In a little over six months, which at this rate will feel like in a week’s time, I will earn a degree in Political Science from Pepperdine University. I will receive this certificate at the grand old age of 20.
I do not have a job secured, I haven’t thought about applying to graduate school and overall I have no idea what I want to do. This situation leaves me ecstatic.
To clarify, graduating early is not a novelty — many of my peers are graduating early, some with one degree, some with an astounding two degrees. (I’m looking at second-year Fransheska Campanioni-Daroch).
As an “honorary senior,” in the words of senior Elle Taylor, I have the opportunity to meet amazing people, some with secured career prospects and others with general ideas. And this common discrepancy among the graduating class — set plans versus no plans — mounts as the pressure to move on creeps onto seniors.
Something I have noticed, however, is the negative stress associated with such an uncertain future.
I have encountered these thoughts in knowing my time at Pepperdine would be short. I have learned to deal with such thoughts, and rather than interpreting them as negative stress, I label them as a multitude of open doors.
I think it is safe to assume uncertainty is viewed negatively in this society, not only among those who are uncertain but those who speculate its effects on people’s character. No investor is going to invest in a company carrying a lot of risk, and it is this philosophy that dictates the life goals and paths of young adults.
And that leads to the question: “How do you interpret uncertainty into a positive, beneficial feeling?”
First off, it is important to state that your path is unique to you, and your background and experience culminate in your understanding of what routes you should take with your life. Therefore, interpreting the unknown as positive starts with dissociating yourself from examples of seemingly perfect post-college outcomes that are not feasible for you.
In addition, it is important to note there are more options post-graduation than meet the eye. Whether it be traveling, moving to a new place, looking for a job or planning my next round of schooling — all of that responsibility, all of those prospects, are in my control.
Truly, the events and prospects that happen in your life, however uncertain or miscalculated, happen for a reason, and that is best embraced rather than rejected.
Let’s face it: Stressing over missed prospects is a waste of one’s mental energy and not at all productive when trying to understand that everyone moves at a different pace.
Evidently, this doesn’t mean to just sit back and watch time fly, but rather fill your time with things that work for you, things that enrich your life and help you better understand yourself and who you want to be.
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Email William Bacon: firstname.lastname@example.org