The dreaded question

Ciao tutti!

I’m in one of those seasons in life where I have continuous perspective shifts and can see new opportunities at every turn.  As I prepare to enter into my final year of college (thank goodness), I have a lot of things on my mind. That horrible question of “What are your plans after graduation?” or some variation of that has come up multiple times by adults much wiser and more accomplished than I, and graduation is still 10 months away. I’m in the process of studying for the GRE in case I end up in graduate school and writing essays for a Fulbright application so I can teach English in Italy for nine months.

I don’t know what the heck I’m doing. I kind of feel like a chicken with it’s head cut off. Or like a crazy Italian woman on a bicycle trying to navigate the cobblestone alleyways of Rome.

Take me back to the streets of Roma...

Take me back to the streets of Roma…

If, by some miracle, I get the Fulbright and become an English Teaching Assistant in an Italian high school, that would be absolutely amazing and I would be ecstatic. However, considering how gosh darn competitive this program is, it’s entirely possible that I would not be awarded the grant. If that were to happen and my dreams were crushed, I really want to have some kind of similar “international experience” for an extended period of time after graduation. In my imagination, these other options have ranged from backpacking the 28 countries of Europe for purposes of educational exploration, teaching English elsewhere in the world through another organization, becoming an au pair or nanny for a wealthy European family, or some combination of all of these.

...and the piazzas.

…and the piazzas.

After I’m done with all that nonsense, I might either find a legit job in the process or decide to go to graduate school for some kind of European Studies/ Psychology/ Education/ whatever-I-feel-drawn-to master’s degree (which is where the GRE comes in). Being an interdisciplinary and humanities major was a great decision for me because of my interests and passions. And because of this, I somehow convinced myself that I would never need to use math in my life ever again and celebrated when I inched by with a C+ in my Calc I class freshman year. Now that attitude is coming back to bite me because, lo and behold, the GRE contains a sizeable math section. Thankfully, I’m dating a math major (irony) so I can hopefully get some extra help.

All that to say, I have a lot of options for my future going forward but I also have a lot of fears. For some reason, I’ve always worried that somehow I could “miss” God’s plan for me and go off in a totally wrong direction, all the while thinking that it’s the right one. How silly of me. I always put too much pressure on myself to try to foresee my own future so I can line myself up perfectly for it. But my “perfect” is nowhere near God’s perfect, and I know deep down that He has more in store for me than I could make up for myself (as active as my little imagination is).

Missing piazza IV novembre like crazy.

Missing piazza IV novembre like crazy.


I have been having to make long-term decisions that actually matter because I’m going to be in the real world with an adult life, as opposed to this world of classes and grades and professors and dorms and a campus. In my geared-for-senior-year mind, there is a massive separation between my unknown, big girl future and now.

But above all, I’ve been learning how to trust God with my decisions and how to follow the advice of the little tug in my heart that leads me through the darkness of confusion and anxiety. I may not know how my future is going to turn out, but I do know what I love and what He has given me a passion and a skill for. All I can do is try to take advantage of opportunities to use those gifts and know that God’s got my back through it all.

Ciao i miei amici!


One thought on “The dreaded question

  1. adtebbe says:

    That really is the dreaded questions for us seniors in college. And then they say “You really don’t need to know yet, you’re young,” but don’t really mean it. Ugh. I think you would be great to teach abroad, but I know that God has you in His hands, leading you every step of the way. This is a good reminder to trust in His plan and not think too highly of your own – God is so good. Thanks for the reminder, Abs!


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