Nor'easter News

Filed under Opinion

Senior Year Feels

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






 

We made the monumental decision of where to go to college. Now, over three years later, we are faced with the even more daunting decision of what to do with our lives. I’m sure we have all met that person who has known what they have wanted to be since they were four years old, or who has their ten year plan all mapped out. Many of us have reached a point where home visits or meeting with teachers automatically turn into “so, what are you doing after college?” no matter how much we try to avoid the terrifying topic. I’m here to tell you its okay to not know what you want to do with your life, and maybe offer some tips to help along the way.

 

 Admit you don’t know

You would be surprised how liberating this can be. Simply acknowledging that you are struggling with what to do with your life releases a large amount of tension, and can clear your mind to think about the next steps.

Can you live with the consequences

Consequentialism is an old and true way of comparing different situations. Often I have also been told to make pro and cons lists when it comes to decisions, after which I struggle to identify if some pros or cons weigh more than others, and slowly find myself entering a meticulous calculation of numbers and weights.

Long story short, I find looking at consequences to be slightly easier. If there is a consequence you cannot live with, the answer is automatically no to that decision. If you can live with both consequences, then no matter what choice you make either one will end up okay in the end. Sometimes there is no better decision, just a different one.

You are not bound to your decision

Often making a choice can feel scary, because it limits other possibilities. However most of the time we can feel more locked into our choices then we really are. Every decision you sacrifice something, and you are always changing, so what you were willing to sacrifice today might not be the same tomorrow. If in five years from now you don’t like the career you chose, you are allowed to change your mind. Values can change, goals can change, decisions can change. Ask yourself if your decision is still true for who you are today. It may be comforting to know that the average person changes careers anywhere from 3-5 times.

No amount of thinking will make up for experience

This is a biggie. Take a simple example: learning how to ride a bike. You can think and think and think about how to ride a bike, but until you actually carry out the action, you will never learn how to ride a bike. Many things in life work this way. I was once told to go as far as you can in either direction. As someone intimidated by commitment, I this “almost, but not quite” strategy very comforting. When we try our vision in the real world, we are more likely to realize along the way “hey, this isn’t for me” or, “wow, I never thought I would have liked this so much.”

If you think too long, you will lose all the heat from your heart through your head

Being able to think critically and anticipate outcomes is an amazing hallmark of our species. But sometimes this can be counter productive. There is power in trusting ourselves, relying on our intuitions and being able to act even in the face of uncertainty. Our unconscious is always one step ahead of our conscious mind. If something doesn’t feel right, (and this is different from comfortable), it often isn’t. Pay attention as you go as far as you can in a direction, if your internal energy is shrinking or growing. Be willing to trust your guts, even if you cannot articulate why.

Self imposing limitations

Often I find a large hindrance to making choices is a staunch dependence on normality. I get use to my patterns, and stick with what I know. I tell myself I am not capable, when in reality I am just not willing to shake my life up a bit. Contrary to what we are told, It takes as much energy to fail as it does to succeed. Staying where we are when faced with a difficult decision can feel safe, but ultimately comes with a cost. Try putting those reservations aside for a moment and ask yourself, where am I willing to be led?

Others expectations do not need to be your own

Being surrounded by peers with talk of graduate school, or simply being in an academic setting, creates an environment where we may be expected to go in a certain direction that isn’t in line with what we truly want. You do not have to go to graduate school if it doesn’t seem right to you, even if it is all your friends or family talk about. Conversely, maybe everyone is telling you graduate school isn’t for you, but only you can know what you are capable of.

 

When making decisions, we are prone to attempt meticulous calculations as to the “best” path where we will never fail and get everything right the first time. However, an alternative goal can be to simply to experience life, the good or bad, knowing we will gain something from whichever choice we make. If you are in a similar boat trying to figure out the rest of your life (Which is no small feat), take comfort in knowing most people have been where you are now, and somehow in someway it all works out in the end.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • Senior Year Feels

    Opinion

    Be Yourself

  • Senior Year Feels

    Current Events

    The Kids Are Alright, Now It’s Our Turn

  • Senior Year Feels

    Opinion

    Your Feelings Right Now Told By Disney

  • Senior Year Feels

    Opinion

    Gun Violence and the Relation to Gender

  • Opinion

    Liz Lemon is an Average UNE College Student

  • Senior Year Feels

    Opinion

    The Real Dracula

  • Senior Year Feels

    Opinion

    Truth of the Spook

  • Senior Year Feels

    Opinion

    The Constraints of Trick or Treating

  • Senior Year Feels

    Opinion

    Alone:

  • Opinion

    If UNE Students Were Animals