First-timer seeks personal and career advice!
November 23, 2012 9:41 PM Subscribe
21-year-old college junior seeks career and coming out advice! Lots of details inside...
posted by DRoll to Grab Bag (7 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I'm a long-time lurker, first-time poster, and I'm struggling in two areas of my life right now. I feel like I've made little to no progress in either area since I've started college, and I feel uncomfortable talking to my friends or family about either one.
1) I'm really unsure as to what I want to do after college. I'm currently an English major with a double minor in Geography and Mass Communications. I would love to do something related to trivia or general research - I'm a huge game show fan, and I really enjoy doing word puzzles. Currently, I'm a freelance puzzle editor and a reader for our county's high school quiz bowl league, but obviously neither one of these can be full-time careers (although I wish that was an option!), and I'm somewhat stuck on what I can do past this level with anything related to this field. I've considered moving to L.A. and trying to get any position working on a game show and then trying to make my way into the writing department through that. I've also thought about trying to obtain a master's degree in library science, but I'm not sure if I want to do any more schooling or put myself into debt. I am essentially going to school for free right now thanks to a good set of scholarships and a resident assistant position, but I am really burnt out on writing papers and school in general, and I'm afraid that it would be really hard to get a job with a library science degree. I've also considered being a flight attendant because of the flexibility and travel, although I'm not 100% sure if that's something I want to do for my entire life. I'm also uncertain if I really want to jump right into the "real world" right after I graduate. Travel has been an option on my mind, but I'm not sure how to go about doing that on my own.
I'm also dealing with where I want to live after I graduate. I've lived my entire life in the same town in northeast Ohio, and nearly all of my family lives within an hour's drive. I love the area, but at the same time, I would like to live somewhere else and trying something new. I've considered moving to San Francisco, L.A., or NYC and just trying to figure out what I want to do with my life.
2) I've really thrown myself into a black hole when it comes to dating and relationships. I'm gay, but I have had an extremely difficult time coming out to anyone, especially family. As a result, I have only told a small handful of friends and a cousin - all via text or Facebook messaging. I'm terrified of coming out to my family, even though I have little evidence that they would take it poorly. I haven't been entirely covert about my sexuality - I've been on just about every dating/relationship/sex site in the area, but I've been pretty dismayed by all of them and I currently don't have a profile on any of them. I don't think people know that I'm gay, although I think in some ways it's blatantly obvious that I am, especially in that I've never had a girlfriend and I don't want to have children.
I'm sad that I've been dishonest, especially around the people who I know really would not care at all. However, I also feel like I don't really want everyone to know, at least right away. I have a lot of internalized homophobia and low self-esteem, and I've never really felt comfortable being myself, even around the people who know me best. My high school was quite small (I had just over 100 kids in my graduating class), and I could probably count the number of LGBT students in the entire district on one hand. I was a very good student but I was not really popular, and I didn't have many friends outside of school. I never received any romantic interest from guys or girls - I didn't even go to my prom! Later, my first roommate at college (which is 20 minutes away from home) was an extreme homophobe, and I didn't come out to anyone right away because I genuinely feared that he would kill me if he found out. I quickly switched dorms after one semester, and he has since dropped out of school. I've done much, much better since then - I have made several good friends, and despite some personnel issues since the beginning of the year, I have really good working and personal relationships with the other RAs in my building. However, almost none of them know that I'm gay, and I feel like I should tell them.
I'm not really sure what I should do at this point. What is the best way that I should handle this? Should I just tell people that I know won't care, and if I do, how should I do this? Should I just wait until I'm done with school?