When I was younger, I had a game plan. I was going to finish preschool, immediately go to college, and then build a house out of Legos for my family and me to live in.
Obviously, things didn’t go quite as planned. I had to go through 13 years of school before I actually got to college, and my Lego set is long gone. Throughout college, I’ve discovered that nothing really goes according to plan, and that maybe having a “plan” is kind of useless in the first place.
Let me clarify before my parents, professors and editors all simultaneously clamor for my head on a stake. Obviously, you should have a plan. Pick a major you like, go with it, save up some money, land an internship. That’s all solid advice.
But you can’t expect everything to go according to your plan. Something is going to happen, for better or for worse, that’s going to throw a wrench in your plans. Maybe you discover that biology wasn’t the right move midway through sophomore year, and you need to spend an extra semester or so in school to finish up your business degree. Or maybe something happens at home and you need to put school on hold for a while.
The point is, having a plan is good, but expecting everything to go according to that plan is asking for unnecessary stress.
Even though people might seem like they have a plan and know where they’re going in life, they might be just as confused as you are. They really just put on a good front.
Everyone’s faking it. Everyone. No one really has any clue what they’re doing. People who look composed, calm and sure of their actions are just better at hiding it than everyone else.
Your boss, your professor, the guy that sits next to you in class, they’re all internally freaking out just as much as you are, albeit for different reasons.
A few weeks ago, I was having an existential crisis for a number of different reasons. I had no money, I didn’t know if I could make it home for my girlfriend’s birthday (thanks, snow), and school in general was just bumming me out. A friend of mine saw I wasn’t doing so well and asked me what was up. When I told him, he laughed. He was stressing out about the same things I was. No one has it completely together. We’re all works in progress, I guess.
Maybe others don’t know if they can make it home for a family event, or they’re worried about money or getting a job, or if they’re going to graduate on time. So while you’re freaking out about something and it seems like everyone else has it together, remember that you’re not alone.
Sophomore arts administration major
Printed in the 3/26/14 edition.