I have been a student all of my life. The safety-blanket system of school has surrounded me and guided me, relieving any stress of the next step. Now as this blanket sheds itself from my shoulders I take on this stress, and consider my future.
The endless possibilities that exist after school can be nerve-racking and anxiety inducing. Suddenly all of these doors are open and the stress of deciding what to even apply for can feel like too much to handle. Will working or traveling put me behind my colleagues? Is continuing my education something I want to do, or am I avoiding the inevitable step that I will take outside of the university system?
Though the next step may feel like it will define one’s success and future, it doesn’t. Taking time to travel, work, volunteer, or continuing to study are common alternatives we give ourselves, but the list goes on. And if you are someone who is hard on themselves like I am, it can be defeating to not have the next step determined. It is easy to feel lost in the pool of students who are in the same boat but appear to have everything figured out. The reality is that we all go through periods of angst and worry, as well as renewed inspiration and passion.
Even more, everyone goes about addressing these thoughts in different ways. Some with moments of panic-searching the internet for their dream job (like myself), others are more inclined to take it as it comes. Though no correct method for deciding one’s future exists, I think that spending time learning about yourself is never time poorly spent. Simultaneously, time spent worrying about your future is usually more stressful and consumptive than it is worth.
The spring can be an especially stressful time as summer nears and plans to enjoy the sun are being made at the same time as critical moments in the school year loom overhead, but it will be okay! Knowing yourself, keeping organized in your own way, and focusing on the present are much smaller steps that can be taken to make the future less intimidating.