomes

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Ok, well, my family doesn’t think much like anyone at all.

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Ah, Asian families. At any rate, I know that just a bachelor’s in biology won’t get me anywhere. Thus I have the Princeton GRE study guide at the moment. It’s sitting on my bed, reminding me of my impending graduation and the very real possibility of failure.

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All this advice has really put me in a muddle. Every person has the best of intentions. Every person thinks they have it all figured out. Every day brings me a step closer to becoming a lost college grad. (Which, at this point, I’m pretty convinced is what I’ll become.) My co-op has mostly taught me that the 9-5 cubicle life is not ideal, so I’m back right where I started.

In the end, the only person who can decide what to do with my life is me. Because I’m the one living it. At the end of it all, I’m the one who has to decide.

So I have to take a good, long look at my options. I need a little introspection. I need to… follow my heart.

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Next year is gonna be good.

Too fast, too furious

Anyone who I’ve come in contact with for the last week knows: I’m in panic mode.

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Why? Well, I called my academic advisor the other day to clear my classes for next semester. I’m trying to study abroad. All the classes I chose were fine, they would count for credit, okay. But then, at the end of the conversation, she said something very unsettling.

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Excuse me?

In about a year, I would have to get cleared for graduation? Say what now? My brain short-circuited. For the next minute, I could only form one thought.

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I didn’t know what to do. I’ve only been in college for two years, or four semesters. And I’ve only taken classes for three of those semesters. I’m graduating in 5 semesters– 2 and a half years of schooling– which means I’ll be out and about in the real world before I turn 21.

So, yeah.

I freaked out.

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I’m just completely and utterly bewildered. Do I start looking at grad schools now? Do I start studying for the GRE’s? I’ve never befriended a professor, so I’m in no position to get good recommendations. I want to do something that I will like, will love, even, something that will make me happyBut if I knew what that was– well, I wouldn’t be writing this now.

My impending graduation feels some sort of giant freight train that is inevitably going to smash me to pieces.

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Am I really supposed to know what I want to do? Is anyone supposed to know? All my friends seem to be pre-med or computer science or engineering or pharmacy and they all have their lives planned out in a neat little Excel spreadsheet. My family always urges me to have a plan. A plan for success. A plan to ensure your financial stability. Having a plan helps secure your future, I don’t doubt that.

But how do you have a plan when you don’t have some higher calling? How do you have a plan when you haven’t “found yourself?” How do you have a plan when you have no particular, spectacular talents?

I’ve been freaking out to everyone. My friends are probably sick of my complaining by now. I told my sister. Now, my readers. I called my dad.

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I guess the only way to move is forward.