The right and left sides of my brain have been in constant conflict these days leading up to college graduation, alternating between rationale and passion, analysis and emotion.
When I hear of a fellow senior receiving a job offer, the left side of my brain takes over, calculating the dreadfully low probability that I will become employed in the week before Commencement.
I hate the left side of my brain. It reminds me how quickly my stock decreases the longer I’m out of college and without a job. It makes my armpits sweat. It has me tossing around phrases like “failure to launch” and “huge disappointment.”
And then my right side takes charge. With the right side leading the way I view my post-grad unemployment status as a wild, untamed adventure that I’ve been waiting for my whole life.
The right side says that this is a time to write, to see the world, to go home again. There’s a little more space to find out who I am outside of the confines of GW before I fall into another job or permanent address. I’ve been afforded a little breathing room.
So when I hear of another one of my friends getting to that last round of interviews or landing an offer they couldn’t refuse, I feel proud of them — but I feel a little sorry for them, too. Sure, they’ll have a steady paycheck, but I’ll have this running-around kind of life with responsibilities only to myself. At least for right now.
If I take the summer to write all the fiction I want, then somewhere down the road it will help me get into a master’s program. If I travel to the Greek islands with my family while the rest of the Class of 2015 is starting their new jobs, I’ll gather memories for the rest of my life.
I may move home, lie in my sister’s bed and cry while dreaming about that editorial job in the big city, but at least I’ve saved money on rent.
Some of my more artistically inclined friends love the idea of a summer spent applying for jobs, but mostly running around free. On the other hand, the more logical left-brainers put on a tight smile and say, “Yeah, there’s no rush,” even as I see them calculating failures.
Could my left-brain analysis be far more important than the potential for the new adventure touted by my right brain? Maybe.
But what I truly feel is uncertain — and you can be both statistically and emotionally uncertain.
I would say that I’m both.