College can seem like it is all about finding the answers. Whether it's answers to test questions or the answer to the dreaded question, "So what do you want to do with your life?" We are faced with questions every day, and it can be frustrating when you don't know the answers and feel like you're guessing your way through life. We study and discern and try our best to find the answers, but sometimes it feels like the answers will never arrive. We mistakenly feel defined by finding the "right" answers to the big and small questions. We feel limited to the answers we shade on the scantron sheet and the ones we repeat over and over to family and friends. But, in my experience, college is more about asking the questions than finding the answers. It's about exploring the unknown and stretching ourselves and maybe finally landing on what we think is the best answer. It's more transformative than terminal. It's about the journey so much more than the destination. There was a quote I came across while studying abroad, which I feel embodies this perfectly:"Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer." -Rainer Maria Rilke
I've been there, I've let answers to questions tear me apart and define me. In school, I've overly-studied just so I could know all the possible "correct" answers. I've also struggled with the hard questions: "What if I want to change my career path?" "Do I really want to lose part of my identity by quitting cheerleading?" "What if I want to transfer schools?" "What the heck do I want to do with my life?" "God, what do you want me to do with my life?" And sometimes I never thought I would never find the answer, but in the end, the important answers always came to me on their own timing.
As a senior who still doesn't "have it all together," I'm here to tell you it was much easier for me to live the questions than obsesses over the answers. College is a time of exploration, not purely destination. Now is the time to embrace all of life's questions.