The Joy of Not Having Your Entire Life Planned Out

“So what do you want to do with that major?”

“Where do you see yourself  after graduation?”

“So what’s your plan?”

Especially in college, you are bombarded with these kinds of unsolicited questions from all directions provoking some very unappreciated anxiety.

And don’t hear me incorrectly. Having a plan is awesome, and goal setting is essential. But when these goals and this envisioned “plan” for your future begin to run every aspect of your life, it’s time to take a step back and get some perspective.

Because maybe, just maybe, quote-on-quote “not having your shit together” is not the worst thing in the world. As a society, you’re encouraged and expected to decide this predestined course you think is most suitable for yourself.

However, you have to make sure that your experiences shape your life rather than letting “your plan” shape your experiences. 

Without being open-minded to where life can take you, you do yourself a great disservice. In college, in particular, your job is, yes, to ready yourself for a fulfilling career, but more importantly to explore what that career might look like. And chances are deciding exactly what you’d like to be before you can even legally drink and never looking back, doesn’t leave you much room for exploration.

One of my closest friends spends some days wanting to be a mathematician and other days wanting to be an artist.  And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. In fact, that’s awesome! School should never make you feel limited in what you can or should pursue but rather encourage you to explore your passions, even if they seem like polar opposites.

The true joys in life don’t come from checking everything off on your meticulous To-Do List. They come from the unexpected adventures you don’t even yet realize are awaiting you. Because come on, we all know spontaneous trips at ungodly hours in the night for fries and a milkshake are always more fun than a scheduled lunch date. The same mentality can be applied to your future.

The next time you get so worked up and anxious about messing up your entire life plan with one bad exam or one lousy essay, remember how awesome and exciting it is that your future is limitless and how you should explore all of your passions without tunnel-visioning your way through college.

So if you’re not sure where exactly your life is going at this moment in time, that’s perfectly fine. Revel in the fact that so many possibilities are at your feet and simply take the time to discover what kind of work makes you jazzed to get out of bed every morning.

Cue the inspirational TED Talk!:

Image via Kayla Bacon

Bridget O'Brien

Bridget O'Brien, MiraCosta College Major: Biology Her heart belongs to: Writing, Lattes, and Travel. Take her away to: Seattle, Berlin, or Dublin

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