A Deviation In Your Plan Isn’t The End, It’s Just A Detour

A Deviation In Your Life Plan Isn’t The End, It’s Just A Detour

Life is about more than just following the plan.

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If you're like me, you have a very specific and detailed life plan.

You've thought about everything, imagined all those huge moments in your head, and are anxiously anticipating their arrival in the years to come. Now if you're also like me, you sometimes get so caught up in these things that the minor fault in the plan really throws you for a loop. But what I've started to realize is that my life plan will work out, even if it's not exactly how I imagined it.

Since starting college, I had this specific idea of what I wanted to do in my career and how I was going to achieve it. I knew which internships I wanted, what clubs I had to be a part of, and who I had to network with. But the reality of the situation is: Not all of these things will go perfectly.

Over the summer, I applied with my dream company for an internship this fall. I knew I had the majority of the qualifications and experience they wanted and was very hopeful I would get it or at least be considered. I quickly heard back for a phone interview, then an in-person interview the week after. And then I waited. And waited. And waited some more. It got to the point where I was checking the status of my application every day, hoping it would change from "open" to "hired."

But it didn't.

One day I looked and it was changed to closed, and not for the reason I hoped. I got an email thanking me and encouraging me to apply for the spring. At first, it sucked. I doubted myself; my abilities. I questioned if I was even in the right career path. I felt horrible about myself and what I had to offer. But as the days went by, I slowly began to realize that it was OK that my "perfect plan" went astray a bit. It was not the end of the world, nor did me not getting this internship close every door for the future.

I realized that I still had a lot to offer and I needed to proud of myself that I heard back and was asked for an interview, something many don't even get the opportunity to do. I was considered and a contender for this company. And that is something to be proud of.

This experience was not easy. It was tough. But it made me realize that in the grand scheme of things that one inconvenience does not ruin everything.

Life is not perfect. There is no way to fully control everything, no matter how hard we try. What we can do is control ourselves and our actions. We can influence how we think about the future and about our abilities. Your potential and worth are not defined by failure. Your potential and worth are defined by how you overcome said failure and use it to your advantage.

If you don't have that dream job yet, it's OK. If you don't have that ring on your finger by 26, it's OK. If the big, white wedding doesn't happen at the exact age we imagined, with kids two years after, it's OK. And if you're struggling to find a job right out of college or single for longer than you would have thought or just living life for the moment, making it up as you go, that's OK too.

One deviation in that well-thought-out life plan is not the end. It's just a detour. So embrace every moment. Learn from those failures. And never stop pushing too hard for your happiness, even if it doesn't perfectly align with that plan.

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To The Teacher Who Was So Much More

Thank you for everything
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I think it's fair to say that most people remember at least one teacher who had a lasting impact on them. I have been incredibly lucky to have several teachers who I will never forget, but one individual takes the cake. So here's to you: thank you for all you have done.

Thank you for teaching me lessons not just in the textbook.

Although you taught a great lecture, class was never just limited to the contents of the course. Debates and somewhat heated conversations would arise between classmates over politics and course material, and you always encouraged open discussion. You embraced the idea of always having an opinion, and always making it be heard, because why waste your voice? You taught me to fight for things I believed in, and to hold my ground in an argument. You taught me to always think of others before doing and speaking. You showed me the power of kindness. Thank you for all the important lessons that may not have been included in the curriculum.

Thank you for believing in me.

Especially in my senior year, you believed in me when other teachers didn't. You showed me just what I could accomplish with a positive and strong attitude. Your unwavering support kept me going, especially when I melted into a puddle of tears weekly in your office. You listened to my stupid complaints, understood my overwhelming stress-induced breakdowns, and told me it was going to be okay. Thank you for always being there for me.

Thank you for inspiring me.

You are the epitome of a role model. Not only are you intelligent and respected, but you have a heart of gold and emit beautiful light where ever you go. You showed me that service to others should not be looked at as a chore, but something to enjoy and find yourself in. And I have found myself in giving back to people, thanks to your spark. Thank you for showing me, and so many students, just how incredible one person can be.

Thank you for changing my life.

Without you, I truly would not be where I am today. As cliche as it sounds, you had such a remarkable impact on me and my outlook on life. Just about a year has passed since my graduation, and I'm grateful to still keep in touch. I hope you understand the impact you have made on me, and on so many other students. You are amazing, and I thank you for all you have done.

Cover Image Credit: Amy Aroune

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An Open Letter To Myself At 15

This is an open letter to myself about things I wish I had known at 15.

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Dear Hailey,

You are so loved. I know times might be hard, but it will all be okay. It's okay to ride the fence and be unsure of what you want to do with your life. You're going to change your mind 10 more times before graduation anyways. Also, don't worry about all of the things that you can't change. You can't make someone fall in love with you or make her treat you like a better friend. It's okay for people not to fit in your life. Stop bending over backward for people and live for yourself. In a few years, you will go through so much, but you come out on the better side. You are going to be successful and driven. Also, learn what the meaning of "self-care" is. You need to do a lot of that in the upcoming years. Mental health is more important than anything. Also, quit cutting your baby hairs. They will never get longer so you need to embrace and love them early on. Figure out what you can change, and what you cannot. Most importantly, accept what you cannot change. When you decide that you are ready to face the things that you can change, do it with your whole heart. That doesn't mean complete perfection. It's important to know the difference. Start by making a plan for the future. Write it down, memorize it, do whatever makes it the easiest for you. Think through your plan logically, take into consideration your strengths and weaknesses. Remember to do the hard things first once in a while, the relief is sweet in the end.

You are ready.

You are young.

You are smart.

You are beautiful.

If you ever feel that you are at your lowest point, just remember the only place that you can go is up. Find reassurance in the weakness. The best is yet to come. Don't take pity on yourself. Instead, work harder to make your situation better. Be happy. There are so many things to be thankful for. Ask when you need help. No one can read your mind. Time won't stop for you. Worrying and stressing is simply a waste of time. Be strong and know that you are in God's hands. Everything will work out. It may not be today or tomorrow, but eventually, the pieces will fall into place and you will understand why things had to happen that way.

Love,

Me

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