I have always been the girl with a plan. If you would have asked me 10 (yes, 10) years ago what I wanted to do when I grew up, I would have told the exact same thing as the degree I will be graduating with in a year. I knew what clubs I needed to be involved with, what grades I had to achieve and every move I had to make to get where I wanted to be. My mental checklist ran my life and if something went offtrack, you could expect me to go into a panic.
I had my life so planned out that I knew I wanted to be engaged by senior year of college, married within a year, have a solid five to seven years in my career field and then settle down to start a family. My kids would be out of the house by the time I turned 55 and my husband and I would retire shortly after to enjoy some traveling. That was my life, start to finish. Except it doesn't matter how much you plan, because life has a tendency to take its own course.
As it turns out, following a simple step-by-step plan for your life is hard af. The universe throws in little surprises along the way. Like hey, as it turns out, your college relationship will end up being long distance and you probably won't be engaged before you get your degree. Whoops. Oh and also? There are no jobs in reporting journalism, so if you want to eat more than ramen for the next 40 years, you should probably look into the strategic communications end of your degree.
My life is not following the plan I made for it, but that is something I have taught myself to be okay with. As it turns out, I love public relations more than I ever loved reporting. I'm excited to move back to my hometown and in with my significant other, even if the ring is not on my finger yet.
It is perfectly fine to be an organized, goal-driven individual. But it is not okay to ruin your life and stress yourself out over a plan that was never meant to work out in the first place. Life is meant to be a journey, not a step-by-step plan to get to your destination. In the end, all that matters is whether or not you are happy. And trust me, stressing out over a stupid list that you cannot actually control won't make you happy.