A Letter to a Nervous Upperclassman

Dear Nervous Upperclassman,

 

It’s officially the Fall of 2018. Syllabus week is over. Assignments are due. Textbooks have been purchased. Electives have been dropped after one class period. You’ve logged in to Canvas for the first time since May. Life is good.

In other words, you are over halfway done with college. You have a crippling hangover after a week of recklessness and drunken reunions. You’re $300 poorer after one trip to the bookstore. You signed up for a fun elective only to find out that it actually requires work. You have four assignments and three essays due by Monday. Life is… happening.

The first few years of college go by so fast, it’s easy to forget what lies on the other side. Sometimes you get so caught up in friends, clubs, dining hall pasta, and social events, it’s easy to forget that we’re over the hump. We’re almost real-life adults.

Recently, I’ve spent a lot of time panicking over my future--- a special type of panic that involves self doubt, self loathing, and indescribable amounts of Swedish Fish. What if I’m following the wrong path? What if I can’t get a job after graduation? Can I even afford graduate school? Why is everyone from my high school class either engaged or pregnant?

As the days go by and life launches you forward, the future can seem so incredibly impossible to grasp. However, in all of my self doubts and career-related panics, I am here to tell you that life has just begun.

 

Being unsure of your future is normal. Truthfully, the best things in life can’t be planned. Life is full of uncertainties and surprises--- take those uncertainties and ride with them. You are finally the captain of your own fate! For the first time in two decades on earth, this stage of life is all about you.

My mom always told me to never settle down until I’ve seen the world. Go see the world. And I don’t just mean that in the literal sense. Explore your passions. Start a blog. Join an organization that has nothing to do with your major. Fundraise for a local charity. Go skydiving. Apply for an internship overseas. This time in our lives has endless possibilities! We spend our time anticipating the catch instead of enjoying the chase! Would you rather tell your kids about the time you became a published writer or the time you spent an entire afternoon mourning a failed exam?

 

 

Our parents don’t call their 20’s ‘the good ole days’ for nothing! Don’t let fears of the future hold you back from appreciating the present. Once you let your passions take the wheel, the future will start to make more sense.

As William Arthur Ward once said, “Today is a most unusual day, because we have never lived it before; we will never live it again; it is the only day we have.”

Make today a day worth living, and tomorrow will follow suit.

 

With love,

An Excited Upperclassman