As a second year student in college, I have lived my life according to my penciled-in plan in my planner. Ever since the beginning of highschool, I have mapped out my weeks, months, even years, to plan when something should happen and the steps I will take to get there. “How do you stay so on top of everything?” is a question I get asked often. To the outsider, it may seem that I have everything figured out. Well... I don’t. Since starting college, I have been introduced to a completely new environment that encompasses so many different people, ideas and opportunities that it has transformed my preconceived notion of my future.
By talking to other individuals and putting myself out there, I have learned what my interests and disinterests are. By pushing myself to have new experiences and to be involved in things that I may think I want to do in my future, I have learned whether something will actually bring me joy or not. I pushed myself into an environment that I thought I wanted to be in. Once there, I learned that that field was not what I thought it would be, and therefore, it was not for me. This experience pushed me that much closer to where I need to be. I wouldn’t have come to this conclusion if I had not put myself out there.
Pivoting and switching around your plan may sound terrifying. Believe me, I thought it was too when I started to stray from the one I had laid out for myself. But we as people evolve and change over time. How are we supposed to know at age 15 what we want to be doing at 20, 25, or even just 16? When I started to break away from my structured plan, I found myself having new experiences more than ever by being in different clubs, exploring having a blog and a podcast platform. It has been a liberating and extremely educational experience.
Have I stumbled along the way? Of course. As cheesy as it sounds, every stumble, missed turn or fall makes you that much stronger and closer to finding the right path for you. Your interests change. You change. Your plan should too so you can find what truly makes you happy in life and what you were meant to do.