Picture this: you’re three years deep into college. All your friends have declared majors, started internships, moved into apartments… and then there’s you. You’ve absolutely no idea what day it is and it feels like you took two steps forward and then five steps backward with your life.
It doesn’t help when we live in a time where everybody is so consumed with the future: where they’re going, how they’re going to get there, what’s next. This is especially true for those of us who are college students trying to figure out what we want to do for the rest of our lives.
At 21 years old, I can’t say I’ve done half the things I promised myself I would. I don’t have that cool Communications internship I was hoping for. I haven’t traveled the world. In fact, I moved back in with my parents and I’m completely reconsidering all my future goals.
But you know what? I am completely OK with it.
The truth is, you’re not supposed to know what you want to do. Growing up is about trial and error. It’s OK if you don’t get it right the first time. I’m here to tell you from experience that it is OK if things don’t fall into place the way you thought they would; the important thing is that they will eventually fall into place.
I’ve always had an insatiable lust for life. Since I was young I’ve had this urge to experience things. Whether it was trying a new international food or taking up a new hobby or just deciding to drive a different way home. I’ve just always felt that life is too short to stay in one place for too long. I grew up telling myself that to stay in your comfort zone is the saddest way to live; to force yourself to experience the same old everyday things. Of course, more than once I have been reminded that ideally life doesn’t always work that way.
When I was 18 years old I moved to New York City to pursue a liberal arts degree at a fabulously (expensive) private university. I spent a year there before I realized I was wasting away money on a degree I wasn’t sure I even wanted. I spent more of my energy absorbing my surroundings than worrying about what I wanted to do with my career.
The idea of being away from home in a big city excited me. I wanted to take in everything I possibly could. I felt this would be the place for me to gain all the inspiration I’d need to write a book or start a blog or just really get myself out there. And for the most part I was right, but it came with the cost of $70,000 just to sit in a classroom when I would’ve rather been out traveling and experiencing the world.
So yes, in an ideal world I would have that awesome internship and my own place and a passport that’s running out of pages, but I don’t. I still call my mom when I need to make doctor’s appointments. I still call my dad when my car is making that “funny noise” again. I don’t have that cool job lined up and I may not have the slightest clue as to what I’ll be doing in five years time, but I do know that I everything will eventually fall into place, and in the meantime I am absolutely the happiest I have ever been.