They weren’t kidding when they said life moves fast. One day you’re having play dates in elementary school, and the next day you’re moving out of the university house you knew as home for the past three years. All of a sudden, adulthood comes along, baring its mature, monotonous teeth. Is anyone ever prepared to grow up?
Upon graduating from university, you learn to accept the end of a chapter in your life and become restless to start a new one. The uncertainty that lingers when you think about the future can become all-consuming. I’ve always put an immense amount of pressure on myself to have a plan. To know the right direction to head in even in the face of the unknown. To know who to be, where to go and what to become. But I’m here to remind you, and myself, that we don’t have to have it all figured out.
Life up until now has always been somewhat set in stone. You’re born, and then you go to school for 12+ years. What happens when this structure is taken away, and you’re left with endless possibilities for the future? It can all feel very overwhelming. One thing I always like to remember is that all you have to focus on is the now. Fixating on the past or the future does no good because they’re only constructs of the mind; we focus on them to feel some control over past experiences and future realities. The truth is, you can’t change the past, and the future will play out as it will.
Of course, you can prepare for the future and what it has to offer while still understanding the importance of the now. All this means is that you must prioritize balance. Plan for the future, go to school, save up money, but not in the name of sacrificing your current happiness. Don’t dwell on the past or future so much that you can’t appreciate your life right now. Quit asking yourself: Will I be successful? What are my next steps? Where do I go from here? Only time will answer your questions and alleviate the uncertainty.
So, enjoy the now. Make sure you make decisions that you’re happy with and prioritize your current state of mind. We can always be eager for the future. We can be excited for the weekend, excited for graduating, excited for summer. But there comes a time when you realize that being so future-oriented is a fatal flaw. As Ferris Bueller once said: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”