In Seasons of Change

In Seasons of Change

What do we do when our plans fall through?
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The fall season brings about many changes, and as I sat outside and observed some of them -- the leaves changing, temperatures dropping, and people preparing for holidays, to name a few -- I got to thinking about life changes.

As human beings, we all make plans and work toward goals and expect things to turn out the way we want them to because that's how we're designed and that's what we've constantly been taught. But what if plans go wrong? What if perfect takes a sharp left-turn into the unwanted and unexpected? It can leave us confused and lost.

Unfortunately, I have found myself in such a time of change. So what do we do about it? The way I see it, we have two options: we can bury our heads in the sand and vainly wish for our problems to just go away, or, we can stand up straight, brush ourselves off, buckle down, and roll with the punches. Sure, we may not have any idea what we're doing for a while (as is my predicament right now), but by simply choosing to take things one day at a time, one step at a time, and take them as they come, maybe we can live through enough days and little lessons to steer us in the right direction. Sometimes, it takes trial and error. Most times, this process isn't short, sweet, fun, or pretty. But it is necessary.

The thing is, society places each and every one of us into a mold -- we're expected to go through four or five years of early childhood, six years of elementary school, three years of middle school, four years of high school, and four years of college (no more, no less) and straight into the rest of our lives. Meanwhile, how much do these standardized educations teach us about ourselves, our strengths and weaknesses, our God-given gifts, and our paths for the future?

Here's the flaw with the molds: we are all different, and we were never designed to be forced into someone else's expectations of who we are and how we do life. Somehow, though, we've ended up there. I say all that to say this: up until a few years ago, I strictly adhered to this mold. I knew what my plans were, and I was going to graduate in exactly four years and go straight to work, just like society expected me to. What I didn't count on were the obstacles that constantly got thrown into my path, and that are still getting thrown in. As a result, my path has changed direction several times and gotten delayed for a little while -- and I'm slowly learning that that's OK.

True, I didn't adhere to the mold, but that's because I was never meant to in the first place. I'll be honest: I don't really know where my path is going to take me, and right now I just don't have a plan. But you know what? That's OK. It's OK for me and it will be OK for you if you find yourself in the same sort of situation. Just take life as it comes and learn about yourself before learning anything else. That's the most important lesson to gain in this situation. Above all, don't let anyone else force you into some societal expectation just because it's the norm. Normal isn't real. Typical isn't real. Life is real, and real is unique to each and every one of us. When plans change, learn to adapt and work through things as best you can. Eventually, you will get where you're going. Just have faith and keep on moving; shine on, you gem -- you can do this.

Cover Image Credit: Only One Life

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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Things I Miss Now That I'm Home From College Again

There are so many reasons to be glad that the school year is over, but if you've done it right... there are a lot of reasons to miss it too.

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So, school is over now and I've come home. As expected I was so relieved at first. No more showering with flip-flops, no more listening to screaming girls running up and down the hall, and a space that is mine and mine alone. But after a week or so of being back, there are a few things I've already started to miss.

I know that not every single person has the ideal roommate but I got really lucky with mine. Coming home I was excited to have my own space, but now when I'm doing my midnight scrolling, I'm realizing that I miss being able to talk to her about the funny things I see in that very moment. Tagging, DMing, and texting her doesn't feel the same as a long night of giggles spent together.

Also, while seeing old friends when you get home is amazing, and there is always a lot to catch up on, you do start to miss your other friends too. Being in college means that your friends are going through similar things as you are all the time. You have tests together, clubs together, and sometimes you spend way too much time procrastinating together. The bond you begin to form is one you definitely begin to miss - especially when you guys don't live close off of campus.

Coming home also means you don't have a set schedule or at least not immediately. You may come back to a previous job and that puts something on your calendar, but the free time you still have during the week can be a little too much. I know I've spent way too much time obsessing over the Tati/James drama than I ever would have at school. The routine I had at school kept me busy and entertained, and I'm honestly missing it a lot right now.

There are a lot of other things to miss too - even things you thought you wouldn't. You miss the classes, the teachers, and sometimes the food. I know I miss the environment. It isn't a perfect one, but it's full of people just trying to find their way. We are all working through the roller coaster of life and we are all stuck on one beautiful campus together while we figure it all out. I miss meeting new people at the bus stops or running into old classmates and catching up.

I guess the bonus for me is that I just finished sophomore year which means I have more time to spend at school. Come senior year, I guess I'll have to learn quickly how to deal without the things I miss - and also create a schedule so I can travel to see all of my friends, but those are all problems for future me.

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