It's Okay to not Have Your Life Figured Out

“I'm excited about what the future holds. I'm not a fortune-teller; I have no idea how it will play out. People say, "What are you going to do?" I don't know. I kind of love that not knowing.” -Jennifer Aniston

College is such a wonderful, yet weird time. We’re legally adults, yet still feel like kids. We’re kids in the eyes of those older than us, yet we’re expected to act like adults. It’s a period of our lives where time seems to be fleeting and the formal beginnings of our lives are rapidly approaching. The pressure of feeling as though you need to have every aspect of your life figured out becomes more and more burdensome as each semester ends. 

Even though I’ve only been in college for almost two semesters, I’m already starting to feel the pressure of needing every detail of my life planned out. Graduate school is something that has always been one of my top goals. At this moment, I still don’t know what kind of graduate degree I want to pursue, and I have no idea where either. From time to time, I think about whether or not I’ll live in my hometown for the rest of my life. I wonder if I’ll ever decide to take a leap of faith and move back to the Northeast or perhaps a different part of Florida. I think about my future career and wonder if I’ll ever be truly content. Should I have a back-up plan, just in case?

I know that I have plenty of time to think about these things. These are all in the long-term future. But as someone who plans basically every aspect of my life, I want answers now. I want to be prepared for any challenge or victory that comes my way. 

Perhaps I’m writing this article to remind myself that it’s okay to not have a plan for everything, especially at this stage of life. We assume that because we’re adults now, we must have all these ambitious plans for our futures without any doubt or confusion. That’s not the way life is. Life is constantly changing and though we have control of our own actions and decisions, we don’t have control over life/the universe itself. As a control freak, this is what tends to scare me.  

There’s a reason why we don’t ever know what the next chapters of our stories will bring. This is what makes life so exciting and wonderful, yet so scary at the same time. Instead of allowing the future scare you and cause you to start worrying and planning, let it excite you and savor each moment that you’re currently experiencing. (I should really take my own advice.) Like Jennifer Aniston said in the quote above, start falling in love with that "not knowing"! 

It’s unhealthy to have every nitty gritty detail of your life planned out (I need to remind myself of this more often). Sometimes, you just have to let life flow and allow it to carry you in the direction you’re supposed to be heading towards. Even if you go through trials and tribulations, you’ll end up exactly where you need to be in the end. 

Keep this mantra in mind for the rest of the semester, the rest of the year, the rest of your life: “It’s okay to not have my whole life figured out.” It’s okay to not have all the answers. It’s okay to feel a little lost. It’s all part of the process. Let go of any feelings of pressure that you’re putting on yourself, that your family is putting on you, or that society is putting on you. Live for today, and enjoy this rollercoaster called life.