I received a job offer.
I called my mom.
I took a nap.
When I woke up, I had briefly forgotten about the past couples hours of my life. The same stresses still pervaded me. I still didn’t know what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I still don’t know if the goals I have set are even attainable. All I know is that, compared to the opportunities I have been given in my life, my accomplishments are nothing to be proud of.
I have resolved a stress in my life. A big stress that had permeated my thoughts for the past year. For a short while, I had been proud of myself. I thought that I could relish in bliss for a bit. But then, I realized that there exist others out there who have been given the same amount of opportunity but have achieved more than me. I think about those people, and I stop feeling proud of myself.
I have gone to countless information sessions. I have written more cover letters that have been untouched by recruiters than I could count. I have worked hard (at least, I think I have), and all I am left with is a series of opportunity costs and unfulfilled aspirations. I think of my professional accomplishments and ask myself if I deserve them. I ask myself, where would I be if I had been able to utilize my resources and opportunities better, if I had a better idea of what I wanted a short while ago?
I thought I would be satisfied once I found an internship in a company whose objectives aligned with my personal passions. But, here I am, in position to do work that I would find intellectually fulfilling in an industry that aligns with my professional interests — yet I am still profoundly unsated.
I wonder if I have a right to be unsatisfied. Not long ago, I had been in the position where I had no plans to spend my upcoming summer. Last semester, I had experienced the overwhelming stress of having no summer plans one month before school ends, with no gratifying resolution to my problems. It wasn’t because I didn’t plan ahead. I did. I can truly understand the feeling of submitting hundreds of application with no tangible response and the hopeless despair that follows. Compared to my emotional state last year, my negative feelings right now are not even worth validating.
Now, I have two weeks to respond to my offer. Realistically, I am going to accept; it’s not like I have other offers lined up. I won’t have the opportunity to pursue other companies. But accepting an offer would mean that I won’t apply to other organizations whose goals align even more to my professional interest — companies whose analysts I have called and emailed and jotted down notes on their work and culture. The prospect of applying to companies allows me to come one step closer to my ideal career goals; committing to one means the sacrifice of such prospects.
In the short period given for me to decide, I have two interviews. I cannot complete the recruitment process for either company. Since recruitment for some industries I am interested in is pushed back, I will never be able to get to know these companies better or receive an interview or rejection email from them. It will forever just be another what if in my mind, along with the countless other questions that will never have answers in my life. But it seems that’s the way it is supposed to be, the nature of wanting more. And it seems to me, in recruiting, there will always be more.
All I need to do is log into Handshake, and I can see all those opportunities I will never have the chance to pursue.
I suppose I create problems when problems don’t exist. Even when some parts of my life go my way, I always find a reason to be ungrateful. I should cherish the opportunities that I have been given instead of lament about the opportunity costs. I often find myself having contempt for those who complain when they have no reason to complain, yet I am finding myself mirroring the same attitude I despise. I should stop. I should stop. I should stop. I have too much to be grateful to allow myself to be discontented.