When Things Don't Go as Planned

This semester has been ‘weird’ to say the least. This time a few months ago, I had an idea of what college me looked like. She was happier than ever, flourishing even, with a ton of new college best friends. She was involved in tons of on-campus organizations with great leadership positions. She was discovering her passions. She was really busy but still managing to pull all A’s. I have to laugh at myself now. Some of that happened... and some of it didn’t. To be honest, this semester I have had some disappointments. Lately, I feel like I can’t catch a break. Being away from my family and friends has been hard, and I have been getting to know myself better than I ever have before. I’ve learned a few things my first semester about how easily plans can change. Things don’t go as planned all the time—when I was a kid, I wanted to be a veterinarian and then a hot dog salesman and then an actress. Now my major is in education, but who knows? My plans could change once again.

I am a firm believer in the fact that I am where I’m meant to be. It gives me great comfort to know that the path I’m on is the right one, and every important or small choice I make takes me to where I need to be. So, when things don’t go as planned, I try to take it with a grain of salt. “It’s not meant to be,” I tell myself. I try to find the bright side. Let’s say you hear about a really amazing organization whose cause you’re really passionate about. You fill out an application and attend an interview (which you nail). You hype yourself up about all the friends you’ll make and the fun you’ll have in this organization. But at callouts, you don’t hear your name. We all know the feeling, but there are two ways you can respond to disappointment: you can throw yourself a pity party, or you can pick yourself up and find the positives. Positive: You may be able to find a different org you’re more well-suited for and even more passionate about. Positive: You have more time for volunteer opportunities where you can do your part to give back to Auburn. Positive: You have more time to improve yourself personally by spending more time on studying, getting a job, taking up a new hobby or getting healthier. There are so many upsides to every downside.

To add on to that, no one really knows what they’re doing. Everyone, no matter how successful they look on the outside, is facing struggles. Everyone goes through disappointment or a season in their life that is hard and lonely. It makes you a stronger person in the long run. Every hardship only goes to build you up and help you grow. When things don’t go as planned, which happens often (especially in college), we have to look internally for happiness. Of course, finding things you are passionate about and getting good grades and having supportive people in your life does help, but when all of that falls away, you can still be fulfilled and happy.

All of this isn’t to say I don’t believe in making plans or setting goals. As an Auburn student, I try to live the Creed. I believe in work, hard work. To get to where I’m going I know I will have to take every challenge thrown at me and pick myself up when I fall down. Anyone with a big goal—such as graduating college or even getting through the semester—must believe in work. I also believe in a spirit that is not afraid. Do not let failure and disappointment keep you from trying again. The only true failure in life is giving up. When things don’t go as planned, don’t worry--you’ll get where you’re meant to.