By Guest Author: Jenna Brewer
If college is the last few years of freedom before the real world, then why is it so damn stressful?
Aside from all of the sleepless nights of studying, figuring out one’s future, arguably before one knows who they truly are, can also prove to be a bit stressful. Unless you are one of the fortunate few who know exactly what they were born to do with the rest of their lives (News Flash: Life doesn’t care about your plans), the panic will have definitely ensued by your senior year. I have some advice for you: Stop worrying about planning out your life!
Make no mistake. Planning is awesome. Remember that time freshman year when you were feeling rebellious and decided to wing that speech about urban sprawl? The topic somehow ventured over to how adorable newborn calves are. (Oh wait, that was me.) Needless to say, nixing the art of planning is definitely not the message I am trying to send. Some of life’s biggest hassles could be avoided simply by putting more effort into establishing a plan. However, life itself is not something one can plan out.
In my twenty one years, one of my most boastful qualities I possess is the fact that I realize I don’t really know anything. I don’t know where I’m going to live in five years. I don’t know what my career is going to be. I do know one thing, though, and it is incredibly important. Whatever I do, I am going to work my butt off for the moment, and it will undoubtedly pay off for the future. Good things don’t come to those who wait for opportunities. Good things come to those who create them from anything.
Instead of trying to plan out your life, create a motto for yourself that you choose to live by no matter the situation. Set goals, but don’t become discouraged if the road to get there has a few bumps, or potholes, or maybe that road leads to a dead-end.
To relate this back to college, there is no denying that there is a definite need to think about your future. Take things seriously, and take every opportunity you can to prepare yourself to be as marketable as possible. The mistake too many people make, myself included, is having a meltdown if things do not go as expected.
Case in point, I was completely sure that I was PERFECT for the intern position I applied for, and was already looking forward to accepting the offer. When your personal job outlook paints yourself as overly qualified and a shoe-in for the spot, life has a way of knocking you down a notch or two real quick. (Mistake numero uno: Confidence, people, not cockiness.)
Needless to say, I never got so much as an email back, and was literally crying in the library feeling sorry for myself, thinking I was a failure. (Hence, Mistake #2, and #3). Rejection is a part of life, and as future college grads, it is probably time we realize that. That intern opportunity was awesome, and yes I would have probably killed for it, but the very next week I was working on my laptop in Starbucks when, by chance, a former classmate offered me a position to intern for another amazing organization.
The moral of the story is, don’t let life get you down when it doesn’t go as planned. Cliché, I know, but oh so true. Life is all about taking opportunities as they come and relentlessly bettering yourself in the meantime. I don’t believe there are soulmates out there created just for us, I believe we choose our own soulmates and invest as much as we choose to in a relationship. The same goes for our careers. I am so glad there is not one predestined career path for me that I absolutely have to take, because that would be so boring. I love the excitement of not knowing, and as long as I am living my life in a way that I can be proud of when I look back, that’s all that matters.