Anxieties of the FUTURE

I am a fifth year senior, and I’ve committed my final semester to projects that will prepare me for LIFE.

I’ve applied for a program mentoring at-risk youth and I’m trying to find an NGO where I can intern, gain some experience, and do something positive with myself.

I love the prospect of growing and developing as an individual.  And I like the idea of a big-girl job.  But admittedly, I’m freakin’ nervous.

I haven’t had real responsibility (besides school) since I was the only waitress at a struggling pizza joint in high school.  Even then, I wasn’t getting paid so any moment I could’ve walked out.  I love a good challenge and I’m looking forward to the next phase of my life, but I’m scared. What if I FAIL? What if I bite off more than I can chew?  What if I’m on the wrong path and I end up hating the field I have my sights on?

There are so many choices, so many different opportunities, and I’m thankful for every one of them.  But dammit, I’m overwhelmed.  I keep saying in my head “don’t screw this up, don’t screw this up”.

A part of me is nervous that I’ll hate working with NGOs and dealing with the bureaucracy that comes with overseas development projects.  Another part of me is terrified that I won’t be the expert traveler I was when I was younger. Another part is scared that I’ll meet somebody and fall in love and abandon my dreams to make babies and go everywhere my future spouse wants to go. The list goes on.

When I get these feelings of anxiety and utter fear, I stop, breathe, and give myself a mental hug. Lame, I know. But I mean, what good is worrying and obsessing and constantly doubting myself?

I know a few people who have similar anxieties about graduating, and all I can suggest is chilling out, and doing something today that might help you in the future. Quell your worries with action.

Whether you type up or polish your resume, scan the help wanted section, or brainstorm some visions of the future, those are all positive ways to relax.  Get coffee with a friend and imagine where you’ll be in 10 years. Read about graduate programs.  Look into volunteer opportunities. Write a list of your passions and go partake in one of them. Let yourself have some fun and be productive at the same time.

Stop the doubt, avoid the negativity.

Dream big, set goals, challenge yourself! Let yourself grow and change, let yourself try different things and experiment.  We only have one life to live, so we might as well take some risks and make an adventure out of it.


Go ahead, leap off. It’ll be fun.


6 thoughts on “Anxieties of the FUTURE

  1. dreacanova says:

    I want to find a job with an NGO too! Working with at-risk youth has always been a dream of mine. Let me know what you find! Maybe give me some pointers 😉

  2. ernestm says:

    This reminds me of Keats’ concept of negative capability: “negative Capability, that is, when a man is capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason”. Great post!

  3. laughcrylovelive says:

    This is a great post. I’m also a 5th year senior, which is why I think this idea applies to many undergrad and grad students. I think it’s important to challenge ourselves, experiment with life, and make it an adventure! If not now, then when? Like you said, at any moment we could be side-tracked by loss or love, making lots of babies and not following our dreams. So, now is the time to do “it”, whatever “it” is.

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