By Amanda Harbrecht, Social Media Intern
Thinking about the future can be overwhelming. In my experience the spring is an especially stressful time for students. It seems like everyone is making plans whether that means finding the right college, finding a summer internship, or a finding a job after graduation. It’s normal to feel some anxiety about an unknown future, but you can’t let your worries or uncertainties run your life. The challenge becomes how to shift your “what is my future” stress from a bad place to a good one, so that you can be more excited, less anxious, and above all, able to enjoy the present, which is what you certainly have. Here are three things to keep in mind when making that shift:
1. Utilize your stress.
There is such a thing as good stress. It’s that feeling that motivates you to study for a test so you can do well. Use any stress you might feel to motivate you to work hard and put the necessary time and effort into figuring out the right plan for you. Whether that means reading up on study abroad programs, filling out job applications, or learning more about the schools you’ve applied to and hope to get in, put in the work. Making sure you have put yourself in the best position for success will give you some sense of peace and satisfaction. Researching your options can also help you get excited about what lies ahead. Embrace the good stress and know that it can help you make the best and most informed decision.
2. The unknown means opportunity.
Often times when there is a big unknown looming in our lives, hidden behind that foreboding present is opportunity. As you get older you will take on many more responsibilities. Thus, the present is a time in your life when you can make the choices you want to make because you probably don’t have others you need to provide for yet. The unknowns mean you can do whatever you want in many ways. You can direct your future where you want it go, and that is an incredible opportunity. Having the choice to take control of your life and make a big decision is exciting. It is a chance to challenge yourself and learn new things about yourself. Next time you feel anxious thinking about the unknown, remember it is only unknown because there are so many possibilities.
3. Have faith in yourself.
You can’t let your worries or fears dominate your life. As cliché as it sounds, all you can do is work hard and do your best. Be positive and have faith in yourself. This will not only help you deal with anxiety about future outcomes on college or job applications, but this attitude can even help you in any interviews you might have. Hiring managers look for optimistic and confident people. Believe that you have worked hard. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself and the future, which could result in losing sight of the other important things in life. There will always be time to worry about the future, so make sure to enjoy the present and your time with friends and family.
Being anxious about the future, especially when you aren’t sure what it holds is understandable. The pressure to score that dream job or make the best decision about where to go to college can feel enormous. It is important to remember that the process of choosing a college or a job is sort of a right of passage and many others have gone through this before you with success. Thus, taking this big step in you life should be exciting. Instead of wishing away your big decisions, try celebrating them. What the future holds might be unknown, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be wonderful.