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I am in my last semester of college, student teaching in a pandemic and somehow my anxiety as is calm as ever. Sure, I get bursts of it where my heart is pounding in my chest, but with all of these events and situations, I have somehow remained pretty calm.

I am not one that does well with change. Even when companies change their labels and packaging, I hate it. So, when life’s changes come, you can just imagine how derailed I get. I have always been focused on the future though, about where I will go to work, where I will live, where my friends and family will live, who I would be married to, or friends with… and it got to be very exhausting.

I would work myself up about events that haven’t even happened yet. I was so anxious and focused about having “the college experience” and finding my lifelong friends that my freshman year was a mess because of how much pressure I was putting on myself. Eventually everything came together sophomore year and I met my best friends, but I was not giving myself the time to do so.

I joke that I mate for life with my friends, but I think it comes from an anxious place that I will be alone. I think of myself as very loyal and it hurts when it is not matched but I am learning I cannot control people’s actions. I cannot control the future either. I can only go one day at a time.

The future is scary. I have no idea what is going to happen. But if this pandemic taught me anything, it is that I have to roll with the punches. I cannot be so focused and fixated on every single detail and how it will pan out. I have to be flexible. I have to be okay with sudden changes. The future is mine to own but it is also not up to me at some points. What happens, well, happens and I have to be ready to accept that. So, I have no idea what my future looks like. I have plans and ideas, but I know that that could all change if I’m offered a job somewhere different than my hometown. Freshman year me would be freaking out about this, but senior me is ready for whatever life throws at me.

I have plans for tomorrow and this weekend but that could also all change. I have no idea. My mother would tell me one day a time and I thought it was dumb. I am a planner and need to have everything mapped out (which also comes from a place of anxiety) but eventually it clicked. What I think might happen tomorrow could all change if my housemate or my friends want to do something. One day at a time, the simplest advice, but holds so much meaning.

Sarah Elizabeth

Monmouth '21

Sarah is currently a senior history/political science secondary education major with a minor in sociology. Her biggest dream in life is to be a middle or high school history teacher or to open up her own coffee shop. She loves dogs, strawberries, hiking and green tea.
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