What will you do if you don’t into grad school, law school, or you don’t get the fellowship that you’ve been dreaming of? Are you prepared for the emotions that come along with that rejection?

I wasn’t. After changing my mind as to what I wanted to be and where I wanted to go after graduation I finally settled on law school, much to my adviser’s chagrin. I researched schools and tried to buckle down for the LSAT. Despite these efforts it didn’t workout. My score was terrible and I was rejected from several schools. Nothing takes some of jubilation out of graduation like a rejection letter, let me tell you. I just knew that my summer would be spent cramming in as much time with my friends as possible before my big send off…that was not the case.

It pains me to tell you that not everyone immediately takes off after graduation. Some of us sit in this kind of holding pattern for a while before moving on to the next stage. So what will you do if you’re like me, waiting for your turn to become all you can be? Here are some of the things I’ve been doing during this waiting period.

  1. Get a hobby. I’m serious. Find something that makes you happy and go do it. Something positive that you look forward to doing. Doesn’t matter what it is as long as it enriches you and puts you in a positive head space.
  2. Go explore your area. Being home can be depressing but it can also give you the opportunity to work on your Dora the Explorer routine. Jokes, aside you just may be surprised at what’s in your town, city, state. I’ve live in the shadow of D.C. all my life but I’ve found so many new places in the last two weeks..it numbs the mind. Go explore!
  3. Rest. College requires a lot from you. It stretches you mentally, physically, emotionally, and if your open to it spiritually. If you’ve been blessed with “time off”, take advantage of that. Chances are it won’t happen again unless you cash in those vacation days. Our society emphasizes busyness. If you’re not involved in something then something must be wrong. That’s a horrible mindset. Sometimes you need to stop, breathe, and do a thorough check on you. In our day to day lives a lot of things can get swept under the rug due to hectic schedules. Now’s the time to sort through all that baggage. Yes, baggage. Anything that you haven’t dealt with, processed, sorted, becomes baggage until its properly dealt with. Take this time and get your head right.
  4. Develop your passions.  This is totally different from a hobby. This deals directly with your brand and how you plan to build yourself, equip yourself for the next stage of your life. Believe it or not, you won’t be in this place forever so use this time wisely. I love politics so I’ve made it a point to watch the news, read news articles, watch documentaries, blogging, anything related to politics. Law school is just a step. Its a big step, but a step nonetheless. What will I do after law school? No idea but it may have something to do with politics because I love political discussions. Figure out you’re passionate about. Once you know what that thing is work at it a little bit everyday.
  5. Let go of the bitter. It can be hard when you feel like your friends are moving forward and you’re not. You may feel stuck or left behind, that’s completely natural. Your plans fell through and now you have to move on. Hanging on to “the bitter” won’t help you but it most certainly can hinder you. It robs you of even considering the good that could come from this time in your life. Whether you make the most of it or not the this time will elapse and the lessons you needed to learn during this time you’ll have to learn later.

These are some of the things I’ve been doing in my own life lately and honestly they’ve made a difference. I have moments when I still get a little bitter about law school. However, over the past ten months I’ve grown in ways that would NEVER have been possible in law school. I wouldn’t have had the time nor would I have thought it necessary. I’ve grown to see that this “time off” was for the best. Not always grateful for it but it has been a blessing for me.

I hope this post helps someone out there. If I think of anymore tips I’ll probably make a part two to this post. Just remember there’s purpose in the wait. That’s what this period of your life is. But while you’re waiting, wait actively. Build you, learn about yourself, and its possible that while your busy with these things you may just stumble across the purpose of this “time off”. That’s my two cents.