A Letter of Reassurance to Any 20-Something Nearly Finished University

Nearing the end of university is horrifying: there, I said it. One minute you are an excited, exuberant 18/19-year-old first year on your own for the first time. Then, suddenly you are a young adult in your last semester of university, who in all honesty is tired, has no idea what is coming next, and is internally freaking out. The scariest part is feeling like you must take on the world and have everything figured out NOW.

 

There are so many questions running through your head: What’s next? Where can I volunteer? Am I cut out for grad school? Should I do a college program? Where can I apply? Who’s hiring? All these quandaries only lead to even more terrifying questions such as: Will I amount to anything, or be a failure? Will anyone even want to hire me? Are there even jobs in my field right now? Will I be able to make money? How long will my parents allow me to move back in?

 

Then, just when you least need it, the comparisons start. Out of the blue, one of your friends announces they’ve been accepted to graduate school. Another friend is offered a job where they have been interning, and yet another has planned out the entire next five years. You, well, you haven’t even figured out what you are having for dinner tonight.

 

Everything adds up and you begin to examine where you are on your journey. You wonder if you are behind the crowd, if you are doing something wrong, and if it’s okay that you don’t feel ready to take on a career just yet. You start putting even more pressure on yourself to obtain the things you are “supposed” to do in life, like finding a partner and getting a job. You lose sight of the fact that you are only a 20-something.

 

I have watched so many of my friends wrestle with these thoughts. In my case, suddenly I have gone into shock about just acting like a young adult and quote-unquote “living”. By that, I mean travelling, meeting new people, and experiencing as much as I can before I settle into a career or even go back to school. I know once I am locked into these things, having opportunities to just “live” will be fewer. And there it is: another reason to be worried.

 

Despite my own worries about the future, I am here to tell you one thing: it will all work out. I know people who have done exchanges and travelled and that’s why they are ready for a job. I know people with an entire degree that feel like they took the wrong program and want to start over. I know people who felt like they should have taken a break between high school and university, and need to take that break now. Everyone is different, and people must make decisions based on what is best for them, not according to what others are doing.

 

The truth is, wherever you are right now is exactly where you need to be. You will find opportunities, a job, a calling, and a life. You are young. Enjoy the now, and make sure you are still living while learning about yourself and fighting for your dreams. As John Lennon said; “Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.”

 

I don’t pass this reassurance along to discourage you from continuing to work hard, or to even tell you what is right for you. You are the only person who knows what is best for you. But I just want to relay the message that it will be okay. And if you are anything like me, you need to slow down, relax, take a break, and for the love of God stop putting so much pressure on yourself to have it all figured out. “Life is about the journey, not the destination.”

 

Now that I have used every life quote cliché in the book, I just want to reassure you that you aren’t alone. So many of us are in the same boat; so many of us are concerned about the job market, the next step, being able to support ourselves, everything. But the truth is, life has a funny way of working itself out. Trust in the process, trust in yourself, trust in life. And once again, remember:

 

IT WILL ALL BE OKAY. YOU ARE EXACTLY WHERE YOU NEED TO BE.