I know..being a senior is… like hanging by a thread in its most literal form. You thought you had Senioritis during senior year of high school? Wait till you’re a senior in college. And to my fellow international students, who no longer know which country they’ll be in the next six-months- hang in there! We’re all in the same boat.
Applying to almost every job that does not have a ‘Must be U.S. citizen or permanent resident’ in the eligibility criteria and going through graduate schools that provide large scholarships to international students, I’ve scavenged it all. I am still here without a job offer and absolutely no idea where I will be after this May or what I will be doing. The nerves have kicked in and the uncomfortable butterflies in my stomach refuse to leave. With five classes, senior year bucket-lists and planning to host quite a large number of family members during graduation…24 hours a day is truly not enough time to be surviving right now.
To top that all of, I decided to go home this winter after 1.5 years and well..it was quite insightful. As someone who was carrying the proud badge of never having experienced ‘reverse culture shock’, this was the worst time for it to set in. Somehow, picturing a future back home in Bangladesh was harder than I first imagined.Not how I thought I would be feeling at this point in my life. Somehow I no longer felt at ease, as if I had changed too much to come back here. I slowly realized that I was now a victim of the infamous ‘reverse culture shock’.
With the U.S. STEM extension in limbo and the immigration policy getting tighter, it’s ok to be nervous about your future as a non-resident alien in the U.S. I genuinely feel your pain and I would be lying if I didn’t tell you that I have been freaking out about this every single day. And I feel even worse because I can no longer imagine a life back home as I am sure many of you feel too. Somehow all the plans and dreams I had weaved for myself no longer add up and it seems like this uncertainty will never end.
So how do I make it through each day? Because I tell myself I can. I remember feeling like this as a senior in high school. Roundabout this time now, I was waiting for college decisions and everything felt just as uncertain. I can laugh about it being insignificant now that I have lived in the future and wonder, “why I was so worried back then anyways?” It all turned out fine. It was hard, just as many segments of life is. It gets better. Somehow life and evolution have enabled us to adapt to increasingly difficult situations.
We often don’t give ourselves enough credit for doing so, but we make it through each day and we find our happiness in ordinary moments of life. Just as the moments that tested our faith in ourselves and our strength to keep pushing forward years ago, this too is a test. Yes, maybe it is a scarier one. But what chance do we have of overcoming these obstacles if we don’t keep trying?
Through all of these, I have come to know that the point of it all may not be to achieve your career goals and have everything go according to plan. What we must teach ourselves is how to be happy with our efforts and make the best of every situation. Senioritis is hitting us all, but let’s not get sucked into it. Keep trying and you will be successful. And even if you aren’t, at least you know you tried. And if you really are thinking about the future, resilience should be the long-run goal. We live through our failures in the short-run to get to what really matters in life: happiness and being content. And just for this second, let’s just believe that this too shall pass.
-Stuck in limbo