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My Experience Being The One Who “Has Everything Figured Out”

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at MSU chapter.

My partner, relatives, teachers, classmates, and roommates always say that I “have everything figured out”. I’ve even been told that I live on the side where the grass is greener. 

I was in fourth grade when my school ran out of books at my level, and they started teaching me how to write essays to fuel my growth. In seventh grade, I wrote an essay to handle my grief following the Pulse Nightclub Shooting, and it became a schoolwide discussion that flung me into poetry. In high school, I started a newspaper, was president of the poetry club, had my work shared globally, and was a member of the Detroit Youth Performance Troupe. My adventures led to eventually publishing a chapbook. Though I questioned career paths once or twice, everyone around me knew just as well as I did that I was going to write in college.

Most of my life seems to have gone the same way; I have been planning my move to New York since I was eight years old. Since high school, I have had a clear-cut plan to make it achievable. From the day my long-distance relationship started, I learned to become comfortable navigating airports and bus stations. I learned on my feet and was almost entirely responsible for scheduling trips.

I wanted to share that there is no rush to have all of the answers and find a steadfast path that you do not stray from. There is so much beauty in having choices and  molding your own expectations of yourself along with others’ perceptions of you. 

Since I have known my career choice for so long, it is easy to feel remarkably far behind everyone else. Doing something “early” still feels like I am behind schedule, which fuels burnout. I find myself avoiding spending money on myself or small outings with friends because every cent could go to future moves and apartments. I worry that my rainy day fund must always be able to handle any hit that it has to take, or I will no longer be viewed as someone who people can rely upon. 

I have heard time and time again that people would be frightened to do what I do, and though it hurts my pride to admit, I am scared just the same. When it comes to traveling, I fear being alone amongst crowds, strangers, and planes in general. However, because I have overcome these challenges before, others’ fear is often put before my own,  and I let that happen so that I can continue to maintain the image that has been created.

There is beauty in taking a walk without a plan as to where you’ll end up, knowing that you can be persuaded by views or just your own mind. In my experience, life seems to be very similar. If you hand everyone a map at a young age, you are oftentimes expected to follow it. However, when you make it up as you go, you can change it as you grow.

Cassidy Howard is in her second year at Michigan State, and her second semester with Her Campus. She is a social media assistant for the Michigan State Chapter. She is pursuing a major in journalism and a minor in creative writing. She loves writing in all forms and has had poetry shared in a global conference connected to the Corona Multimedia Showcase and was a member of the 2021 InsideOut Youth Performance Troupe, sponsored by Toyota, in addition to being able to perform some poetry on PBS’ Detroit Performs. More recently she has had poems shared in The State News and performed at MSU's 2023 FemFest. When not writing articles or working on her first published book of poetry she loves to listen to music and spend time with her cats- Thomas and Shadow.