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Four Years at the Mount

Senior year

Rose-colored glasses

Katie Powell
MSM Class of 2015

Senior year of college is the worst time to own a social media account. Seriously, it is. Everyone feels so terrified of the future that as soon as they have something, anything, to post in regards to next fall, it is on there. They donít post about the nights they cried over it, the shakiness during their interview, or the family member who works for the company that just hired them. On top of that, if you follow celebrities, their accounts are full of beautiful pictures, famous friends, the new business they opened, and just general pictures of success. As a senior whose post-grad plans were flipped upside down, I have had to spend a great deal of time becoming okay with myself. What I have learned is that you cannot believe everything you see on Facebook.

As of right now I do not have a plan for after I graduate in one month. I have a summer job lined up, but come September, as of right now, I will not be in graduate school, and I will not have a job in my majoróI might not even have a job at all.

I am okay with that. This may be a shock to you; it sounds like I have no future and that I donít care about it, but I promise you that that is not the case, and here is why.

I care so deeply about what it is that I choose to do with my life that I am not okay with settling for anything less. I have decided that I want to dedicate my time to occupational therapy. Not getting into a program was not an option that I had considered, but it was one that I was forced to take. I looked into other routesóPublic Health, Gerontology, Thanatology . . . I started the applications and filled in my name, my GPA, and requested my transcripts six times to be sent to those programs. I am hoping to continue my education this fall, even if it is not in OT school, because I know my worth, I value my future, and I know that I have a very long time in the workforce ahead of me.

I know that I am destined for great thingsóand I know that we all are too. I am hoping to inspire everyone to look at his or her life and evaluate if you are where you want to be, and if not, to take the chance and go for it. I am constantly putting myself down when I look at other peopleís lives, forgetting my own accomplishments and their downfalls. We all undervalue ourselves because of what we see on TV and the Internet, forgetting that it takes insane luck and talent to get into the limelight. We all compare ourselves to the best of the best. But the majority of the world is not like thatóviewing yourself as mediocre in comparison to actors is entirely inaccurate and unfair to you. Even comparing yourself to your coworkers and classmates is wrong. The only person you need to try to be better than is the person you were a year ago. As long as you keep improving upon yourself, thereís no reason to doubt your abilities.

One of the biggest reasons we struggle with our own self worth is because of all the troubles of social media. A personís profile is only a version of their actual life. Social media in itself can actually be considered a parallel universeóone in which only the best happens to everyone, and everyone gets 4.0s and gets jobs, no one has anxiety or depression, and certainly no one ever has a bad day at work or school. It is all a front; a trap that people set up so that you donít ask about what is wrong, because you donít know something is wrong.

I am the number one victim of this. I fall into it the trap all the time, seeing a personís heavily edited and filtered profile pictures, sharing the article they wrote for their new blog, posting a screenshot of their 4.0, again. What they donít post is their insecurityóthe reason behind the beautiful photo. They donít post their years struggling to learn to read and write. They donít post the mental breakdowns, the years of terrible grades through high school, or anything else that got them to where they are. They post their perfections, but not all the work it took to get there.

Lately I have sworn off social media for this reason. I am an open and honest person; if what I am posting on Facebook ignores part of the truth I donít post it. I leave my grades out of the equation entirely because they reflect my struggles and my successes, not those of anyone else. Of course, I post photos of the events I attend, and I only make my best photos my profile picture, but I am still mindful of those around me. I know what it feels like to look at a personís profile and feel entirely inferior to them. That is what I felt throughout my entire first senior semester, as the rejection letters flew in one by one. However, as I said in the beginning of the article I am content with what my future is right now. I recognize the rose colored glasses of social media are not to be worn; I take every post I read with a grain of salt. I know what it is that I want to do, and I am doing everything I can to get there. If that means that my Facebook profile wonít include screenshots of my Grad school schedule this fall, so be it. I will get there when I get there.

Read other articles by Katie Powell